179 Cablegram from Embassy in the Hague to Department of Foreign Affairs

The Hague, 15 October 1971

963. Confidential

Washington Uranium Enrichment Talks

Your 1058.1

We spoke to Kruyt,2 head of Scientific Operation Division in the Foreign Ministry, on 15 October. He said Netherlands was opposed to separate group meetings but feared they would proceed on this basis. Dutch saw move as possibly aimed at forcing ultra centrifuge partners into accepting a gas diffusion facility for Europe before it was known whether their alternative system would be commercially viable. Latter would not be known prior to late 1972, but within the limited European group the French would exert pressure for an earlier decision in favour of gas diffusion. While Dutch would stand firm they could not be completely confident of British and West Germans. (Kruyt mentioned incidentally that, since the United States offer to discuss enrichment technology, the Italians had withheld any action on joining the centrifuge consortium.)

The EEC participants and the commission were to discuss their position at a meeting scheduled for Brussels on 28 November. This would be followed by tripartite talks on 29 November, but Dutch hoped to have talks with Germans before 28 November (they have already held talks with British, who indicated continuing faith in centrifuge system.) The role of the commission in the Washington talks was causing some difficulty, the French wanting one voice and the Dutch and Germans wanting coordination only. The commission representative would probably be Spaak.3

[matter omitted]

[NAA: A1838, 919/10/5 part 35]