182. Memorandum of Conversation0



  • Cooperation in Europe and Trade Negotiations


  • [Here follows the same list as Document 181.]
[Page 384]

The Secretary said it was our earnest wish to have the closest cooperation with France. We greatly regretted French withdrawal, for example, from Geneva negotiations. General DeGaulle seemed to want to work with a group of 4 rather than a group of 18 and that problem was procedural rather than substantive. France’s cooperation in NATO and UN was similarly limited. Couve de Murville was coming in October and we hoped for some improvement. The Secretary said the question was how Europe is to be organized. Closer cooperation might have been possible if a directorium had been accepted in 1958, but Europe would not accept it. There was not now even a consensus as to how we should consult. Kreisky summarized by saying that in the past France had had a policy of presence; now they had a policy of absence.

The Secretary turned to the prospects for the Kennedy Round. Kreisky said he thought there was a good chance for success if discussions were kept on purely economic grounds. Success was favored by the probability that by the time of the negotiations the position of “outsiders,” like Austria and the Scandinavians, would be improved. Austria, together with Denmark and to some extent Norway, wanted to stay out of political complications. He did not believe Erhardt would change the structure of German policy, but he was an economic man and talked in those terms. DeGaulle was always interested in economic matters—although for him agriculture was not an economic matter. Kreisky agreed with the Secretary that a political will for successful negotiations was essential but he considered that the discussions and the agreements themselves should be economic in nature. The Secretary said Hallstein’s views were similar.

Kreisky said for DeGaulle it was absolute doctrine to prevent political influence of the Anglo-Saxons in European affairs. He was hard and inflexible and just would not change. DeGaulle saw the EEC as a delicate balance based on Germany and would not let it be disturbed. Nevertheless, we should always seek new approaches and new points of departure. For the U.K. this would be natural and easier after their elections. In the long run, the problems would be solved.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL Aus-E.Eur. Confidential. Drafted by Appling and approved in S on October 2. The meeting was held at the U.S. Mission. The source text is labeled “Part 2 of 4”; see Documents 181 and 183.