740.00/5–252: Telegram

No. 35
The Ambassador in France (Dunn) to the Department of State1


6729. Embtel 6656; rptd info Bonn 736, London 1836, Rome 626, Strasbourg unn.2

Fol comments on current mtg of deputies of comite of Mins of Council of Eur obtained from FonOff.

[Page 72]

Clarification of UK position on coordinaton C of E with defense and coal steel communities in initial discussion of current meeting has disappointed Fr del. Fr had hoped that Eden proposal, made in March mtg of CM, indicated UK willingness to enter into close association with work of two communities. They had hoped UK would participate regularly—observing, expressing opinions though, of course, not voting. However, current discussions have indicated that UK proposal merely involves making C of E name, buildings and existing secretariat services available to new communities with no effective association via C of E between six Schuman Plan countries and other nine members of C of E in defense and econ activities of two communities.

Altho Mins gave favorable reception to Eden proposal when it was made at March mtg, little enthusiasm has been shown in current mtg. Ger del has expressed quite negative attitude, Ital and Benelux dels have also expressed reservations. Fr are becoming less enthusiastic as result of clarification of UK position. Schuman Plan countries are wary of Eden proposal due to fear that association with C of E might slow progress of defense and coal steel communities which they consider have real prospects of providing means to full polit and econ integration. C of E, on other hand, has no apparent supranational prospects and is tied down to pace of slowest member.

Among specific difficulties raised by Eden proposal which have been discussed is relation of high authority and commissariat to C of E which has no equivalent organs. Problem of entrusting secret military matters to C of E secretariat has led to thinking that only in case of assemblies—which would not be given classified info—could secretariats be combined.

Although initial discussion has thus led to pessimism regarding worth of Eden proposal, study is still in early stages. Deputies have postponed further discussion while a subcomite is drafting questionnaire for member countries designed to define problems and clarify positions. Questionnaire to be ready Friday morning for consideration by deputies. Meeting will probably be suspended for about two weeks while deputies obtain instrs from govts on replies. Deputies wld reconvene prior to May 22 mtg at Strasbourg of CM to prepare report on results of study.

  1. Repeated to London, Rome, Bonn, Ankara, Athens, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, The Hague, Luxembourg, Oslo, Reykjavik, Stockholm, and Strasbourg.
  2. Not printed; it informed the Department of State that the Deputies of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers began meeting in Paris on Apr. 28 to discuss the Eden proposal and that the Embassy would attempt to cable significant developments as they progressed. (740.00/4–2952)