CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 151: Secto Cables: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of State

secret   niact

Secto 256. Reference Telac 8, May 12.1 Following summaries highlights tripartite meetings:

1. Assessment and common objectives. After analyzing gains and losses in world situation there was general agreement there has been shift in power relationship favorable to Soviet Union which means [Page 1062] situation serious and of increasing danger. Bevin and Schuman agreed we should realize this and act along line following points which I made. (1) Dangers in present situation, particularly those flowing from growing disparity between military strength of East and West; (2) Need for strong economic foundation to support defense effort and maintain living conditions; (3) Importance of drawing West German economy into service of West; (4) First priority for building up strength and vitality of West; (5) Importance of holding in Asia while doing first priority task in West; (6.) In line with Schuman’s emphasis on presenting peaceful intent of West to world public opinion, importance of countering with truth the false notions of Western position; and (7) Conception that organization not an end in itself but only a tool to make action possible.

We agreed that general negotiations with Soviet Union now would almost certainly be unproductive. Bevin and particularly Schuman laid great stress on dangers in present impasse in UN and we agreed to have our representatives in UN consult on problems Soviet boycott caused for UN, especially (a) can Security Council function effectively on important questions in absence of permanent member; (b) is there any realistic and desirable alternative to Trygvie Lie as Secretary General; (c) attitude on admission of new members. I indicated that there could be little point in their discussing recognition of Chinese Communists since we believed yielding to Russian blackmail might place Western interests in Asia in jeopardy outweighing advantage of return of Soviet representatives to UN. This matter left that three governments will consult whenever one of them believes matter can be usefully taken up again.

2. NATO. General agreement on need for strengthening organization to provide for coordination various activities such as defense and finance, and for some concerting policy of members on political questions common concern. Details left to be worked out pact council meeting next week.

3. Political and economic integration Western Europe and Atlantic community. No agreed conclusions yet reached. Representatives of Ministers will consult Canada’s Foreign Minister and probably review again. On economic side British position is to stress development NATO as broad Atlantic community framework while French stress continuation and some association US and Canada with existing European organizations such as OEEC. I have made it very clear while ERP ends in 1952 US interest Europe has no terminal date and that Administration will consider appropriate recommendations to Congress to meet extraordinary situations which may develop. On Germany relationship general agreement cannot be associated with [Page 1063] NAT in any way this time. French take position against possibility of future association but British inclined as we do to hold this possibility open especially economic field.

4. Migration. Agreed declaration issued stressing importance this matter, especially Germany, Italy and calling for review by experts to determine if additional approaches this problem available which could be undertaken.

5. Germany. Principal agreements were:

Declaration of policy toward Germany to be issued May 142 indicating the course ahead in development of relations between the Western Powers and the German Federal Republic, stating our ultimate objective of reuniting Germany, and reaffirming offers on unification we made to Soviets at Paris CFM in 1949.3 It was agreed must move forward with relaxation of controls and with our policy of closely associating Germany with Western community of nations. It was not possible in limited time available to arrive at clear understanding of speed and manner doing this. Certain differences of emphasis were revealed. Our feeling was there must be positive action by the High Commission to foster democratic development in Germany. The British seemed not to share this feeling to same extent but rather to concentrate on relaxation of controls by a series of reciprocal steps chiefly involving German action in field of foreign affairs. But British unwilling translate this principle into practice, for example on question permission German shipbuilding for export. French laid considerable emphasis on retention of Supreme Allied Authority but seemed prepared go some distance in relaxing controls, especially at local level and in internal affairs.
Creation high level working group London to review Allied controls on Germany and make recommendations for eliminating major practical obstacles arising out of the continued state of war.
Public declaration of our intention to remain in Berlin and of our intention help much as possible in solution its economic problems.
An unpublished directive to High Commission instructing it take various measures for the improvement of position of Western sectors of Berlin and to study what counter measures could be adopted if Soviets again try interrupt Berlin’s communications with West.4
Instructions to High Commission on answer to be made to Dr. Adenauer’s request for declaration that territory Federal Republic would be defended against attack.5 The answer to be made is that, under articles 5 and 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty, an armed attack upon the occupation forces of the Western Allies in Germany is considered as an armed attack against all the parties to the treaty and will bring into operation the provisions of article 5 of the treaty. [Page 1064] The reply will further state that the three powers have no intention in the present European situation of withdrawing their occupation forces from Germany.
Joint public statement denouncing Soviet failure to return German POW’s as well as Japanese POW’s.
Decision for Three Powers to send in about one week similar notes of protest through diplomatic channels to the Soviets on the creation of the militarized police in the Soviet Zone of Germany.
Instruction to High Commission to study the limitation on German steel production, in view of fact that production is for first time since war running at about the maximum permitted level.

We also discussed following matters:

A federal police force in Western Germany. Dr. Adenauer recently asked the High Commission for authority to establish a federal police force of 25,000. The British pressed hard for agreement to authorize the establishment of a force of 5,000. I said that I thought the matter should be studied by High Commission and that I wished to consult the President and the chiefs of staff. Mr. Schuman took somewhat similar position. It seemed be consensus opinion that it premature consider rearming Germany.
Exports from Germany to the Soviet orbit are at present controlled in accordance with American practice, which is more restrictive than controls applied by the French and British. They pressed for agreement to place exports from Germany on the same footing as their own and for the encouragement of German trade with the East. I said that I could not give consideration to the matter until the expert committee now considering security controls on shipments to the Soviet orbit has completed its work.
In brief discussion new French proposal on joint utilization of French and German coal and steel industries, Bevin pointed out difficulties British participation stressing conflict with British planned economy but on the whole did not depreciate French initiative. This statement somewhat warmer toward proposal than previous official British statements. I expressed appreciation for French initiative along lines my previous message and public statement. Bevin and I welcomed Schuman’s suggestion French officials explain proposal in more detail to High Commission which will be done soon.

