Conference Files: Lot 59 D 95: CF 20

Paper Circulated by the Secretary General (Shuckburgh)

top secret


I herewith submit for examination by the Ministers two French drafts concerning the organisation of the North Atlantic Treaty (item 2(a) of the Agenda).

A draft resolution concerning the mechanism of the Treaty (Annex A).
A draft resolution by the North Atlantic Council (Annex B).

These documents should be examined together with documents MIN/TRI/P/31 and MIN/TRI/P/22 which they are intended to replace.

C. A. E. Shuckburgh

Annex A


French Draft Resolution on the Organisation of the Mechanism of the Treaty

The North Atlantic Council, which was created in accordance with Article 9 of the Treaty, has only met twice on Ministerial level and on two other occasions through the intermediary of its diplomatic representatives in Washington.

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Now, Article 9 makes the Council the ruling body of the Atlantic Treaty; it is therefore the Council’s absolute duty to be in a position to fulfil its central role among the organisms of the Treaty by adopting more efficient methods with a view to keeping itself constantly informed concerning questions falling within its attributions, to take the necessary decisions, and to see that these are carried out.

The experience of one year has revealed that contacts have been too spaced out to assure, on the political plane, the exchange of views on matters of common interest within the framework of the Treaty, and that though, in the military field, the strategic conception of the Treaty may have been adopted and the corresponding sum of necessary resources may be being established, no really concrete result has however yet been obtained in respect of the organisation of efficient common defence whether it be in respect of armaments and arms manufacturing, the sharing out of financial costs, the adaptation of armed forces, of their development or their internal structure.

In view of this situation and in order to assist the Council in the exercise of its responsibilities, it is absolutely necessary that a restricted working organism should immediately be instructed by the Council to study measures that should be taken to set out as a whole the military, technical, industrial and financial activities affecting the common defence of the signatory powers.

This organism will place its conclusion at the disposal of the Council within three months, and at the same time propose required decisions. It could then be instructed, in conditions to be determined, to supervise the carrying out of decisions taken by the Council.

At the same time in order to ensure that the activities of this organism shall have a permanent character each government shall name a Deputy to its present representative. Deputies should be able to devote all the time necessary, and as continuously as required, to the exercise of the Council’s responsibilities.

The Council of Deputies shall be responsible, between meetings of the North Atlantic Council, and for and on behalf of it, for the implementing of its directives and in particular for the study entrusted to the restricted organism mentioned above. It will in particular devote itself to facilitating the simultaneous progress of work carried out by different committees (military, economic, financial and of defence) and ensure the cooperation of all organisms of the Treaty in the study undertaken. Finally it will undertake regular exchanges of view on both general and political questions (notably with regard to informing public opinion) which present a common interest within the framework of the Treaty for all signatory powers.3

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Annex B

French Draft Resolution of the North Atlantic Council secret

The Council agrees in particular to bear in mind the following general considerations while carrying out its tasks as defined in Council Resolution No.

1. The essential objective of the signatory powers of the North Atlantic Treaty is to ensure that their countries shall be in a position victoriously to resist any aggression.

This objective can only be attained:

  • —by the use and standardisation of the most up to date material and equipment, products of up to date technical progress.
  • —by the acknowledgement on the part of each country of the necessity for the maintenance of disposable forces for the initial fighting and the character and composition of which forces should be adapted to these types of material and equipment with a view to obtaining maximum efficiency in common defence.
  • —by the parallel creation of the necessary operational internal structure for the use of these military resources within the framework of common defence.

2. The essential and most difficult problem being that of arms manufacture it is therefore desirable that the nature and quantity of material and equipment necessary to attain this objective should be decided upon as soon as possible.

3. The production of this material and equipment should be shared out as far as military, economic and financial considerations permit among the industries of participating nations so that the best results may be obtained in the shortest possible time and at the lowest cost. In this respect, production programmes thus established should constantly be brought up to date in order to ensure that the individual resources of countries as regards priorities and speed of production may satisfy to the full the common need.

At the same time the Council agrees that the following questions should be examined as soon as possible:

How can balanced collective forces for all the signatory powers of the North Atlantic Council best be set up?
How should the necessary operational internal structure be at the same time created for the employment of these resources should war break out?
How should the financial charges arising from the carrying out of these tasks, taking into consideration the necessity for maintaining their economic, financial and social stability, be shared out as fairly as possible between the various participating nations?4

  1. For the text of MIN/TRI/P/3, see footnote 3, p. 1023.
  2. Regarding MIN/TRI/P/2, see footnote 3, p. 1040.
  3. On May 13 Shuekburgh circulated another French draft of Annex A, MIN/TRI/P/29, not printed, which is the same in substance as that transmitted in Secto 267, May 15, p. 100 (Conference Files: Lot 59 D 95: CF 20).
  4. MIN/TRI/P/28 was discussed by the Foreign Ministers at their private meeting on May 13. For a report on that meeting, see Jessup’s memorandum of conversation, p. 1054. For documentation on the discussion of the two annexes by the NATO Council, see pp. 611 ff.