23. Telegram From the Embassy in Belgium to the Department of State0

1718. For the Secretary and Admiral Strauss from Butterworth. For USEC. I am herewith conveying to you personal brief summary of statement made to me yesterday evening by President of EURATOM Commission in presence of and with full concurrence German, Belgian and Dutch colleagues.

Armand gravely anxious lest it be not fully appreciated in Washington that the political importance of rapidly concluding and putting into effect of US–EURATOM program has been given an enhanced and especially significant importance by reason of recent French developments.1 In Armand’s view although De Gaulle has undertaken to respect Rome treaties and has said he was not “anti-European”, the fact [Page 44] was that he was by no means “pro-European”. There were already appearing among his followers in the French bureaucracy and government those who said that “pro-European” was at best just talk and at worst anti-France. With common market facing special impedimenta due to France’s growing financial difficulties, it was of utmost importance for European integration that EURATOM should speedily move forward under impetus and in direction of US–EURATOM program. Its value however, depended on speed with which implementation occurred.

Armand also wanted it pointed out that it was widely known that negotiations for US–EURATOM program had been concluded:2 This arose in the first instance out of nature of consultation with six governments and manufacturing and electrical industries of community; furthermore, press in six had now been fully briefed for moment of announcement to be made on this side simultaneously with despatch by President of message to Congress. Further delay, not to mention a faltering on part of US, would have severe adverse repercussions including being regarded by many in France as revival wartime attitude towards De Gaulle.

On other hand Armand reiterated his own enthusiastic support for actualities and potentialities of US–EURATOM program including profound satisfaction re effect it had had and would continue to have on French Atomic Commissariat citing fact that Guillaumat, who owed his appointment in 1945 to De Gaulle “had thus been turned 180 degrees in his attitude towards EURATOM”.

I would appreciate receiving as soon as possible information re our timetable with which to reassure EURATOM Commission and for coordinating announcement here with that of White House.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 840.1901/6–558. Confidential; Niact. Repeated to Luxembourg.
  2. On May 31, French President Pierre Coty, faced with insurrectionary movements in Algeria and Corsica and a threat of civil war in metropolitan France, accepted the resignation of Premier Pflimlin and designated Charles de Gaulle as Prime Minister. On June 1, De Gaulle was invested as head of France’s 25th postwar government.
  3. On May 29, the EURATOM Commissioners at Brussels signed the Agreement on a Cooperative Nuclear Program with the United States. Regarding subsequent action on the agreement and its final wording, see Document 24.