740.5/2–651: Telegram

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


Todep 239. This is joint State-Def msg. Pres US has nominated Admiral William M. Fechteler for position Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic accordance with request by NATO doc DC 24/3.2 It is requested at earliest opportunity you inform Council Deps of [Page 465]nomination and request concurrence NAC Deps, as representing NAC, to fol joint res to which agreement Def Mins is being requested:3

“The NAC, having made provision in accordance with the recommendation of the Defense Comite (DC 24/3) for the estab of a Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, and having requested the US to designate an officer of the US to fill the position of Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, and the President of the US having designated Admiral William M. Fechteler, the Council therefore declares that Admiral William M. Fechteler is appointed the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic. His powers and functions over all the forces to be assigned to his command will be in consonance with DC 24/24 and DC 24/3 and will be issued separately.”

By separate cable action Def requesting M. DeGreef, as Chairman of Def Comite to obtain individual concurrence of Def Mins to this same res.5 Contact M. DeGreef personally to insure close coordination. Desired effect these two separate actions is to produce doc similar to C6–D/9 of 19 Dec 1950.5

Cable to Washington for comment prior release such official NATO communiqué as you may agree, upon with M. DeGreef upon assent being given to foregoing action. Contents Pres’ ltr designating Admiral Fechteler will be released Washington simultaneously with NATO release and will be cabled to you for info. Until release time set matter shld be held confidential.

  1. Drafted by Ridgway B. Knight of the Office of European Regional Affairs who also signed for Secretary Acheson. Cleared with Defense and Bonbright.
  2. North Atlantic Council Defense Committee document, December 12, 1950, on the proposed European Defense Force; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iii, p. 548. According to telegram Todep 209 from Secretary Acheson to Spofford dated January 16, paragraph 27 of DC 24/3 called for the appointment of a Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic in the shortest possible time after the appointment of a Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. In this telegram, Acheson had first informed Spofford that the United States was planning to designate Admiral William Fechteler as SACLANT. (740.5/2–751)
  3. In telegram 219 to Brussels of February 7, repeated to the Department of State as telegram Depto 485, Spofford asked that NATO Defense Committee Chairman Edouard De Greef be informed that Spofford proposed to circulate the resolution to the Council Deputies at once, subject to De Greef’s concurrence. In a separate paragraph, Spofford informed both Brussels and the Department that he was also seeking the reaction of British Minister of Defense Emanuel Shinwell. (740.5/2–751)
  4. Not printed. According to telegram Todep 209, January 26, from Secretary Acheson to Spofford, paragraph 12 of DC 24/2 approved by the NATO Defense Committee in October 1950 stated that the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic “‘shall be a U.S. Officer …’”. (740.5/1–1651)
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed.