315 Heydon to Burton

Cablegram 318, LONDON, 27 January 1948, 6.15 p.m.

PERSONAL

Your 2[9]9.

After Attlee's speech of 3rd January which I thought indicated trend which Bevin's speech would take in promised debate on foreign affairs High Commissioner and I discussed whether we could at that stage usefully offer any comments. Idea of Western European collaboration appeared likely dominate Bevin's speech as he had hinted in House of Commons on 18th December. Later I learned that United Kingdom views had been put fully in message from Prime Minister to Prime Minister.[1] I thought my information or views I had would not add materially to this. As you know we do not receive copies of Prime Minister to Prime Minister telegrams unless you specifically ask that we should.

2. Doubt very much whether new move was matter of detailed negotiation with other Governments although in the week before Bevin's speech it was discussed here at high levels in relation to ERP[2] programme. Frankly I think it was an idea which matured pretty quickly in Foreign Secretary's mind and was then approved by Cabinet. It was not surprising development in view of trends since Marshall aid proposal was first made which as you will recall was agreed to immediately by Bevin.

3. Am writing fully to let you know methods used here of maintaining continuous contact and would appreciate your suggestions for improvement.

[1] Document 312.

[2] Economic Recovery Program.

[AA : A3195, I.1586]