24. Telegram From the Embassy in Belgium to the Department of State 0

954. Paris For USRO. Geneva for Under Secretary Ball. European Integration. Spaak discussed European integration confidentially with me last night, expressing very serious reservations about developing trend to downgrade importance of political integration, particularly in connection with: (A) French draft treaty of political Union, and B) association [Page 52] of neutral and other countries with European Community. He said he knew US had given full support to European integration only on basis that integration would be political as well as economic, for if there were only economic integration US would ultimately find itself in competition with a European trade bloc which might have discriminatory tendencies without any of long term benefits of a politically unified Europe. In other words, US is willing to accept a measure of economic difficulty insofar as common market is concerned only if political integration envisioned in Rome Treaty is not sacrificed.

Spaak fears decision of Britain, Denmark and other countries to adhere to common market and of neutrals to seek association, coupled with French draft treaty for union of states will, unless there is great vigilance, result in European Common Market being expanded, but price will be death knell of political unification.

Spaak says French treaty of union is not step toward political unification, but is actually retrogressive. He explained Rome Treaty is at present “the bible” insofar as political unification is concerned. If De Gaulle’s draft treaty, which does not provide for real political unification, is stampeded through it will then become “bible” on political unification and efforts to use commitment under Rome Treaty for political unification can be countered by argument that French treaty has modified Rome Treaty. (Baron Snoy strongly shares this view.)

This situation, Spaak believes, coupled with fact that some countries desire join European Community only for economic and commercial advantage, presents considerable danger to continued progress in field of political unification. Basically speaking, Spaak does not believe it permissible for a European country to join European Community and benefit from trade and commercial advantages without accepting political aspects. Insofar as European neutrals concerned, Spaak feels that should they be allowed to obtain all commercial benefits of common market through association without accepting political philosophy of Rome Treaty there will be no reason or way to deny equal commercial benefits to Commonwealth countries. One can make strong case, he said, for “association” of country like Greece which shares both political and economic objectives of Rome Treaty but is economically not yet able to assume full membership. However, he is extremely dubious about membership or association of any country that is opposed or does not accept objective of political unification.

In light of foregoing situation Spaak feels US has major stake in present discussions for if European integration movement takes wrong turn we may not only lose large part of political advantages we had counted on but will also suffer serious damage to our trade and commercial interests. He is totally opposed to letting French stampede De Gaulle’s draft treaty through in December, for he believes it will play [Page 53] into hands of those European nations which desire to benefit from common market but do not really support European political unification. He said it was with foregoing in mind that he requested postponement of Fouchet Committee meeting of November 29 (Ecbus 347)1 and asked that Foreign Ministers of Six meet in Paris December 10. Purpose of this meeting insofar as Spaak concerned is to get down to what he calls “brass tacks”. Before there is any further consideration of French treaty he wants certain fundamental matters thrashed out, such as: 1) whether European states can participate in economic benefits of European community without accepting ultimate goal of political unification; 2) whether is desirable and feasible to have the so-called neutral states be associated with the common market and what this will mean in terms of Commonwealth problems; 3) whether provisions of “treaty of union” as proposed by De Gaulle will not emasculate or replace commitment of Rome Treaty for political unification and result in real regression and death knell of movement toward politically unified Europe, et cetera.

Spaak said he had talked confidentially but with great frankness, as he recognizes we have just as vital and overriding interests in how European integration movement develops as do Europeans themselves.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 375.700/11–2961. Confidential. Repeated to Paris, London, Bonn, The Hague, Luxembourg, and Geneva.
  2. Dated November 27, not printed. (Ibid., 375.800/12–2761)