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740.5/1–2152

The Secretary of State to Foreign Minister Van Zeeland1

secret

Dear Mr. Van Zeeland: I have just seen the reports of the conversations which you had with Amb Murphy last Sat.2 As I indicated to Amb Silvercruys3 I understand the position in which the Benelux countries find themselves. As I also indicated to him I am persuaded that certain requirements are basic for German-French rapprochement, which in turn is neces for the establishment of real strength and unity of purpose in Europe.

[Page 594]

I understand from Amb Murphy that you wld like us to support your position, in particular with the Fr. I can assure you that in general terms in the past we have done so, and I had thought that most of your difficulties had been resolved.

It seems to me that reports of the latest conversations in Paris indicated that the Fr and Gers, and the Itals for that matter, have gone a long way to meet the requirements of the Benelux countries while still retaining the requisite essentials. In view of this I want to urge most strongly that you do everything possible on your side to meet these modifications which we understand have been proposed, and that nothing will be done which results in a break in the conversations.4

  1. The source text, transmitted in telegram 1080, Jan. 21, to Brussels (repeated to London, Paris, The Hague, and Bonn), was drafted by Perkins (EUR), cleared by Secretary Acheson, and signed for the Secretary by Perkins.
  2. See telegram 994, Jan. 19, from Brussels, p. 587.
  3. See telegram 1023, Jan. 11, to Brussels, p. 582.
  4. In his telegram 1009, Jan. 22, from Brussels, Ambassador Murphy reported that he had delivered the Secretary’s message to the Secretary General of the Belgian Foreign Ministry De Gruben, Van Zeeland being absent from the city. De Gruben advanced the opinion that there was no danger of the EDC meetings in Paris breaking down, but he was concerned about the general lack of understanding and information about the EDC plan by members of the Belgian Parliament. The Parliament was due to convene that same day, and Murphy and his staff intended to meet as many influential members as possible in order to convey to them a better understanding of the American view of the importance of the EDC (740.5/1–2252). In a conversation with Murphy reported upon in telegram 1028, Jan. 24, from Brussels, Van Zeeland expressed satisfaction with the progress of the meeting of the experts on the EDC in Paris, indicated a hope that the French were moving toward a better understanding of the political features of the EDC, and said that Acheson’s message had been most useful to him (740.5/1–2452).