13. Letter From Secretary of State Rusk to Foreign Minister Kreisky 0

Dear Mister Minister: It was indeed a pleasure to receive your letter of June 71 and to recall our interesting, but brief, discussion on the very important subject of European economic integration, which I know is of vital concern to you and your colleagues in the Austrian Federal Government.2

I have also recently had discussions in the same sense with Mr. Wahlen and Mr. Petitpierre in Switzerland.3 Upon my return, consequently, [Page 29] I was able to give Under Secretary Ball a detailed account of developments elsewhere. Your timely letter setting forth your views was thus of great assistance to us.

It is a source of encouragement to us that your analysis of the problem of European integration is so similar to ours in most important respects. The forces set in motion by the establishment of the European Economic Community are an important element in a Franco-German rapprochement and provide a constructive channel for German energies and dynamism. These aspects are too important for the future of the Atlantic Community to be lost, as well they might should the European Economic Community be diluted or “watered down”. Moreover, it is just these political elements which have been the basis for our support of integration in Europe.

It was with these considerations in mind that the President responded to Prime Minister Macmillan’s query as to how we would view the United Kingdom’s accession to the Rome Treaty. The President indicated to Mr. Macmillan that if the United Kingdom were wholeheartedly to accept the political and institutional obligations and objectives of the Rome Treaty we would welcome the United Kingdom’s membership. We thus seem to be entirely in accord with you that the United Kingdom’s adherence on this basis would be in the interest of all European countries and the Atlantic Community as a whole.

I would like in this connection to emphasize that we are not urging the United Kingdom to join the EEC. The United Kingdom must itself decide what it must do, taking into account the balance of its own political and economic interests and commitments. If the United Kingdom should decide to accede to the EEC it is clear that there are a number of problems which will have to be worked out with the EEC countries.

There will certainly be problems for countries such as your own, which, for a number of valid reasons, are unable to accept the political and institutional obligations of the Rome Treaty. We recognize this and understand it. There will also be problems for the Commonwealth and, indeed, for us—for all those outside the enlarged European Community.

You will appreciate, I think our desire to assure that any solutions proposed to European commercial problems do not unduly affect our own trade interest or similar interests of other countries. For this reason, we would continue to oppose a generalized commercial solution. The administration is keenly aware that trade and commercial developments in Europe, particularly if they are preferential and discriminatory, can greatly influence the outcome of the trade agreements legislation we will seek next year. We would urge, consequently, that proposed solutions contribute to the greatest extent possible to the objectives of European integration while reducing the impact of this process [Page 30] on the trade and commerce of all third countries. If either of these objectives is lost sight of, our problems are greatly increased. On the other hand, we understand Austria’s special status and special problems. We could not prejudge any arrangements in advance, but we are quite willing to view on a pragmatic basis, any relationship that might meet the needs of the EEC and Austria’s special needs. We would thus not take a firm position until specific proposals have been made and can be examined.

I do not share your view that a multilateral solution will solve the problems created by enlargement of the European Economic Community. I welcome, however, your reference to the OECD as a possible vehicle for their solution. We have consistently envisaged the OECD as an instrument of far-reaching and close cooperation among the members of the Atlantic Community. We are determined to make it an effective mechanism for the coordination of economic policies and the resolution of economic problems among its members. In our view, it should be the principal instrument for solving the economic problems arising out of a decision by the United Kingdom to adhere to the Treaty of Rome.

I think we must assume that the OECD will fulfill the hopes we have for it. If it does, then the possibility of an economic or political division ever developing in the heart of the Atlantic Community is remote.

Under Secretary Ball will be in Vienna in September for the IMF meetings, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss our views on European integration with you. If you find this agreeable, a mutually convenient time and date can be arranged at a later date. In the meantime, you may be sure that I and other interested officials of the United States Government will follow Ambassador Matthews’ reports of your thinking and problems with the greatest interest.

I share your regret that our visit to Vienna was too short and the schedule of activities too crowded to enable us to become better acquainted. I have the utmost respect for Austria’s achievements and her position in the Community of free nations, and I would have been delighted to have seen more of the country and to have had a better chance to know her leaders. I trust that we will have the opportunity to get together again during the United Nations General Assembly later this year.

Sincerely yours,

Dean Rusk 4
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 375.800/6–761. No classification marking. Drafted by Vine and Sulser (WE) and concurred in by Ball, Tyler, Beaudry, and Brandin (EUR).
  2. Not printed. (Ibid.) In it Kreisky stressed the importance of British entry into the Common Market and the need for countries such as Austria, Sweden, and Switzerland to find special relationships with the EEC.
  3. No record of this discussion has been found.
  4. A memorandum of Rusk’s conversation with President Wahlen and Federal Councillor Petitpierre on May 18 is in Department of State, Central Files, 110.11–RU/5–1961.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.