249. Telegram 232 From the Embassy in Belgium to the Department of State1 2


  • Post Apollo Meeting


  • Brussels 160

1. Letter to Under Secretary from Minister Lefevre being forwarded by septel. However, Lefevre is fearful that contents of letter may come as unpleasant surprise to American side and asked us to pass on to the Under Secretary, on a confidential basis, some of the background of the letter to avoid any ill feeling. He has asked that this information be held closely and not be communicated to other European participants.

2. Lefevre had a very hard time at the recent Brussels meeting with both the British and the French. The British, for example, insisted that they will be full participants in Washington during discussions of “political issues” but must be considered as observers during technical conversations with NASA. More difficult are six new questions which will be posed in the letter which Lefevre personally considers unnecessary. His disappointment with these questions is outweighed, however, by his belief that it is necessary to proceed with discussions “while the iron is hot.” He recognizes that these questions are not in line with Frutkin’s expressed desire that we not continue to discuss political issues.

3. The first of the questions had been insisted on by the French. The Dutch have not agreed to the last phrase in that question but phrase left in owing to French insistence. Lefevre believes [Page 2] that the French want responses for their own purposes in order to put pressure on other Europeans to proceed with a European launcher program. (Spaey somewhat sardonically tells us French are willing to spend the money but don’t want to participate. British want to participate but don’t want to spend the money.) Minister believes best response to first question would be to ask what would be your response under similar circumstances if the questions were posed to you?

4. Fifth question has been inserted at German initiative.

5. Lefevre hopes that the US side will not get too impatient over the posing of these questions. He points out that since the coming of the talks will be composed of a larger number of country representatives, it becomes more difficult to limit areas of discussions. Belgians themselves would not have posed the questions had they had any choice. Lefevre would, in any event, like to have a separate meeting between the Undersecretary and himself (with Dr. Spaey) to discuss their problems outside of the Plenary session. He suggested the afternoon of February 10.

6. Lefevre expects party visiting Washington to consist of about nine individuals representing seven different countries or agencies.

7. We would like to emphasize again Lefevre’s desire that his views not reach any one outside of the U.S. Government. A leak would be most embarassing for him.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, SP 10 US. Confidential; Exdis.
  2. Embassy Brussels reported ESC Chairman Lefevre’s concerns about the European response to potential participation in the post-Apollo program as evidenced by their recent discussions in Brussels. Ambassador Eisenhower asked that background on these concerns be passed to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Johnson on a confidential basis.