460.509/1–1051: Telegram

The Ambassador in Sweden (Butterworth) to the Secretary of State


807. Excon. Re Deptel 3478 December 29 to Paris, repeated Stockholm 483, Bern 833, London 3194;1 Paris telegram 3840 to Department January 5, repeated Stockholm 54, Bern 65, London 945.2

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I assume that main purpose of CG meeting of January 163 will be to determine extent to which PC’s will have agreed to go along with tri proposals. If that response proves to be generally satisfactory, I suggest that the CG should decide at its January 16 meeting to use the Paris mechanism as a means of making the extent of that agreement available immediately to the Swedish and Swiss representatives in Paris requesting their parallel action. The extent of agreement on January 16 will undoubtedly leave the disposition of certain items unresolved but would expect that the list will always be subject to re-examination. This Embassy has noted with satisfaction COCOM documents 226–8 indicating concurrence with tri list by Norway, Canada, Germany plus Italian concurrence “in principle” which we trust in practice will include bearings. Therefore, unless the reactions of the PC’s have been disappointing, I favor making the results known immediately to Swedes and Swiss.

I am aware that US delegation at Paris has frequently indicated that it does not expect the Swedes or Swiss to make progress beyond that of the PC’s. I feel, however, that this thought should be repeated at this time as it is essential that the over-all Swedish response be to a revised agreed international list which would include tri proposals to the extent of PC agreement rather than to a combination of agreed international lists and tri proposals. As the Department is aware, I urged submission of the tri proposals to Swedes even though it had to occur before the PC’s had indicated the extent of their agreement. This recommendation was merely based on the urgent desirability of informing the Swedes fully of the tri proposals and views before their current Czech and future Soviet negotiations. I do not, however, believe that the Swedish reaction can be expected to be illuminating if it is to be based upon two sets of lists based upon different degrees of acceptance.

Assuming satisfactory position by PC’s and agreement to turn such information over to Swedes and Swiss immediately after January 16, I concur on the desirability of proceeding forthwith to an examination of points (a) and (b) of paragraph 5 of reference Deptel.

The instructions from the British and French Foreign Offices concerning the presentation of the tri lists has seemed to emphasize to those Embassies here the significance of the tri proposals and also the desirability of continued closest collaboration with the Embassy on the general problem. As those Embassies are at a rather preliminary stage of analysis and as we welcome informal criticism of our own reports and analyses, we have begun discussions with the British and French in Stockholm in an attempt to obtain the maximum amount of clarification on the extent of Swedish strategic exports to Eastern Europe. I believe these discussions should help to prepare the British [Page 996] and French for considering points (a) and (b) paragraph 5 of Deptel but this Embassy does not plan to extend the discussions to cover such questions, unless it is so instructed. Department and US delegation COCOM are in better position than this Embassy to make recommendations on whether the British and French should participate at the Excon meeting and also on the place and timing of the meeting. My only view on timing is that it should be after the Paris group has advised the Swedes of the extent of PC agreement on the tri lists. I do recommend, however, that the discussions on the Swedish and Swiss problems should not occur simultaneously.

I assume by now that there is general agreement that the Swedes will not be told that a shortened list will be submitted by the Paris group for their consideration. The French Embassy in Stockholm is in complete concurrence with the British and American Embassies as to the inadvisability of this tactic. We all agree that we should wait for the Swedes to move, especially after they have had the benefit of full information on the extent of the PC agreement on tri proposals.

The Embassy has previously reported on the subject of transit trade and re-exports that Sweden has provided, what this Embassy considers are adequate, assurances in 1A and IB items from the US and that the Swedish control machinery could be extended to cover international list items from all PC’s. Embassy believes that this should be a minimum position on transit trade and one which Swedes will probably be willing to accept.

Sent Department 807, repeated Paris 152, Bern unnumbered, London 160.