97. Memorandum of Conversation0


Under Secretary Dillon’s Visit to Paris

January 11–16, 1960


  • United States
    • The Under Secretary
    • Ambassador Burgess
    • Assistant Secretary of Treasury Upton
    • Mr. Leddy
    • Mr. Tuthill
  • The Netherlands
    • Foreign Minister Luns


  • Reorganization of OEEC

Mr. Luns opened the conversation by saying that he was very happy about the American initiative. While he felt that the time for preparation had been very short he agreed that it was better to take action and to convene the conference.

Mr. Dillon agreed that there was some confusion because of the limited amount of time. He said that there were three American objectives:

First, to modernize and perfect a new mechanism—keeping the best of the OEEC—and opening the way for Canadian and American membership. The new organization must emanate from the 20 OEEC governments. This could be started with a meeting in the Spring of officials of the 20 governments. It would be helpful if the officials started with a working paper which could be prepared by a small group of three men—one from the Common Market, one from the Outer Seven and one from the rest of the OEEC (which we hoped would mean the U.S.).

Mr. Dillon felt that it was better to have a working paper prepared for officials rather than by a report for Ministers. He emphasized that this is not a scheme to do away with the OEEC. However, the report would be to the 20 governments as governments and not to the OEEC Council. He did not wish to have the study made by the OEEC staff. [Page 234] After the report to the officials, a Ministerial meeting would be called to approve the work.

As for the start of the study, if any countries did not wish to participate they did not need to, but there would be no veto. He felt it would take up to 18 months to form a new organization and in the interim there should be trade talks. This represented the second part of the American proposals as we—and presumably the Canadians—would wish to participate in such talks. There was a question as to whether the 13 was the proper forum for these discussions. At any rate, we did not wish to wait 18 months before starting these discussions.

The third American proposal had to do with development aid. We felt that there was need for additional coordination of bilateral aid over and above that made available on a multilateral basis. Such a group should consider structural problems in this field.

Mr. Luns felt that it was a good idea to have the “wisemen” collect the views of all governments. He felt that the OEEC “was not quite up-to-date” but did not favor “killing a lame bird even before the egg is hatched.”

Mr. Dillon agreed that the OEEC should continue its current activities during the interim period.

Mr. Luns stated that a secretariat was needed and that good use should be made of the technical facilities of the OEEC, its buildings, et cetera.

Mr. Dillon stated that the group could decide but that he did not favor having it run by the OEEC.

Mr. Luns stated that he liked the idea of interim talks between the sixes and sevens. He pointed to the tariff proposals of mid-year1 and favored some “beneficial influence” from the U.S. This would be good for the sixes and sevens and the outside world as well.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 559, CF 1583. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Tuthill on January 14 and approved by Brewster. The meeting was held at the U.S. Chancery.
  2. Both the EEC and EFTA agreed to reductions in their internal tariffs beginning on July 1, 1960.