Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Perkins) to the Secretary of State 1

Subject: Next Meeting of North Atlantic Council

Rossi-Longhi has written Spofford that the Italian Government would welcome a meeting of the new North Atlantic Council in Rome in the near future, with both Foreign Ministers and Defense Ministers in attendance.2

It has been impossible on several past occasions to accept offers by the Italian Government to act as host for meetings of NATO bodies. Reference is made to the official invitation extended in February 1950 with regard to the third meeting of the Defense Committee (held in The Hague April 1), as well as to several informal feelers relating to meetings of the Council itself. It would seem appropriate, therefore, to give favorable consideration to the current Italian invitation.

It is recommended that Ambassador Spofford reply to the inquiry along the following lines: that in principle we would recommend [Page 617] holding the next meeting of the Council in Rome. However, it is impossible to tell now whether this can be done as it seems unlikely that any meeting of the Council could usefully be held before July 1. Unfortunately, because of the possibility of a CFM meeting after that date, it might be necessary to hold the next Council meeting in Washington, or if not there, perhaps in Paris at the time of the General Assembly. If you see no objection to holding out this vague hope to the Italians, we will communicate to Spofford along these lines. It is, of course, possible that there might be a Council meeting after the CFM, if that is not too prolonged, which could be held in Rome with the annual meeting in Paris before the General Assembly.3

  1. The source text was initialed by Secretary Acheson.
  2. Spofford reported the contents of the Rossi-Longhi letter to the Department of State in telegram Depto 852 from London. April 30 (740.5/4–3051).
  3. This recommended reply was approved and instructions to this effect were transmitted to Spofford in telegram Todep 440 to London, May 21 (740.5/5-1051).