2. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State 0

4045. Department pass AEC. Re EURATOM. Following represents consensus views senior UK officials concerned with problem toward UK collaboration with EURATOM, and may be of particular interest at this stage EURATOM’s development:

EURATOM for some time will be unknown quantity and HMG would not wish decide its permanent relationship with unknown quantity at this time. Pragmatic approach, quite in keeping with usual British attitude toward foreign relations, will be basis UK’s attitude toward collaboration with EURATOM.
Consequently, in practical terms, UK expects enter into bilaterals, similar to UK-Italian,1 with various members EURATOM. Apparently, UK expects conclude such bilaterals with Netherlands and Germany this year. Since article 2 UK-Italian bilateral provided UK is prepared arrange for EURATOM assume Italian rights and obligations if agreement for cooperation concluded between EURATOM and UK, HMG may eventually be involved in direct relations with EURATOM but does not envisage this arising for some time. Immediate UK preference is for bilaterals with option for EURATOM succeed to rights and obligations other party if able effectively and securely carry out these rights and obligations.
In addition to bilaterals providing for concrete aid on individual basis to EURATOM members, UK appears to be considering providing help in training and possibly some exchange in research field with EURATOM joint nuclear research center when and if established. Here, [garble] traditional view is that UK’s facilities for giving such training and research aid is so limited by demands its domestic nuclear programs that problem is one of dividing up pie as appropriate among IAE, OEEC, EURATOM and UK bilaterals. Atomic energy office (Prime Minister), however, intimated UK had some more flexibility than IAE attitude indicated, and that political aspects such research and training collaboration would undoubtedly weigh heavily in whatever decision HMG reached re cooperation with EURATOM organization in these fields.
Appointment of Armand as Chairman, EURATOM Commission, is regarded as presaging struggle between Armand, who is believed to favor supra-national aspects EURATOM organization, and various influential officials in national atomic energy establishments of EURATOM members, who inclined towards more independent development of national atomic energy programs with more of coordinating role for EURATOM. UK officials expect Armand will try immediately press forward EURATOM powers re central purchasing and distribution ores and fissionable material coming from within EURATOM community and sole right conclude agreement with outside suppliers. Some UK officials believe fear this would be case was in part behind German anxiety conclude ore agreement with Canada and German efforts reach agreement with South Africa. Effort along these lines would be most immediately forceful way in which Armand could exercise EURATOM authority, and UK officials believe is sure to throw him into conflict with individual atomic energy establishments, particularly French and German. There is some thought here Armand may try establish joint nuclear research center and schools for training specialists at early date in order enhance EURATOM influence over research and training in domestic programs individual EURATOM members, but this is considered to be longer term operation. This effort would also bring Armand in conflict with those atomic energy officials in EURATOM countries who believe EURATOM should first seek influence a coordination of national research programs within EURATOM community. These issues, plus interest various EURATOM countries (particularly France) in expanding bilateral collaboration with both US and UK in peaceful uses fields, plus difficulties staffing EURATOM and natural differences of views among members Commission and between EURATOM Commissions and Council, lead UK to take pragmatic approach toward collaboration with EURATOM along lines cited in paras two and three above.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 840.1901/1–1058. Confidential.
  2. Reference is to the agreement between the Governments of the United Kingdom and Italy for cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy signed at Rome on December 28, 1957.