740.5/1–2451: Telegram

The United States Deputy Representative on the North Atlantic Council (Spofford) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret

Depto 450. Deputies seventh meeting January 24.

1. Considered Canadian report2 on progress of preparation ad hoc report on status of defense effort. Report indicated information deficient in all phases. Initial financial data expected shortly, production [Page 37] information to be largely based on replies to JAMAG questionnaire. Military information lacking owing failure receive information on forces from SG.

SG letter January 17 Tedder to Spofford3 indicated SG believed it rather than governments should supply information but still debating information to be supplied deputies and SG not in possession sufficient information permit reporting in accordance deputies request. Deputies decided again request SG for report, by February 14 if possible, on simpler basis giving minimum information required for deputies’ immediate use and at same time request their governments to provide SG with information required this purpose. Text resolution contained separate telegram to Department, Paris and HICOG.4

[Here follows a summary of discussion concerning NATO statistical services, possible recipients of a Canadian offer of armament and ancillary equipment for a second infantry division, and a decision to provide information requested by Yugoslavia and Austria on the NATO decisions of late 1950 regarding German military participation.]

4. Continued discussion NATO reorganization with emphasis on role deputies and relation to SG. Netherlands urged establishment principle that deputies act fully for Council of Governments as highest NATO body when latter not in session. Deputies would furnish direction to NATO military agencies represented by SG “as to political considerations on which strategic positions should be based” (see GG 5–D6, paragraph 7f5). In absence such permanent political control, governments putting troops under SHAPE would have to admit in their parliaments they had surrendered all control over their forces to SG. Norway strongly endorsed Netherlands position emphasizing importance of deputies day-to-day liaison with SG not only through representatives of latter in London but also through strong deputy representation Washington. UK felt SG might have occasion ask deputies to reconsider political decisions on military grounds and might also insist that final decision on major issues be top-level government decisions in each country. Netherlands replied this assured since deputies represented governments, but agreed that SHAPE could request reconsideration. Essential point was that final decision be by political rather than military authorities.

Norway circulated informal working paper on deputies terms reference6 based on May Council resolution establishing deputies.7 It provided [Page 38] they would constitute permanent working organ Council Governments and represent it in all aspects between sessions. Deputies’ general terms of reference would be same as those of Council and they would be responsible for carrying out its policies. Particular terms of reference would be those of May resolution brought up to date (fuller report to Department8).

Next meeting January 29.

[ Spofford ]
  1. Repeated to the capitals of the other NATO countries and to Frankfurt, to Heidelberg for Handy, and to Wiesbaden for Norstad.
  2. Not found in Department of State files.
  3. Not found in Department of State files.
  4. Telegram Depto 449 from London, January 24, not printed (740.5/1–2451).
  5. Not found in Department of States files.
  6. The verbatim text was transmitted to Washington in telegram Depto 454, January 25, not printed (740.5/1–2551).
  7. For text of resolution, see the Department of State Bulletin, May 29, 1950, p. 831. For documentation on the May 1950 meeting of the North Atlantic Council, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iii, pp. 1 ff.
  8. Telegram Depto 454.