The European Union at present doesn’t correspond to the ambitions of Europeans between the Wars, but to those of Washington in Cold War mode. It does not aim to pool resources, but to create a grand market linked to the Anglo-American empire, removed from any influence from Moscow. Moreover, the objective is not to ensure peace in Europe (as has been seen in Yugoslavia and one sees today in Ukraine) but, on the contrary, to divide Europe between West and East. The publication of a document dating from 1965 shows how the then Vice President of the European Economic Community discussed with the US the means to ‘con’ the European population.
- Robert Marjolin, in 1949, in the studios of Voice of America
In a significant article, 19 September 2000, the journalist of the establishment British Daily Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, has shown that American authorities have underpinned the process of the European project, but have also initiated, during the 1960s, a monetary union .
Relying on analysis of the archives of the US State Department for the 1950s and 1960s, made public in the summer of 2000, this article, although sensational in its implications, has been totally ignored by the French media and the Party machines.
Nevertheless, the odd rare article has brought to public attention a detailed and serious analysis of the subject .
Who was at the meeting?
The note in question is the summary of a discussion (‘Memorandum of conversation’) of a meeting held on 11 June 1965 at the State Department in Washington, D.C., involving 6 persons .
(a) On the one hand, the Frenchman Robert Marjolin, then Vice-President of the European Economic Community.
Robert Marjolin, born in 1911 to a modest family, was noticed during a university examination period by the philosopher Célestin Bouglé, founder of the Centre de documentation sociale and a representative of the Rockefeller Foundation in France. With the help of Charles Rist (founder of IRES – Institut de recherché économiques et sociales – also financed by the Rockefeller Foundation), Célestin Bouglé decides to send the young Marjolin to continue his training overseas: in July 1931 to London and then to the US (grace of a Rockefeller scholarship) at Yale, where he will enjoy a marvellous year during 1932-33.
Returning to France, Marjolin engages on the Left then officiates, at 25 years, in the Popular Front of Léon Blum, meanwhile defining himself glibly as being ‘at the time socialist and liberal’. Becoming very ‘pro-European’ and friend of Raymond Aron , Robert Marjolin joins Jean Monnet in London in 1940, by whose side he will remain. He follows Monnet to Washington in 1943 where Monnet busies himself in serving American interests in North Africa, then in organising supplies to France after the Liberation. Marjolin accompanies Monnet to Paris in 1946 when Monnet is named Commissioner-General of the Planning Board; Marjolin becomes the Assistant Commissioner.
In 1947, Robert Marjolin was named French negotiator at the Paris Conference, as President of the work group for the Marshall Plan. From 1948 to 1955, he occupied the post of Secretary-General of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation, supposedly to distribute Marshall Plan aid, but charged at the same time to implement liberalising measures on which receipt of Marshall Plan aid was conditioned. From 1958 to 1967, he was Vice-President of the European Commission under Walter Hallstein, responsible for ‘economy and finance’.
In 1962, with Robert Triffin, Belgian-American economist and member of the influential Council on Foreign Relations  largely financed by the Rockefeller Foundation, and economic adviser to the Action Committee for the United States of Europe of Jean Monnet, Robert Marjolin devised a programme of action for the second stage of the European Economic Community. Conforming with the wishes of Walter Hallstein, the programme proposed to refashion the Treaty of Rome in a more federalist direction, opening the road to the realisation of economic and monetary union. Naturally, Robert Marjolin detested Charles de Gaulle, who returned the compliment.
Robert Marjolin ends his career on the board of the oil multinational Royal Dutch Shell . In 1984, he was elected member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques, filling the chair of Edmond Giscard d’Estaing, father of sometime President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and himself ardent promoter of a common European currency.
b) On the other hand, five Americans, as below:
1) Thomas Clifton Mann, Under-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.
Thoms Clifton Mann (1912-99) joined the State Department in 1942 and rose rapidly in the ranks to become a senior government adviser. In particular he exerted a substantial influence on the American position vis-à-vis numerous Latin American countries. After Lyndon B. Johnson became President, 22 November 1963, Mann, near to Johnson, was considered as exercising de facto authority of the US on Latin America. In March 1964, he expounds a cynical strategy (the ‘Mann Doctrine’), breaking with the ‘Alliance for Progress’ launched by Kennedy. Mann advised support for pro-American dictatorships to facilitate regime change in the countries hostile to Washington, meanwhile promoting the economic interests of American business. As demonstrated, however, in this meeting of 11 June 1965, Mann also concerned himself with European questions. One imagines without difficulty that the cynicism and ‘balance of power’ mentality which guided his actions in Latin America also drove his approach to the states of the EEC. He left the State Department the following year, in 1966, to become spokesperson of the automobile manufacturers’ association.
