Memorandum of Conversation, by the Officer in Charge of Economic Organization Affairs, Office of European Regional Affairs (Camp)

  • Subject:
  • Aide-Mémoire on COCOM Secrecy Arrangements
  • Participants:
  • Ambassador Bonnet
  • Acting Secretary Bruce
  • E—Mr. Linder
  • RA—Miss Camp

Ambassador Bonnet saw the Acting Secretary at the latter’s request on Friday, October 17. Mr. Bruce handed the French Ambassador the Aide-Mémoire1 which had been prepared and outlined [Page 901] the past history with respect to discussions with the French looking toward some relaxation in the secrecy shrouding the COCOM operation. Mr. Bruce indicated that the French Government appeared to be the only one of the Governments participating in the COCOM which was opposed to a substantial lifting of the secrecy. Both Mr. Bruce and Mr. Linder emphasized the difficult position in which the Administration was placed as a result of current agreements on secrecy. It was pointed out that our position was particularly difficult to explain to sympathetic Congressmen, such as Mr. Battle, since most of the facts we wished to be able to disclose had already appeared from time to time in the Press of this and other countries. The Acting Secretary urged that the French give very serious consideration to a change in policy and, in particular, expressed the hope that the French representative on the COCOM committee which is now studying this policy might be given new instructions. Mr. Bruce told M. Bonnet that he felt sure Mr. Acheson would wish to discuss the problem with M. Schuman in New York unless, as was hoped, the French Government after studying the Aide-Mémoire felt it possible to agree to a reasonable amount of publicity.

  1. Not found attached to the source text.