Trades Union Committee for European and Transatlantic Understanding

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The Trades Union Committee for European and Transatlantic Understanding (TUCETU) is an Atlanticist organisation with links to the CIA. It is an especially obscure organisation, with only about 100 hits on Google.

According to Socialist Appeal, the precursor of TUCETU was the Labour Committee for Transatlantic Understanding which it says was set up in 1976 by the late Joe Godson who was "Labour Attache at the US Embassy in London in the 1950s, and a close friend of Hugh Gaitskell". [1]

"The Atlantic Council/TUCETU network provided the recruits for New Labour's Ministry of Defence team. Defence Secretary George Robertson, before becoming general secretary of NATO, was a member of the Council of the Atlantic Committee from 1979-90; Lord Gilbert, Minister of State for Defence Procurement, is listed as TUCETU vice-chair; Dr John Reid, former Minister of State for the Armed Forces and chairman of the Labour Party, spoke at a TUCETU conference; and MoD press office biographical notes on junior Defence Minister John Spellar state that he "has been a long standing member of the Trade Union Committee for European and Transatlantic Understanding". Spellar had his own office and secretary in AEEU headquarters, and was deeply involved in Sir Ken Jackson's failed attempt to hang on to the leadership of the union. How was this operation funded? Peter Mandelson has also written a pamphlet for TUCETU based on a speech he gave to its 1996 conference," Socialist Appeal wrote.

US funding

The Guardian reported in 1985 that the Committee had received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy:

According to the endowment's internal annual report to September 1984, the Labour Committee for Transatlantic Understanding, received dollars 49,000, which was used to finance a delegation of about 12 people to a seminar on western defence in Brussels in May 1984. The committee is the labour section of the British Atlantic Committee, which lobbies for Nato among European trade unionists.
It has no connection with the Labour Party but its members include figures from the Labour and trade union rightwing, including Lord Chapple, Mr Roy Mason, and Lord Stewart, former Labour foreign secretary. One of its American vice-presidents, Mr Lane Kirkland, is on NED's board of directors.
Funding of the committee, founded in 1976 by a former US embassy labour attache, Mr Joseph Godson, remained a secret until 1980, when the British government said that Nato had given pounds 32,000 over the previous four years. Mr Godson told the Guardian that he understood the money had come from the American Youth Council. He had complained to the endowment fund for its inaccuracy, but 'I don't object to anything which funds a good cause.'[2]

List of personnel

Contact, References and Resources


c/o Cringle Lodge
Stoke Rochford
Nr Grantham
Lincolnshire NG33 5EF
United Kingdom



  1. Editorial statement of the Socialist Appeal Britain April 23rd 2003No to witch-hunts in the Labour Party last accessed 4th October 2007
  2. Britons get cash from US 'slush fund' / British organisations receiving money from US sources to 'promote democracy', The Guardian, 9 December 1985.