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

1566. 1. Following are developments on Six-Seven problems arising out of Macmillan conversations with President1 and Ball conversation [Page 5] with Heath in London. Full text of memcon of Ball-Heath talks sent as separate instruction.2

2. British presented “classic outline of problems which confront UK and EFTA countries by virtue development of EEC and need for an accommodation. In response we indicated if UK worked out association with Six involving merely a commercial arrangement, this would continue present serious problems for us, since it would create additional commercial discrimination while at same time weakening Six. When pressed by British to indicate what solution would not present US with similar difficulty we stated if UK were to join Six and wholeheartedly accept political and institutional obligations of EEC, we could give such an arrangement our support, provided no substantial derogations from Rome Treaty principles.

3. In discussion this point, we did not address ourselves to problems of other EFTA countries. British recognized problem posed by neutrality of some members of Seven, and Macmillan at one point stated he had general view that UK and NATO members of Seven might join Six but that some special arrangement might be made for the neutral members of the Seven.

4. Embs in EEC countries and USEC may draw upon above in discreet and confidential conversations with host govts. Such conversations should be in low key with comments along following lines:

US position on Six-Seven accommodation has not changed.
We have however for first time stated to British in affirmative fashion that if they should make decision to take part in the dynamic process of European integration and fully accept political and institutional obligations of Rome Treaties, we would support them.
This is a decision which UK alone must make. We are not urging UK to take this step for it is momentous decision involving profound commitment to Europe, Our view is that if British make this commitment, it deserves our support. FYI Only, in talks here, Macmillan indicated that Britain is now seriously prepared consider this step. End FYI.
Our position on Six-Seven commercial arrangement or accommodation remains as stated Dept’s CA–7908.3 We count heavily, now as before, on vigilance of Six countries in avoiding half-way measures or solutions which are primarily commercial in nature.
Our position should not be construed as measure of support for any expressed British position to date nor should it be viewed as pressure on Six govts for an accommodation, either with the UK or the EFTA. It is applicable only to a possible future British position which [Page 6] must satisfy the Six and us that it involves a UK commitment to a movement toward European integration which involves not only static treaty obligations but a long-term evolutionary political process.

5. EFTA capitals except London should for time being remain silent on substance of Macmillan talks since we expect that UK will wish brief fully EFTA partners. If unavoidable, you may state that you understand Macmillan was informed our traditional position on preferential bridge or commercial accommodation (draw here upon CA–7908) and was further informed that UK could not count upon our support for a British association with Six unless it were to adhere wholeheartedly to political and institutional objectives of Rome Treaties.

Press and public affairs guidance follows.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 375.800/4–1261. Secret. Sent to 14 missions in Europe. Drafted by Vine on April 11; cleared by Ball, Kohler, Fessenden, and Burdett; and approved by Schaetzel.
  2. Macmillan visited the British West Indies, Canada, and the United States March 24–April 12, staying in Washington April 4–9; see Document 381.
  3. Not found, but on April 11 Ball sent President Kennedy a memorandum summarizing the talk with Heath on March 30. He also stressed that the United States should not directly urge the British to join the Common Market, but assure them that assumption of the obligations of the Treaty of Rome would be welcomed by the United States. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.41/4–161)
  4. Not found.