National Affairs: Give & Take

  • Share
  • Read Later

The free world may at times forget it, but the Communists have proclaimed, * and tirelessly pursue, the tactics of exploiting differences among the non-Communist nations. In one area, they have been nota bly unsuccessful ; Anglo-American unity, the rock on which the free world's alliance must stand, is not vulnerable to such tactics. Nevertheless, during the period of the Labor gov ernment, some serious cleavages did show themselves in dealings between Britain and the U.S. The important overall achievement of Winston Churchill's mission to Washington was to arrest and reverse the process of rift.

Specifically, in five meetings of their own, plus numerous supplementary parleys between their aides, Churchill and Truman gave & took as follows : Red China. Most nettlesome difference concerned Communist China, which London recognized in January 1950, though Peking has never returned the compliment. In general, British public opinion has favored a soft approach to the Peking regime; it stridently opposed Douglas MacArthur's proposals to punish the Chinese Communists for their aggression in Korea, and it seemed not to approve of

U.S. support for Chiang Kai-shek on Formosa. Churchill's speech before Congress (see below) put a sharp new firmness in the British outlook. By praising the U.S. stand in Korea and Formosa, by promising "increasing harmony" in the Anglo-American Far Eastern policy, and finally by warning the Communists of "prompt, resolute and effective" retaliation should a Korean truce be broken, the Prime Minister brought Washington and London into dramatic, forceful alignment. It was a bold gesture of leadership that he would have to defend before Parliament.

Raw Materials..Truman and Churchill agreed on an exchange of U.S. steel for Malayan tin (see BUSINESS).

NATO Naval Chief. Churchill, when still in opposition to the Labor government, had worked up British pride against an American as supreme naval commander for NATO. In his last session with Truman, the Former Naval Person hammered out a compromise: the U.S. will have NATO's top naval post after all (to go to the Atlantic Fleet's chief, Admiral Lynde D. McCormick), but the British Admiralty will have independent command of all waters within the 100-fathom line around the United Kingdom. This would keep

NATO's control 40 to 100 miles off the British shore.

Atomic Bombing. Britons, who have voiced concern lest a headstrong U.S. use its air bases in England for atomic bomb flights against Russia, were pleased by a Truman pledge: the U.S. will not use the bases for A-bombings without consultation and approval by the British.

Atomic Data. There has been a stultifying deadlock in the exchange of atomic information between the two countries ever since the Klaus Fuchs spy case. Churchill and Truman agreed that scientific experts should study ways & means of ending the impasse.

European Unity. Britain has been blamed as the sluggard who has refused to join, and thereby weakened hope of, a West European army and federation, projects high on the list of U.S. foreign policy. Churchill cleared the air on the issue by putting his government squarely behind West Europe's unity, but only as an ally and not as a member.

  1. Previous Page
  2. 1
  3. 2