Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Churchill's United States of Europe

Contrary to much mis-reporting of what Churchill actually advocated in terms of a United Europe, his belief was in a two-fold European solution; the first was a reconstituted 'League of Nations' in the UNO, to which the UK would belong, and the second a federation between France, the German Länder and Europe's other small states but excluding the United Kingdom. He formulated this as early as 1946, at a time when France and the US were still committed to implementing a version of the Morgenthau Plan aimed at depriving her of all industrial capacity, governing the Saar and Ruhr as international zones, and reducing Germany's population by 24m to a level at which she could only just subsist.

Churchill had revolted against Morgenthau when the plan was first proposed in Tehran in 1943. By Quebec in 1944, the US had explicitly linked a $6.5bn credit for the UK to Churchill's acceptance of the Plan; Roosevelt, in an act of utter crassness, actually required Churchill to sign the Morgenthau Plan before they signed the credit agreement, prompting Churchill to exclaim "What do you want me to do? Get on my hind legs and beg like Fala?". Morgenthau became occupation policy as JCS1067.

The other key influential supporter and proponent of the Morgenthau Plan was Jean Monnet, later to achieve notoriety as the 'Father of Europe'. The Monnet Plan and Morgenthau Plan had a single shared aim; to deprive Germany permanently of any industrial capacity, and of any export capacity. Through 1945 and 1946 the US and French long-term aims of German population reduction came dangerously close to realisation; disease and starvation stalked Germany, in the wasteland ruins and in the POW camps Typhoid, Cholera and Diptheria raged. At a time when UK and French civilians has returned to pre-war nutrition levels, German civilians were subsisting on as little as 1,000 Kcals a day - comparable to Concentration Camp rations. A great part of the problem was that 17m more Germans than calculated had to be fed in the US, UK and French zones - the 13m Germans who crossed the Elbe, 8m DPs and slave labourers, and 5m POWs who surrendered to the West were vastly in excess of expectations.

Against this background Churchill spoke at Zurich in September 1946 (RECORDING);
".. we must re-create the European family in a regional structure called, it may be, the United States of Europe, and the first practical step will be to form a Council of Europe. If at first all the States of Europe are not willing or able to join a union we must nevertheless proceed to assemble and combine those who will and who can. The salvation of the common people of every race and every land from war and servitude must be established on solid foundations, and must be created by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than to submit to tyranny. In this urgent work France and Germany must take the lead together."
But he made clear that Britain and the Commonwealth would not be members of this USE;
"Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America — and, I trust, Soviet Russia, for then indeed all would be well — must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live. Therefore I say to you “Let Europe arise!”"
Churchill also advocated that a United States of Europe, with France and Germany at its core, take its place alongside Britain and the great powers at the United Nations; 
" There is no reason why a regional organisation of Europe should in any way conflict with the world organisation of the United Nations. On the contrary, I believe that the larger synthesis can only survive if it is founded upon broad natural groupings. There is already a natural grouping in the Western Hemisphere. We British have our own Commonwealth of Nations. These do not weaken, on the contrary they strengthen, the world organisation. They are in fact its main support. And why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this mighty continent? And why should it not take its rightful place with other great groupings and help to shape the honourable destiny of man?"
By September 1946 the prospect of mass starvation in Germany was real. The vengeful, retributive policies of Morgenthau and Jean Monnet were leading to a genocide of the German people. Churchill's dictum that "The USA always does the right thing - eventually" proved true again when James F Bymes spoke in Stuttgart to repudiate the Morgenthau and Monnet Plans; in "Restatement of Policy on Germany" the US ditched the hateful JCS1067 and JCS1779 - the Marshall Plan - was launched.

This wasn't quite the end. The 'Morgenthau boys' committed one last act of spite and destruction in breaking the German banking system, and Jean Monnet held onto both the Saar and control over German coal and steel production for many years. 

But it was Britain's conscience, through Churchill, that from 1943 to the end of 1946 spoke up to save Germany from US and French intentions for her destruction. "In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill"



Gareth said...

A very interesting article, thanks.

What changed between 46 and 72 to cause the UK Government to want to join the EEC by hook or by crook?

A faltering British economy? The dismantling of the Empire leading bureaucrats to want another group to join? A fear that Germany was getting too big again?

I suppose it could also have been a roundabout way of trying to get Europe to take more responsibility for defending itself against the USSR. Get Britain into the heart of it and convince the rest to get their finger out.

Richard said...

R - not sure you are right about Monnet's support for the Morgenthau plan. Do you have a reference?

Rush-is-Right said...

"What changed between 46 and 72 to cause the UK Government to want to join the EEC by hook or by crook?" (Gareth)

I have my own opinion on that. My recollection of the late 60s is that the entire country was in a cowardly, frightened funk.

Frightened of the Trade Unions in particular, and frightened that our industrial base was not keeping up. Ship building was in decline, the car industry was a national joke and so on. A drift towards socialism was seen as inevitable and the Common Market was widely seen as a bulwark against that. Hence the support for the CM from those with a conservative frame of mind, balanced by the knee-jerk opposition to the idea from those on the left.

Raedwald said...

Richard - http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/ftp03/MQ54257.pdf page 42 on;

The author understates the application of Morgenthau, which actually applied between May 1945 and September 1946; but here we have evidence that at this period Georges Bidault (and by implication only Monnet) supported US aims expressed in Morgenthau. It was only from 1946, and the US's rejection of French claims on the Ruhr, that they diverged.

