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Series One: The Schuman Plan and the European Coal & Steel Community, 1950-1957

Part 1: Complete FO 371 files for 1950-1953
(PRO Class FO 371/85841-85869, 86977, 87168, 93826-93844, 94101-94107, 94356, 100247-100265, 100267-100272, 104012-104019, 105951-105961, 106069-106075 & 106077)

"FO 371 Files are the crucial UK source for the ‘insider’s view’ at the Foreign Office over the whole Schuman Plan and ECSC scheme, providing primary data and intelligence on the early years of operation."
Dr Martin Dedman

Business School, Middlesex University

Part 1 of this project covers the early years of the Schuman Plan from 1950 to 1953, and deals with the key issues facing the six countries who signed the treaty, as well as the implications of Britain’s decision to remain outside the ECSC (an important precursor of the EEC). These British Foreign Office Files include:

  • Draft Papers on The Schuman Plan Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
  • Papers on the reorganisation of the German coal, iron and steel industry.
  • Papers with a special focus on the German steel cartels, the iron and steel works in the Soviet Occupied Zone of Germany, economic statistics and export figures, details of production and output.
  • Working Papers of the UK Delegation to the High Authority of the ECSC at Luxembourg, including briefing papers and fortnightly progress reports.
  • Material on the relationship between the new Community, OEEC and GATT, focusing on the problems arising.
  • Documentation of British fears of being isolated in the move towards Western European integration, Britain’s emphasis on maintaining close relations with America, Britain's special position with Commonwealth countries, and British plans regarding closer association with the European Community.
  • ECSC relations with trade unions.
  • UK relations with the ECSC as well as observations on German views concerning the problems facing the ECSC.

Britain, always preferring an inter-governmental rather than a federal approach, monitored developments closely and the Foreign Office files provide detailed analysis of the discussions from 1950 to 1953.

Digital Guide
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