740.00/9–1352: Telegram

No. 107
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Gifford) to the Department of State1


1474. We do not believe Brit CSC policy as described Embtel 1201 Aug 302 is inconsistent with apparent confusion and vagueness Brit attitude as reported Strasbourg tel to Dept 46, Sept 10.3 We believe Brit have reluctantly accepted that (1) growing European integration is both inevitable and desirable in over-all west interest and (2) Brit cannot participate on supra-natl basis. Their basic approach to prob is therefore to attempt to guide developments so that they have maximum influence with minimum commitments. They apparently think best way to achieve this is to maintain deliberately vague position (they continually stress “flexibility” of Eden plan) even to point of embarrassing their officials in the field. We feel confident, however, that they will make the best of any arrangements, even though they do not obviously and unfairly restrict their participation in developments on basis above two fundamental points.

  1. Repeated to Paris and Strasbourg.
  2. Document 98.
  3. Document 104.