740.5/8–451: Telegram

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

Depto 161. ToISA. 1. In beginning intensive preparation for September Council mtg we are working on understanding that (1) [Page 633] Greece–Turkey is only major question on which completed action is anticipated; (2) No strictly military questions as such will be considered and no prior meeting of military committee will be held; (3) minor items shld be kept off agenda. At same time, we assume Washington wishes mtg utilized to maximum advantage in preparing for concrete action in October and in stimulating further progress in common defense effort.

2. Clearly one limiting factor is shortness of time between now and Sept mtg and between that and Oct mtg. Intensive use must be made of these three months if major results are to be achieved at Rome mtg.

3. Believe one major accomplishment of Sept mtg cld be laying out course of action to be followed during ensuing six weeks by all NAT agencies looking toward Council consideration at Oct mtg of full MTDP requirements efforts to meet them and steps necessary to fill forces, production and financial gaps. This wld involve, prior to Sept mtg, intensive work perhaps by senior ad hoc working group of representatives of Deputies, SG, FEB and DPB (see Depto 1922) with view to examining reports of each in relation to others and recommending course of action preparatory to Oct mtg. We might perhaps be able to introduce elements of ISAC D-4/7a3 and costing exercise. Each of these documents shld be related to accomplishment of and problems related to MTDP.

4. At Sept Council we wld suggest general review of international situation as at previous mtgs and general discussion (as proposed by UK) by all Ministers concerned of individual and collective progress in implementing defense program. It shld result in council instructing Deputies and other bodies re intensive preparatory work on problems indicated for consideration at Oct mtg.

5. No doubt you are considering how Sept mtg can best be used to give impetus to European defense force and prepare way for Oct action on Ger.

6. It is to be hoped present impasse 1951 airbase program can be removed and US negotiating position on signal communications program defined before Council mtg as several govts may propose infrastructure as agenda item and criticize US position under it.

7. From point of view of governmental, parliamentary and public reaction to Sept mtg at home and abroad we must seek balance between demonstrating accomplishments in defense effort and stimulating further efforts to meet existing deficiencies. In this connection magnitude of what DC/28 commitments (let alone total MTDP) mean in terms of specific national action and impact are just beginning to be appreciated by European govts. We have also for some time sensed in Europe [Page 634] general uneasiness and psychological problem reported by Katz in Kepto 711, July 16,4 plus some doubt as to whether more intensive effort was really necessary (aside from questions of econ and polit practicability) or whether US was not exerting undue pressure due to its exuberant strength which permits its own tremendous effort to be made without serious hardship. This is partially due to increased confidence which development of strength over past twelve months has brought.

8. Problem is to develop this confidence into increased energy rather than complacency. “Shock treatment” now appears much less advantageous and cld produce more opposition than stimulation. It wld seem preferable to use (1) full and frank discussion of available info on requirements and costs, progress, shortcomings, specific bottlenecks and means of overcoming them, coupled with (2) seeds of hope for brighter not-too-distant future.

9. As elements of latter, we wld suggest:

Emphasis on (I) progress made and its effect on Soviet policy as well as (II) inadequacy of progress so far and need for greater effort.
Emphasis on present intensive defense effort as “capital investment” which can, as soon as it is completed, be reduced to maintenance basis and greater resources again be devoted to civilian production. This wld include something along line of Katz proposal (para 7 of Repto 711), and
Emphasis that US in pressing for admission of Greek-Turk definitely does not consider that this transforms NAT into strictly milit arrangement of convenience or that US has in any way lost interest in wider objectives of defending and improving democratic institutions and economic progress of western civilization, including progressively closer long-range association in North Atlantic and European communities in non-milit as well as milit fields.

Last also of immediate importance in obtaining acceptance of Greek and Turk by those now most opposed to membership.

10. At least preliminary guidance on foregoing needed soonest. Ecato 11045 received since forgoing was drafted provides welcome indication of parallel thinking.

  1. Repeated to Paris and Heidelberg.
  2. Presumably a reference to telegram Depto 152 from London, August 2, not printed.
  3. See footnote 1, p. 193.
  4. Not printed; it reported a conversation between representatives of the NATO member countries who were in Paris to attend a meeting of OEEC. Milton Katz, U.S. Special Representative in Europe, informed the Department of State that these European leaders had unfortunately allowed the purpose of NATO and its defense buildup to take on a negative character in the minds of their citizens and therefore their defense programs had come to be regarded as a kind of castor oil which has to be taken (740.5/7–1651).
  5. Not found.