740.5/7–3151: Telegram

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

Todep 62. State-Def message. For Achilles. We have considered urgently Deptos 1382 and 1393 and most particularly position of all NATO members, except US and Italy, that presence of DefMins at [Page 631] proposed Sept mtg essential if admission of Greece and Turkey is to be acted upon favorably. In essence, situation now appears to us as fols:

Test of whether we want Sept mtg is whether we can get final action on Greece and Turkey. As we do consider favorable action on Turkey shld be taken without further delay, we continue to desire Sept mtg but feel every other country shld understand that this is item of business we wish to conclude at that time, but only on simple basis of admission without any conditions as to command relations.
As we wld participate in such mtg with firm intention of bringing about final action on Greece and Turkey, Ave cld not deny DefMins right to come to mtg as each country wishes. This does not modify our view in Todep 584 that no military problems as such will be decided.
Brit seem to disregard Turkish insistence that they will not discuss command structure prior to admission. The heart of the Middle East Defense structure is Turkey. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to proceed with discussions of the Middle East command structure at this time, which would alienate the Turks. The first step would be to secure Turkish admission to NATO. We shld persuade the Brit to withhold their proposal on Middle East Command structure until after the question of the admission of Greece and Turkey has been settled. We do not think Brit shld be too concerned at this as we are confident that this problem can be worked out satisfactorily. Furthermore, discussion command structure wld require prior mtg of Mil Comite and possibly put us in position of also having to discuss in substantive way mil aspects of other problems. This, we desire to avoid.

In light of foregoing, you shld inform Deps we agree to Sept mtg on understanding:

Serious attempt will be made to reach decision on Greece and Turkey;
Mtg to be announced as preliminary to Oct mtg;
NATO and Middle East command structure not to be decided at Sept mtg, therefore no prior mtg of Mil Comite;
No major substantive discussion of Ger or gap;
Mtg to deal “with such problems as may be ready for discussion or action”. (We understand this phrase from Depto 139 to refer to public announcement of purpose of this preliminary mtg.);
Mtg to be attended by all three Mins, DefMins, in addition to others, as countries prefer. (FYI and for such use as you see fit, we here have no commitment that General Marshall will attend.)

  1. Drafted by Parsons and cleared with Perkins of EUR, McGhee of NEA, Dorsz of GTI, and Admiral Wright and Col. Beebe of Defense; repeated for information to Paris for Bruce and MacArthur, Frankfurt for McCloy, and all other NATO capitals.
  2. Not printed, but see footnote 2, supra.
  3. Supra.
  4. Dated July 28, p. 626.