460.509/5–1054: Telegram

The United States Special Representative in Europe (Hughes) to the Department of State1


Polto 1805. Excon.

Confirming and amplifying info reported May 7 telecon (Section BSO–3 para 3) US/UK CG Dels met with Charpentier Friday p.m. to discuss “peel-off”. Latter indicated no French opposition provided proposal confined to single category2 and not containing any general directive purporting amend CG directive. UK Del pointed out UK proposal as now formulated applicable only to MWM category; but said his Govt would, of course, reserve right introduce similar limited proposals with respect each category as successively reviewed in COCOM. French Del said his Govt quite agreeable.
In incidental discussion probable attitudes other dels, Charpentier said he understood Itals and Germans would be difficult. Re Germans see para 5 Polto 1783 (rptd London Polto 301).3 Re Itals see para 4 below.
In brief discussion problem posed by position Port Del (see Polto 1784 rptd London Polto 3024). Charpentier suggested interested dels might explore whether any specific and limited concession could be made to Port that would alleviate Macao problem without proposing any real security threat. Indicated he was speaking off [Page 1159] record since French Govt opposed on principle to any present modification FE controls. Nevertheless he thought if some unimportant concessions could be identified French Govt might go along. Said if examination disclosed major item of interests Port in connection Macao was something like petroleum French would, of course, have to object; but if “something-like antibiotics” might alleviate Macao problem French might be persuaded agree. US/UK Dels merely indicated idea could be explored but made no other comment.
US/UK Dels met Saturday with Ital CG Del (Cattani). Latter indicated in very blunt terms his suspicion and dislike of Brit motivation and his confirmation UK determined achieve all that it had unsuccessfully sought at CG meeting. Said, however, he would report views of US/UK Dels to Rome. Not believed by US Del that he will do so with any enthusiasm or personal conviction that arguments for “peel-off” are meritorious. After thorough exploration all facets of issue Cattani position seemed to be crystallized on possibility concurring in “peel-off” if UK could modify its 48-hour proposal so as to eliminate appearance undue precipitateness. He emphasized that heretofore period for effectuation COCOM decisions has never been less than 14 days and for most matters 30 days. Also emphasized difficulties, particularly in Italy, of issuing necessary revisions of instructions, etc within any period such as 48-hours. UK representatives here are, of course, not authorized modify UK proposal; but presumed UK Del will report this suggestion to London.
  1. Repeated to London.
  2. The category under reference here was metalworking machinery, which at the COCOM session of Apr. 30 the British Delegation had intended to recommend for deletion from the International List. After several hasty conferences with the U.S. Delegation, reported in Polto 1750 from Paris, May 2, 1954, the British Delegation agreed to delay recommending this deletion Until a prior understanding had been worked out with other COCOM members.
  3. Not printed; dated May 7, it reported that the Germans would not comply with the British proposal for progressive deletion unless they were assured that the Battle Act would not be invoked against them. (460.509/5–754)
  4. Not printed; dated May 7, it reported that the Portuguese would not agree to the British proposal unless the deletions from the Lists were also made with respect to trade between Macao and Communist China. (460.509/5–754)