740.5/2–951: Telegram

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


Todep 251. This is State–Def msg re Depto 494 Feb 9.2 Text press release satis with fol comment: Communiqué shld also cover ur points 2 and 4. Wording point 4 shld clearly indicate SACA and SHAPE are equal and mutually supporting hdqrs. Ur points 1 and 3 shld not be covered either in communiqué or in additional info released as Adm Fechteler will announce both his deputy and location of his hdqrs in due course. We will need final text communiqué as agreed with De Greef prior to release deadline.

FYI text ltr from Pres to Fechteler fols:

“Feb 1951 My dear Adm Fechteler: The North Atlantic Treaty Nations have agreed that a Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic, shld now be appointed and have requested that I designate a US officer. I have designated you for this new internatl command which embraces a large area under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

I am informed that the Standing Group of the North Atlantic Treaty Org will issue a directive to you concerning your responsibilities and authority as the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic.

You are assigned hereby operational command of the US Armed Forces assigned to the US Atlantic Command to the extent necessary for the accomplishment of your mission.

You are hereby authorized to have officers and enlisted personnel of the US Armed Forces and civ employees of the US Govt on your staff as you consider appropriate in numbers and grades as necessary.

I am sending copies of this ltr to the Secy of State and to the Secy of Def for their guidance.

In designating you as one of the Supreme Allied Commanders in the North Atlantic Treaty Org, I am sure you have the confidence of our own country and the confidence of the other member nations of the NAT Org. I consider it an honor to the US that these member nations have requested me to designate a US officer for this position. As Pres [Page 474]of the US and Commander-in-Chief of this country’s Armed Forces, I have suggested your name for appointment to this high office with pleasure, and I wish you every success as the first Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic. Sincerely yours, Harry S. Truman

Ltr now undated. Will insert same date as for press announcement when latter date determined.3

  1. Drafted by Knight who signed for Secretary Acheson. Cleared with Bonbright (EUR).
  2. Ante, p. 465.
  3. In telegram Depto 510 of February 15, from London, Spofford informed the Secretary of State that at the 10th meeting of the North Atlantic Council Deputies on February 14 a preliminary discussion was held on the Fechteler appointment but that final consideration was deferred pending approval by the British Defense Ministry. (740.5/2–1551)