Cab 195/19 cabinet minutes




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Canada will be injured. Offer them free trade area status now.

U.S. look fwd. thro’ O.E.C.D. to assimilation of trading areas on both sides of Atlantic.


Tropical f’stuffs won’t be easy. Ball’s views. S. American produces of coffee etc., Unless they modify that attitude, Colonies will suffer.
R.A.B. Want to reserve my posn. on political aspects.
Agreed : resume Wed. 26/4.
P.M. Berlin. Welcome change of attitude v passes etc. – practical interruptn. of supplier is real test for a physical response. That surely is a great & useful change. With it goes the line that, if this does happen, it means war : a real test of will.
Thus, if there is a show down, it is to be on a reality.

C.C.24(61) 26th April 1961

1. Parliament : W. Benn. [Enter O.G., M.R.


Note not taken.

2. Algeria.


E.H. Convey – message tht. 4 rebel generals were en route for Gib. C.O. arranged for them to be held, pending instructns.
I.M. No news – unlikely tht. they wd. stop at Gib.
E.H. Extradition possibilities are being considered.
K. Wd. be matter for courts, not Govt. action.

3. Europe : Washington Talks.


H.W. If Six goes on, it will be inner group in N.A.T.O. – interdependent in arms etc. Diff. for us qua arms sales.
Believe on balance we shd. try to join. Fear tht. alone it will be no pol. gain to us.
i) If we are to pin faith in N.A.T.O., we must be at least close to Six.

ii) Cd. we set this in broader frame : eg. Fr. as nuclear power will be

entitled to more prominent place. W. world is so small we need wider union. Easier to present on that basis.
S.L.I. Econ. settlement alone – no longer practicable. Need pol. act. – on joining Six. Report by offls : almost complete : no insuperable diffies. apart fr. the known ones. E.F.T.A. Commonwealth, agric.

If so, tactics : shd. we offer to join subject to square on these?

If we run H.W. idea of wider unity, publicly. Fr. reaction will be adverse. True aim : but unwise to disclose it.
In July statement we avoided such offer, because wd. put Ty. on spot.

Now think we shd. do that.


K. For C.R.O. i) Will derogations cover free entry & preferences – tolerably.

ii) Can we forego right to make trade agreemts. with C’wealth – or their access to Ldn. money market.

iii) Wd. Europe mean more to us than C’wealth in general policy considn.

iv) Can we judge results of derogns. before end of negotns.?

v) Long history of promises of consultn. with C’wealth before we decide. Timing on this v. awkward – if we have to consult before we negotiate.


But can we make up our minds until we have examined offl’s pp.
S.L.I. On (vi) also need machinery to keep them in touch with negotiations.
P.M. Don’t contemplate final decn. now. Mechanisms also need v. careful thght. Want now an attitude of principle, or intent.

Ques. now : do we want progress in this direction, or not.


J.M. For long diffies. overstated. Risk now – under-stated. By public attitude of businessmen. Issue now : political.
Hail. Can it be a stage twds. wider unity, wh. is what we needed.

This (Six) is inward looking. So long as it is, price may be too high. We in U.K. must seek wider unity. If we don’t we ruin C’wealth, Tory Party and relns. with U.S.


If therefore price asked is too high, look at alternative of wider assocn. incldg. N. and S. America.
Offl. consultns. with U.S. and C’wealth are close : with Europe, not.
J.M. If we miss this, we may be by-passed.
R.M. Yes : attractive power of Six to others, as E.F.T.A. can’t have.

Fundamental economic menace to U.K. It will gain great place in world.


U.K. industry anxious now to get in. Powerful industrial units now being created by Fr., It., German associations.

Their strength in 3rd countries will be too great for us to compete : that is danger even greater than our exclusion fr. C. Market.


D.E. Doubt this. Not physical size of industry : techn. know how is more important. Swiss & Swedes cd. compete with Six.
Going with Six won’t relieve us of need to increase level of skill and competence of industry.
R.M. Popn. of 160 m. give Six market comparable to U.S.
C.S. What disadvantages industrially?
R.M. Competn. eg. cars instead of tariff protection.
P.M. Does Br. industry notice this?

R.M. P’gressive ones do & all ready for it – in return for better chance in 3rd countries.


