JMAS.F-01 Dean Acheson Papers

Documents from [1952] to [1964]

Identity Statement

Reference Code
Extent and Medium

n.1 file

Reference Archivists

Carr, Mary

Content and Structure


Jean Monnet initially came in contact with Dean Acheson through business when Acheson was practising as an international lawyer, their acquaintance was renewed during the Second World War when Acheson was working under Cordell Hull in the State Department. In this position Acheson contributed to the success of lend-lease and chaired the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNNRA) Planning Committee, where he came into regular contact with Monnet. In fact Monnet had a significant influence on Acheson's way of thinking, especially concerning the need for rebuilding Europe within an integrated framework. Acheson realised that such integration was impossible unless the financial situation in Europe was improved, the answer to this being a massive economic aid programme for Europe, which resulted in 1947 in the Marshall Plan. Acheson was also the brains behind NATO, and like Monnet he saw it as being more than a military alliance, but also a means for promoting his idea of an Atlantic Community. From the time he wasChairman of the first Working Session of the North Atlantic Council in May 1949 till his resignation as Secretary of State in 1952, Acheson constantly expounded the idea of Western Unity and remained a strong supporter of Monnet's work in integrating Europe. While he did have certain reservations initially about the Schuman Plan, seeing the potential for a massive cartel to develop, he came around to the idea and felt it would end Germany's isolation and age-old conflicts and grievances. It was Acheson who rallied American support for the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), and on the day after the inaugural ceremony of the ECSC, Acheson stated that America would deal now with the "Community" on all coal and steel matters. Acheson's ideas for an integrated Europe were based on the concept of an Atlantic partnership between Europe and US and so he didn't want Europe to develop on an independent tangent, as he felt US leadership was an essential ingredient to European unity. Acheson was also a balwark of support for Monnet's idea of a defence community for Europe,(European Defence Community, EDC), and he was bitterly disappointed when the French rejected it. During the President Kennedy era, Dean Acheson was a useful Washington connection yet again for Monnet. Kennedy had appointed him as chairman of the Advisory Committee of NATO to review its work. Acheson in this post proposed his "Grand Design" for European union within an Atlanti

Allied Materials

Location of Originals

The originals are held in various Archives and Presidential Libraries in the USA


Notes and Remarks

1. Present At The Creation, Acheson Dean, Great Britain, 1970, pg 77

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