2) John Robert Schaetzel, Assistant Secretary of State.
John Robert Schaetzel (1917-2003) [tr: graduated from Pomona College (1939),] studied at the University of Mexico (1940) and at Harvard (1940-42). He entered the public service at the Bureau of the Budget (1942-45), joined the State Department, then spent a year at the National War College (1954-55) doing research on atomic energy. On his return to the State Department, he was involved in atomic energy policy, later becoming Assistant Secretary of State.
Fifteen months after this meeting of 11 June 1965, and a little time after the ‘empty chair crisis’ he was named (16 September 1966) US ambassador to the European Community, where he remained until 1972.
After his retirement, Shaetzel continued his support of numerous organisations fostering links between the US and Europe and, notably, he became the President of the American Council for Jean Monnet Studies.
3) Deane Roesch Hinton, Bureau of European Affairs, Office of Atlantic Political-Economic Affairs (EUR/RPE), State Department.
Deane Roesch Hinton (born in 1923) was a career diplomat. Graduated from the University of Chicago in 1943 and having served as 2nd Lieutenant during World War II, he took courses at Harvard in 1951-52 and at the National War College in 1961-62. As diplomat, he was notably assigned to Kenya (1950-52) and in France (1954-55) before serving in the State Department’s Office of Atlantic Political-Economic Affairs during the 1960s. Assigned to Chile (1969-73) he was then named ambassador to Zaire in 1974, but was declared persona non grata by President Mobutu on 18 June 1975.
He was then made ambassador to the European Union at Brussels from 1976 to 1979, then successively ambassador to El Salvador, Pakistan, Costa Rica and Panama. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
4) Andrew Fisher Ensor, Bureau of Economic Affairs, Office of Fuel and Energy, State Department (OR/FSE).
Andrew Fisher Ensor (1918-2008), British born, became a naturalised American in 1957 after his marriage to an American citizen. He joined the State Department, where he became – under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations – an oil industry specialist, particularly with respect to the Middle East.
His presence at the 11 June 1965 meeting is somewhat mysterious, given that the detail available makes no mention of his field of activities. This is a sign that implies that the meeting memo is only a synthesis, a filtered aide-memoire that does not reflect the range of subjects broached, nor the precise content of the exchanges.
5) Stephen C. Schott, assistant.
His role is as secretary, charged with note-taking then with writing the memorandum that is the object of the present article.
Graduate of Harvard and of Fordham, fluent in French, German, Spanish and Dutch, he worked for the Under-Secretary of State during three successive Presidencies. He then worked for 18 years at the World Bank before leaving public service to rejoin the private sector in 1987.
Analysis of the Memorandum
In viewing the original of the memorandum of 11 June 1965, two irrefutable facts are readily apparent:
a) The document obtained by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and the basis for the aforesaid article is authentic. It is not a fake, contrary to insinuations by some of our detractors.
b) The memo, being ‘unclassified’ in origin, must be a filtered synthesis.
* Second, very important, is the fact that this document’s availability has been facilitated by its ‘unclassified’ status. It was not protected by a ‘Defense Secrets’ classification.
This status indicates that the memo certainly could not be given general circulation until it was declassified (which occurred in the summer of 2000), but nevertheless that it could readily circulate within the State Department and be read by numerous officials.
This issue is not without consequences. Since the editor of this memo of 11 June 1965 (namely Stephen C. Schott), was not to know in advance into whose hands it should fall and also knew that it will be made generally available in 30 years’ time, he has necessarily written it in a synthetic and cautious style, replete with insider insinuations and euphemisms – representative bureaucratic language.
This claim is confirmed by an interesting detail. At top left on the first page there appears the name of the memo’s author « SCSchott ۛ» (framed in green in the extract above) and, below it, the comment « Approved in M 6/17/65 » (framed in red below) . The abbreviation ‘M’ signifies the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
This comment indicates that the memo has been approved before its diffusion on 17 June 1965 (6 days after the meeting) by an authority, inside the State Department, different to whoever had organised the meeting itself (Political Affairs is separate from Economic Affairs). This form of control before diffusion is intended to ensure that the memo does not contain sensitive details relevant to Defense-Secrets.
