Courtesy Reuters

Hold Fast

It becomes clearer and clearer that January 14, 1963, is fated to go down in history as the "black Monday" of both European policy and Atlantic policy. What occurred that day was something much more significant than the mere dooming of negotiations between Great Britain and the European Community. It was, in plain fact, an attack on the Atlantic Alliance and the European Community-an attack, that is, on the two most significant achievements of the free world since the end of the Second World War.

Those who have been active in international politics since 1945 must sometimes wonder whether they have done better or worse than those who were in power after 1919. It can be said quite objectively, I believe, that they have done better. They adapted themselves-though not without some difficulty-to the formidable process of decolonization; they created NATO, the greatest defensive alliance the world has ever known; and by setting up the Common Market they halted the process of deterioration which was beginning in Europe. If it be added that the likelihood of a European war which might grow into a world war now seems very remote, one might conclude that there was no reason to be too dissatisfied.

But the decision taken by General de Gaulle on January 14 puts all this either directly or indirectly in jeopardy.

We must begin by analyzing the method which he used to break up the negotiations with the British, the pretexts given and why the true reasons were concealed. When we have ascertained what the real reasons were, we shall be ready to draw conclusions regarding such a dangerous diplomatic action.


The background of the problem can be sketched rapidly. For a long time-for too long a time-Britain refused to accept the idea of a united Europe. Its hesitations and procrastinations are regrettable, but the reasons are understandable: a great country which has just won a great war is naturally reluctant to acknowledge that it must radically alter its age-old traditions. The mere fact

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