396.1–WA/9–1251

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs ( Perkins )

top secret
Participants: M. Schuman Mr. Acheson
M. Alphand Ambassador Bruce
M. Bonnet Mr. Perkins

The Secretary stated that he had asked for a small meeting because he had several questions he wanted to ask M. Schuman about the policies of the French Government. He referred to the draft Tripartite Declaration on European Integration which had been handed to Ambassador Bruce by M. Alphand 1 and to M. Schuman’s letter of August 26 to him in which he had spoken of a real political community among the free states of Western Europe including West Germany.2 He stated that he wondered, in view of these statements, whether or not the French Government had any specific plan in mind in connection with European political unity.

M. Schuman answered that he did have a plan. They felt that the Schuman Plan and the EDF Plan constituted the foundation of a structure, which, when complete, would make possible the erection of a roof over this foundation—the roof to be a real political set-up with wider powers than those contained in the two Plans and perhaps with membership which differed from that of either of the two Plans or the two Plans combined. He also stated that their Plan for action called for ratification of the Schuman Plan late this fall. It would [Page 1257] take two actions by the Assembly—one in November, the second in December. They were also proposing to obtain from the Assembly at the same time as the first action on the Schuman Plan in November an endorsement of the principles of the EDF.

They further had in mind a declaration by the French Government on European political unity which might be made at about the time as the two November actions indicated above. Their thought was that such a declaration would help the passage of the other two actions in the Assembly.

M. Schuman was not specific as to exactly what the declaration would contain. He mentioned the possibility that the declaration would call for commencement of talks, perhaps in the Council of Europe or by other means not yet decided, to get on with political unity. He also referred to the result of the talks as a treaty.

He also indicated that the proposed tripartite declaration which M. Alphand had submitted was a preliminary step in connection with this action which they had in mind.

M. Schuman further said that within the last ten days both Prime Minister De Gasperi and Chancellor Adenauer had come to the French with similar suggestions and had indicated their agreement that European political unity was highly desirable and that initiative regarding it should be taken by the French.

  1. On September 10 Alphand had transmitted to Bruce a draft declaration on European integration which Schuman had asked be delivered to Secretary Acheson. Bruce’s translation of the draft read as follows:

    “The three Ministers of Foreign Affairs declare that the objective of the policy of their governments is the integration of a democratic Germany on a basis of equality into a continental European community within the framework of a constantly developing Atlantic community.

    The three Ministers recognize that the initiatives taken by the French Government for the creation of a European community of coal and steel and of a European Defense Community constitute an essential contribution toward the progressive formation of a unified Europe. The establishment of these projects must be accelerated in every possible way, notably with a view to reinforcing the economy of Western Europe and to assure German participation in the common defense.

    This participation will necessarily include the suppression of the present occupation statute and the establishment of a contractual regime between the three governments and the German Federal Republic.

    The British Government, without fully participating in the continental community, hopes to establish a close association between this community and the United Kingdom.

    The three Ministers reaffirm that this policy, which must be undertaken in common with the other free nations of Europe, has for its aim the establishment and the maintenance of a durable peace founded on justice and right. Their aim is to reinforce the security and the prosperity of Europe without altering in any manner the purely defensive character of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.” Memorandum by Bruce to Secretary Acheson, September 10 (740.5/9–1051).

  2. Ante, p. 1191.