6. Austria. Ministers agreed on general principles to guide tripartite action in treating Austrian Government as far as possible as independent state and in lessening the burdens of occupation. Decision on the appointment of the civilian high commissioners was deferred until May 18 to enable M. Schuman to consult the French Government. At that time a final decision will also be made on future procedure with respect to treaty negotiations and on language of a public statement on Austrian question.6

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7. SEA–Indochina. Based on our preliminary bilateral conferences there was agreement reached on the assessment of the situation and our common objectives in SEA. It was decided that no tripartite declaration on the subject would issue from the conference. The British objected to such a declaration, partly because it would exclude Commonwealth. I did not advocate this and the French reluctantly reconciled to its absence. We also trilaterally agreed to take certain common measures in an effort to suppress gun-running into French Indochina and to cooperate on our information policies and activities in the area.

8. Colonial questions. Broad lines of policy in respect of the political, economic and social development of Africa were discussed and a wide identity of view found regarding basic objectives. It was agreed that there should be subsequent discussion for the purpose of reducing the area of disagreement regarding approaches to colonial problems in the UN.

9. Continuing consultation. It was agreed consultations among three governments should be intensified and Foreign Ministers meet with sufficient regularity so that meetings would be regarded normal events and not assembling because crisis exists.

10. Obtained general agreement our position on satellites and Yugoslavia and importance consulting and insofar possible acting in concert these questions.

There follow highlights of my bilateral talks with Bevin on subjects not also covered tripartite conversations.

Near East. I emphasized our concern on arms shipments to Arab states and Israel and proposed British and French join US in declaration recognizing these states need maintain certain level of armed forces to insure internal security and legitimate self-defense and permit them play their part in defense of area, and specifying (1) that arms would only be shipped on condition receipt of assurances of nonaggressive intent, and (2) that US–UK and French should signify intention taking immediate action consistent UN obligations to forestall any threat aggression within area. Bevin agreed in principle. Now working out drafting and procedure with British after which French will be approached.

British agreed our appraisal gravity situation Iran and views exchanged respect possible steps check deterioration that country.

India and Burma. British agreed our concept US role should be supplement not supplant endeavors of UK and Commonwealth which have primary interest.
China. Found ourselves still wide apart though Bevin frankly expressed his disquietude over protraction his negotiations with Peking on recognition.7 [Page 1066]

An unearned increment of conference probably resulting my Washington conversations with Franks8 was announcement by British of its action in Hong Kong to safeguard aircraft.

SEA. Agreed on assessment of situation and British reaffirmed their intention of discharging their particular responsibilities in area.
Palestine Relief Agency. I stressed importance British contribution. Bevin promised to review.
In discussions British position in world and our relationship with British, following British preoccupations emerged:
Their emphasis on Labor’s domestic program and UK viability by 1952.
Their desire for a “special relationship” with US.
Their desire to maintain their Commonwealth and sterling area or world position as distinguished from role of an European power.
Their resulting emphasis on developing NATO as an Atlantic community umbrella as distinguished from French theory of developing strictly European organizations such as OEEC.
Their concern over divergencies UK–US policy as illustrated by China and colonial matters.

There follow highlights bilateral talks Schuman on matters not duplicated tripartite discussion.

Indochina. This was main subject discussed in detail Paris. Mr. Schuman in his opening statement to me substantially met us on the points which we have been impressing on the French without success up to this point. Mr. Schuman reaffirmed the acceptance of responsibility for Indochina by France; he acknowledged that US assistance must be supplementary and not substituting; he assured us that the March 8 agreements would be loyally executed and liberally implemented;9 he stated that the Cabinet had taken the decision to establish a new ministry for handling the affairs of the Associated States. Mr. Schuman did not make exaggerated requests for aid and seemed gratified with what I was able to tell him. In effect, I said that I was hopeful that for the balance of the fiscal year amounts might be found for both military and economic aid coming up to the neighborhood of $20 million, that we were proceeding urgently on the top priority military items requested by the French and that I was hopeful favorable action on legislation now before Congress would enable us to continue military and economic support in the fiscal year 1951. On balance I feel that the talks with the French on the subject of Indochina were successful.
Palestine Relief Agency. I stressed importance French contribution and Schuman said he thought would be forthcoming in June.

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In general, while the results of conference are not spectacular from the press point of view, I feel both in my talks and the preparatory talks progress has been made especially with respect to better understanding of fundamental questions confronting us which will pave the way for improved cooperation and more effective concerted action in future.

Sent Department Secto 256, repeated Paris 848, Frankfort 231.

  1. Not printed; it reported that the coverage of the daily meetings had been slow in coming into the Department of State, a situation which made it difficult to report to President Truman who was “interested in following developments.” (396.1 LO/5–1250)
  2. MIN/TRI/P/13 Final, p. 1089.
  3. For documentation on the sixth session of the Council of Foreign Ministers at Paris, May 23–June 20, 1949, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. iii, pp. 856 ff.
  4. MIN/TRI/P/14 Final, p. 1091.
  5. MIN/TRI/P/10 Final, p. 1085.
  6. For a report on the Foreign Ministers meeting on May 18, see Secto 302, May 18, p. 1071.
  7. For documentation on the British negotiation with the Chinese Communists on recognition of the mainland government, see vol. vi, pp. 256 ff.
  8. Sir Oliver Franks, British Ambassador to the United States.
  9. In Secto 257, May 14, not printed, Secretary Acheson reported that Schuman had stated “on top secret basis that with the attainment of security in Indochina, French would re-examine the situation and did not consider the March 8 agreements were ‘the last word.’” (396.1 LO/5–1450)