740.5/1–1252: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bruce) to the Department of State 1


4161. From MacArthur. ReEmbtel 4076, Jan 9 rptd The Hague 126.2 Gen Eisenhower talked to Stikker this morning re EDC stressing the urgency of agreement on EDC and making number of points set forth in Intel Jan 10, 4 a.m.3 Stikker fully agreed as to urgency and expressed view that if French crisis could rapidly be solved agreement might still be reached prior Lisbon mtg. He then developed some of Neth’s apprehensions (i.e. that without UK participation and with a “weak France” Ger might dominate EDC; that EDC might not evolve within NATO framework and might result in weakening NATO; that US might become less interested in Europe, etc).

Gen Eisenhower again rebutted these and expressed forcefully his conviction that if Europeans fail in agreement on EDC Amer people and Congress will be much less disposed to continue to assist Europe in developing defense since they will lose faith in Eur ability to face up to situation and do what is obviously necessary.

Stikker agreed and said he believed solution cld be reached. He said 80 percent of Dutch Parliament wld approve idea of Eur political federation. While EDC was step in this direction it should be developed in a way which wld not interfere with, hinder or complicate Eur political union which is essential. Gen Eisenhower agreed but said he strongly believed that EDC with Schuman Plan would prove necessity for further federative steps and wld thus hasten union. Important thing was to get rapid agreement on EDC.

Stikker professed to concur and said he was prepared to do his best. He wished to state, however, that the handling of EDC conf had been atrocious and atmosphere during first part of Dec 27–30 ministerial mtg, “the worst I have ever encountered in any internatl conference”. He said whenever smaller Benelux put forth a suggestion they were brutally slapped down by French and often Gers and Itals without privately to Schuman about this and believed that in future there wld their view being seriously examined or discussed. He had spoken be more tactful and able handling of mtgs. He also mentioned that until he had spoken to Schuman French had screened the minutes and then released them without giving other participants opportunity to join in screening. This and similar incidents had created bad impression but were, he believed, now corrected.

[Page 585]

Meeting concluded with Stikker indicating some optimism re possibility of agreement and said that mtgs of EDC conferees in past two days had made some real progress at technical level.

  1. Repeated for information to The Hague, London, and Brussels.
  2. Not printed. It reported that General Eisenhower had invited 23 Belgian and 6 Luxembourg parliamentarians to visit SHAPE headquarters on Jan. 10 for a full briefing and lunch. He had also invited Netherlands Foreign Minister Stikker to visit SHAPE on Jan. 12 for a private talk. Eisenhower intended to use both visits to try to influence Benelux to take a more constructive position regarding the European Defense Force idea. (740.5/1–952)
  3. Not further identified.