I.M. Much industrial support esp. among thinkers : youth. Diffy. : emotional re-action of thers, as on colonial policy farmers, B’brook Press etc.,
i) Even so, favour going on – despite some Col. problems.

ii) If we do, present it big : turning point for us all. Larger regional & industrial groupings.


H.B. Conscious of economic weakness if we tried to stand alone.

Techn. advance cdn’t make enough diffce. quick enough.

Cd. we make real success of independence. Doubt if there is public will to make sacrifices involved.

Choice therefore is not betwn. independence or sacrifice of sovereignty by joining. Alone we cdn’t be strong enough.


Believe therefore we must go in – fully and as a great act of policy.

New field for Br. genius etc.

Reach this concln. v. my own emotions.
R.A.B. Cab. 13.7.60. Not on terms of Treaty of Rome. That is my position still. Reasons –
i) Constitutional. Must realise results a) Parlt. wd. lose functions

b) Crown wd. lose some treaty making power. c) Some subordination to Six Courts. No provision for w’drawal. We shd. be permanently in. Much worse than G.A.T.T. We shd. have to look much more closely at that.


ii) Agriculture. N.F.U. have come out more strongly against, in recent

pamphlet. W. Paper included statement we cdn’t enter Six if it involved damage to policy on agric. & hortic.


Reference to wider European agreement on agriculture.

C.S. views on adjustment of policy. Quoted from Crossbow : article by Hallett. Believe these adaptns. are poss. for cereals – tho’ wd. raise c/l. by 2 points. But see no alternative policy on pigs, eggs or horticulture.


What we need is much more hard work on i) and ii). if there can’t be adaptations, v. gt. pol. diffies. wd. be involved.
Pledges to agric. can’t be betrayed.
C.S. Have kept aloof from N.F.U. on this – until I had a plan.

Their paper deals with effects of joining with no derogatns. on agric.

They might have bn. worse on that basis. They will be ready to talk : but we can’t do that until we have decided what derogns. we need to avoid “betrayal”. Ready by mid-May.

Shift of support fr. Exch. to consumer wd. not be betrayal.

We shd. prob. have to do it anyway as we have for N.H.S.

Prices determined by Six. But better to go in while we still have chance to influence them.


Of course v. serious ques. on partic. commodities. We are examining these. But must mean change of emphasis in agric. not here alone. Eg. tomatoes in S. France v. Holland. But net income need not suffer.
J.H. Intellectually, arguments for joining are overwhelming.

Agric. diffies. are now being under-estimated.

How avoid “betrayal”? Pledged to avoid change in support system in this Parlt. – v. awkward.
Agree with C.S. estimate of what will happen if we don’t.

But farmers won’t like dropping present system, wh. insulates them fr. world prices. They will fear unknown locomotive.

Cd. work out easements on most commodities. But not, I fear, on hortic. Tomato lobby. Here “betrayal” will be hard to avoid. Don’t under-estimate.
Tories : younger favour: but base of iceberg is v. large.

Don’t agree with S.L.I. on presentn. Must be put over big.

Must join : but by methods tht. won’t destroy our Party.
E.H. July Cab. S.L.I. explains f. policy reasons for joining in. Those considns. still stand. Six developing into pol. force. Mtg. again on 29/5. Dutch won’t be able to hang back.
Six want to develop strength to exert influence outside. Not in that sense inward looking. They have considered S. America, Congo, Laos.

As it develops, it will attract relns. of U.S. and also some C’wealth.

We have never tolerated great strength in Eur. This will be one. Need for Europe as a whole to exert infl., in UN. etc. W’in this we cd. Influence it for good.

Recent history. We have tried to see what is poss., & what wd. be the price. We have not bn. looking for econ. settlement only : settlement betwn. 2 econ. groups plus sufft. assocn. on pol. side.

U.S. have made straight economic merger of 6 and 7 imposs. because of no pol. content. We must now try for membership or assocn. with Six. France (Courl/e) has made it plain tht. either is open to us – if we will pay price on agric. and C’wealth.
We haven’t yet bn. able to discuss what we wd. need on last two.

Most important now is agric. For Fr. indicated they mght. swallow 2 out of 3, not all (i.e. C’wealth, agric, E.F.T.A.).

Posn. of Commn. : they are considering this again for submn. to Six.

Institutions : left this aside until we know what is nature of settlement. Always recognised to be difft. politically. Better therefore to avoid public discn. until nature of settlement can be announced. What K. & R.A.B. mentioned was confined to commercial ques. Federation (political) is not in Treaty/Rome; nor is it wanted by all. If we & others joined, it mght. be defeated.


