740.5/2–1951: Telegram

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


Depto 517. Reference Todep 244 February 8, repeated Paris Torep 928.2

1. Following message summarizes USDepOSR views on organization of FEB in NATO, based largely on discussion Paris February 10 with Katz, Wood, Bissell, Batt, and my representatives participating. Comments appreciated.

2. Believe US should table FEB proposal in NACDeps simultaneously with or immediately following formal proposal for move to Paris. While some such proposal might be advanced even if geographic separation were to continue, believe at this stage we would avoid unnecessary [Page 54] and probably irrelevant discussion by linking FEB proposal directly to that for geographical consolidation. Once latter agreed to in NAT, we would press for immediate implementation of FEB proposal even though actual transfer of other NAT agencies to Paris might be somewhat delayed.

3. US proposal in NACDeps or FEB would consist of brief general statement followed by draft resolution containing terms of reference and establishing organizational relationships. Draft of such paper will be transmitted shortly; upon receipt this proposal, deputies will probably desire (although we should not encourage) referral to expert group; if so, while many if not all of WG of 12 members are likely participate, we believe this should be ad hoc 12-nation group meeting in London and with same individuals subsequently participating in deputies discussion.

4. So far as FEB functions concerned, we concur in your preference for broadly-stated terms of reference. Check-list contained in reftel for US guidance seems useful pending experience with FEB operations. Desire call your attention, however, to certain additional organizational problems (see paragraphs 5–9 below) on which US position should be as clearly established as possible for purposes discussion in NATO whether or not incorporated directly in USDep’s proposal for creation of FEB.

5. Relationship of FEB to NACDeps. In general deputies should have same authority to coordinate and give guidance to FEB as in case DPB. Would not be necessary in case FEB to provide analogous responsibility to ministerial committee (DFEC) although would be desirable to have FEB, under guidance deputies, undertake service any required DFEC meetings along lines earlier proposal for advisory group on financial and economic problems (See Depto 305, December 9, repeated Paris 1138).3 DPB formula of appeal to deputies in case of disagreement would seem provide useful safety-valve for FEB, although would not expect such procedure to be followed frequently and when followed, would not expect deputies to be able ordinarily to solve issues which had defied solution at FEB level. Agreed recommendations would be transmitted directly to governments unless FEB or deputies believed subject concerned was of sufficient importance to warrant review and endorsement by deputies or council itself. While we would envisage a great many recommendations being forwarded by FEB directly to governments far-reaching policy or political implications of some of its decisions, e.g., on burden-sharing, would clearly warrant consideration by higher authority.

6. Relationship of FEB to DPB. This relationship would consist largely of DPB, having identified economic or financial problems obstructing the accomplishment of defense production programs, referring [Page 55] them to FEB for appropriate multilateral action. May also be occasions on which FEB would make recommendations to DPB, for example, on desirability directing assignment of production tasks toward countries with underutilized resources. Obviously essential secure intimate collaboration DPBFEB on such problems as assuring provision of raw materials, components, and production equipment for purposes defense production.

7. FEB secretariat. FEB should have own international staff, own premises, and own security arrangements separate from OEEC and conforming to general NATO standards. Staff director and few top-level assistants would have to be full-time NATO personnel, as would; lower level staff including research assistants, clerical and stenographic personnel. At intermediate levels should be possible for NATO and OEEC to exchange personnel on loan basis as general work load and need for particular expertise might indicate. OEEC personnel borrowed by NATO would have to be thoroughly screened for security purposes. NATO secretariat would continue rely on OEEC secretariat for much straight statistical and research work, so that number could probably be held to around 100 overall. Large percentage of this number could probably be recruited from present OEEC secretariat, with addition of appropriate proportion of US and Canadian personnel. All NATO staff would at present have to be on contributive basis, pending consideration of NATO international budgetary and employment procedures. Foregoing procedures would apply in interim to WG of 12 secretariat.

8. Functional relationship to OEEC. Agree general principle that FEB and OEEC (at all levels of international representation) would constitute inner and outer circles with inner circle delegation personnel normally representing their governments simultaneously in outer circle. Also agree on maximum “transferability” of subjects as between FEB and OEEC with assignment being determined from case to case, mainly on grounds indicated in paragraph 3 reftel. While may be unnecessary define this division of labor much more precisely in FEB terms of reference (which in any case deputies would lack power to do insofar as OEEC is concerned), believe that US deputy should be in position to reflect US view on broad division of labor with at least some specific illustrative examples. In general, we would expect OEEC to retain major interest and activity in such matters as raw materials conservation and allocation (specific defense requirements, however, being assessed in NATO), harmonization of monetary and fiscal policies, and trade and payments relationships (other than military transfers). Even where action assigned OEEC, however, would expect FEB undertake as necessary to concert action by NATO members, and be prepared take over problem if non-NATO members were to obstruct effective action. A further consideration, arising from [Page 56] fact that US will be a full member of FEB and presumably bound as fully as European members to receive and consider FEB recommendations, is that we may desire steer into OEEC forum questions on which recommendations addressed inter alia to US would be embarrassing. Fact that NATO European countries might have opposite interest in steering such matters into FEB emphasizes strategic character FEB chairmanship.

9. Sub-committee structure. Agree that existing functional bodies (burden-sharing group, raw materials group and PWSDFEC) would become sub-groups of FEB. Question of further sub-groups requires further consideration but does not need to be covered in initial organizational paper.

10. Chairmanship. In view of need for aggressive leadership and in view delicate problems of steering business as between FEB and OEEC (see paragraph 8) chairmanship is likely to prove important and strategic post. While organizational paper need only provide that FEB will elect its own chairman, believe it important for US view on this subject to be developed soon. There would be obvious advantages to US chairmanship, although this must be considered in relation to nationality chairman in other NATO bodies and in light desirability avoiding excessive US responsibility for managing NATO affairs. Your views will be welcomed.

  1. Repeated to Paris for OSR and MacArthur.
  2. Not printed; it referred to circular telegram 454, February 3, not printed, concerning relationships between NATO, ECA, and OEEC in the overall defense effort. (740.5/2–851 and 740.5/2–351)
  3. Not printed.