756.5/3–1050: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Netherlands (Chapin) to the Secretary of State


289. Hunter1 and I called on Stikker2 this morning congratulate him excellent impression he made in US.3 We found him somewhat tired but outwardly optimistic—an impression he had managed to convey my French colleague whom I met coming out. Actually Stikker stated he was very much concerned about general situation. He felt world political situation gradually deteriorating and that insufficient progress being made counterbalance this deterioration by fostering sense of unity in west. Specifically, he referred absence of understanding availiability funds and organization for the common defense. Financial budgets are prepared national lines with maximum allowances for defense considering all other internal demands and obvious necessity for achieving individual economic and monetary stability. [Page 30] It is all very well for defense chiefs determine military plans but if these disapproved Finance Ministers on individual basis rather than adjusting budget allotments to part each country to play military field, little or no progress could be made. He, therefore, thought it imperative particularly in view prospect of West Union meeting some time after middle April, to hold meeting North Atlantic Council early April since he stated only Ministers Foreign Affairs, with backing their respective cabinets could make final decision as to allotment of defense roles in collective western community. He had accordingly cabled this suggestion Van Kleffens4 yesterday but wished to expand it to me for transmission my government. Stikker stated he felt such meeting should be held Paris or preferably London certainly not in Hague [apparent omission] Foreign Defense meetings.

Stikker expects leave for Paris shortly and will follow that with brief visit London and Brussels.

Sent Department 289; repeated Paris 72 for Harriman and Embassy, London 69.

  1. Clarence E. Hunter, Chief, ECA Mission in the Netherlands.
  2. Dirk U. Stikker, Netherlands Foreign Minister and representative on the OEEC.
  3. Stikker, in his newly created position of “political conciliator” in the OEEC, had recently visited Washington. For documentation on his conversation with Acheson on March 1 and on the nature of his position with the OEEC, see pp. 634 ff.
  4. Eelco Nicholas van Kleffens, Netherlands Ambassador in the United States.