740.5/2–351: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Gifford) to the Secretary of State 1


4262. 1. Shuckburgh to whom substance of Depcirtel 439 January 292 was communicated and who had been working on instructions to Harvey, British observer, indicated that US and British positions are closely parallel on almost all points. He expressed opinion that main difference was degree of optimism as to possible useful results which conference might produce, adding that US appeared to entertain greater hopes than Foreign Office.

2. Shuckburgh stated that (a) as UK would not contribute forces to proposed European Army UK representative to conference would rightly have observer status, and (b) as observer he would not intervene in meetings unless, for example, some matter affecting UK position as occupying power or NATO arose then UK observer might ask to make a statement. Otherwise, his activities would probably be devoted to influence re discussions and decisions, etc., through informal conversations outside meetings.

3. Instructions to Harvey, Shuckburgh indicated, set forth three specific conditions which must in British view be fulfilled if proposed European Army to be acceptable:

It must be completely within NATO framework;
It must be militarily effective;
There must be no tie-up between proposed European Army and Council of Europe. (British stand firm on position that matters of defense are outside competence of C. of E.).

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4. It was emphasized to Shuckburgh that US view is that it would be unfortunate if conference failed and that it is in interest of us all that something constructive result. Shuckburgh agreed although indicating he did not see what positive concrete contribution could result from conference.

  1. Repeated for information to Paris.
  2. Ante, p. 760.