France went further, wanting to establish the right to intervene in German governance as circumstances required; "Once more the desire to reasses the power of France superseded international or party politics. For this reason, French diplomats desired the creation of a regular system of intervention in the domestic affairs of a decentralized Germany. This would guarantee against indirect aggression, since it would prevent the resurgence of a hostile German state. Essentially, Bidault and de Gaulle believed that the assertion of French leadership on the European continent would leave Germany isolated and once more establish France as a great power"

cuffleyburgers said...

Raedwald - thanks for an interesting and thought-provoking post.

Once again we see that the real problem-nation in Europe is France and her (entirely justified) inferiority complex vis-à-vis Germany.

It is clear to me that the most disastrous decision in British History was the Entente Cordiale - our natural ally in Europe is Germany together with Holland and the Scandinavians.

That should informpolicy even nowadays, for example we should oppose Eurobonds (of course Cameron seems to suuport them).

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Rush-is-Right is nearly right. At that time the UK was in a mood of failure and retrenchment: remember the strategy of "Managed Decline"?

But even then, iirc, the political class - in those days just beginning its ascendancy - was betraying us; most people did not share the mood of surrender and retreat and already there was a feeling of "why don't we stand up for ourselves any more?"

These Quislings - now rampant and temporarily victorious - have everything to answer for and in the end will answer to the people.

Meanwhile, whenever anyone tries to claim Churchill as an early supporter of the EU I wheel out thise quote from the great man:

"We are with Europe but not of it. We are linked, but not compromised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed. And should any European statesman address us and say “Shall we speak for thee?” we should reply, “Nay, Sir, for we live among our own people”."


Our time will come, perhaps sooner than we hope and expect.

DeeDee99 said...

What a tragedy for the British people that our Quisling politicians in the 1960s ignored his blueprint for a USE with the UK outside and retaining strong links to the Commonwealth.

The problem is France - and its puffed up vanity, most recently on display for all to see in the shape of Sarkozy (fortunately now ejected). France, collectively, suffers from small man syndrome. It is no longer the pre-eminent power on the continent and in consequence is always trying to improve its stature.

When France is well and truly trapped in a Fiscal Union with Germany and whichever of the Eurozone countries is strong enough to remain a member, the UK should get out of the EU PDQ.

As Churchill said "we have another path" and that path is with the Anglosphere, Commonwealth and global trade.

Richard said...

R - thanks. I will read with interest. You are right about the Kermits, methinks, and the general policy line.

Edward Spalton said...

Hello Raedwald,

May we have your permission to post this interesting article on our website
www.freebritain.org.uk ?

We are the cross party
Campaign for an Independent Britain.

I think your readers are broadly right. Britain lost its nerve - partly over Suez, partly over Harold MacMillan's fears that the trade unions made Britain "ungovernable". He thought that opening up british industry to free competition from Europe would cure that.

For some quite serious news from Germany may I also suggest that readers look at the article "On the Relevance of Democracy" on

Gareth said...

Rush-is-Right, Weekend Yachtsman,

What is being described to me sounds like the EEC/EU being approached as a vehicle for enabling market friendly reforms regardless of what national electorates wanted. It has moved far beyond that now.

Was it really too much for the architects of the jerk towards Brussels to have won the support of voters here instead?

Raedwald said...

Edward -

Please feel free to re-post & tx for the URL - a very interesting situation developing

G. Tingey said...

( I hope NOT a reference to the mad and evil Limbaugh) .....
The countires industries were in decline, because of incomptentent and corrupt British management.
Look at the car industry now.
Sam unions, same workforce, different management.
And the collapse of BSA was a real give-away.
The "unions" only did what they did, abcause they were reacting to said Brit management.
The fact that they were ALL idiots, didn't help, either.

Edward Spalton said...


I largely agree with you. The trouble was compounded of two historical causes (I think). Firstly the Trade Disputes Act 1906 gave near total legal immunity to trade unions and people in trade disputes.
"Sympathy" action was included in this.

Secondly,Labour was in charge of the industrial front during the war and would not use the defence regulations against strikers. There were even strikes in aircraft factories during the Battle of Britain. The strikers were never disciplined. After Russia came into the war, the communist shop stewards' movement supported the drive for increased production. But no opportunities were lost to "negotiate" extra pay - for instance double time for working after the air raid sirens had sounded etc.

Management was not too bothered about the cost because government work was usually on a cost-plus basis. So management did become very weak.

In the immediate post war years with pent-up demand outstripping supply, much the same thing happened. The Conservatives inherited this policy of appeasement and would never take on the
unions. I think it was Harold MacMillan who said "There are two groups you don't take on in this country - the Brigade of Guards and the National Union of Mineworkers". Management knew that resolute action on their part would never be supported by the government. They could have their businesses brought to a standstill (for instance) by having their lorries declared "black" so that they would not get loaded and unloaded at the docks.

In the Sixties and Seventies we had something called "the rule of Law" in the Midlands. Law was a Transport Union official who would turn up at middling sized firms, demanding increases for lorry drivers and a closed shop agreement with the union. Firms who did not cave in quickly got the "blacking" treatment and could not continue in business. By the time he had done five or six such forays, firms were ready to surrender as soon as he appeared on the doorstep.

The matter was not resolved until Mrs Thatcher limited the legal immunities and introduced laws requiring a secret ballot before strike action could be taken. By then, it was too late for huge swathes of British industry. It was something which should have been tackled in the Fifties but no Conservative Prime Minister dared to do it. MacMillan certainly hoped that unrestricted competition from Europe in a "Common Market" would bring people to their senses.

Rodney Atkinson said...

But if the defeated power has a different agenda? In war: ruthlesssness. In defeat: blame. In victory: triumphal subjugation of the enemy. In peace: another way to win the war.
I wonder if democratically castrated and economically bankrupt Greeks, Italians and Spanish are still convinced about the Allies post War "Europe"?

nick alexandropoulos said...