740.5/1–1951: Circular telegram

The Minister in Luxembourg ( Mesta ) to the Secretary of State 1


[Unnumbered.] For Perkins from MacArthur. General Eisenhower has now visited all European NAT countries. In his talks with top political and military leaders, he has attempted to set forth clearly and forcefully the situation with which we are faced. He has expressed the conviction that the problem of developing adequate defense for the free world is manageable only if all NAT members make maximum effort. He has also stressed the fact that immediately upon his return to US he must report to the President and Congress on the degree of determination he found in Europe and whether, in his opinion, the other NAT members are prepared now to make effort and sacrifices comparable to those of US. His presentations on this point must be persuasive if US forces in Europe are to be increased and extensive financial and end-item aid assured to other NAT members.

While General Eisenhower has received governmental assurances in every capital that maximum effort would be made, such general assurances will not be convincing with the Congress or American people unless they are backed up with concrete evidence that the European NAT members are now initiating the necessary action.

With the foregoing in mind, it is suggested that you may desire to raise the subject again with political leaders.

If it is not possible, because of parliamentary complications to take positive action before General Eisenhower leaves Paris on 25 January, perhaps the government may be in a position to announce its intention to go before parliament soonest to secure passage of necessary measures. Any other type of specific evidence would likewise be acceptable, because it must be emphasized that much as he believes in the basic capabilities and intentions of free Europe yet success in the immediate problem requires evidence of prompt and maximum programming.

The purpose is not to needle NAT governments again, but to impress upon them the importance of giving General Eisenhower every [Page 438] possible bit of evidence which he can use in his Washington conferences. Action by NAT governments now will be worth much more than action a few weeks from now. Indeed, it may have decisive influence on what US Congress will be willing to do to aid Europe. Please make it clear that General Eisenhower is not trying to interfere in European business beyond scope of his responsibilities. He is only trying to be helpful and therefore repeats these ideas informally through properly accredited US representatives. General Eisenhower will depart from Paris on morning of 25 January for Iceland and Canada and will reach Washington about noon on 27 January.

[ MacArthur ]
  1. This telegram was sent to Paris, Brussels, The Hague, Copenhagen, Oslo, London, Lisbon, and Rome and was repeated to Reykjavik, Ottawa, and the Department of State, the source text printed here. General Eisenhower and his party were in Luxembourg January 19–20 before departing for West Germany. On January 19, General Eisenhower called on Grand Duchess Charlotte and her consort Prince Felix and also conferred with Prime Minister Dupong and Foreign Minister Bech.