CFM files, lot M–88, box 159, documents OTT D–la–D–10

Memorandum by the Acting Deputy Director of the Executive Secretariat (Barnes) to the Ambassador at Large (Jessup)

The following, for what they are worth, are my reactions to the memorandum of August 7 to you from Mr. Parsons1 on the subject of Coordination and Control of NAT Council Meetings.

1. The point raised in the first paragraph does not appear to constitute a “problem”. The position of the Secretary and of General Marshall (or his alternate—at Brussels it was Secretary Pace) is recognized. Secretary Snyder has been invited and Mr. Foster has been told that, regardless of the Snyder decision, he can go. Mr. Foster clearly recognizes that he ranks below Secretary Snyder in the government. I do not feel it would be helpful, nor is it necessary for us to attempt the concept that we have four ministers facing the three of the other governments. Mr. Foster would rather have to be considered a top adviser on economic questions. This relationship has been reviewed at length with Mr. Foster by Mr. Webb, and the Secretary has requested that Mr. Webb discuss it with Secretary Snyder and Mr. Foster together (presumably while he is in San Francisco) in the event that Mr. Snyder plans to attend. It seems to me that we face a far more difficult situation if Mr. Snyder decides not to go and names one of his assistants, rather than Mr. Foster, as his alternate.

2. While I agree with Mr. Parsons’ statement of the case in paragraph 2, I disagree with his recommendations that we seek advance clarification with the other agencies of the principles which should govern the delegation. It seems to me beyond question that the Secretary of State is the senior US representative to NATO. As such it falls to his staff to make arrangements, organize the delegation, and so forth. This has always been accepted in the past, and there is every indication in recent discussions with Defense, Mr. Snyder and Mr. Foster that it is accepted now. The fact of the reorganization of NATO, which may create complications in the meetings themselves, should not lead us to give any indication that we have doubts as to our position. Meetings will be called by State, arrangements made by State, documentation provided by State, and reporting done by State. The fact that we are the official channel to both the Canadian Government and Mr. Spofford gives us a guarantee that we can maintain control. Of course, we cannot prevent the Defense representatives or Mr. Foster from utilizing their own communication channels from Ottawa, but we could not do this even if we sought advance clarification of the role of the State Department in this matter.

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3. The point raised in the third paragraph is an excellent one, and it is my opinion that we should draw up a telegram to Ambassador Spofford asking him to explore this question with the Canadian Deputy and if appropriate, with all the Deputies. It is here that we encounter the greatest difficulty resulting from the reorganization of NATO and one which could cause untold confusion at Ottawa if there is not some agreed line in advance.

Robert G. Barnes
  1. Supra.