99. Telegram From the Ambassador in France (Dillon) to the Department of State1

5420. Pinay’s press conference following Messina meeting mentioned European atomic pool following terms: Remarking particularly on peaceful AE uses he stressed immense political importance European integration this field. “It is question creating common organization with common budget permitting financing installations and research in course or to be started. Such organization could obtain results which countries could not obtain singly due lack resources. Organization should have free access to ore resources of member countries and should facilitate free exchange knowledge and technicians”. Organization would not have monopoly but would have “power of decision”. “Arrangements concluded previously between member countries and third parties should be such that member countries could fulfill obligations to organization. It will be necessary to examine such accords to see if they compatible with creation organization and if not whether they can be revised. This is important and delicate point bearing principally on question access to uraniferrous ore [Page 294] “recherches”. (Which may be misprint for “resources”—see Embassy despatch 2704, June 9.2)

Sauvagnargues3 raised matter with Embassy officer yesterday suggesting two points be brought Department’s attention:

Proposal for AE pool is running into difficulty with Belgians on question pooling uranium because Belgian/US agreement4 in effect prevents Belgium contributing any substantial amount its uranium to pool. Sauvagnargues understands Belgian/US agreement now being renegotiated and Foreign Office would hope some arrangement would be made enable Belgium contribute uranium to pool. He felt whole European AE pool would be jeopardized if one partner unable contribute its share uranium.
Important element new project is possibility pooling atomic know-how. If US imparted technical secrets one partner with understanding they not be made available third parties pool would again be handicapped. Asked whether he envisaged US substituting for present bilaterals some arrangement whereby secrets would be given to European pool as such, he said no but that perhaps in concluding bilaterals US would be able find some formula taking into account European pooling know-how.

Matter subsequently discussed Boegner5 who agreed with Sauvagnargues’ position. He added, however, that whole question atomic pool still state flux and agreed that, after Geneva6 and after negotiation international AE agency, picture might change. Boegner stressed point that in French view European pool was in no way competitive with or substitute for international agency. He insisted however that Department be advised question access Belgian ores presented grave difficulties for formation European pool. When asked if main question was not really method of supplying sufficient ore for pool’s needs, i.e., agency might supply ore to pool rather than having Belgium do so directly, he hedged and said that main question was one of principle, i.e., pool member countries must be in position, if pool to be successful, make own major contributions.

Re item (2) we pointed out to Boegner difficulties which would result if all members pool had access to know-how imparted by US to any one member country under bilateral …

[Page 295]

Whether deliberately intended or not whole French position results putting US in opposition European integration important field.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 840.1901/6–1055. Secret. Repeated for information to Brussels.
  2. According to the despatch, the word in question is “resources.” (Ibid., 850.33/6–955)
  3. Jean Sauvagnargues of the French Foreign Ministry.
  4. Reference is to the pending agreement for cooperation concerning the civil uses of atomic energy between the United States and Belgium. It was signed in Washington on June 15 and entered into force on July 21; for text, see 6 UST 2551.
  5. Jean-Marc Boegner of the French Foreign Ministry.
  6. Reference is to the meeting of the Heads of Government of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union, scheduled to open at Geneva on July 18.