740.5/3–951: Telegram

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


Depto 609. Knight from Spofford. Further to Depto 602,2 have now received SG telegram Stand 62 indicating SG has requested military representatives to obtain authority to approve terms of reference on behalf their governments.

1. I propose make statement Deputies 12 March explaining procedure and indicating further action Deputies relating appointment Fechteler will be suspended pending agreement on terms of reference.

2. Reference proposed resolution contained Todep 239,3 suggest if above procedure followed the last sentence might well be changed to read:

“His powers and functions over forces when assigned to his command are set forth in (blank) (Department please supply SG document number) and will be issued separately.”

3. To meet situation resulting from Parliamentary question believe advisable make some changes press communiqué and backgrounds oral statements. Will forward suggestions soonest by air despatch.4 In meantime, would appreciate you consult Defense and advise what, if anything, might be included oral statements concerning terms of reference.5

  1. Repeated for information to Paris as 1709.
  2. From Spofford, dated March 9, it reported that Defense Committee Chairman DeGreef had received a message from the Standing Group asking his agreement to a procedure under which the Standing Group would formulate terms with reference to the appointment of a Supreme Commander Atlantic and submit then to the Defense Committee for approval.
  3. Of February 6, p. 464.
  4. Airgram Usdep 13 from London, March 12 (740.5/3–1251), not printed.
  5. Acting Secretary of State Webb approved the procedure outlined by Spofford in paragraph 1, above, in telegram Todep 295, March 12. Webb added that further action on the Fechteler appointment in the Council should not be taken until approval of the terms of reference had been obtained from all NATO countries by the Standing Group and that Spofford would be advised when such approval had been obtained. “Further information para 2 and 3 will be provided later.” (740.5/3–951)