CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: SFM Documents

Agreed Minute on East-West Trade 1


Document 40

The mutual security interest of the Western allies in the present world situation requires that their joint efforts to increase Western military preparedness be accompanied by effective export controls to limit the short term striking power of the Soviet bloc and to retard the development of its war potential in the longer term. This policy is consistent with the general objective of strengthening the West relative to the East.
In addition to the embargo of exports of direct military significance such as those on International List I, it is essential to restrict exports to the Soviet bloc of selected items which are required in key industrial sectors that contribute substantially to war potential.
Strategic considerations should be predominant in selecting items for international export control and the opinion of military and intelligence advisers should be sought in assessing the strategic importance of items recommended for control.
Officials of the three Governments should meet to prepare a list of key items in those industries which contribute substantially to war potential. The list should have regard to US list 1–b. In addition to those items of direct strategic value the export of which to the Soviet bloc should be prohibited, the list should specify: (a) those goods the export of which to the Soviet bloc should be prevented because they are urgently required for the defense needs of Western Europe; (b) those goods the export of which to the Soviet bloc should be quantitatively restricted; and (c) those goods the export of which is neither prevented nor restricted regarding which there should be an exchange of information on exports made to the Soviet bloc. In making their recommendations on items the export of which is to be prevented or restricted, officials should take account of the economic impact of those measures on the economy of Western Europe particularly of any loss of essential supplies, and of the means by which such loss could be made good.
The three Governments should inform the other participating countries of any additional controls which may be agreed, and urge on them the desirability of instituting the same controls.
The three Ministers express the strong desire that the officials of the three Governments should meet as soon as possible in order to reach a speedy conclusion on these matters.

  1. The genesis of this agreed minute is unclear, but apparently it is the result of the discussions by the experts from the three delegations who were appointed by the Foreign Ministers at their fifth meeting on September 18. It represents a compromise between Document 33, the United States draft (p. 1285), and Document 39, the British draft (footnote 3, p. 1236). In Tosec 32, September 22, the United States Delegation stated that the text had been agreed by the Foreign Ministers on September 19, following their meeting with the Benelux Foreign Ministers (396.1 NB/9–2250).