460.509/4–2651: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bruce) to the Embassy in the United Kingdom


1666. Excon. Pass to USDep.

1. QC proposal and NATO action on commodities in short supply and urgently needed for def discussed today by King and Camp with Pink1 UK CG del. Reaction of UK and US COCOM dels to QC proposal will be telegraphed separately in next day or two.

2. We have agreed with UK that NATO proposal is separable from QC proposal and that in view action already taken by DPB and presence of item on deps agenda decision as to future procedure in NATO urgently required.

3. On basis conversation today with Pink who had before him letter from Berthoud2 written subsequent Camp-Moore3 conversation it appears that Brit firm in view that no link shld be established between NATO and COCOM. Separation based on desire to keep NATO free from any taint of “econ warfare”. We indicated personal view that security export controls and mobilization 2 interrelated aspects def and that link need not “taint” NATO. However, we indicated willingness to avoid any direct connection between 2 organizations at this time and readiness to agree procedure whereby NATO deputies wld request govts to take appropriate action, presumably embargo, with respect items certified by DPB to be in short supply and urgently needed for def and to leave it to govts to raise in COCOM question of precise treatment to be accorded individual items if exceptions from gen recommendation required.

4. We and UK appear to be in agmt on fol points:

DPB shld be requested to be more precise both as to definition and as to quantities of items in short supply. For example it is not enough for DPB to say that aluminum is short unless it indicates whether aluminum of all types, finished and unfinished, is in short supply in all countries or only certain specialized semi-manufactured products in particular countries.
In essence, DPB shld recommend that from standpoint of def needs alone desirable that exports to Eastern Eur shld be embargoed. It shld be made clear to NATO countries that DPB action not definitive recommendation as to action to be taken but simply a recommendation as to action which wld be desirable if no other factor than def requirements on the commodity in question were under consideration.
NATO countries shld understand that DPB embargo recommendation may then be considered by some other body to determine whether exceptions for gen rule of embargo are required in order to permit particular transactions of obvious advantage to the West—e.g. Norwegian aluminum case.

5. We strongly urged that COCOM be body to consider exceptions. UK apparently inclined toward special subcomite of deps. We believe UK reps in London less prepared to burden NATO with decisions as to exceptions than is UK rep here and suggest therefore that further discussions take place with UK FonOff, presumably Berthoud on his return to London.

Sent London 1666, rptd info Department 6528.

  1. Ivor T. M. Pink, member of the British Delegation to COCOM.
  2. Eric A. Berthoud, Assistant Under-Secretary of State in the British Foreign Ministry.
  3. Ben T. Moore, Deputy Economic Counselor in the Embassy in London.