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Series Two: The Treaty of Rome and European Integration, 1957-1960

Part 1: Files for 1957
(Public Record Office Class FO 371/128308-128314, 128325-128326, 128328, 128331-128396, 130988-130991, 131000, BT 241/1700-1701, CAB 130/176, T 237/196-197 & T 299/112-115 & 126)

The Treaty of Rome created the European Economic Community (colloquially called the ‘Common Market’) and a related agreement created the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). Britain was not very enthusiastic about political and economic union, preferring free trade between independent nation states. Despite her reservations, Britain took careful steps to keep all European developments under close scrutiny. These files document this process.

Part 1 is dominated by 43 files on the subject of European Economic Integration and on the formation of a Common Market and Free Trade Area. A further 22 files discuss the Messina proposals on European Integration. There are also files on the birth of Euratom, the role of the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Movement, the Council of Europe and the Round Table Conference of European ‘Wise Men’.

To this we have added the Board of Trade’s report on the likely impact of the European Community, Cabinet discussions on the Treaty of Rome and key
Treasury files on UK/EEC relations, the creation of EFTA and the impact of the EEC on Commonwealth trade.

"The Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common market and an economic and monetary union…to promote throughout the Community a harmonious and balanced development of economic activities."
Article 2, Part 1 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community

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