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

Polto 2283. Department pass Treasury. Reference: Topol 2638, repeated Helsinki 523, January 29, 1958.1 Subject: Finnish Association OEEC.

OEEC heads of delegations today agreed to entry in council minutes requesting economic committee, EPU managing board, steering board for trade and committee for invisible transactions to examine Finland’s ability assume “obligations deriving from OEEC convention.” Council desires report, which may not be final, by March 1.
All delegations, including US and Canada, welcome prospect Finnish entry. Only questions raised were need for haste and relation “membership” to “assumption of obligations.” France, Belgium and Ireland said timetable would not permit capitals to decide question on economic grounds; France said if rapid decision needed it should perhaps be made purely on political grounds. Norway, Sweden, Germany and Secretary General thought general studies could be made quickly, especially if Finns send experts. Chairman (Ellis-Rees) said off-the-record that Finnish Government undoubtedly has international political reasons for desiring rapid consideration, probably feeling present time more propitious than later on. Ellis-Rees proposed various committees get started soonest on work so that at least preliminary economic report will be available by March 1.
Belgium (Ockrent) proposed strict examination of Finland’s ability meet all OEEC obligations rather than attempt proposed general judgment as to whether Finland “capable of becoming OEEC member.” Sergent said previous experience had shown difficulties inherent in this approach, largely due to extreme variety and complexity OEEC obligations. Further discussion led to compromise wording quoted paragraph one, above, Ellis-Rees observed that question of Finland “joining OEEC” might be more complicated than realized by those advocating very rapid OEEC consideration.
USRO comments requested reference telegram will be subject later message.2
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 840.00/1–3058. Confidential. Repeated to Helsinki.
  2. Document 4.
  3. These comments were transmitted in Polto 2341 from Paris, February 4. (Department of State, Central Files, 840.00/2–458)