International: No Hands Across the Channel

That politely muffled scraping sound on the international stage last week was the British dragging their feet again.

"Verbal Misunderstanding." France, Italy, West Germany and the Benelux countries had announced that they were ready to start talks to implement the Schuman Plan. The British had grudgingly agreed to send delegates to these talks. But when the French suggested that the participating nations issue a joint communiqué stating the purposes of the talks (i.e., to merge Western Europe's coal and steel industries under an international authority), the British refused; they argued that this would mean an advance commitment to the plan. In its...

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