398.18 ICEM/7–354

The Director of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (Gibson) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Foster: I have heard with considerable perturbation that contrary to expectations, the future of Senate Bill 1766 with which the fate of this Committee and its programs are so closely interwoven, is by no means plain sailing.

It is hardly possible to overstate the very invigorating effect of the positive attitude taken by the United States delegation at the last Session in Geneva which culminated in the inspiring address which you so generously found time to give to the Committee in plenary on 30th April.1 I can assure you that the whole atmosphere of the Committee’s deliberations was enhanced beyond measure and that this change was reflected in the many enthusiastic and complimentary remarks made to me by Delegates on the revivifying nature of this renewed demonstration of U.S. leadership and determination in the affairs of the Committee. An inevitable criterium for these countries of U.S. interest must be the question of its ratification of the draft Constitution regarding which Congressman Reed, who chaired the original Drafting Sub-Committee in Venice, gave so firm and optimistic a prognostication during this last Session. The consequences of any unexpected delay will be to undermine the whole fabric of the Committee and to undo what has been built with such determination and against considerable difficulties since the Brussels Conference in 1951,2 at which the U.S. Government gave its earlier demonstration of initiative in a fundamental approach to the problem of European over-population.

I do not believe that it would be proper for me to offer advice on the internal questions of reorganization of U.S. Administration which are involved in the Bill, though I am sure you will know how I feel on the matter. I do hope, however, that this element will not result in serious delays being permitted to intervene before U.S. ratification receives approval. Such delays, in the face of the fact that eight governments, including Australia, Canada and Italy, have already deposited instruments of ratification, and several others are likely to do so in the near future, could only be little [Page 1637] less than catastrophic for the Committee and would also raise, understandably, questions as to the real intentions of the United States Government, despite the public declarations made with such conviction by its representatives at the last Session of the Committee.3

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Gibson
  1. For the text of Secretary Dulles’ address, see Department of State Bulletin, June 28, 1954, p. 995.
  2. Reference is to the Conference on Migration, held Nov. 26–Dec. 5, 1951; for a confidential report on this conference, see p. 1572.
  3. For Secretary Dulles’ reply to this letter, dated July 22, 1954, see p. 1639.