740.5/3–1954: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1


Edcol 93. British Embassy representative called2 to give substance Steel’s instructions from FonOff re his approach to Alphand on UK assurances to EDC. Text3 being pouched Bruce Mission and Embassy London. Also understand Steel instructed inform Bruce of same points. Following are most significant points in Steel’s instructions:

Eden plans make UK assurances statement public in form of paper to be read to Parliament as a Govt position. In addition, Steel was instructed suggest to Alphand consideration of NATO resolution, which might be approved at April FonMinisters meeting,4 incorporating substance US and UK assurances, appropriately adopted to fit into overall NATO policy. This would be on assumption US and UK documents had been issued by that time. (Comment: We question advisability and need for such resolution. US and UK assurances in themselves serve somewhat different purposes and in any case do not appear readily adaptable to NATO-wide resolution. Furthermore, from French point of view important assurances are those from US and UK; NATO resolution, which inevitably would be difficult to negotiate and be watered down, would not contribute much additional impact in France.)
British are prepared to make major important concession in that they are willing agree in principle to integration UK and EDC ground forces. As indicated para (5) Coled 197,5 this could have very important impact on position French Socialists.
British are prepared authorize Bidault to say during French Assembly debate on EDC Treaty that British Govt accepts principle that France continue have special role along with US and UK both as member NATO SG and in periodic consultations on political matters [Page 906] between the three FonMinisters, because of her overseas commitments.
With respect French proposal made at Bermuda for bringing under EDC German service units now attached British forces, British view is that something along this line could be done and British representatives had been instructed take it up directly with Germans.
Have not received here latest texts agreements on UK political and military association. Would appreciate receiving latest information on changes in political association agreement. Text of November 23, 1953 is latest we have seen. Would also appreciate information on general content military agreement which we have not seen in recent drafts.

  1. Drafted by Fessenden and repeated to London and Bonn.
  2. A copy of the memorandum of Moore’s conversation with Leishman on Mar. 19 concerning British assurances to the French on EDC is in file 740.5/3–1954.
  3. Not found in Department of State files.
  4. For documentation on the Thirteenth Ministerial meeting of the North Atlantic Council, at Paris, Apr. 23–24, see pp. 508 ff.
  5. Not printed; it informed the Department of a luncheon conversation between Bruce and Mollet. Paragraph 5 ranked French Socialist conditions about control of the Coal and Steel Community and the EDC in order of importance as (a) British association with EDC; (b) democratic control over the European army; and (c) United States assurances. “If all three are satisfactory and if the British assurances by any chance would include the integrating of a British ‘military land unit in the EDC, not only would the 90 Socialist votes be delivered in favor of the treaty but he [Mollet] estimated there would be 400 votes in the Parliament for the treaty, provided, of course the British assurances in other respects would be along the lines previously represented to him” (740.5/3–1954).