740.5/8–3151: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1

secret

1303. Pass info to Spofford. FYI question as to whether Standing Group reps shld study Report of EDF Conf Paris from practical milit point view, making use of HICOM Report or Bonn Discussions as raised by recent lett Morrison to Sec and referred to Lon 1128 and Paris 1358,2 discussed with rep Brit Emb today. Regret delay in clarifying this issue.

We had hoped avoid this procedure and thought our proposal for a suspension of consideration of Bonn Report and context of Sec’s lett to Schuman and Morrison wld have had that effect. We consider it a mistake that there shld be formal assignment this problem to Standing Group proper at this time which we feel wld not only produce delay in continued progress at Paris but wld also introduce matter in untimely manner into NATO. It has seemed best to us that advice and assistance of SHAPE shld be used at present juncture to make milit aspects of EDF practicable and that, pending further developments at Paris on milit aspects of EDF, there was little of substance for Standing Group to consider. We of course hope that milit Annex to Paris Report will reflect advice provided by SHAPE. Until this is received here there seems little of substance on milit side to consider.

Principal point made by Brit rep was that Fon Mins wld be discussing EDF here and they felt any guidance that cld be furnished them on milit side for these talks wld be useful. Brit stated that they did not consider problem need be referred to Standing Group as formal matter but that national reps on Standing Group shld consider problem on purely informal basis. Request on this basis is of course difficult to refuse. They were unsure as to whether Lon desired tripartite report to Mins.

Question as to whether national reps on Standing Group (as distinct from Standing Group proper) shld jointly and informally consider Paris and Bonn Reports with a view towards providing guidance to [Page 873] their respective Secs of Def and Fon Mins on unilateral basis now under consideration at Def. Do not expect Def answer prior to Tues. In meantime, we are asking Brit here locally to provide Def with more concrete view of what Brit have in mind as result such conference.

Situation further complicated by fact that Fr rep of Standing Group has apparently not received guidance from his Govt.

Webb
  1. This telegram, which was also sent to Paris and was repeated to Frankfurt, was drafted by Byroade.
  2. Neither of the telegrams under reference here is printed. Regarding Secretary Acheson’s letter of August 9 to Foreign Secretary Morrison and Morrison’s reply thereto, see the editorial note, p. 853. For the Interim Report of the European Army Conference, July 24, see p. 843. For the Report of the Allied High Commissioners for Germany of June 8 (the “Bonn Report”), see p. 1044.