Editorial Note

Secretary of State Acheson, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, and French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman and their advisers held a series of meetings on world problems at London, May 11–13, 1950. These tripartite ministerial meetings had been immediately preceded by a series of bilateral ministerial meetings between Secretary Acheson and Foreign Minister Schuman and between Secretary Acheson and Foreign Secretary Bevin. Preparations for these ministerial-level meetings had been made in a series of preliminary meetings in London in late April and early May among American, British, and French delegations. The problem of a more coordinated and expanded Western information campaign towards Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was one of the topics raised during these many meetings. At a meeting on April 25 of American and British representatives (reported upon in telegram Secto 12, April 25, from London), Ambassador at Large Philip Jessup, a principal officer in the American Delegation to these talks, explained American policy toward the Eastern European satellite nations as set forth in document FM D B–22a, April 11 (see page 14). After a brief discussion between the two delegations of the question of cooperation in propaganda and broadcasting, there was a consensus that it should be left to the information officers in the field to bring about closer cooperation. At the bilateral ministerial conversation on May 8 in Paris between Secretary Acheson and Foreign Minister Schuman and their advisers (reported upon in telegram 2185, May 8, from Paris) there was a considerable discussion of the problems and benefits of better coordinating Western propaganda efforts toward Eastern Europe, and the same topic was taken up by Secretary Acheson during the bilateral American-British ministerial conversation in London the following day (reported upon in telegram Secto 209, May 9, from London). At their first tripartite ministerial meeting in London on May 11, Secretary Acheson, Foreign Secretary Bevin, and Foreign [Page 307] Minister Schuman agreed to the text of a document (MIN/TRI/P/4, May 9) summarizing the understandings reached in earlier meetings by the three delegations. Paragraph 15 of MIN/TRI/P/4 stated that the three governments should coordinate their propaganda programs and concentrate in particular on the point that the peoples of Eastern Europe had not been written off as members of the European community. During the tripartite ministerial meeting of May 11 (reported upon in telegram Secto 230, May 11, from London), Foreign Minister Schuman raised the question of whether European Recovery Program counterpart funds could be utilized in a more coordinated and expanded Western propaganda campaign.

Full documentation on the meetings of the Foreign Ministers of the United States, United Kingdom, and France, including the messages and documents cited above and not otherwise identified, is presented in volume III, pages 828 ff.

Following the conclusion of the tripartite meetings of the Foreign Ministers, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Council held its fourth session, in London, May 15–18. Secretary of State Acheson headed the United States Delegation to the Council. Among the actions of the Council was an undertaking to promote and coordinate public information in furtherance of the objectives of the North Atlantic Treaty. Reports and documents on the Council session are printed ibid., pages 1 ff.