China Is Done Biding Its Time
The End of Beijing’s Foreign Policy Restraint?
FIFTY years have passed since April 8, 1904, when France and Britain concluded the agreement on Egypt and Morocco which was the cradle of coöperation between the two countries in international affairs. There had been an "Entente Cordiale" briefly in the early years of Louis-Philippe and again during the Crimean War, in the reign of Napoleon III; but under the Third Republic the British and the French had never ceased quarreling in their African territories, and at last English, Egyptian, French and Ethiopian soldiers had come face to face at Fashoda on the Nile. For four months in 1898 there was fear of war. Théophile Delcassé, Foreign Minister, Paul Cambon, then Ambassador in Constantinople, and Camille Barrère, Ambassador in Rome, felt certain that a war against the greatest naval Power would be folly for a colonial power like France. Faithful to the tradition of friendship toward England that was so strong in liberal circles, they insisted upon the evacuation of Fashoda and the negotiation of an African agreement.
The following year it seemed as though this agreement might lead to a more general alliance, and with this end in mind talks were initiated by Paul Cambon, an incomparable diplomat and statesman. But these negotiations finally came up against the opposition of Maurice Rouvier, then President of the Council. He was the friend of Gambetta, a veteran minister, a specialist in finance, a virtuoso in parliamentary intrigue; he feared the threats of Kaiser Wilhelm and Prince von Bülow, and was inclined by nature to believe that understanding and collaboration with Germany could be obtained by harmonizing economic interests. His comment to Paul Cambon was: "For heaven's sake, rid us of this projected alliance with England!" Delcassé resigned June 6, 1905. The Entente Cordiale therefore remained in the experimental stage. So did the Anglo-Russian Entente, considered by Delcassé and his friends the crowning achievement of their diplomatic efforts, given expression in the treaty of August 31, 1907, dealing with Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet.
Thus the Triple Entente--France, England and Russia--developed face to face with the Triple Alliance--Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. But whereas the Triple Alliance was based on precise, rigid treaties, renewable every five or six years, the Triple Entente simply operated through daily consultations.
Today as we look back over the last half century the results of the inability of the French and the English to break away from their irresolute attitudes are deplorably plain. England lingered among her nineteenth century diplomatic concepts, the "balance of power" and the rest, seeking to appease the Germany of Wilhelm II and Pan-Germanism beyond all reasonable limits. Convinced that England would never oppose him, Wilhelm plunged valiantly into the shortcut of war. I say "the shortcut of war" because his dream of domination would have been fulfilled had he confined himself to developing by normal means the positions which Germany had already acquired. In spite of everything, Paul Cambon was sure peace could have been preserved if on July 24, 1914, the day after the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia, the British Cabinet had spoken firmly and precisely. The British wavered until August 4, that is, until Germany violated Belgian neutrality. England was bound to France only at the general staff level, through an agreement for military coöperation that left indefinite the circumstances under which it would come into force. The old slogan, "Beware of preconceived ideas, especially in international politics," was still considered wisdom's last word in London in 1914.
The story was the same from 1920 to 1936. The Treaty of Versailles was accompanied by an Anglo-American treaty of assistance to France, but the United States Senate rejected both treaties and the British Government then reclaimed its freedom of action. French diplomacy concentrated stubbornly on a search for substitute formulas, and after two or three unfortunate efforts, Aristide Briand succeeded in negotiating the Treaty of Locarno which made England and Italy the arbiters (more or less imaginary) of what went on between France and Germany. The Locarno concept crumbled in March 1936 when Germany established her armies on the left bank of the Rhine, which had been demilitarized by the Treaty of Versailles, along with a 50-kilometer strip on the right bank. Again it was an era of empiricism among the defenders of peace.
The Franco-British alliance was formally reconstituted at the end of 1936 and a series of treaties to implement it followed. The grandiose but logical sequel was the act of unification offered by Mr. Winston Churchill to the Reynaud Ministry on June 16, 1940. France was being engulfed in military disaster. In the intervening period, England had her equivalent of Maurice Rouvier in Neville Chamberlain, with the added qualities of disinterestedness and naïveté. If France and England, under different leadership, had been able to act together in March 1936, the German troops would unquestionably have retired from the Rhineland. The Hitler régime might have received its death blow, and peace would have been saved.
