740.5/9–1651: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Seventh Session of the North Atlantic Council to the Acting Secretary of State 1
confidential

Secto 6. This is brief report first closed session seventh meeting NAC held 3 p. m. Sept 15, Ottawa.

Agenda Item I.

Van Zeeland read opening address being distributed all dels.2 He stressed necessity of making decisions promptly and getting on with job using best tools available rather than putting off decisions until perfect job could be done. Thought perfectionist approach had held up mil production in Eur considerably.

Agenda Item II.

Agenda approved as submitted except that Acheson suggested preliminary discussion Item VI be held immed before discussion of agenda Item IV so that WG cld be promptly established to make recommendations which cld be considered at time agenda Item VI reached. Suggestion adopted.3

Agenda Item IV [III]—World round-up.

A. Canada (Pearson).

1. Noting this first meeting of reorganized council representing govts, suggested Council meet 3 times per year thus assisting in planning work of NATO and avoiding public impression that meetings were result of crises calling for important decisions. Noted little lessening of World tension since Brussels with morale higher and less fear immed attack. Although West stronger, must continue work for further strength particularly in light of aggressive attitude by Russia in FE. Urged balance must be maintained between failure to rearm and pressing rearmament so fast that domestic economies became vulnerable to Russian internal attack. Thought situation Korea might make Russia turn more to tactics internal disorders. To counteract this possibility thought economic advancement of peoples must be given every consideration. Also mentioned the difference between short-term problem in next few years and long-term problem thereafter. Today historic turning point development NATO as non-mil objectives for first time under consideration. This gives opportunity plan long-term [Page 655] economic problems. Thought enemies were worried as much about unity of NATO as about NATO’s strength. Necessary strengthen unity in face of such difficult problems as German participation in defense of West, closing gap, burden-sharing exercise and rearmament problems.

B. Denmark (Kraft).

1. Spoke of progress since first NAC mtg and of contribution US and Can thereto. Mentioned increasing feelings shown Strasbourg4 that it was worth making sacrifices prevent third world war. However, economic gains of past must not be lost. Purpose of NATO to prevent war, not to win it. NATO not confined to purely military matters, but is permanent.

[2.] Organization anxious to hear Acheson’s view on Item VI. Spoke of value Denmark to NATO in defense Baltic and Northern flank. Believed Denmark’s contribution sometimes under-rated. Thought NATO shld be careful avoid risk war in building up its forces, particularly to avoid propaganda that NATO had aggressive designs. Mentioned that complete denial exports from West to East wld have serious consequences and increase World tension. Although appeasement is to be shunned, there are serious dangers in preparing too vigorously for war. Political problems of today common concern of small and large countries and required consultation.

C. France (Schuman).

1. Spoke of relationship between Fr and Ger which must be based on common institutions rather than on treaties and agreements which might be broken. Discussed conferences held Paris on Eur Army5 stating that conferences have resulted in a report which Fr Govt was willing to accept. Stated that Ger was willing accept general principles contained in report, but that various military, legal and financial details had to be worked out. These were in the hand of subcoms. It is hoped that report can be submitted to NAC in Rome and agreement reached there after which debate in Parliament soonest to seek favorable vote on broad lines BDC [ EDC ] described briefly certain portions report relating to supra-national authority to control admin and financial aspects of EDF. EDF does not derrogate from concept of NATO, but by creating stronger Eur control thereby NATO will become stronger.

D. UK (Morrison).

1. Reported briefly on Bonn discussions between occupying powers and Ger concerning participation Ger in Western defense.6 Discussions [Page 656] with Gers commenced Jan and continued until June when detailed and technical report submitted. Germany refused agree safeguards required by the occupying powers on ground it wld make her an unequal partner. After report, talks suspended because of progress made in EDF conferences. UK desired to give whole-hearted support to EDF which was bold and visionary idea which would require, however, considerable thought and work before it became a reality. UK now sending general officer to work with military comite of EDF conference in Paris.

