740.5/5–1951: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Deputy Representative on the North Atlantic Council (Spofford), at London1

Todep 444. 1. Ref Depto 958.2 Belgian Amb. saw Secy this afternoon in accordance Van Zeeland’s instructions in latter’s capacity as chairman NAT Council and asked for US views on five points:

Is it desirable to consider having mtg of Council this summer?
What shld be precise date of such mtg?
Where shld mtg be held?
Shld mtg include both FonMins and Def Mins?
What are our initial reactions to following tentative agenda?


Formal approval of the modifications of NATO structure and practical implementation of the new regime.3
Progress report on state of national rearmament of each of the Pact countries.
Report and discussion of the international integration within the Twelve-Powers of program for defense, for rearmament and for production.
European army.4
Examination of results of conversations at Bonn regarding participation of Germany in Western defense.5
Possible repercussions of an eventual four power conference on rearmament of North Atlantic countries.
Possible examination of observations made by the Chiefs of Staff Comite shld the latter meet before the Council.”

2. In course discussion Van Zeeland view was stated as being there shld be mtg before annual mtg in conjunction with General Assembly in November and that if mtg not held in July, might be difficult to justify mtg prior to annual mtg. It was also stated that Van Zeeland felt if mtg were to be held in July, ample time shld be provided for Deps to lay foundation for mtg which cld really accomplish something, including careful development of agenda and discussion of issues which Council shld consider. It was suggested that exact timing might best be fixed by Deps in light of developments in international field such as possible CFM6 and in light of progress made in preparing important agenda items for Council decision. It was also indicated that tentative suggestion had been received that mtg might be held in Eome. It was stated that all FonMins are being contacted at this time for their views.

3. For such use as Amb. might want to make of it, Secy indicated some informal and initial reactions as follows:

It was desirable to try to arrange for mtg of Council this summer.
It was important that such mtg be in position to make real progress toward objectives of Treaty.
Approach outlined on behalf of Van Zeeland of having Deps work out agenda and review over considerable period of time subjects to be discussed by Council in order focus attention on important issues was eminently correct.
Precise timing of mtg wld be affected by date at which Fr Govt, resulting from forthcoming elections, was in position to act, by timing of CFM if one were to be held since Council mtg held before CFM might be considerably handicapped in making decisions, and by desirability of getting our foreign aid bill out of way as necessary prerequisite for going ahead in some important fields, as well as by status of important agenda items.
That location of mtg wld be determined largely by when it was held.
With respect to proposed agenda, one item which Council might be in position to consider and which was not listed was association of Greece and Turkey.7

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4. It was agreed that response to questions raised by Van Zeeland wld be provided at earliest possible time.

5. Your comments are requested.

  1. Drafted by Edwin M. Martin, Director of the Office of European Regional Affairs, and cleared with Thomas D. Cabot of S/ISA; repeated to Paris for MacArthur.
  2. Not printed; it reported that Van Zeeland was going to suggest to the Foreign Ministers of the NATO countries that a Council meeting be held in early July. (740.5/5-1951)
  3. For documentation on the structural reorganization of NATO, see pp. 460 ff.
  4. For documentation concerning the interest of the United States in the efforts to create a European Army, see pp. 755 ff.
  5. For documentation concerning the meetings at Bonn which dealt with certain aspects of a German contribution to Western defense, see pp. 990 ff.
  6. This is a reference to the Four-Power Exploratory Talks which were being held in Paris in order to reach agreement on an agenda for a possible Council of Foreign Ministers meeting which would follow. For documentation on these meetings, see pp. 1087 ff.
  7. For documentation concerning the possible admission of Greece and Turkey into NATO, see pp. 460 ff.