18. Telegram From the Mission at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Regional Organizations to the Department of State0

Polto 3117. Department pass ICA and Treasury. Subject: OEEC heads of delegations April 1, 1958—possibility Yugoslav application membership OEEC agricultural bodies.

Chairman Ellis-Rees (United Kingdom) stated that at end last week Yugoslav delegate informed him his government had decided apply for [Page 32] full membership OEEC agricultural bodies, describing proposed membership as similar to what Spain’s had been. Stating he felt working party 15 should study and report on matter soon, Ellis-Rees said circumstances not same as Spain’s as latter was member Green pool. He urged Hommel (Luxembourg), chairman WP 15, to report by end of month and obtain aide-mémoire from Yugoslav delegate. Ellis-Rees, in answer to Danish representative, who stated his government would be very favorable to such request and inquired as to its motives, said Yugoslav delegate had explained his country’s desire develop cooperation with OEEC countries in agriculture, a sector they regard as particularly important.

Ockrent (Belgium) stated he had precise instructions his government to oppose Yugoslav request on grounds it would create dangerous precedent of non-member countries requesting participation in particular activities of organization of their special choice. Apparently ignoring that question was limited to membership in agricultural bodies, he said full membership organization entailed assumption all obligations thereof and cited example of Finland’s proper understanding of this. However, he seemed to limit Belgian opposition to this aspect alone, and to not oppose Yugoslav membership as such. He agreed with Ellis-Rees that Spain did not constitute precedent.

Valery (France) stated that, although without formal instructions, he could say such request would not be welcomed by his government. He too agreed with Ellis-Rees and Ockrent that Spanish case not an appropriate precedent. While hinting “political reasons” or others might later counsel different attitude, he avowed he was not aware any such reasons now and that a priori felt no enthusiasm over request.

Norwegian representative, while suggesting “wait and see” attitude and postponement discussion of question, supported further statement by Danish representative to effect that bringing Yugoslavia into OEEC might exert healthy influence on Yugoslav economic and other policies. In this regard, Danish representative stated that such an argument had often been reiterated re Spanish association with OEEC.

In answer to question of Swedish representative as to whether Yugoslav Government would bring matter up in different capitals, Ellis-Rees stated Yugoslav Ambassador did not express such intention and seemed perfectly satisfied to alert chairman WP 15, Secretary General and Chairman of Council.

[Page 33]

As matter will probably come up after Easter recess (possibly April 18), USRO requests instructions.1

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 840.00/4–358. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Belgrade, Geneva, Moscow, and London and pouched to the OEEC capitals.
  2. In telegram 1381 from Belgrade, April 10, Ambassador Rankin recommended support for Yugoslavia’s application for membership in OEEC agricultural bodies, if submitted. (ibid., 840.00/4–1058)

    In Topol 3680 to Paris, April 16, the Department of State commented as follows:

    • “1. United States policy in Yugoslavia continues directed toward strengthening Yugoslav ties with West wherever feasible. This policy reflected in US support past Yugoslav efforts associate more closely with OEEC (e.g., Yugoslav participation EPU). Yugoslav membership agricultural bodies OEEC appears further step this direction.
    • “2. Department agrees membership agricultural bodies might have desirable influence on Yugoslav policies, not only in agricultural field, but also to some extent in broader areas of economic policy. It assumes Yugoslavs would be required accept full obligations membership such bodies, so that participation could exert maximum influence this regard.
    • “3. In view above factors, USRO should, as appropriate and as consistent US status OEEC, indicate US support Yugoslav membership agricultural bodies and initiation early WP15 study and report.” (ibid., 840.00/4–358)