By Martin P. C. Schaad (auth.)
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Extra resources for Bullying Bonn: Anglo-German Diplomacy on European Integration, 1955–61
On the contrary, the ofﬁcials on these committees were aware that Britain had to come up with a substantial policy initiative herself, if the establishment of the Common Market was to be prevented. They were even aware that for such an alternative to have any appeal on the Continent, Britain would have to be prepared to compromise on the issue of tariff reductions within OEEC. 76 Given such statements, as well as the two reports, it is difﬁcult to understand why the Economic Policy Committee, chaired by Chancellor Butler, decided to approach the German government, arguing that: 32 Bullying Bonn: Anglo-German Diplomacy, 1955–61 Although Germany was taking part in the Brussels Conference, a substantial body of opinion was not in favour of joining in a common market.
58 There is no 26 Bullying Bonn: Anglo-German Diplomacy, 1955–61 indication that the Foreign Ofﬁce regarded a customs union as potentially damaging to British interests at this stage. 59 The Treasury now appeared to share much of the Foreign Ofﬁce’s assessment of the German position. Not only due to their awareness of the Jackling report, but also because of independent information, its ofﬁcials viewed Erhard’s opposition to supranational, sectoral integration with satisfaction. While the German preference for a customs union was not in doubt, the Treasury was more hopeful than Foreign Ofﬁce ofﬁcials that it might be possible to steer the German government away from the integration efforts of the Six.
The argument went as follows:41 assuming Britain would not take part in the process of European integration, there were two possible scenarios. If the Common Market Entering Wedge or Counterblast? Britain’s Plan G 47 were to succeed, Germany would come to dominate it with the result that, at best, there would be neutralist tendencies while, at worst, a German-led Europe might aspire to becoming a third force, or indeed a vehicle for German resurgence. The second scenario envisaged a failure of the Common Market, which was expected to lead to a disillusionment of Western-minded Germans, especially the younger generation.