Doubt if it wd. be wise to offer to sign before we negotiate.

i) domestic politics ii) less room manoeuvre in negotns.

Wiser therefore to negotiate nature of derogation etc. first.

Agree on need for consultn. with C’wealth an E.F.T.A. Latter : a risk that some might rush ahead and join w’out us. Others : Sweden eg. are

v. apprehensive of being left alone.
E.M. Support S.L.I. and R.M. – evils of not joining are worse.

Not only size of their industrial machine but also standardisation.

They will beat us.
Political : wd. like to know more of T/Rome. Believe tht. if we were in, we cd. prevent federal developmt.
Ch.H. No diffy. over tentative concln. tht. we shd. join.

But gt. diffy. in R.A.B. points. D.S. has re-assured me to some extent on Br. agric. But what is posn. on c‘wealth.


We need to know more on that. V. important to p. opinion.
H.W. Any study made on what our posn. wd. be in C’wealth or relns. with U.S. if we did join.
E.H. Need not lose us our C’wealth leadership.
S.L.I. Ok. so long as Confederation.
R.M. We cdn’t accept conduct of comm. policy vis-à-vis c’wealth by the Commn. of E.E.C. That wd. be essential derogation.
J.M. E.F.T.A. decn. on paper making : savage pressures in Election.

This, if generalised, cd. easily lose us an Election.


D.E. Agric. Wd. Six agree to arrangemt. wh. changed basis of our support and pattern of prodn. but not income. Then we cd. carry N.F.U.

But do Six not rather think tht. in return for taking more of our manufacturers, they will send more foodstuffs to us? Do we accept this?


C.S. Br. support system produces lower prices of food and therefore lower wages.
On imports : Denmark wd. go in with us. If we retained our present pattern of imports, Six wd. be worse off. If France want us in : they will accept continuance of main patterns of our trade – eg. wheat fr. Canada, butter from N.Z. They will want more access to our markets : somethg. must give & we must see tht. 3rd countries suffer eg. meat fr. Argentine.
This will be crux of negotiations. Shall we be able to promise long-term market in U.K. for C’wealth producers.
E.H. There must be some sacrifice. What we need is a paper setting out balance between gains and losses.
R.A.B. Leaks will continue. Must have a plan for keeping our supporters in touch.
P.M. V. great issue. Wish it cd. be evaded. We cd. do so for a time.

Gt. risks are involved. If we fail to join, concessions we were ready to make will become known – to our gt. disadvantage.


Agree large part of iceberg : tradition, fear of Eur. control. Nostalgia for a world that has passed.
But my approach has bn. based on something much wider.

We are losing ground to Communists & are in gt. disorder.

Co-opn. urgently needed – hard to get.
Shall we let all this drift? Pretend tht. national & C’wealth independence prevent us? Is that enough? My feeling is tht. on wider canvas, we are in same posn. as Gk. City States : if we can’t unite, we shall be overrun by barbarians.
It is in that context tht. we must present it. To restore strength of Europe : Xianity.
In C’wealth half is neutral. So too, is E.F.T.A.

V. gt. dangers in world. That is why we have to consider this.

What do we want? But what does Europe want? Prev. efforts failed because France did not want it. (Federal flavour wd. not have bn. in T/R. if de G. had bn. in power earlier). France is therefore the key. Not sure tht. de G. wanted us : wished to lead Europe himself : not so sure now – he is aging : uncertainties about G. : Algeria may have shaken him or French.
We shd. get more precise view, on basis of offl’s. reports. But better if we can go into that work with a view tht. we want to find a way.
E.F.T.A. E.H. is right. It may crumble – twds. Six if we delay.

C’wealth. Can., A. and N.Z. will stand with us, if we can get econ. derogation.


What is their future if we shrink economically. They must turn to U.S.

Relations with U.S. Tradition : ease of consultn. but mainly because they think us still strong, as well as wise. Remember Eur. elements in U.S. are growing : and if Six develop w’out us, U.S. may turn to them.


Balance of our interest therefore is to join or associate if we can find terms wh. are bearable. But it must be political act. Consultn. with C’wealth on that basis – P.M.’s not Finance Ministers.


