March 11, 2017

1949. A Period of Pacts Within Pacts

Aspiring to Unite Europe
Reconstruction of the original 1949 design of the flag of the Western European Union (source)
Bill Downs

CBS London

March 27, 1949

This is a period of agreements within agreements—of pacts within pacts—as the Western Powers try to find the formula for solving their international difficulties.

For example, a few months ago we saw the formation of the Western Union. Now it would appear that the Western Union will be an organization within the larger North Atlantic alliance, which is in turn an organization within the scope of the United Nations.

So this morning in London we have news of possibly yet another international organization within an organization. The premiers of the British Commonwealth of Nations are going to meet here probably at the end of next month. The purpose of their meeting is supposed to be secret, but what these eight ministers will discuss is a new definition of what once was the British Empire. Represented will be the prime ministers of Britain, Australia, Canada, Ceylon, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and South Africa.

The problem centers around the determination of India and Pakistan to become sovereign republics. What the British hope to do is maintain as many of the traditional political and economic connections with India and Pakistan as possible, even though these countries would no longer pledge allegiance to the crown. In other words, Britain hopes to make India and Pakistan sort of "associate" members of the Empire, a classification which possibly could include other interested nations.

A new flag may soon be flying over Western Europe. The Western Union Council of Europe now is completing the design of a banner signifying their new Western European unity.

The flag, as it is now planned, would have an outside border of four stripes of red, black, gold, and white. This border would enclose a field of blue upon which would be embroidered a gold chain of five links interlocked in a circle.

Incidentally, the only British newspaper to pick Russian Hero as yesterday's winner of the Grand National was, as you might have guessed, the Communist Daily Worker.