Thus this memo has not been treated like Defense-Secret documents, for which only a small number of persons are given access after special clearance. It is noteworthy that the Defense-Secrets documents of the State Department for the 1950s and 1960s have not been made public in 2000. The transparence of American institutions has its limits …
Soon after having obtained the original document, we have of course compared it with the brief passage referred to by Evans-Pritchard in his September 2000 Daily Telegraph article. It is useful to reproduce the passage here: “A memo from the European section, dated June 11, 1965, advises the vice-president of the European Economic Community, Robert Marjolin, to pursue monetary union by stealth. It recommends suppressing debate until the point at which "adoption of such proposals would become virtually inescapable".’
A comparison between the memo (4 pages in length) and the brief summary made by Evans-Pritchard has two major implications:
1) Although truncating the original, the British journalist has, in several words, well captured the spirit and the content of the meeting of 11 June 1965.
Undoubtedly written with prudence, the tone of the memo is a little less explicit than that implied by Evans-Pritchard when he writes “recommends suppressing debate” on a monetary union.
The British journalist has in effect employed a short cut. Sticking to the exact text of the memo, it will be first the Frenchman Robert Marjolin who, questioned on the progress of monetary union by his American counterparts, could have expressed his “concern” given the “resistance” in the face of “monetary proposals”. He could have then indicated that “it would be best to wait until the point is reached that adoption of such proposals become virtually inescapable”, after other phases of the common programme are put in place, notably the Common Agricultural Policy.
The memo specifies however that John Robert Schaetzel, Assistant Secretary of State for economic affairs, would have immediately agreed with this drift, in congratulating themselves “that monetary union will come about as a result of the momentum inherent in the Rome Treaty. Therefore, in accord with that which seems to have been the policy of drafters of the Rome Treaty, such decisions could be postponed until they become inescapable.”
Thus, Evans-Pritchard exaggerates only slightly in writing that the State Department memo “recommends suppressing debate until the point at which adoption of such proposals [regarding monetary union] would become virtually inescapable”. Of course, he could have conformed to the precise text of the memo that “it would be best to wait until the point is reached when the adoption of such proposals [regarding monetary union] would become virtually inescapable”.
Nevertheless the nuance remains and the essential ideas exposed by Evans-Pritchard in his article correspond perfectly to the reality. The fact is that the State Department officials and the Vice-President of the EEC are in agreement, from 11 June 1965, to promote monetary union in Europe but are equally agreed to not make such monetary proposals public in order to not generate ‘resistance’, and are again agreed in estimating that it is smarter to let the course of events roll out and impose [unspoken: on the European population] this monetary union in a fashion ‘inevitable/inescapable’.
2) The British journalist does not confront the scandalous duplicity of the Frenchman Robert Marjolin, who seems resolved to appease his American counterparts instead of representing the member states of the EEC.
If Evans-Pritchard has slightly exaggerated the issue as to the silence that the participants admit is necessary to surround the progress of the monetary union agenda, he has on the other hand omitted to underline the intrinsically scandalous character of this meeting and of the standpoint of the Frenchman Marjolin.
It is true that Evans-Pritchard must limit himself to a word length constrained by newspaper article conventions and that he has, earlier in the article, underlined that “The leaders of the European Movement – Retinger, the visionary Robert Schuman and the former Belgian prime minister Paul-Henri Spaak – were all treated as hired hands by their American sponsors.” Undoubtedly was it not the place to make precisely the same point with respect to Robert Marjolin. A shame. For two facts, damning for the Europeanist cause, emerge from the original document:
a) The wilful servitude of the Vice-President of the EEC
Robert Marjolin, EEC Vice-President, appears as a man alone, literally bombarded with questions from not least five representatives of the State Department. Not only does he accept to be thus placed in a position manifestly numerically inferior, but he also accepts to be questioned – and to respond! – on a series of subjects of the highest strategic importance.
The sentiment emitted in this memo is appropriately described as wilful servitude: Marjolin is subjected to a hearing dictated by a non-European state, and he slavishly renders an account of the progress of the European states’ agenda, in disclosing the requisite details. The EEC Vice-President shoulders meekly the role of a servant who renders account to his masters.
b) The high treason of the Vice-President of the EEC vis-à-vis the 6 member states of the EEC
If one reads closely this memo, one gains awareness the incredible fact that the Frenchman Marjolin confides to these American negotiators his wish to circumvent the will of the European states and of the European peoples, in imposing on them surreptitiously a monetary union, something at that stage not envisaged on account of the known opposition.
This duplicitous behaviour of the EEC Vice-President is a matter of high treason vis-à-vis the then 6 member states of the EEC, and notably, as a French national, with respect to France. How to otherwise describe his confidences, given that he evidently had no mandate that permits him to make disclosures on this type of subject with the representatives of a foreign government?
