740.5/3–2850: Telegram

Communiqué of the Military Committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization1

The Military Committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization met in The Hague (Netherlands) on March 28, 1950, to review the progress of plans for the integrated defense of the North Atlantic Treaty area. Planning has been progressing rapidly and continuously in the five regional planning groups since the general concept for defense was approved by the Defense Ministers Committee meeting in Paris last December.

The Military Committee at its Hague meetings unanimously agreed on an integrated defense plan for the defense of the North Atlantic Treaty area. This plan which will be submitted to the Defense Ministers at their meeting on 1 April, has been developed from the regional plans by the standing group, which is in permanent session in Washington and acts on behalf of the Military Committee.

This plan is based on the agreed strategic concept of the North Atlantic Pact countries: It emphasizes the responsibilities assumed by each nation to participate, with the maximum forces it can provide, in assuring the continued security of the territories covered by the North Atlantic Organization. It emphasizes also the principle of a harmonization and integration of national efforts to set up a collective defense organization to maintain and defend the North Atlantic area against aggression. The Chiefs of Staff examined the special potentialities of each country and they took into account the importance of such abilities while drawing up the general plan. The necessary close coordination of the work of the Military Committee with that of the other NATO agencies concerned with the financial, economic and supply implications of the plan being affected. Members of the Military Committee unanimously agreed that planning had progressed more rapidly than had been expected due in large measure to the outstanding work of each of the five regional planning groups. The Military Committee also considered details of organization and planning which have resulted from recommendations from the regional planning groups and the standing group during the six months that the organization has been in active existence.

[Here follows a list of the country representatives to the Military Committee.]

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General Omar N. Bradley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, served as chairman of the Military Committee meetings. The chairmanship rotates annually to the countries of the Atlantic Treaty in alphabetical order. General Bradley has also been acting as chairman of the standing group but in accordance with previously established agreement will turn over this duty on 1 April to the French representative, General Lecheres.2

The Military Committee unanimously expressed its gratitude to the Netherlands Government for the invitation to hold its meeting in The Hague, and for the excellent facilities which have been provided. This was the third meeting of the Military Committee, the first having been held in Washington, D.C. on 6 October 1949, and the second in Paris on 29 November 1949.

  1. This communiqué, released to the press on March 28, appears as quoted in an unnumbered, unsigned telegram of that date from The Hague to the Secretary of State for his attention and that of the Secretary of Defense.
  2. Gen. Charles Lecheres.