Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 96

United States Minutes of the Bipartite Discussion With Mr. Anthony Eden, Monday, November 5, 1951, 3:00 p. m. 1
[Extract]
top secret

Present

United Kingdom Mr. Anthony Eden, Foreign Secretary
Mr. Lloyd, Minister for State
Sir Pierson Dixon, Deputy Permanent Under-Secretary
Mr. Bowker, Superintending Under-Secretary for the Middle East
Mr. Parrott, Chief of UN Division, Foreign Office
Mr. Shuckburgh, Private Secretary to Mr. Eden
United States Mr. Dean Acheson, Secretary of State
Mr. Lewis Jones
Mr. Hayden Raynor
Dr. Philip Jessup, for the latter part of meeting

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Rome Meeting

The Secretary indicated that Mr. Schuman had suggested that this be put off until the end of December.2 He said, however, that the [Page 700]United States very much preferred to go ahead with the meeting on November 24, as scheduled, but would be quite agreeable to another meeting in January. He indicated that Secretaries Lovett and Snyder both had to be back in Washington early in December and could not attend the meeting at the end of December. He said that several Presidential messages to Congress, including specifically the budget message, had to be prepared before Christmas. He said that, in this message, the foreign aid part needed to have something additional from the European side in order to be effective. He said that Mr. Harriman had told him that, insofar as the work of the TCC was concerned, it made little difference as to whether the meeting was held as scheduled or later, because on the 24th, even though the final report would not be completed, he would be in a position to set forth the principal issues which the report would raise.

The Secretary said that one of the key questions would be whether we should continue to proceed as in the past on the basis of a military intelligence estimate of the enemy capabilities and attempt to plan to meet this even if it might bankrupt everybody, or, alternatively, whether to attempt to make effective what we already potentially have. He said that obviously an issue such as the foregoing had a direct effect on the whole United States mobilization and foreign aid program, specifically with respect to the priority to be accorded in the next fiscal year to assistance to Europe.

The Secretary said that he felt we should proceed with the Rome meeting, as scheduled, realizing that all that can be done in the latter part of November is to lay out the program and pose the issues, but that we could agree to meet again in January for the purpose of taking decisions. He said that he thought there would be great value in stating the issues and having a frank discussion on them. He thought, for instance, if General Eisenhower could attend and comment on the issues that it would be of invaluable assistance to the governments in reaching the decisions they would have to make over the holiday period.

On the question of Germany and the European Defense Force, it would be useful to get in Rome reports on exactly where we now stand. He said that, while he had yet to discuss this in detail with Mr. McCloy, in a telephone conversation with Mr. McCloy, he had expressed the view that a two week postponement would not materially change the situation.

The Secretary referred to the serious impasse in which we find ourselves because of the insistence of the Germans in wanting to know before they proceed further exactly how they stand with respect to admission to NATO, on the one hand, and the French view, on the other hand, that this issue cannot be raised at this time.

[Page 701]

Mr. Eden first inquired why the November meeting couldn’t be held in Paris, and the Secretary said that over his minority opposition, the Ottawa NAC Meeting had decided on Rome.

Mr. Eden then said that this program was agreeable to him.

The Secretary said that Mr. Schuman would not like it as he felt that we were not ready for the meeting, and Mr. Dixon added that he thought Mr. Schuman was thinking in terms of a short meeting in Paris merely to receive the TCC report. The Secretary expressed the view that that was not the purpose of the meeting; that what we needed to do was to get a statement of the problems which would be raised in the report and to discuss these problems. The Secretary added that we had been in trouble in the past, because we had felt the Council should not meet until action could be taken, and that he thought we should get away from this and adopt the policy of holding regular meetings. Sir Pierson Dixon added that he thought Schuman was against the meeting in addition to the reasons cited above because the European Defense Plan was not ready. Mr. Eden said that he personally thought the EDF was not advantageous to France, as, in a limited arrangement such as that, in contrast to a broader arrangement of a NATO Army, the Germans would be in a position to play a more major role.

The Secretary concluded the discussion by saying that he would discuss the matter with Mike Pearson and attempt to persuade him to proceed with the meeting in Rome as scheduled.

  1. During and between sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, the Foreign Ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France met for a series of bipartite and tripartite meetings in Paris; they also met in Rome between sessions of the North Atlantic Council. For a description of these meetings and the subjects discussed, see the editorial note, p. 1312.

    In the records of the U.S. Delegation that accompanied the Secretary of State to Paris and Rome, these minutes were designated as Nov B M–2.

  2. For a record of this discussion, see telegram Actel 2 from Paris, November 2, in volume iv .