460.509/1–2951: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Bonsal) to the Secretary of State


4456. Excon. Re (a) Stockholm’s 807 to Department January 10 repeated Paris 152, London 160;1 (b) Stockholm’s 897 to Department January 27, repeated Paris 157, London 173.2

1. As reported Embtel 4395, January 26 (pouched Stockholm and London)3 COCOM has now accepted all tri proposals. Reservations on 46 items were either withdrawn or minor amendments agreed to. Due Italian opposition (all other PC’s agreed to tri bearing proposal) most difficult item was bearings, which was accepted on interim basis until March 15 pending technical discussion February 13 of Italian counterproposal.

2. No further contact with Swedes on behalf of CG planned in Paris at this time. Therefore Stockholm might take any convenient opportunity informally inform Swedes PC acceptance tri proposals. As to bearings, Swedes would have to be informed further technical discussions scheduled. We would be interested know soonest views of SKF and Swedish Government experts on types bearings they believe strategic and any suggested changes in tri definition. As February 13 technical discussion will probably reopen whole question of bearing definition, views of Swedes on this subject would be most helpful as of course would any indication of types they would be willing to embargo and types they would be willing quantitatively control.

3. In view Swedish aide-mémoire January 27,4 we believe conversations between UK, French and US Embassies Stockholm should be extended to cover subparagraph a and b, paragraph 5 Deptel 3478, December 29, repeated Stockholm 483, London 3194.5

4. Both British and French COCOM delegates favor short list and they indicate this has approval their governments. One of difficulties in past negotiations by French on behalf CG has been in ascertaining just what discussions French actually had with Swedes (paragraph 6C Embtel 3549, December 21 repeated Stockholm 43, London 866)6 and it is still not clear how far French went with Swedes in carrying out paragraph 7, page 3 COCOM Doc 221B. French representative [Page 1014] who conducted talks said he told Swedes effort would be made to supply them with short list.

5. After Department’s consideration of Swedish situation in light of Swedish aide-mémoire we believe there should be meeting at suitable level between UK, French and US (including representative US Embassy Stockholm) to explore whole Swedish situation and agree on further course of action.

Sent Department 4456, repeated information Stockholm 61, London 1070.

  1. Ante, p. 994.
  2. Not printed; it summarized a conversation with an official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry concerning a Swedish aide-mémoire which stated that the Swedish Government intended to do all that it could to effect a reduction of exports to the Soviet bloc. (460.589/1–2751)
  3. Not printed. For information concerning the COCOM meeting under reference, see the editorial note, supra.
  4. Not printed, but see footnote 2 above.
  5. Foreign Relations, 1950, vol.iv, p. 256.
  6. Not printed.