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FOREIGN OFFICE FILES FOR POST-WAR EUROPE
Series One: The Schuman Plan and the European Coal & Steel Community, 1950-1957

Part 3: Complete FO 371 files for 1956-1957
(PRO Class FO 371/120815, 121918-121922, 121925-121928, 121932, 121949-121976, 121984-122005, 122014, 122018-122046, 122050-122061, 124380, 124418, 124451, 124519, 124543-124550, 124559, 124561-124573, 124587, 124590, 124733, 128292-128293, 128315-128324, 128327 & 128329-128330)

Part 3 covers the years 1956-1957 which saw the Community playing a defining role in the development of Europe, and the broadening of its interest into other areas such as nuclear power and relations with other organisations such as the
United Nations and GATT. There is good material on:

  • The High Authority's memorandum of November 1956 on the general objectives of the ECSC.
  • The Spaak Report.
  • Council meetings of the OEEC.
  • Meetings of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).
  • Nuclear Energy and EURATOM.
  • British proposals for the European Free Trade Association.
  • Discussions on further European integration and preparations for signing the Treaty of Rome to establish the EEC in March 1957.
  • Discussions on European monetary policy.
  • The positive benefits of the ECSC including the elimination of trade discrimination, increased production and a much expanded volume of trade, as well as a resolution of the Saar problem.
  • Problems faced by the ECSC including national objections and intransigence - for instance, the French continued various policies and practices which infringed the terms of the treaty. No solution was found to the problem of coal over-production.

The ECSC set the agenda for further European integration, and remains a topic of central importance to any scholar wishing to understand the beginnings of the European Community and the pressure to create a federal Europe.

"A crucial 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

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