17. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Missions in Europe0

395. Dept contemplating sending aide-mémoire along following lines to UK and EEC Govts by end of this week. Your comments and suggestions on following preliminary draft text should be available in Washington by Thursday A.M.

Begin Text.

The Govt of the United States of America has noted the application of the Govt of the United Kingdom to the President of the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community for membership in the European Economic Community under Article 237 of the Treaty of Rome and the reply of the President of the Council of Ministers welcoming this step.
The successful outcome of these negotiations is bound to lead to profound changes in the existing order of political and economic relationships throughout the world. These negotiations presage a Europe [Page 39] united to achieve increased economic well-being for all its citizens and the democratic ideals which are our common heritage. With these goals in mind, the Govt of the United States of America can only express its profound hope for a successful outcome.
The Govt of the United States of America is particularly anxious that the changes which might be wrought by these negotiations serve to strengthen the structure of the Free World and provide a basis for the further development of an Atlantic Community devoted to the same objectives.
Recognizing that the Govts of the United Kingdom and of the countries members of the European Economic Community share with it the importance of an increasingly liberal trade policy, the Govt of the United States of America, in assessing the outcome of these negotiations, would be particularly concerned that:
the present system of preferences obtaining between the United Kingdom and the countries of the Commonwealth not be carried over into any new arrangements;
the system of special trade relations with less developed countries now associated with the European Economic Community not be expanded to include additional countries and that this system be reexamined with a view toward eliminating discrimination between regional sources of supply, e. g., by the introduction of orderly marketing arrangements on a global basis;
the common external tariff which might result from any new arrangements be set at a level sufficiently low to offset any additional discrimination which third countries not parties to the arrangements might be required to accept;
any new arrangements not impair the reasonable access to the market of the manufactures and produce of third countries.
If these criteria are met, the Govt of the United States of America would consider that the new arrangements will make a major contribution to the creation of an Atlantic Community and to the strength and unity of the Free World.1
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 375.800/9–561. Secret; Limit Distribution (No Distribution Outside Department). Drafted by Vine; cleared with Tyler, B, and E; and approved by Fessenden. Sent to London, Brussels, Paris, Rome, Luxembourg, The Hague, and Bonn.
  2. On September 6 and 7, the missions replied that such an aide-mémoire would produce “sharp” or “lively” reactions. The Embassy in London appreciated the reasons for making U.S. views known, but believed it “would be highly undesirable to send aide-mémoire,” stressing that it was premature to inject the United States directly into the negotiations. (Telegram 985 from London; ibid., 375.800/9–661; the other responses are ibid., 375.800/9–661 and 375.800/9–761) On September 7 Ball cabled the Embassy in London that the United States would delay sending the aide-mémoire at least until he had talked with Bruce and Heath. (Telegram 1230 to London; ibid., 375.800/9–661)