Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director for International Security Affairs (Cabot)1


Pursuant to a telephone call from Mr. Spofford yesterday, I called Mr. Lovett regarding delay in getting decision on the Spofford counter-proposal to the Canadian Proposal on top-structure of NATO. Mr. Lovett called back today stating that if I pushed for an immediate decision it would be adverse, but that he hoped to work out a compromise by Wednesday at the latest. I told him we preferred to wait until next week in the hope of a compromise. Thereupon I phoned Mr. Spofford who concurred.

From various sources in the lower echelons of Defense, I gather that the Munitions Board and the JCS don’t wholly agree, but generally fear weakening of the authority of the military and particularly of the Standing Group. I am trying to assure those concerned that this is not an attempt of the State Department to gain authority, but only an attempt to improve liaison and provide a better working relationship between the political, economic and military elements of NATO.

  1. Transmitted to Acheson in a memorandum from McWilliams dated February 19, with the comment: “With reference to your phoning Mr. Lovett on the Canadian proposal for the reorganization of NATO, the following are submitted for your information.” Also enclosed were copies of the Canadian proposal of November 17, 1950 and the draft counterproposal (memorandum by Cabot, February 3, enclosure 1, p. 41.