R. believe capitalism will destroy itself – competing currencies, trade wars etc. Much in that, on objective view. We are weaker. No concerted W. view : Congo, Laos etc.
Worked under Anglo.Saxon leadership when Europe was weak.

de G. seeks to demonstrate recovery of Fr. & Europe, by being awkward. Can he change? Is it too late?


K. asked me to tell him what he shd. say to de G.

I said : Fr. nuclear ambitious (disregarded by Ike) : a problem we must face. Our deterrent has bn. of gt. pol. value to us and is of techn. value while bomber is means/delivery. It is wasting asset. Gt. bargaining value while it lasts.


Persuade de G. not to go for independence in any of these things. He shd. work for unity of Europe. not further divisions. He must co-operate, not deviate.
How far cd. we meet his ambitions? Fr. is a world Power. de G. can settle, for us, betwn. membership or association. Useless to offer and negotiate.
I want (subject to Cab.) to say to Mr. K. In your 8 yrs. you shd. rally free world & unite it. i) Re-organise N.A.T.O., incldg. its imbalance in favour of G.’s finances. 3 Power agreement. ii) Accept tripartitism in some form, esp. in relation to ques. outside N.A.T.O. iii) Nuclear : some joint arrangement for consultn. iv) Bring U.K. and some of their pastures into Six, to gain wider pol. and econ. unity in Europe. Make it possible for them to do this w’out damage to C’wealth.
Mr. K. will come to Ldn. after his talks with de G.

Not worth going on with Six unless we can discover tht. de G. wants it.

Unless this sort of developmt. can be brought about, U.K. influences will shrink : Europe will grow v. strong or quarrel with West : U.S. may w’draw into isolationism.
Much depends on wthr. Mr. K. can follow expansionist policies.

Do Cab. agree tht. it is worthwhile for Mr. K. to try out de G.?


R.A.B. Endorse genl. concept. So long as our agric. diffies. are met.
S.L.I. So do I. But shd. Mr. K. be our emissary on Six? de G. wd. resent pressure.

C.C.25(61) 2nd May 1961

1. Laos. [Enter M.R.


P.M. Tels. y’day from W’ton, A. & N.Z.

In Seato mtg. U.S. repve. tried to push for intervention : and we were asked y’day wthr. we wd. agree to Charter Yellow. Mtg. of Ministers and staffs at 6 pm. leading to F.O. 3005 to W’ton.


Menzies message – suggests tht. we are holding back – this impression is being put about. Favours Plan 5 via smaller force.

Similar message from N.Z. in less alarmed terms.

At 1 am. today Caccia said news tht. mtg. had taken place. Followed by W’ton Tel. 1119. SEATO mtg. p’poned to 3/5. No news of what occurred at truce mtg.
E.H. No reason to disbelieve U.S. informn. re mtg. As they have met, unwise to declare alert (Yellow) because argument in para.6 of F.O. tel. 3005.
I.C.C. have met in Delhi : prepd. reasonable report : Pok is co-operating.

Wd. suit us if I.C.C. cd. now move to Laos. Asked Nehru to suggest this – to help in arranging cease fire – no reply from him yet.

Phonmi has followed our advice to go fwd. into no man’s land : accompanied, at his request, by our mil. attaché to testify to his good faith.
W’ton spokesmen have bn. issuing appreciation of mil. posn. which differ from ours – tho’ no reason to suppose Admn. differ from us on this.
U.S. toying with idea of debate in U.N. We doubt this – scope for criticism of U.S. : risk of resoln. calling on both sides to refrain from intervention.
SEATO. As 6 countries favour Yellow, awkward for U.K. & France to appear to be holding back. Just tolerable at present.

Ultimate plan : mil. opn. is difft. from that to which Ch. Yellow relates.


H.W. Mr. K.’s policies seem difft. from those of local U.S. military.

Yellow relates to Plan 5 not to that Plan modified on lines suggested at Key West. Need to get firm U.K./U.S. endorsement of modified Plan. Austr. seem to have bn. misled – presumably by U.S. military.


P.M. May be argued tht. more forces are needed for limited objective.

Need is to be sure we agree on objectives. (Plan 5 contemplated recovery of Plaine de Jarra).


