460.509/6–1651: Telegram

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


7831. Excon. ReDeptel 6821, June 14.1

1. We agree it preferable postpone presentation list to UK and France until final US Govt position reached. In gen we concur with views expressed para 3 reftel, particularly device placing on list II with zero quota items objected to by other PC’s for List I. Hope that this device wld be used extensively in connection with tri and COCOM consideration forthcoming US proposals.

2. We interpret Dept proposals in reftel as considerably expanding original plan for tri QC review by including additional IA and 1B items whether or not previously considered by tri or COCOM. What is Dept plan for US items and proposals not agreed upon in tri negotiations? Will they be withdrawn or nevertheless urged in COCOM?

3. Reftel raises what we consider basic questions, i.e. (a) will US continue practice followed since Sept FonMin mtg of seeking tri agreement before submitting to COCOM matters of importance including large augmentation of lists, or (5) does Kem Amendment change situation so that important US proposals will be made to COCOM without resort to firm tri agmt? Issue is whether there will continue be realistic give and take multilateral negotiations which involve US establishing strategic character of proposals on basis of intelligence, use, info, etc. or whether US proposals will in future be presented on more or less take it or leave it basis with PC’s left to show reasons why agmt wld not be feasible.

4. Regardless how US proposals will be made we believe it imperative there be careful advance preparation which shld consist of (1) rationale for control, (2) list of items proposed, and (3) explanatory matter concerning item such as contained in COCOM doc 210 and relation, if any, of items to present international lists. We believe it essential that rationale of US COCOM proposals and strategic considerations [Page 1116] be advanced in documentary form regardless of Kem Amendment.

5. As to amount of time involved in tri and COCOM we believe several months very minimum necessary before any results can be expected. London tripartite mtg required some two months, additional two months required for PC acceptance London agmt and three more months required in COCOM to revise and put IL’s in final form. Translation requires considerable time and cannot be overlooked as a delaying factor.

6. We think procedure suggested para 5 reftel depends on answers to question raised in para 2 and 3 above. In any event we believe agenda, timing, and tri and subsequently COCOM procedure shld be discussed with UK and French Embs Washington when US plan definitely decided upon. This shld permit more expeditious action by permitting direct referral to FonOff.

7. Collation COCOM IL II statistics shld be ready by end June but we seriously question whether they will be of much value.

8. Wld appreciate being informed items appealed by Dept and ECA (para two reftel).

  1. Ante, p. 1109.