740.5/1–1851: Telegram

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


Depto 426. 1. Re Depto 406,1 Deputies considered on January 17 revised UK draft of resolution on export controls to insure adequate supplies for NATO D (51) (11) without final passage. Further consideration scheduled January 22, but agreement has been reached on following wording changes:

In third paragraph resolution quoted Depto 406 D (51) (11) delete words beginning “in consultation” and ending “preceding paragraph” and replace with “in the light of measures referred to in the preceding paragraph as being already under consideration and in consultation with member governments.”
Replace last paragraph of resolution with “agree: that they, the deputies, will examine all recommendations and make, if necessary in consultation and cooperation with other appropriate bodies, suitable proposals to governments on the measures to be taken. The deputies will report to the council deputies on the action taken.”

2. Only matter delaying final passage of resolution is Norwegian desire eliminate any reference in resolution to advisory group on raw materials. Norwegian deputy2 stated his government feels that with raw materials groups in Paris and Washington, there is probably no further need for a NATO advisory group and wishes avoid assigning any further tasks to it. UK, US and other deputies pointed out that retention advisory group is separate subject. UK deputy suggested it best left to further discussion in month or so when dust settles on whole raw materials question. Also pointed out that leaving advisory group in export controls machinery for present would not prevent alteration if status of group later changed. Norwegian deputy referred to possibility assigning raw materials advisor to DPB and eliminating separate body, which suggestion will be subject separate cable.

3. Discussion behind changes in resolution given in paragraph 1 above is as follows:

Danish deputy stated his government accepts resolution in principle, but with hesitation, due fear growing east-west trade controls will result loss key Danish imports from Soviet bloc. Danish Government recommends that after DPB and advisory group make recommendations, but before deputies act upon them, a separate body (suggested WG of 12) make general economic survey to check for net gain or loss due to possible imposition embargoes. Denmark fearful any move toward economic warfare and wanted include in resolution statement that it must be kept from press. US deputy stated intent keep matter secret would merely be sense of deputies.
Norwegian and Italian deputies3 stated their governments shared Danish fear of loss of essential imports. Norwegian deputy cited exchange Norwegian aluminum against Soviet manganese and chrome. Norwegian deputy proposed that DPB data on critical shortages be given COCOM where proper emphasis would be given to trade considerations. At this point Norwegian deputy also expressed Norwegian wish to dissolve raw materials advisory group and establish advisor in DPB for reasons given in paragraph 2 above and due to Norwegian shortage qualified manpower. French and Netherlands deputies made point that since raw material sources might include Latin America, Near East, etc.;WG of 12 or COCOM would not necessarily be sufficient bodies with which to coordinate NATO action.
US deputy, in reply above points, stated US would be very reluctant see additional steps in rather leisurely mechanism already provided in resolution and that his government had already expressed concern at delay on export controls. US deputy and UK deputy also stated opinion that examination by deputies DPB and advisory group recommendations would take into consideration such questions as loss of imports and provide proper protection to countries concerned, Netherlands, UK and Canadian deputies4 stated that resolution considered not far-reaching and that it constituted simple device for deputies to obtain data and recommendations, upon receipt of which deputies could take any steps they chose.
Final wording first sentence revision in paragraph 1 b above suggested by French deputy and last sentence by US deputy. In accepting French suggestion, which all other deputies agreed to, US deputy introduced special statement in record. Statement to effect that deputies should not lose sight major objective of providing quick effective means assuring adequate supplies, that prevention shipment items in short supply to Soviet bloc constitutes one of most obvious measures this purpose and that US expects that ordinarily, consultation by deputies with other bodies would not be “necessary”.

4. In light continued timidity exhibited by deputies above, our replies to paragraph 4 Todep 208, repeated Paris 3731 January 15,5 are:

Likely be extremely difficult obtain practical results from embargo resolution in next few weeks. Would be most helpful if you begin preparation initial list important items along with carefully prepared justifications for use by US members DPB and advisory group.
DPB, as soon as informed of COCOM embargo list (available from UK) probably capable of development list critical short items within few weeks, but list developed near future cannot be expected be definitive. Difficult estimate ensuing time required obtain DPB and advisory group recommendations, but feel certain that prompt action will require strong US pressure.
Agree UK suggestion that MDAP items be examined at outset, but with care taken not limit initial DPB effort to such items.

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5. Assuming passage resolution next week, WS will probably request Paris Embassy Excon officials meet with US DPB and advisory group’s officers to plan means obtaining prompt NATO action.

Cleared US DPB staff.

Sent Department Depto 426, repeated info Paris 1344, for Embassy, OSR and Excon, Oslo unnumbered, Copenhagen unnumbered.

  1. Dated January 13, p. 998.
  2. Dag Bryn.
  3. Alberto Rossi Longhi.
  4. L. Dana Wilgress.
  5. Not printed, but see footnote 2, p. 999.