740.5/5–351: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Gifford) to the Secretary of State


5715. Excon.

1. In accordance with suggestion in para 5 Paris tel 1666 Apr 26 (rptd Dept 6528)1 Emb and USDep staff reps had further discussion with Berthoud. He had not yet reed report of conversation between King, Camp and Pink. He agreed, however, that UK wld be prepared to support strongly proposals in paras 4a and 4b reftel but that problem arose over question of what body shld consider exceptions to JSATO embargo recommendation. He suggested possibility that CD might refer this question to FEB and that since FEB will be located in Paris it cld work in liaison with COCOM. He did not appear to have any very precise arrangement in mind but seemed to be willing to have CD take action which wld give FEB responsibility for ensuring that effective action was taken on problem.

2. He repeated arguments that persuaded us that COCOM shld be body to consider exceptions and made point that since a number of items on DPB list are also on internati list II these wld have to be considered in COCOM in any event. We asked Berthoud to state Brit reasons for objecting to COCOM consideration. He pointed out that some of items on DPB list were not on any internati list and therefore presumably shld be controlled on short supply rather than security grounds. Furthermore, there was a problem of limiting exports of items on DPB list not just to Sov bloc but also to non-NATO countries outside Sov bloc.

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Introduction of these aspects into COCOM wld change basis of its operations and wld require careful negotiation if it were decided to undertake this change. He also mentioned difficulty that Ger was member of COCOM but not of NATO and that introduction of short supply operation into COCOM wld complicate efforts to associate Sweden and Switz with work of that body. He said that if agrmt to handle quantitative controls on basis new proposal outlined by Camp cld be reached in COCOM prior to action in CD these difficulties wld lose their force.

3. We pointed out that our proposal on quantitative controls and on CD action on short supply problem was in effect package proposal and that our purpose was to discuss it as such with Brit and Fr and upon obtaining their agrmt to take necessary action separately in NATO and in COCOM. We agreed, however, to obtain reaction of Dept and US COCOM del to Brit proposal for using FEB.

4. In light of CD discussion this subj (see Depto 862, Apr 30)2 we think there is likely to be considerable support for FEB proposal from other countries as well as UK arid that, at least for time being, it will be difficult to negotiate in framework of CD informal agrmt that COCOM shld be body to consider exceptions to embargo. We think that action by CD which covers point in para 4b reftel but leaves entirely in air question of what body is responsible for implementation is undesirable. Consequently, we shld appreciate reaction to resolution by CD which wld assign responsibility to FEB. We believe any such resolution shld authorize FEB undertake specific task of seeking agrmt on governmental actions to embargo or otherwise restrict exports to Sov bloc of DPB-designated materials. We wld not favor merely asking FEB to prepare econ studies to guide further CD action, nor do we believe FEB shld consider restricting exports to non-NATO countries outside Sov bloc.

5. We cld also try to obtain informal agrmt that FEB wld make as much use as possible of COCOM machinery. Perhaps it wld be possible for FEB to agree on complete embargo of a few short supply items. This cld be done without interfering unduly with COCOM operation. We feel strongly, however, that in practice it will be found completely unworkable to have two separate bodies dealing with questions of coordinating trade agrmts, assigning quotas, or reducing amounts of items (controlled on either security or short supply grounds) to minimum required to obtain essential items from East. Since COCOM has obviously superior background and experience [Page 1073]in this field this work shld be moved to that agency at appropriate time.

6. Next step wld appear to be effort to get agrmt by Brit, Fr and ourselves on specific language for CD resolution. Question is whether to introduce FEB aspect into resolution or omit it and make further attempt to obtain informal agrmt on COCOM. We wld appreciate State–ECA views and those of Emb Paris and OSR urgently in anticipation next CD discussion May 7.3

Sent Dept 5715, rptd Paris 2196 (for OSR).

  1. Supra.
  2. Not printed; it summarized the 33d meeting of the Council Deputies of April 30 during which preliminary consideration of the DPB report on the use of export controls to insure supplies for North Atlantic Treaty countries’ military production (NATO Document D(51) 94 of April 10) took place. (740.5/4–3051)
  3. In telegram 6701 from Paris, May 4, the Embassy stated its view that the FEB should be the forum for considering exemptions in the embargo of exports to the Soviet bloc. (460.509/5–451)