22. Letter From Secretary of State Dulles to the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (Strauss)0

Dear Lewis: In connection with the final consideration being given by the Atomic Energy Commission to various papers amplifying the proposed joint United States-Euratom nuclear power program, I understand it may be helpful to have a further statement from the Department on two questions—the effect of the current French crisis1 on the program; and the compromise which has been worked out with respect to safeguards and controls and the relationship of this compromise to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The United States can proceed on no other basis than to assume that the French Government will honor its treaty obligations, including the Treaties of Rome which led to the bringing into being on January 1 of this year of the European Atomic Energy Community and the European Common Market. In addition, the acute political difficulties in France give immediate evidence of the need for and importance of the creation [Page 42] of a larger political framework, which is of course the objective of the European integration movement.

The arrangements which have been negotiated with Euratom for safeguards and control over United States material to insure that these materials will be used exclusively for peaceful purposes seem to me to be a most satisfactory arrangement. Two months of discussion with the Euratom authorities indicate that insistence on unilateral United States’ inspection rights would lead to Euratom breaking off negotiations. Achievement of the basic political objectives of the new Community requires that it have a status of equality and hence means that Euratom cannot accept outside inspection, at least until the major powers are also prepared to do so. I am further persuaded that by accepting Euratom responsibility in this field we will be encouraging development by the Community of an effective, comprehensive accountability and control system as is required by the Treaty of Rome. At the same time the various provisions in the draft agreements which call for United States’ assistance in establishing the system and our rights to assure ourselves of its effective operation give us the necessary assurance that the guarantees Euratom is prepared to give us will be adhered to.

Both the explicit statement of principles set forth in the Annex B to the draft Agreement for Cooperation, as well as the provision for consultation designed to assure reasonable compatibility of the Euratom safeguard and control system with that of the International Agency system provide the basis for a mutually beneficial relationship between these two institutions. I can appreciate the special interest of Mr. Cole which would lead him to wish that the joint United States-Euratom program could be subject to control and inspection by the International Agency, and I believe we should keep in mind the possible effects which the joint program may have on the Agency’s future operations. However, in view of the present political realities in the world and the division between the East and the West it seems a political impossibility for this new European institution, composed of the Six Nations which are our principal allies on the Continent of Europe, to open a crucial element of their economies to International Agency inspection teams which, they argue, would include personnel from the Soviet and East European countries.

There are even more urgent reasons for proceeding with this program than those which led us to make our joint recommendation to the President last January 28.2 The negotiations of the Joint Working Group, composed of officers of the Atomic Energy Commission and the State Department and of the staff of Euratom, have been most successful. The Department is impressed by the speed with which the Euratom Commission [Page 43] and the Council of Ministers have reviewed the documentation produced by the Working Group and that the Europeans are now prepared to enter into the necessary international arrangements to bring the program into being. In view of the most favorable atmosphere created in Europe by these negotiations it seems to me of the greatest importance that we present the program immediately to the President for his approval and transmittal to the Congress in order that the necessary legislative action can be taken prior to summer adjournment.

Sincerely yours,

John Foster Dulles3
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 840.1901/5–2358. Confidential. Drafted by Schaetzel. Attached to another letter from Secretary Dulles to Strauss, also dated May 23, in which Dulles wrote: “The attached letter was prepared before I had your letter of May 19 enclosing a copy of Stub Cole’s letter of May 12. That letter does not alter the views in the attached, but I agree we should discuss the matters Stub raises before any reply goes to him.” Neither Cole’s letter to Strauss of May 12 nor Strauss’ letter of May 19 to Dulles has been found.
  2. On April 16, the government of Felix Gaillard resigned following a loss of confidence vote in the National Assembly on France’s North African policy. The new government formed by Pierre Pflimlin on May 14 came under increasing attack regarding its policy in Algeria as agitation developed in some quarters for an emergency government under Charles de Gaulle.
  3. Document 3.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.