396.1 LO/5–1350

Memorandum of Conversation, by the United States Ambassador at Large (Jessup)

Participants: Mr. Bevin (UK) Mr. Barclay
Mr. Schuman (France) Mr. Lebel
Mr. Acheson (US) Mr. Jessup

The Three Ministers met together privately this morning at 10:45. Mr. Acheson asked Mr. Schuman if he could explain just what the French Delegation had in mind in the proposal which they circulated concerning the structure of NATO (MIN/TRI/P/28).1

Mr. Schuman explained that they thought there should be a Council of Deputies organized to function on a permanent basis. They would be assisted by a group of technicians who would elaborate plans on the type of armament, financial contributions and similar matters. They would then submit these plans to the committee of deputies. When the deputies approve the plans, their execution would be entrusted to one man whose duty it would be to see that it was carried out. The difference between this French proposal and the U.S. proposal was that the French would introduce an intermediate stage between the approval of plans by the deputies and their execution. This intermediate stage would be provided by the work of the technicians elaborating the details along lines of general projects suggested to them by the deputies.

Mr. Acheson said that the details of the plans of organization were too involved to be settled by the Ministers in the morning meeting. He accordingly suggested that the Ministers decide to refer this question to a working group which could study it over the weekend. This was agreed.

Mr. Acheson then reminded the other two Ministers that the three governments had agreed to inform The Netherlands Government concerning their discussions regarding Southeast Asia. He suggested that they ask Mr. Stikker to remain this afternoon after the meeting [Page 1055] with the Benelux representatives so that this could be done. This was agreed.2

Mr. Acheson then also mentioned that the question of New Guinea might be raised by Mr. Stikker. He did not ask for the concurrence of his colleagues but wished to inform them that if this matter did come up the United States would express its view that the matter should continue to be handled by The Netherlands and the United States of Indonesia without the intervention of the Australian Government which has expressed an interest.

Mr. Acheson then referred to the question which the Ministers had been discussing relative to long-term economic relations between Canada and the United States on the one hand and the European countries on the other. He thought that a further discussion by the Ministers of the papers which had been prepared would only be confusing and that nothing could be settled until Mr. Pearson, Canadian Minister of External Affairs, had been consulted. He suggested therefore that this matter should be referred to a group consisting of Mr. Pearson, Mr. Jessup as his representative, and a representative of Mr. Bevin and Mr. Schuman. The purpose of this discussion would not be to settle the matter but to discuss what the Ministers can do to advance it before they all leave London.

Mr. Bevin said that he was worried about tying in the OEEC with the NAT and the status of Germany in regard to this problem.

Mr. Schuman noted that, if we used the machinery of NAT, Germany is excluded and so are Sweden and Switzerland which is a result we do not desire. This represents the value of working through OEEC.

After a certain amount of confusion, Mr. Bevin agreed to the proposal and said that Sir Roger Makins would be his representative. Mr. Schuman also agreed with the proposal but did not name his representative.

Mr. Acheson said that he would like to make a final suggestion. At further meetings, he thought the agenda should be shorter and less detailed; that we should not have so many papers; that we should have more meetings with only two or three people instead of very large staffs. This was agreed. Mr. Schuman, however, noted that the agenda included too many subjects in which other governmental departments were interested and this led to their demand to be represented on the delegation.

Philip C. Jessup
  1. Dated May 12, p. 1103.
  2. For reports on the Foreign Ministers meeting with the Benelux representatives and with Stikker, see Sectos 251 and 252, both dated May 4, pp. 1056 and 1057, respectively.