2. On general situation, Morrison noted grounds for satisfaction that policy of containment was working as there had been no fresh Communist aggression since last mtg. Also referred to Korean fighting and cease fire talks. Mentioned problems in ME talks and four deps in Paris on agenda for proposed CFM. Noted that we are in dangerous period while relative weakness of West doesn’t match strength of East. After build up West must be alert to maintain proper relative position. He called for necessity of political leadership so that morale of people maintained and they would glory in willingly accept sacrifices to avoid another war. Propaganda of the right sort cld accomplish much. Emphasized necessity for proper standard living among masses. Warned against more conciliatory propaganda line from Moscow. Thought there was no evidence of any change in Soviet intentions as dictatorships must have an enemy to keep people from looking closely at internal problems. Firmness and restraint required to weather difficult period ahead until reasonable military equality between West and East achieved. At that time situation shld be reviewed.

E. US (Acheson).

1. Urgency of present situation relates itself to co-existence with Soviets. He traced historically Soviet power system and noted that novel problem was that in 1917 conspiracy gained control of state without losing its character as a conspiracy. Soviets at same time stressed to their people the vulnerability of their frontiers and their inevitable victory over capitalism. Last war removed Ger and Japanese check on Soviets leaving rest of world weak and vulnerable to neutralism. ME and FE have become inflamed with nationalism and desire freedom they are not yet ready to use. Western powers demobilized. As result Soviets increased pressure on East and West to push borders out and endeavor to maintain weakness of West to achieve objective without war. Attempted to keep Germany, Korea and Japan from recovering and becoming united, attempted to divide West powers to prevent West from rearming, to make UN impotent and defeat general disarmament. Facing this problem econ policy of West in Eur has been most successful and now military efforts proceeding well. Progress is being made and problems can be solved. Soviet has made [Page 657] no advance and has lost Yugo as ally. Discussed progress in FE since war and insuperable difficulties there encountered. Fighting today in many areas of FE, spread of which UN in Korea is discouraging. New treaties in Pacific will help provide for future. FE is true test of Soviet intentions if Soviets so wished fighting in Korea and Indochina wld cease. Danger of spread of Korean War is considerable and no reason to be optimistic about peace talks. Renewed attack will be met with great power. Further requests to resume talks wld be accepted. Also discussed ME problems where nationalist agitators, badly governed and exploited, used West as scape goat. Patience and firmness needed.

2. Re urgent need strengthen NATO, efforts must be made to have Ger participate in defense of West as self-respecting associate. He read prepared statement of occupying powers regarding new status being granted Ger at time EDF created. UK, France and US will only retain supervisory authority to cope with problems relating to present division of Germany and its security. In all other fields new contractual arrangements wld result occupying statute repealed, troops wld be defense forces and not occupation troops. Ambs wld take place of High Comms. Further report to NAC when negotiations concluded.

3. Final observations: (1) EDF wld be a real step forward toward Eur community and shld have full support (2) He recognized importance of standard of living of people but stated that urgent military preparation settlement of German participation and non-military objectives must be done together and at once.

  1. Repeated to London, Brussels, Copenhagen, The Hague, Paris, Oslo, Lisbon, Rome, and Luxembourg.
  2. The text of the opening speech by the Chairman, Paul Van Zeeland, was circulated among the NATO Delegations as Council Document C7–D/8.
  3. The agenda proposed by the Council Deputies had been transmitted to the Department of State in telegram Depto 254 from London, August 23, p. 641. The proposed agenda was circulated at the Ottawa meeting as Council Document C7–D/7.
  4. For documentation on the Council of Europe which met at Strasbourg, November 26–December 10, see volume iv .
  5. For documentation concerning the attitude of the United States towards the Conference for the Organization of a European Defense Community (EDC), see pp. 755 ff.
  6. For documentation concerning U.S. participation in discussions relating to contractual relations with the Federal Republic of Germany, see pp. 1446 ff.