261. Telegram From the Mission to the European Community to the Department of State1

4126. Pass EUR-Hillenbrand for the Secretary. Pass Treasury for Secy Connally. White House pass Eberle.

Subject: EC-US Trade Negotiations. Ref: EC Brussels 4124.2

Summary: Malfatti, President of the EC Commission, called Ambassador in on Sunday noon to give him report on yesterday’s Council meeting. Also present were Ruggiero (Malfatti’s Chef de Cabinet), Hijzen (Acting DG for Foreign Trade), and DCM. Malfatti stressed the political will to arrive at a trade package demonstrated by the Community in its declaration of intent (septel).3 The PermReps are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, December 15. Negotiations can start no earlier than December 16 and more probably the week of December 20. He advised that Eberle not come until [Page 667] the Commission sets a date. End Summary.
Malfatti described the declaration of intent (septel) and stressed the importance of paragraphs eight through twelve which underscore the political will of the Community to enter into negotiations with United States. He also emphasized the significance of the provision in the declaration of intent calling for a report before the end of January by the Commission to the Council on the negotiations. He stressed several times the importance of understanding Community procedures and the fact that the sort of timetable envisaged in the context of the Community denoted great speed and a determination to succeed. In this connection he said that he must frankly inform us that the great American pressure which has been brought to bear upon the Commission and upon the individual member states has been counterproductive. Hijzen added that there had been a unanimous desire not to lose time but an equally unanimous agreement that nobody was ready to negotiate within the time frame proposed by Eberle.4
The PermReps have been charged to prepare a formal mandate and they will meet on Wednesday.5 The Ambassador asked whether an earlier meeting date might not be possible in order to permit an early start of negotiations. Malfatti, seconded by this two associates, flatly stated that there would be no purpose served in attempting to move up the date of the PermReps meeting. The Commission paper has not yet had time to be digested by member countries and it will take at least Monday and Tuesday for member countries to review their positions and send instructions to their Ambassadors in Brussels. He frankly could not see what purpose a meeting of uninstructed PermReps would serve. The Ambassador nevertheless asked him to convey to Bombassei (Italian PermRep, current Chairman) the US desire to have as early a meeting as possible. Malfatti replied that Bombassei and the PermReps are fully informed of the US wishes in this respect but that he would convey the Ambassador’s request.
The Ambassador inquired whether Malfatti had any idea how Schumann was likely to present the outcome of the Council at the Azores meeting.6 Malfatti replied that Schumann would undoubtedly, as a member of the Council, report to President Nixon on the meeting but that he would not speak in the name of the Community. He repeated that Schumann had no mandate to present any Community view on this subject.
The Ambassador inquired on the likely contents of the mandate. Specifically he wondered whether there was any possibility that the mandate could go beyond the Commission report. Malfatti and his colleagues all agreed that the mandate could not possibly go beyond the proposals of the Commission. The Ambassador returned to the subject of the timetable and wondered when Eberle should be coming to [Page 668] Brussels. Malfatti replied that, in any case, a decision on this question must await the outcome of the PermReps meeting and that he would consider it inadvisable for Eberle to come before the Commission sets a date for the negotiations.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 73 D 153, Morning Summaries August 25-December 31, 1971, December 13, 1971. Confidential; Immediate. Repeated to Bern, Bonn, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, The Hague, Helsinki, Lisbon, London, Luxembourg, Oslo, Paris, Reykjavik, Rome, Stockholm, and Vienna.
  2. Printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. III, Document 218.
  3. Telegram 4127 from the Mission to the European Community, December 12. (National Archives, RG 364, Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations: Lot 78 B 1, US-EC Talks-1971)
  4. See Document 262.
  5. December 15.
  6. Presidents Nixon and Pompidou met in the Azores December 13-14. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. III, Documents 219 and 220.