No. 309
Editorial Note

During the last 2 weeks of March 1954, Livingston T. Merchant, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, recommended to the Chiefs of Mission in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland that a conference be held in Copenhagen April 26–27 to discuss common problems. It was Merchant’s desire to continue the practice of holding periodic informal meetings of Chiefs of Mission in the European area and late April was a convenient time because Merchant would be in Paris to attend the North Atlantic Council meeting on April 23. Detailed arrangements were made during the subsequent weeks and the following principal officers notified the Department of State concerning their availability to attend the meetings: Robert D. Coe, Ambassador in Denmark; L. Corrin Strong, Ambassador in Norway; John M. Cabot, Ambassador in Sweden; Francis E. Willis, Ambassador in Switzerland; Jack K. McFall, Minister in Finland; Edward B. Lawson, Minister in Iceland; John C. Hughes, United States Special Representative in Europe; and, Theodore Streibert, Director of the United States Information Agency.

No background papers were prepared for distribution to the participants at Merchant’s request because of his desire to keep the meetings informal. However, G. Hayden Raynor, Director of the Office of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs, did prepare a series of background papers for Merchant’s use as briefing documents. These briefing documents, as well as documentation concerning the arrangements for the meeting, are in EUR files, lot 59 D 233, “Ambassadors Meeting, Copenhagen—April 1954”.

When the meeting convened in Copenhagen on April 26, Merchant was not present, and Ambassador Coe served as chairman with Raynor substituting for Merchant as the Department’s spokesman. The two-day conference covered the following agenda items: brief country reports by each Chief of Mission, British position and intentions in the North, present situation concerning ratification of [Page 689] the European Defense Community Treaty, Soviet intentions in the North, evaluation of United States information programs, future development of NATO and its relationship to the northern countries of Europe, and development of a policy toward neutral countries. The minutes of this meeting, totaling 50 pages, are in EUR files, lot 59 D 233, “Ambassadors Meeting, Copenhagen—April 1954”.