740.5/2–951: Telegram

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


Depto 494. Reference joint State–Defense message London Todep 239 February 6.1 Herewith draft communiqué telegraphed to Belgian DefMin De Greef today with suggestion it be released simultaneously next week by NATO London, by De Greef in Brussels if he so desires, [Page 466]and in Washington, exact release time to be mutually agreed after approval by individual DefMins and Council Deputies has been given (probably not before Wednesday afternoon and perhaps not till later):

“Admiral William M. Fechteler of the US Navy has been named Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic the North Atlantic Council announced today.

NAC, acting on recommendations adopted by the Defense Commission at its September meeting in Washington and its meeting in Brussels last December, requested the US to designate an officer to fill the post of Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic. The President of the US subsequently designated Admiral Fechteler, whose nomination has now been unanimously approved by the NAT DefMins and the NAC Deputies.”

Communiqué kept brief simple to facilitate multilateral clearance; but we would like to release for publication at same time, in addition to full biographical material on Admiral Fechteler (which we have), certain material in DC 24/2 and DC 24/3 as follows:

Fechteler’s Deputy, as yet unnamed, will be British.
Admiral will be supported by integrated international staff drawn from countries belonging to NAORPG.
Location of his headquarters.
Understood that coordination of SACA with SHAPE to provide naval support for Eisenhower is responsibility of SG.

Believe items 1 and 2 important to release simultaneously possibly in communiqué to emphasize international aspect of command.

Would appreciate any suggested changes text of communiqué and answers on items 1, 2, 3, and 4 plus text President’s letter of designation.

  1. Supra.