Fourteen years have passed since the tragedy of 1940. For almost five years France suffered in the vise of German occupation and under her French exploiters, the men of Vichy. England, rallying around the unconquerable Churchill, hovered on the brink of disaster. It is questionable whether if Hitler had persisted in his air attack in October 1940 she would not have succumbed. In the event, the United States entry into the war saved and freed the European West.
Have the British and French Governments finally understood the lesson of events? Have the two peoples understood it? Do they know that their destinies are linked, that improvised diplomatic and military defenses are costly, and that the value of peace treaties depends entirely on the strength behind them?
It seemed that this time the voice of adversity had been heard. A treaty of alliance between England and France "with the object of preventing Germany from becoming again a menace to peace" (in the words of the preamble) was signed at Dunkirk on March 4, 1947. But the text of the Treaty foreshadowed the formation of a larger alliance, and it took shape on March 17, 1948, with the conclusion of the Brussels Agreement among Great Britain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland. Germany was again referred to in the preamble; but the treaty was not confined to a limited objective. It provided for the creation of a continually-functioning Consultative Council with competence in political, military, economic and social matters. The term "Western Union" was properly used. The Dunkirk and Brussels Agreements obviously required treaties of implementation, for without them they were only paper.
In the summer of 1948, however, it became clear that the treaties of Dunkirk and Brussels, the former especially, were inaccurately aimed. The German nation had crumbled in defeat and the German menace could again arise only after much delay, if arise it must. The preponderance of power on the Continent had now passed to Russia, and from Russia came the immediate danger. The Moscow Government had organized an East European bloc in the pacts which it signed in 1945 with Czechoslovakia, Jugoslavia and Poland. The Soviet system was devised not only against a rebirth of German militarism (a contingency provided for by the Anglo-Soviet and Franco-Soviet pacts of 1942 and 1944) but also aimed at securing control of the former satellites of the Nazi empire, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria and others. After Czechoslovakia had been struck down, all these states were forced to sign "pacts of assistance" with the U.S.S.R. The Kremlin had begun to draw the Iron Curtain as early as the summer of 1947, when it refused to be included in the system of economic coöperation arising from the famous speech of Secretary of State Marshall, or to permit its satellites to join.
The imprudent American demobilization of 1945-46 had created an enormous disparity between the military ground forces of the Western nations and the Eastern bloc. The problem therefore was not merely to reorient Western defenses to meet the Russian menace but to act very quickly to give substance to a machine that existed only on paper, being aimed at a hypothetical German danger of the-day-after-tomorrow. By bringing into play its incomparable resources the United States succeeded in filling the existing military vacuum, thus repeating in the cold war what it had done in the times of hot war in 1917 and 1941. Reënforced with the new atomic weapons, it held in check the most heavily armed country while the balance of forces was being repaired. On April 4, 1949, the Atlantic Pact was signed. "The countries of Eastern Europe are united in a network of 23 bilateral pacts of mutual assistance," announced Robert Schuman, Minister for Foreign Affairs, in a radio speech on March 28. "The Atlantic Alliance will counterbalance the Soviet Power." That was the realistic reply of Washington, London and Paris, supported by nine other governments, to the series of brutal measures which had brought the Soviet Empire to the Oder-Neisse line.
The unforeseen result, fraught with serious consequences for France, was the ending of the Entente Cordiale--by which term I mean intimate and discreet collaboration between the Governments of London and Paris. The Kremlin had tied itself by bilateral treaties to the states it dominated. The United States Government was averse to bilateral agreements unless they were complementary to a multilateral system. It was enamored of "universalism." In 1920, Wilsonian ideology had sounded the death knell of the Anglo-French alliance in an era when this alliance was still appropriate to events; and when the Entente Cordiale, though needed, was no longer equal to the job, America rejected it with even more conviction.
But the surprise, the tragedy, was that France, cut off from the alliance with England, was rushed headlong into a new style of bilateralism with Germany. If the current enterprise succeeds, the former Entente Cordiale between Paris and London will in the long run have been exchanged for an entente, a kind of fusion even, between Paris and Bonn. The Franco-British tie will have relaxed to the point where it no longer exists. How is this extraordinary reversal to be explained?
The reversal is explained by the confluence of two movements: the "European Movement," seeking the unification of Europe, and the efforts of the Atlantic Organization to build up a military power equal to that of the Soviets. As early as the autumn of 1949, American military leaders became convinced that a contribution of German armed forces was needed if Soviet Russia and her satellites were to be counterbalanced. German military strength, which the four occupying Powers agreed to extirpate at Potsdam in August 1945, therefore had to be rebuilt. It was here that the Atlantic Alliance and the European Movement came together. The drama had four acts.
Act One. The French Government, faced with an economic crisis and seeking new methods of meeting its dollar deficit, had perceived, along with other countries, that French industry could reduce costs by selling in a larger market. It concentrated on developing an economic union with Italy, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. In the summer of 1947, the United States came forward with the Marshall Plan. In April 1948, the E.C.A. took shape in Washington and the O.E.E.C. in Paris. The goal of these agencies was not ideological. For want of anything better, the pre-1914 or even the pre-1929 economic Europe was to be recreated; tariffs were to be maintained but customs quotas were to be abolished and the convertibility of currencies was to be restored. Establishment of the European Payments Union, a sort of clearing house, was the first step. But the economic union of France, Italy and Benelux, frowned on by England, was not achieved. A search for further remedies ensued.
Act Two. The "European Movement," which contained plenty of ideology, took the center of attention, particularly after the Congress at The Hague in May 1948, where for five days there was a burst of oratory from such prominent statesmen as Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden (leaders at that time of the Conservative opposition in Britain), Paul Ramadier, former French Prime Minister, and Paul van Zeeland, soon again to be Prime Minister of Belgium. The British Labor Party, then in power in Britain, and the French Socialists, abstained. Doubtless Mr. Churchill considered that the resounding speeches on European union which he had delivered at Fulton and Zurich in 1946 made it obligatory for him to be present. But it did not pass unnoticed that in one of the committees of the Congress, where the creation of a European cultural center to popularize the European idea was under discussion, the English attitude was one of extreme reserve. A small sign of what was to come.
After the Congress at The Hague, the Consultative Council of the five signatories of the Brussels Pact, acting on the suggestion of M. Georges Bidault, appointed a study committee to be presided over by Edouard Herriot. The statute of the Council of Europe was signed one year later; and the organization--composed of a Consultative Assembly, stemming from the national parliaments, and a Committee of Ministers--held its first session at Strasbourg in August 1949.
But Strasbourg revealed that the "Europe of Fifteen" was not really capable of starting fundamental innovations. The lively spectacle of British delegates quarreling openly in the presence of foreigners was something that had never occurred before. The most surprising development, however, was Winston Churchill's support for the extension of the powers of the Assembly at the expense of the Committee of Ministers: he thought the agenda of the Assembly should not depend upon the Committee's approval. He also prevented a Laborite from becoming vice-president of the Assembly because he was not sufficiently "European."
Act Three. "One never goes so far as when one knows not where one goes." This dictum of Machiavelli might serve as epigraph for events in France between December 1949 and May 1950. Into the void of French projects for economic reconstruction was suddenly projected the plan of Jean Monnet for a union of Lorraine iron and Ruhr coke; and supported by Robert Schuman, then French Foreign Minister, the European Coal and Steel Community took shape on May 9, 1950. The idea was that these two basic products were to be bought and sold according to the laws of supply and demand, in a "free market" of some 150,000-000 consumers, under the control of a supranational "High Authority." In this way, by applying mass production techniques, the European economy would in time become comparable to the American economy.
It must be noted that the Catholic Party (Popular Republican Movement, or M.R.P.) which counts Georges Bidault and Robert Schuman among its leaders had risen to power after the Liberation on the ruins of the Radical Party which was held responsible for the military defeat. The M.R.P. considers that it holds ideas in common with the Christian Democrats of Germany, Italy and Belgium, and some of its members feel it is their mission to recreate a Holy Empire, a democratic and Westernized substitute for the Teutonic Holy Roman Empire. In any event, a "little" Europe--a "Europe of Six"--now seemed realizable and preferable to the Strasbourg "Europe of Fifteen." At the time this is written one cannot predict the future of the Coal-Steel Community. But if it does not succeed, its failure will be camouflaged by cartels of manufacturers more or less hidden in the background.
Act Four. The introductory memorandum on the coal-steel project had proposed the "abandonment of sovereignty on limited but essential points." But what now was suddenly proposed went much further. In September 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson unexpectedly informed Messrs. Bevin and Schuman that Germany should be rearmed at once. The Korean struggle had just begun and delay was no longer possible. But to gain French acquiescence was a problem. The solution favored by M. René Pleven, Minister of Defense, was to organize a European Defense Community. There would be German soldiers, but no German Army. Indeed, there would be no more national armies, but a European Army in which nations and contingents would be controlled. After months of negotiation, French and German delegates agreed on the treaty of May 27, 1952. This time the relinquishment of sovereignty was in matters which were essential but not limited.
There is reason to fear that the meaning of the treaty is as follows. If Western relations with Soviet Russia deteriorate, the general staffs of the Atlantic nations will wish to utilize the German military potential fully, whatever the letter of the agreement. This may entail the absorption and destruction of the French Army (already handicapped by the high proportion of French troops engaged overseas), since it may be subject to limitations which the Germans may evade. In other words, either the "Europe of Six"--as expressed in E.D.C.--would vanish or it would turn into a federation in which Germany was the federating power. That would be the end of the fourth act.
Paralleling the formation of the "little" Europe described above came the disintegration of the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale in its larger meaning, that is, as spontaneous coöperation beyond anything prescribed in formal texts. The process took place by stages.
In the first place, the old divergence of views between London and Paris with regard to Germany, always present since 1904 except in wartime, was still the rule, as became clear as early as July 1946, less than a year after the Potsdam Agreement, when London accepted the proposal of Secretary of State James Byrnes to set up a German administrative system in the American and British occupation zones for the sake of efficiency and economy. This was the first great deviation from the Potsdam Agreement. France had hoped that the elements of a German central government would be reconstituted only in a stabilized Europe.
On June 2, 1948, London and Washington, after long discussion, involved France in the procedure for forming a West German state. Coming after the monetary reform, carried out independently of the Russians, which broke up Four Power control, the June 2 treaty started a chain of counter-measures in the Eastern zone, provoked or sanctioned the blockade of Berlin and intensified the dispute between the occupying Powers. Europe had already been divided into two hostile blocs; now the division of Germany crystallized the situation. It could be foreseen that the West German Federal Republic would be granted "equality of rights" more rapidly than was prudent, and that the International Ruhr Authority, which the French always considered the sole instrument of effective supervision, would be ephemeral.
In another area it was apparent as early as July 1949 that the Labor Cabinet of Mr. Clement Attlee was disengaging itself from what remained of former Franco-British solidarity. Paris wished to confer with London before the discussions that were to take place in Washington about German affairs and the problems of the European Organization for Economic Coöperation. But though Foreign Minister Schuman met Foreign Minister Bevin three times in July and August the British minister was systematically evasive.
Nationalization had made the British economy a closed system; Britain could not enter any federation or union without jeopardizing it. And neither Laborites nor Conservatives were ready to see their country being lost in the crowd of European clients clustering around the American benefactor. Britain claimed the position of a privileged partner.
On November 1, the Franco-British divorce was sharply revealed in the Consultative Committee and in the Council of the O.E.E.C. "England will participate in attempts at European organization only in so far as her Commonwealth commitments permit," in short, as she pleased. Thus spoke Sir Stafford Cripps. Meanwhile, he was pleased with the thought that he had obtained from Americans assurances that the problem of British reconstruction would not be confused with that of European reconstruction but would be handled separately. The projected economic alliance of France, Benelux and Italy was condemned without appeal. In view of British indifference, Holland, specifically, backed out.
In December 1949, it looked as if there might be a clearing on the rather dark Franco-British horizon. London sent the General Affairs Commission of the Council of Europe a memorandum notable for its precise terms and fresh content. The document doubtless was in answer to the appeal made to the European Union on October 31 by Mr. Paul Hoffman, administrator of the E.C.A. The British memorandum vigorously repudiated the concept of a European federation created on paper at a single stroke and advocated a modest organization that would develop experimentally according to needs and circumstances. The builders of "Europe" were plainly informed that Britain could not be integrated into the European Union, partly for the reasons already given by Cripps, but also because, in the European framework, the development of a single market, so insistently recommended to make up the European deficit in the dollar balance, would require so many readjustments that the remedy would be worse than the disease. It concluded by stating that economic integration was neither possible nor desirable. No alternative economic solution was suggested, at least none worthy of the name.
But political integration, the British memorandum continued, was another matter. Although it could not be achieved through the Council of Europe, it could be attempted through the Atlantic Pact. A rather meagre consolation prize was given the Council of Europe. It was to seek agreement among the industrialists of the various countries on the allocation of external markets and to try to establish a high court for Human Rights! Details aside, the approach was realistic and reasonable, and made constructive work possible. Yet Foreign Minister Schuman did not open conversations. Actually, the creation of a real strategic committee of the Western Community, furnished with greater powers than the "Permanent Standing Group" of NATO, should have been of prime importance to France. The opportunity to advance projects which we are still extolling today was let slip. President Auriol, enthusiastically received in London shortly after the accession of Queen Elizabeth, did not conceal that he held ideas very different from those of his Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The peak of Mr. Schuman's diplomacy was the announcement of the European Coal and Steel Community on May 9, 1950, without any previous warning to England. "Personally, I was informed about ten minutes before the journalists," said Sir Oliver Harvey, British Ambassador in Paris. More moving was the refrain of what Mr. Bevin said to the French Ambassador, René Massigli: between us, something has changed.
Now we come to the present state of affairs. In theory, the Entente Cordiale--the alliance of Great Britain and France--continues to exist, since the Treaty of Dunkirk has not been revoked and since the Brussels Pact which unites the two countries with Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg is still in effect. The Consultative Council provided for in the treaty of March 17, 1948, meets from time to time, at the request of the Belgians and the Dutch, who are anxious to preserve this specifically Western tie and also to know what is going on over their heads.
In reality, the Entente Cordiale functions only in areas off to one side of the great main current of international affairs. With the European Defense Community and the European Political Community, the official thesis in the United States and England has been that of the "tripod," meaning that the Atlantic organization rests on three supports: the United States, the British Commonwealth and the "European Community." This formulation soothes the remnants of American isolationism and harmonizes with the new strategy: in the plans drawn up in Washington (giving a preponderant rôle to air and naval forces and the new weapons) the defense of the European continent, whether of long or short duration, will be left to the French and German infantry, to what in barrack-room slang is called the piétaille. The English, susceptible to old ideas, also find satisfaction in the concept of the "tripod." Are they not summoned to play again their old rôle in the Balance of Power? To date, they alone are allowed to discuss the new strategy with the Americans in terms of the new weapons--at least in so far as it applies to naval warfare. The French were not invited to the Anglo-American Conference at Malta in 1951.
France thus finds herself as a member of a Germanic-Latin bloc, separated from her 50-year ally. But how does one judge the extraordinary conduct of Sir Winston Churchill, leader of the Opposition until October 1951, and since then Prime Minister? Everything seems to have taken place almost as if the European experiment had been encouraged in order that the entente with France, which would have hampered his effort for intimate coöperation with America, could be liquidated. On August 11, 1950, it was he who obtained the adoption in the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe at Strasbourg of a recommendation "leading to the immediate creation of a unified European army, under the authority of a European Minister of Defense, subject to democratic European control and acting in coöperation with the United States and Canada." To read these lines today makes you rub your eyes. For in November 1953, two weeks before the Bermuda Conference, he sent a note curtly refusing to make the slightest commitment as to the number or the type of British troops to be maintained in Europe, or as to where they were to be stationed or how long they were to stay. At Bermuda he advocated the creation of an independent German army. But at President Eisenhower's request he favored setting up the European Defense Community, British membership in which he emphatically rejects. "But it is you who started the idea!" M. Georges Bidault said to him in Bermuda.
The fact is that the habit of "previous consultation" before important decisions has more or less vanished. I have described the surprise which Foreign Minister Schuman gave the English on May 9, 1950. But they had set an unhappy precedent on September 16, 1949, when they devalued the pound sterling without giving France a chance to present objections, thereby violating the Anglo-French financial agreements of February 8, 1944, and March 27, 1945. If the ties between the United States and the Federal Republic of Bonn multiply and tighten, as appears likely, and if American coöperation with Franco Spain develops, will England act as a brake? It is far from certain. There was no British reaction to an imprudent remark made by Chancellor Adenauer on November 14, 1951, to one of the Allied High Commissioners, linking Germany's eventual integration into the Western community with her hope of regaining her lost lands east of the Oder-Neisse line--something which, when reported in the official correspondence, made a deep impression on the French Ministers.
At the military level the French and British get on fairly well in the Atlantic framework. The chef de cabinet of Field Marshal Lord Montgomery is a Frenchman, Colonel Costa de Beauregard. The old controversy (dealing, in any event, with a problem of administrative hierarchy and not with strategy) between Lord Montgomery and Marshal Juin ended in 1949. Field Marshal Lord Alexander, now Minister of Defense, praises "the battle sense, the terrain sense" which is characteristic of the French Marshal, who now commands the central European sector.
At the economic level, rather sharp discussions occasionally occur. There is no commercial treaty between France and England, and French and British exports and imports are supposed to be regulated periodically by a mixed commission. Ordinarily France balanced her excess purchases in the sterling area with her excess sales in the United Kingdom. When Britain cut her luxury trade with France as part of the great restrictions which she imposed in 1951, this action was modified but still led to a deficit and mutual recriminations. And now the English reproach France for discriminating against British industry and in favor of German industry, in the export quotas in North Africa. This is nothing to what will happen if the European Coal and Steel Community is definitely set up.
And there is, fortunately, a sector in which the Entente Cordiale has not been dissipated--Africa, where France and Great Britain are still aware of their common interests and join to defend them in the United Nations. Anglo-French conferences on African problems have taken place periodically since 1948-49 sometimes between cabinet officers, sometimes among high administrative officials. The program has covered regular exchanges of information, detection of Communist infiltration of nationalist movements in Moslem countries, and, most important, prevention of unfavorable psychological repercussions in native circles of the rather marked difference between British and French colonial policy. France aims at developing African representation in the French National Assembly and in territorial administrations, whereas Britain puts emphasis on increasing the importance of local assemblies; the Franco-British conferences endeavor to harmonize the two types of reform. There are numerous other joint groups for technical and political consultation. Traditionally, French and British officials in the Levant have always quarreled, and even in its heyday the Entente Cordiale was unable to put an end to their strife. But since the French army evacuated Syria and Lebanon in 1946 all that is irrelevant. The important thing is that through the convergence of French and British interests in Africa there is a chance that Anglo-French friendship may be renewed.
The possibility of a resumption of the Entente Cordiale is tied to the question of ratification of the European Defense Community Treaty, signed in Paris on May 27, 1952. (The projected European Political Community is too vaguely outlined for analysis.) In the French view, the strongest obstacles to the E.D.C. (and the European Political Community) are the legal and political ties between France and the very different kinds of territories that compose her foreign domains--overseas departments and territories, integral members of the Republic (containing some 35,000,000 people); associated territories, Togo and the Cameroons (former mandates, now under international trusteeship); the Moroccan and Tunisian protectorates and the associated states of Indo-China. To redefine the status of these varied territories in relation to the European Community treaties and at the same time to try to preserve the ties with France would precipitate a crisis that might dissolve the French Union. And the United Nations would be entitled to interfere, according to Article 73 of the Charter. France is disinclined to risk it.
The fact is, in brief, that the French people have no faith in the practicability of a restricted European Community of only six states. If by chance such a community did emerge, Frenchmen would feel that they had lost their country. Sooner or later the French Government will have to make plain that France does not wish to have any tie with Central Europe that is more intimate than her tie with England.
England and France are the cradle and bastion of civil and political liberty. Their societies have always interlocked. In spite of their memories of centuries of struggle, the two countries have been constantly thrown back on each other by the menace of the ever-renascent Russo-Prussian alliances. The future is always obscure, but one fact seems certain, and that is that events will force England and France to remain side by side. The best thing would be that they no longer needed to improvise measures of common salvation.
The abandonment of a certain degree of national sovereignty is necessary today to rectify the disequilibrium on the Continent and to counterbalance the Communist empire. But this must be done within the framework of the Atlantic Organization and with equality of sacrifice all around. Germany will be more effectively contained within this larger framework than in the little "Europe" of which the other members would be France, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. The "free world" will be stronger.
A "Europe" composed of those six countries cannot, simply because it forces the unification of France and Germany, produce a guarantee of peace which the Atlantic Organization itself is unable to provide. What is the actual picture in the minds of those who are so naïve as to speak of the "unification" of the historical entity that is "France" and the historical entity that is "Germany?" They might as well suggest that the best way to prevent Franco-German strife would be to leave France without any means of defense. In the European Community as now projected the position of France in relation to Federal Germany would be like that of Austria in relation to Prussia on the eve of Sadowa.