22. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Missions0
848. Dept has noted with interest recent reports that European Community countries are considering further steps toward integration in political and defense fields. Discussions have centered around French draft treaty submitted October 19 to “Fouchet” Committee, which was charged last July by Six Heads of Government to prepare European statute by their next meeting. French draft as described to US officials clearly provides loose “confederal” ties in political and defense fields, falling short of real integration. However a significant feature of French draft is stipulation that present steps are only first stage in a process, subject to complete review after three years.
Reportedly all other members of Six except Dutch are favorably disposed toward French initiative, although there may be efforts to strengthen form of association beyond apparently very loose structure envisaged in French draft. De Gaulle has personally approved French draft and Adenauer reportedly is very enthusiastic. Italians also very favorable and pressing for early progress. Given this combination of circumstances we consider it quite possible that there may be major initiative by Six in political field in relatively near future, possibly at forthcoming Heads of Government meeting which will probably be held beginning next year. This can have significant impact, especially coinciding in time with major step forward in economic field which will result if Six enter EEC “Second Stage” next January.
While UK attitude on these developments not known, should be recalled that Heath in basic statement to EEC on October 11  said: “We desire to become full, whole-hearted and active members of the European Community in its widest sense and to go forward with you in the building of a new Europe.” and “One of our main purposes today is to discover afresh the inspiration and the stimulus of working together in a new effort of political and economic construction.” In light these forthcoming statements, can be assumed that UK basically accepts fact that Community will develop in political field and is prepared to accept implication of this.
Dept is preparing full analysis which will be transmitted when prepared along with guidance. Following is interim guidance for use by [Page 49] posts when occasion appropriate for US comment. (US reps should not take initiative at this time):
- Although we do not believe it appropriate for us to comment on specifics of French proposal, US continues to feel that any moves which maintain momentum toward integration are desirable and what we know of proposed French draft appears to us to be useful to this end.
- US does not believe it should take position on whether Six should associate UK with discussions. U.S. officials should not comment degree with which UK should now be associated with discussions.
FYI. We assume French and British will discuss this subject on occasion de Gaulle–Macmillan talks this month. End FYI.
- US does not in principle oppose efforts by Six to develop common policies and closer ties in defense field. We see no more inherent inconsistency between Six role in defense field and NATO than there is between Six role in economic field and OECD.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 375.800/11–361. Confidential; Verbatim Text. Drafted by Fessenden; cleared with Schaetzel, Beigel, and BNA; and approved by Burdett. Sent to Ottawa and 20 missions in Europe.↩