In particular, the Frenchman Marjolin was the best placed person to know that Charles de Gaulle was then in frontal opposition with the EEC, presided over by the German jurist Walter Hallstein, friendly with Nazi authorities during the 1930s and until 1944. Besides, the founder of Free France – less than three weeks after this meeting in Washington – provoked the celebrated ‘empty chair crisis’, which lasts from 30 June 1965 to 30 January 1966.
The treason of Marjolin is also to be measured in another passage of the memo: that where he deplores the granting of tariff preferences (legitimised by the Rome Treaty that underpins the EEC – of which he is however the Vice-President!) at the demand of some member state governments and in favour of certain developing countries, notably former African colonies and of countries of the Maghreb.
Marjolin’s desire to please his US masters leads him to declare that he “did not think that such agreements were very desirable”, and to regret “that they would cause difficulties for the U.S. in regard to Latin America”, but to reassure Washington in underlining “that they are limited in duration and would expire by 1970”.
Can one imagine a government official more assiduous in submitting himself slavishly to foreign interests? And can one genuinely be astonished, if one confronts the personal and institutional supporters which have guided his career, not least the Rockefeller Foundation and Jean Monnet?
In June 1965, what did President Charles de Gaulle think of Robert Marjolin and of some of the European Commission’s projects?
“As for this Commission, it deserves to disappear. I want no more of Hallstein. I want no more of Marjolin. I want no more to do with them. … I want no more that the French government should have to do business with these types. … The problem, it is this mafia of supranationalists, whether commissioners, deputies or bureaucrats. They are all enemies. They have been put there by our enemies.”
C’était de Gaulle, Alain Peyrefitte, Fayard, Éditions de Fallois, Tome II, pp.290-291.
What would de Gaulle have thought of these projects of monetary union that Robert Marjolin discusses with his counterparts?
Can one imagine the man of 18 June [tr: 1940] giving a mandate to Robert Marjolin to advance such a project in cooperation with the USA? This is the country that he had justly denounced as the dominant force behind ‘European construction’ in his press conference of 15 May 1962, in describing the object as ‘federalist’, which ‘could not be European’.
The answer is not difficult to imagine since de Gaulle himself had indicated in a tête-à-tête with Alain Peyrefitte what he thought of Robert Marjolin and his confrères. A detail symptomatic: Marjolin had made known his secret to his Minister on Saturday morning 12 June 1965, only a few hours after the Washington meeting the evening before, and of which the Chief of the French state had probably no knowledge.
Let us return to and further explore the previous quotation for its implications.
Charles-de-Gaulle: “Hallstein has invented a ceremony of letters of credence for officials of the states in Brussels. He takes himself for the President of a supranational Government. He doesn’t even hide his agenda, which consists of replicating at the European level the federal structure of West Germany. The Commission would become the federal Government. The European Assembly would be the equivalent of the Bundestag. The Council of Ministers would become the Bundesrat, the Senate, in short! It’s laughable. But don’t deceive yourself: it involves an institutional drift that will finish by taking over if we don’t put a stop to it. And we alone have the power to do it. … As for the Commission, it won’t get him into heaven. I will have satisfaction. Hallstein, Marjolin and Mansholt [tr: Dutch, European Commissioner for Agriculture], they’re finished. I will not renew their mandates.”
Fifteen days later, during another tête-à-tête with Peyrefitte, held after the Council of Ministers’ meeting on 1 July 1965, the founder of Free France and of the Fifth Republic explodes in anger against the European Commission, and notably against Wallter Hallstein and Robert Marjolin:
“As for this Commission, it deserves to disappear. I want no more of Hallstein. I want no more of Marjolin. I want no more of Mansholt. I want no more to do with them. … It is necessary to be clear of it all. In any case, I want no more that the French government should have to do business with these types. It is finished for good. … The problem, it is this mafia of supranationalists, whether commissioners, deputies or bureaucrats. They are all enemies. They have been put there by our enemies. The Socialist buddies, with some MRP hostages, friends of Felix Gaillard [tr: Radical, Prime Minister 1957-58] and of Maurice Faure [tr: perennial Minister and fervent Europeanist]. They have spent their time in forging a state of a spirit hostile to France.”
The most important lesson arising from the original memorandum of the State Department of 11 June 1965 resides in the total political allegiance – even complicity – of the EEC Vice-President, with the US officials. Robert Marjolin engages precisely in what has always been designated ‘friendship with a foreign power’ and an act of high treason vis-à-vis the 6 member states of the EEC in whose interests he is supposed to work, and particularly vis-à-vis his own country, France.
Finally, this memorandum, with its status of partial confidentiality, is only the visible part of the iceberg? The secret documents, written in a style certainly more direct and a cynicism surely more transparent, are still unopened.