460.509/1–551: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bruce) to the Secretary of State


3840. Excon. As promised paragraph 4 Embtel 3761 to Department January 3, repeated Stockholm 51, London 920, Bern 62,2 following are our views paragraphs 5, 6, Deptel 3478, December 29 repeated Stockholm 483, Bern 833, London 3194.3

1. As mentioned reftel we think it imperative distinguish (a) action US may take on its behalf alone vis-à-vis Switzerland and Sweden from (b) that taken on behalf members CG/COCOM.

2. As to action by US alone in its own behalf, we believe this must rest on Department’s revaluation of matter in light views Stockholm and Bern, NSC decisions, Cannon amendment, etc.4 As neither Sweden nor Switzerland are members CG/COCOM and we are not familiar with detailed situations in these countries, we are in no position to make any positive recommendations for unilateral US action on points (a) and (b) paragraph 5 reftel.

3. To any multilateral action re points (a) and (b), paragraph 5 reftel, following are our views.

Point (a): Problems involved are set out last paragraph COCOM Doc 176 and we believe Stockholm and Bern is in best position provide answer, for besides being familiar with local situation, they have discussed Excon problems with Swedes and Swiss over long period of time and can best assess what acceptable international controls Sweden and Switzerland likely agree to.

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Point (b): We assume this point refers to multilateral steps that would cause Sweden and Switzerland give adequate assurances and take adequate Excon actions. This being true we think Stockholm and Bern are in best position to provide answers for same reasons given with respect point (a).

4. In present predicament US COCOM Del is not only not in position to coordinate US, UK action to be taken through Embassy Stockholm and Legation Bern as suggested paragraph 6 reftel (Department makes no mention French action) but to even untangle situation that has arisen in COCOM where there is pending a subcommittee recommendation for selected items (Embtel 3549, December 21, repeated Bern 57, Stockholm 43, London 8665) and CG decision that French are to act on behalf PC’s (COCOM Doc 218 B paragraph 7).

5. Therefore recommend: (a) Stockholm and Bern advise (1) if in their opinion meeting of US Excon officers advisable (we have Stockholm’s general concurrence such a meeting, Stockholm’s 736 to Department December 24 repeated Paris 138, Bern Unnumbered, London 1496), (2) whether French and UK representatives from Stockholm and Bern should attend, (3) when and (4) where it should be held. Meetings re Switzerland and Sweden need not necessarily to be held at same time, (b) Such meeting discuss points (a) and (b), paragraph 5 reftel, and any other matters relevant to obtaining Swiss and Swedish international Excon cooperation including how extricate multilateral approach from present quagmire. (c) If Stockholm and Bern favor meeting US COCOM Del can then discuss matter with British and French.

Sent Department 3840, repeated info Bern 65, Stockholm 54, London 945.

  1. Not printed; paragraph 4 stated that the Embassy in Paris would give its reaction to telegram 3478 to Paris, December 29, when British and French views regarding a tripartite approach to Sweden and Switzerland were known. (460.509/1–351)
  2. Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iv, p. 256.
  3. For documentation concerning the Cannon Amendment and NSC 91 and 94, see ibid., pp. 65 ff.
  4. Not printed; it summarized conversations between the French delegate to COCOM and representatives from Sweden and Switzerland concerning transit and re-export controls and the related subcommittee recommendations on selected items for export control. (460.509/12–2150)
  5. Not printed.