740.00/1–853: Telegram

No. 149
The Consul at Strasbourg (Andrews) to the Department of State1


266. From Koren. Subject: EPC. Following summarizes British objectives re EPC and tactics with regard work of Ad Hoc Assembly and CE Consultative Assembly,2 so far as latter considers EPC, as explained by Nutting, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Gallagher, Foreign Office adviser to British CA delegation.

British desire that EPC be “efficient and stable” and that draft treaty prepared by Ad Hoc Assembly be along lines acceptable to Governments and National Parliaments of six prospective members.

This objective with regard EPC has led to concern over possibility of Commie membership in EPC Parliament. British assume that election of Senate by National Parliaments would assure absence of [Page 272] Commies from Upper House. They now seem to have abandoned objection recently reported from London to holding direct elections for Lower House from outset. Informants declared that they recognize psychological value of starting at once with popular elections for proposed chamber of peoples and are ready rely on electoral law to eliminate Commie representation or keep it to a minimum.

Informants did not raise question of method choosing President of proposed European Executive Council or methods for overthrow EEC by Parliament of EPC.

British Government particularly concerned with manner in which EPC will handle foreign policy matters, especially its relations with NATO and subjects on which policy now decided in NAC. Foreign Office does not expect that six will be ready for single representative on NAC from start of life of EPC (Spaak concurs in this judgment, declaring privately that, although no single representative [garble] object, he prepared to go one step forward at a time. De Menthon, CA President, in press conference at close of session, refused state his view on representation in NAC, merely noting that there was divergency among the six on this point). According British, anything short of this, however, raised difficulties unless European Executive Council entrusted with foreign policy powers is subject to control of Council of National Ministers, either voting unanimously on foreign policy or at least having same powers over EEC as Council Ministers of EDC has over Commissariat.

In general, its leaders claim British delegation has followed policy of keeping hands off that part of AHA dealing with institutions affecting the six alone—beyond general exhortations to others to think of acceptability to own Parliaments. British Government considers that its influence should be brought to bear, if necessary, when draft treaty prepared by AHA is under consideration by six governments (Foreign Office in fact inclined believe EPC Treaty, like that of EDC, should have approval North Atlantic Council before signature). Nevertheless, fact that British worried by vague foreign policy formula of present stage, particularly in relation to NATO, is probably reflected in fact that this was particular aspect of AHA directive the Bohy report (Contel 257 January 173) singled out for comment.

In CA General Affairs Committee, British resisted efforts of others to spell out principles of association prior to agreement on final treaty text. Department will note that increased flexibility on [Page 273] terms of association was proposed in General Affairs Committee report drafted by Lord Johnhope (Contel 258 January 174) approved by Assembly.

Nutting confesses that he would have felt something of a “hypocrite” if he had had to express approval work of AHA to date and not warn against parts he believes will be unacceptable to National Parliaments of participating six because they constitute too drastic surrender of sovereignty for present state of opinion (as was reported by London prior Assembly meeting that British plan, Nutting, only member of British Government in UK delegation, did not take part in public debate).

Gallagher expressed personal belief that as EPC developed stability, self-confidence and sense of permanence, UK “association” would gradually diminish (presumably association would cease when EPC became full-fledged federal state). At outset, of course, the association of UK and of other countries if possible, would be helpful to EPC as it would be necessary for EDC.

  1. Repeated to Paris (for Embassy and SRE), London, Bonn, Rome, Brussels, The Hague, and Luxembourg.
  2. For a summary of the meetings of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, which met in Strasbourg Jan. 14–17, see telegram 269, infra.
  3. Not printed; it summarized the first part of the report of the General Affairs Committee of the Consultative Assembly on the conclusions of the Ad Hoc Assembly regarding the preparation of the draft treaty for the EPC. (740.00/1–1853)
  4. Not printed; it summarized the second part of the report of the General Affairs Committee. (740.00/1–1753)