Courtesy Reuters

WHICH WAY EUROPE?

What is the destiny of the Europe of the Six? What should be its aim? Should it be content with economic integration and remain what the Gaullists contemptuously call a mere Europe des Marchands, sheltered under the American umbrella? Or should it aspire to become a power in its own right, a self-reliant Europe enjoying the status of "equal partner" with the United States, as the late President Kennedy, with unprecedented generosity, exhorted it to do? The debate on these questions now in progress throughout the Europe of the Six has been forced on its members by the American invitation to switch over to a somewhat doubtful form of Atlantic integration-the Multilateral Nuclear Force.

Even devoted Europeans saw some merit in the project because originally it could be viewed as providing a long but safe detour to the goal of a self- reliant Europe. Not only had President Kennedy often expressed his wish for such a Europe, but also the road toward this ultimate destination had been left open by the American designers of the M.L.F.; once Europe had achieved sufficient unity, they agreed, a European nuclear power might be allowed to emerge. Thus the M.L.F. could be seen as a school for nuclear self- government. When and if the European trainee inspired his American tutor with enough confidence in his loyalty to the alliance, as well as in his ability to handle a deterrent of his own, he could expect emancipation from American tutelage.

With Mr. Harold Wilson's entry upon the scene, however, things have changed. His Atlantic Nuclear Force (A.N.F.) is not a detour to the goal of European integration but a dead end. For Mr. Wilson has emphasized with the utmost vigor that he will not allow the emergence of a European deterrent which-with a blithe disregard for elementary arithmetic-he qualifies as "nuclear proliferation." Hence his demand for a veto on any future reconstruction of the A.N.F.'s constitution. The

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