740.5/1–1351: Telegram

The United States Deputy Representative on the North Atlantic Council (Spofford) to the Secretary of State


Depto 406. 1. Re Depto 400, January 10, repeated Paris 1296, pouched Copenhagen and The Hague.1

UK circulated January 12 (probably for deputies agenda January 17) following revised D(51)3 which US representatives saw just before release, but had no opportunity make changes on:

“The North Atlantic Council Deputies: noting the concern expressed by the North Atlantic Council (C5D/4) at the effect which shortages of primary commodities might have on the abilities of the NAT nations to carry out their rearmament programmes, and recognizing that the supply of other necessary materials, equipment and components, is of equal importance in this respect, and that every effort must be made to maximize the quantities of all such items available for the common defence effort;

“Conclude: that, in addition to those supplies, the export of which to the Soviet bloc may be prohibited or controlled as a result of the [Page 999] measures already under consideration for dealing with the supplies likely to be of importance to the war potential of the Soviet bloc, there may remain other goods in short supply, the export of which to the Soviet bloc it may in certain circumstances be desirable to prevent, either by embargo or other equally effective means, on account of their importance to the national defense effort;

“Invite the Defence Production Board and the Advisory Group on Raw Materials to examine the matter in consultation with the member governments and, where appropriate, the body engaged in the studies referred to in the preceding paragraph, in order to establish what critical shortages are, in fact, likely to arise in respect of the supplies under consideration; and thereafter to recommend what action can best be taken to prevent the export of such articles to the Soviet bloc;

“Agree: that they, the Deputies, will examine all such recommendations and forward such of them as meet with their approval to members governments with the request that the latter take the necessary steps to implement them.”2

2. Comments on above are:

UK representatives recognize that words “may be prohibited or controlled” in second paragraph above redraft would be likely to deny to NATO, consideration of items under measures of control other than embargo. UK representatives stated they would attempt have words “or controlled” eliminated before draft circulated to Deputies, but if unable to do so would support US recommendation for deletion these words when Deputies consider document next week.
We consider that UK redraft is generally satisfactory except possibly for elimination of wording in original D(51)3 that specified separate areas of responsibility for DPB and advisory group. UK Deputy omitted this portion on grounds that DPB is separate body under Defense Committee and that Deputies should not attempt delineate DPB function. Believe satisfactory division of repsonsibility between DPB and advisory group can be worked out by the two groups without spelling out in Deputies resolution and without referral back to Deputies for further guidance.
We note that word “embargo” remains in revised resolution, but believe revision has good chance being accepted by Danish and Netherlands Deputies. We plan preparatory bilateral talks with each of these two Deputies before full Deputies take up revised resolution.
UK representatives stated that wording in third paragraph of revision “in consultation with the member governments” is intended to provide for requests to governments for statements of critical shortages. We intend draft language change along with paragraph (f) below so as make clear that no other meaning intended.
US Deputy will also suggest adding to last paragraph revised resolution the words “and keep the Council Deputies informed of the action taken.”
The veiled reference in third paragraph revised resolution to COCOM, i.e., “the body engaged in studies referred to” could probably [Page 1000] be better stated and we will attempt work out language change to propose in full Deputies.

3. In informal exploratory discussion with UK working level representatives January 12 concerning criteria, UK representatives indicated intention applying export controls for defense purposes to much broader range of items than did UK Deputy at January 10 meeting (paragraph a Depto 400), and to all non-NATO countries (conceivably NATO countries too) as well as Soviet bloc.

4. At same informal meeting at which Taylor,3 Paris Excon officer was present, we discussed interchange embargo information with COCOM and agreed provision necessary information could be adequately handled through national representatives (UK seems agreeable handle this matter) without formal communication between Deputies and C General/COCOM.

Cleared SUSRep.4

Sent Department Depto 406, repeated info Paris 1316 for Embassy and OSR, Copenhagen unnumbered, The Hague unnumbered.

  1. Supra.
  2. In telegram Todep 208 to London, January 15, the Department of State informed Spofford that this British revision was satisfactory subject to the changes suggested in paragraphs 2 (a) and (d) of the source text. (740.5/1—1351)
  3. Frank D. Taylor, economic officer in the Embassy in France.
  4. Senior U.S. Representative, North Atlantic Treaty Military Protection Supply Board.