Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Cleon O. Swayzee, Labor Adviser, Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs

Participants: The Secretary
J. H. Oldenbroek, Secretary General, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
Cleon O. Swayzee, Labor Adviser, Office of Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs

The Secretary congratulated Mr. Oldenbroek on his election as Secretary General of the newly organized International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and indicated that he appreciated the responsibility and magnitude of the problems involved. The Secretary further expressed the Department’s sympathetic interest in the development and program of the new organization.

Mr. Oldenbroek expressed the belief that the Communist threat, though still serious, was on the wane, with France and Italy remaining the most difficult countries. He expressed the belief that most French workers, though not Communist, had no basic organizational loyalty consciousness and presented a more difficult problem than Italian workers. He said further that his own problems were more difficult because the French Government would take no action against the Communist dominated French General Confederation of Labor.

Mr. Oldenbroek reported that the Communists were concentrating their efforts among maritime workers and dockers and reviewed the counter campaign organized by the International Transportworkers Federation.

Mr. Oldenbroek indicated that the ICFTU had supported most U.S. foreign policy, noting especially ERP, NAT, Point IV, and economic integration. In this latter connection he pointed to difficulties growing out of his belief that Europeans are no longer adventurers; that job security was uppermost in their minds and that they resisted changes which might impair present security.

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The Secretary reviewed the Department’s position as stated in his letter to Senator Connally.3

[Cleon O. Swayzee]
  1. For the text of the Secretary of State’s letter of January 18, 1950, to Senator Tom Connally reviewing United States relations with Spain, see the Department of State Bulletin, January 30, 1950, pp. 156–159. The text of the letter is also printed in Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iii, p. 1549.