460.509/11–2150: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Holmes) to the Secretary of State 1


2959. Excon USDel. Entire USDel considers results of tripartite conference2 much more satisfactory than could have been anticipated. Partly because of basic change in UK position as represented by New York agreement and partly because of separation of economic from strategic consideration and establishment of independent military intelligence advisory group in tripartite talks here, expansion of agreed controls has certainly gone far beyond initial expectation of French delegation and probably also exceeds what UK had anticipated.

Delegation would emphasize the danger of pressing on broad front controls further than agreed upon at current meeting for following reasons:

Agreed controls come close to borderline of what can be achieved without appearing shift objective to over-all trade embargo. Such result not acceptable to European governments and pressing controls to such a point would have tendency to endanger [engender?] adverse [Page 242] reaction to any controls. For both British and particularly French, controls agreed in London represent general maximum their governments will accept.
US delegation convinced that while economic impact of controls not precisely measurable it is real factor and that pressing controls beyond point at which strategic advantage is fairly clearly demonstrable invites very substantial adverse economic effect contrary to interests of both our European Allies and the US, with doubtful strategic advantage.

USDel would like to point out that on many specific items though full US position was not obtained, way has been left open within terms of agreement itself, to press further to extent to which intelligence and facts justify. On tin and rubber as well, we will be able press our position in NATO where supply factor as well as strategic evaluation can be fully brought to bear. On many of disputed items in field of transport, electric power, etc., we will still be able get effective action if analysis of specific facts with regard shipment and Soviet requirements justify it. With respect quantitative control British and French delegations have claimed that present level shipments from their countries are not at significantly high levels and if any evidence of strategically important shipments is developed further action can be taken. Adequate evidence will almost certainly lead to further action but risk of economic impact is such as not to justify further pressing for action without such specific evidence.

In light of above USDel strongly urges acceptance of report of tripartite conference by US Government and wishes to have confirmed the following understanding of import of previous cables. Delegation recommends that US representative at CG meeting be authorized inform CG that results of tripartite meeting being given to CG for consideration and possible concurrence to represent a firm US position on international controls for strategic purposes. This would not preclude either further discussion of items not finally disposed of or introduction of additional items for control when adequate documentation of new information or new circumstances justifies it. The emphasis of US position, however, should be that general level of controls represented at tripartite agreement is the one suitable to current circumstances and it is not intent of US to suggest any important changes or sweeping additions to list of items recommended for control by three countries.

It is thought that such statement by US member of CG will be reassuring to French who are concerned at possibility that US will exert further pressure for additional action, but will also make it much more likely to attain support for tripartite position from other European countries.

[Page 243]

USDel believes US should now concentrate on following activities:

Getting other countries to accept controls substantially as agreed UK and French.
Working out quantitative controls along lines of agreement where facts justify.
Further application of transit controls and general measures to assure effective implementation of agreed controls.
Obtaining cooperation of neutrals.

At our suggestion, made in light of previous UK position and fact French are in chair, UK delegation has indicated its willingness for UK to make presentation at CG. Berthoud will go to Paris for this purpose.3

Sent Department 2959; repeated info Paris 957.

  1. This telegram was prepared by the United States Delegation to the London Tripartite Conversations on Security Export Controls, presumably under the supervision of the Chairman of the Delegation, Charles E. Bohlen, who left London for Paris on November 20 at the conclusion of the conversations.
  2. For the Agreed Report on the London Tripartite Conversatitons, see supra.
  3. For the report on the Consultative Group meeting of November 29, see telegram 3069, November 30, from Paris, p. 246.