Risk also tht. in cease-fire talks attempt will be made to discuss pol. aspects.
If, for any reason, talks break down, SEATO will press for action. Don’t want operation – esp. when local commanders are at best confused about objectives and plans.
On other hand risks are v. gt. if Laos overrun.
E.H. Phonma’s objective in cease fire talks now disclosed. Not so bad. Wants only to discuss “modalities” cf. pol. discussions – not the substance.
J.M. If we stabilise Laos, will Communists transfer pressure to other countries?
E.H. Yes, probably. Certainly will go on in S. Viet Nam.
P.M. Neutral Laos wd. increase pressure on Thailand. But that is allied country, bordering the sea : and much easier therefore to assist.
H.W. Lemnister has now gone out : shd. improve local mil. commander confusions.
K. Anxieties re postures of U.K.
i) Our 1st choice : cease fire. Why has Gromyko refused channel of Commn. betwn. 2 sides.
E.H. He has refused to admit tht. he is in touch with his side.

ii) Nehru’s initiative, if he takes it.


K. Both i) and ii) are peaceful moves. M’while, we are pressed to agree to prelim. mil. moves : wh. as P.M. has put it to Mr. K. may have

x/ either of 2 opposite effects. Which of these is least troublesome?


U.N. see disadvantages of discn. But if we have to act with SEATO.,

y/ we shall be criticised for not having first gone to U.N.


E.H. On x/ balance is in favour of waiting a little longer for cease fire talks before making any mil. move. Thought so last night : still do.
On y/ obligns. (Manila) to notify U.N. when action taken.

If we did that, we wd. follow Jordan/Lebanon precedent.

Mght get resoln. calling on us to w’draw.

But even that is better than risking now a resoln. calling on all not to intervene, and prs. deploring earlier supplies of arms and aid.


H.W. Need, ultimately to defend Thailand.
P.M. That wd. be 3rd plan : abandon Laos : re-inforce Thailand.

That wd. involve no immediate mil. intervention.

My impression is that R.’s posn. in reln. to China is similar to ours in reln. to U.S.
* Second half of F.O. 3005 shd. be sent (by M/D.) to Genl. Hull.
P.T. Must stand solid with U.S. in last resort.
H.W. Sensible line now is to plan U.K./U.S. re-inforcement of Thailand.

C.C.26(61) 4th May 1961

1. Parliament. [Enter M.R.


R.A.B. Business for next week.

Stansgate. Procedure for debating ques. wthr. Speaker is right in ruling i) that he can’t take his seat in H/C. ii) tht. he cannot be heard. Hope to telescope into one debate, on Govt. motions but there may have to be two. Will last most of the day.


May come on Friday – more likely Monday.
P.T. Any objn. to hearing him?
R.A.B. On merits v. doubtful wthr. it shd. be allowed : and, politically, wd. upset Tories in H/C.
P.M. Motion for Sel. Cttee.?
M.R. After Whitsun.

2. George Blake.


P.M. P.N. Ques. disallowed because 3 Ques. on paper for next week. But mistake for me to rely on that. Wiser to volunteer statement.

Must stand to point tht. I cannot say to Parlt. what L.C.J. agreed shd. not be said in public court.


This was not normal security risk : no bad habits or associations : accepted no money : genuine conversion to Comm. cause. V. hard to detect.
Cdn’t have rule v. emplt of anyone who was in Communist hands cf. Bishop of B’ham.
Can’t admit nature of his work : can say negatively some of the things he did not do.
Will offer to discuss with Gaitskell and one or two P.C.’s from his side.
H.W. There will be pressure for increasing security measures.
D.S. Tighten enforcemt. of O. Secrets Act – in reln. to Press.
P.T. Support this : vis-à-vis Press.
P.M. Can say : will await Romer report : see then whtr. any further enquiry is required.
3. Laos.
E.H. Report of I.C.C. received. We accept it. R. likely to agree I.C.C. shd. now go to Laos.
SEATO mtg. p’poned. Unlikely tht. intervention demand will be revived.
Conference. Prince S. has said he won’t attend. Fr. suggested p’ponement. We think it shd. start on 12/5, as arranged.
U.S. Govt. attitude – concentrate on cease fire : if it breaks down, inclined to favour U.N. debate – to send observers into Laos etc.

R. & U.K. mght sponsor such a resolution.


4. Europe.


E.H. Official talks with French went better than we expected. More responsive on EFTA and on agriculture. Will circulate report.
R.A.B. Parly. posn. not so easy. Deputn. fr. agric. lobby urging pledge of no change in this Parlt.
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