110. Letter From the Acting Director of the Office of European Regional Affairs (Palmer) to the Counselor of the Embassy in Belgium (Sprouse)1

Dear Phil: I hope the arrangements in the Department’s Telegram Number 7 to Brussels,2 for covering the post-Messina experts [Page 312] meetings, will work out satisfactorily. As you probably recognize, the Messina meetings and the resulting resolution have attracted a great deal of attention in Washington, and there is sure to be keen interest in the work of the Spaak Committee. As you know, the Secretary continues to show a strong personal interest in the fate of European integration.

As we see it, the Messina meetings have served mainly as a “holding action” on the integration front, with any serious decisions left for the future. It appears that the conflicts within and among the CSC Governments with regard to future measures of integration remain unresolved. On the other hand, it is rather impressive and encouraging that the idea of relaunching the integration movement is being seriously considered so soon after the defeat of the EDC. We will be interested in any signs that the conflicting governmental views are being reconciled, although we are rather dubious that much can be accomplished at the moment, given the present divisions within the French Government of Gaullist and “European” elements. Some further Department comments which may be relevant to the Brussels meetings are incorporated in our 3849 to Rome, repeated Brussels 1335, May 30,3 and our 12 to Bonn, July 1,4 repeated Brussels by pouch.

There is particular interest in the Department in the possibility that the Europeans may decide to develop the peaceful uses of atomic energy on an integrated basis. While we would have to reserve final judgment until we see just what is proposed, it is clear that the Department would consider a European decision to create a real common atomic authority on Schuman Plan lines as being in our interests, as a way of reviving European integration and supporting the CSC, forging a new link between Germany and the West and permitting the Europeans to make the best use of their inadequate resources in this field. The question of United States cooperation with such an atomic authority is a more complicated problem, involving as it does our bilateral relations with the Belgians, French sensitivities, limitations imposed by the U.S. Atomic Energy Act, etc. These problems are currently receiving our attention and it will undoubtedly require some time before we can provide any meaningful guidance. I mention this because I am afraid that you will have to walk a pretty tight rope between lending discreet encouragement to any European initiative in this field and avoiding any commitments or even encouragement as to the extent to which we might be able to cooperate.

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In view of the importance of the work of the Spaak Committee and the surrounding discussions in Brussels, I hope that you will be able to assign one of your senior officers to cover these meetings. We would, of course, be delighted if it worked out that Chuck Adair5 could undertake the job.

I recognize that reporting on these meetings will add to the already heavy burden of the Embassy, but I know that you will find that whoever is assigned by the CSC Mission will be of considerable assistance. In view of the apparent intention to hold meetings in Brussels over a prolonged period, the present arrangement appeared to us to be the best way to insure effective coverage. When our CSC Mission is fully staffed, it should be able to resume the load on international meetings of this type.6

Sincerely yours,

Joseph Palmer 2nd
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 840.00/7–855. Secret; Official–Informal. Drafted by Boochever.
  2. Telegram 7, July 5, reads as follows: “CSC Mission should detail officer to assist Embassy Brussels cover and report July meeting committee experts European integration established Messina Conference.” (Ibid., 840.00/6–2855)
  3. Document 95.
  4. Document 107.
  5. Charles W. Adair, Jr., Economic Counselor at the Embassy in Belgium.
  6. Eisenberg replied to Palmer’s letter on July 12. His reply reads in part as follows:

    “I was very happy about the clarification of U.S. policy which was in our hands a week ago and which supplemented the telegram to Rome in connection with the Messina Resolution. However, I dare say you will have to speak in much stronger tones when you want all the interested posts to present your views to their respective Foreign Offices in unequivocal manner. Integration along the CSC pattern is an idea which is new and let us say often suspicious not only to the countries which might be involved as partners but very often also to the diplomats who are representing our country there. This applies in varying degrees probably in all six countries, although one or the other of our Embassies is quite conscious of the political importance of further European integration.” (Department of State, RA Files: Lot 58 D 374, CSC—Correspondence with Eisenberg)