396.1 LO/5–1650: Telegram
The United States Delegation at the Tripartite Foreign Ministers Meeting to the Acting Secretary of State
Secto 278. As agreed May 13, Jessup met Makins, Alphand and Robertson (Canada) on Monday on question closer economic association of Western Europe, US and Canada.1
Following points of view emerged. Alphand indicated France wished to establish a relationship of US and Canada with OEEC through which development of long-term relationship would be studied. NAT not suitable because of neutrals and Germany (although conditions might some time change). OEEC would remain European organization for purely European affairs but link between US and Canada and OEEC would permit study of common problems such as trade, investment, migration, Point IV.
Makins said British saw four sets of problems: (1) Dollar gap which was being dealt with by OEEC and US. (2) Economic problems arising from defense which fell within competence NAT. (3) Implementation Article 2 which should be studied by new body to be set up in NATO. (4) Eventual association with NAT of countries not now members, which was not an immediate problem. British position open and mainly wanted to be sure nothing was done to prejudice line of development (i.e. under NAT).
Jessup said US planned to move vigorously on role it should play particularly in terms of situation which we must expect after 1952. Important to be able to point out to Congress that parallel action was [Page 1070] being taken by OEEC and Canada. In our view OEEC was functioning successful organization which could be used to make progress on necessary planning. We thought it might be useful to create a working relationship between Canada, US and OEEC for purpose of working on these problems. We did not envisage this as something requiring amendment OEEC convention. Also it would not prejudice development long-term relationship. There appeared to be difference of view as to where we wanted to emerge in terms long-run relationship which affected question of where it should be studied, i.e., by NAT or OEEC. We hoped to discuss this more fully this week, but thought proposed relationship with OEEC should be confined to work on problems immediately ahead.
Alphand thought French view was close to US but that French were also looking farther ahead to question of what character of future association should be. Robertson thought suggestion was a useful one but indicated strong Canadian interest in developments under Article 2. Makins thought discussion had greatly clarified issues and asked Jessup what action he had in mind. Jessup replied he had been thinking in terms of possible statement by four Foreign Ministers and was requested by others to draft one for discussion Tuesday.
US delegation prepared statement which can be summarized as follows:
- Three Foreign Ministers discussed complex immediate problems with emphasis what needs to be done.
- US Foreign Minister indicated value of present relationship to OEEC and thought would be helpful “to broaden this relationship so that it would provide a forum for discussion and consideration of the immediate economic problems of general concern to Western Europe, Canada and the US.” Canadian Foreign Minister indicated similar interest in participating study these problems.
- French and UK Foreign Ministers hoped OEEC would invite Canada and US to establish, on an informal basis, working relationship with OEEC.
- OEEC should remain primarily concerned with European economic problems.
- Economic problems related to defense fall primarily within competence NATO.
- Acknowledges continuing interest of US, Canada and Western Europe in developing economic ties and possibility this may require new organizational arrangements.
- But urgent task is to make progress on immediate economic problems and proposed relationship with OEEC would facilitate necessary cooperative action.
Statement handed others this morning. Little immediate comment but reaction generally favorable. They will be submitting suggestions during day and third meeting will be held tomorrow.2[Page 1071]
In view French-British divergence on question development OEEC versus NATO, we believe this is about as far as we can go at present. Harriman thinks this important step forward.
Learned this afternoon that Pearson is strongly in favor US and Canadian relationship to OEEC and supports draft US statement with few revisions. However, Ottawa received wrong impression from Pearson’s cable and he sent another today in attempt to clarify. We hope will be possible release announcement Thursday.3
- A memorandum of their conversation, not printed, is in file 396.1 LO/5–1550.↩
- No records of these meetings have been found in Department of State files.↩
- The text of a draft statement, as agreed by the representatives of the four countries, was transmitted in Secto 282, May 17, not printed (396.1–LO/5–4750). It was submitted on May 18 to the Foreign Ministers who agreed to it with minor textual changes. For the text of the statement, as released to the press on May 18, see Department of State Bulletin, May 29, 1950, p. 827.↩