Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 93

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs ( Perkins )
secret

Present: Mr. Lange, Foreign Minister of Norway
Mr. Acheson
Mr. Spofford
Mr. Perkins

Mr. Lange immediately raised the question of the contribution of Norway to the UN forces in Korea. He indicated that they had a shortage of trained personnel both in the non-commissioned and officer ranks. Also, they had been impressed by the pressure from SHAPE to build up their own forces as rapidly as possible. This indicated that it was unlikely that they could send the battalion requested to Korea. However, they had thought that perhaps they might send a special group trained in winter warfare which might be useful in training leaders in this field. This group would be less than a battalion but would have a belligerent status.

Mr. Acheson indicated that this was an interesting suggestion and even though not what we hoped for was far better than Norway’s present lack of participation. He suggested that Mr. Lange talk with General Bradley on the feasibility of such a proposal.

Mr. Lange then raised the question as to whether the NATO should advise its Members on priority—such as Korea vs. the defense of Europe.

Mr. Acheson indicated that he felt this might cause trouble with the UN because it would look as if the NATO was setting itself up as the final arbitrator for military requirements. Therefore, he felt that these problems should be decided individually.

Mr. Lange then raised the question of the US negotiations with Spain.

Mr. Acheson replied that the United States had made it clear that it was not our intention to take Spain into the NATO. Spain has three types of facilities which are important to us: (1) anchorage rights; (2) aircraft landing rights, which is important from the point of view of refueling fighter aircraft in transit; and (3) over-flight rights. Because of these desired privileges, the United States was willing to consider reasonable requests from the Spaniards which should be (1) limited to costs of the improvements of the facilities which we desired to use and (2) reasonable economic aid. He further pointed out that he had great difficulties with public opinion in the United States which was unable to distinguish between our willingness to support Franco who was a dictator and our willingness at the same time to support Tito who was equally a dictator.

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Mr. Lange pointed out that the difference between the two was that Franco split up our friends, whereas Tito split up our enemies.

Mr. Acheson pointed out that he felt it would be helpful to stress the limited objectives we were seeking and the limited aid we would be giving.

Mr. Lange said that one of the most unfortunate things about the Spanish approach was that it had coincided with our announcement concerning Greece and Turkey in the NATO. This made many of the peoples of Europe feel that we were giving up the original concept of the NAT, which was that of an integrated community, and that this idea was one that had taken hold in Europe and was growing in strength.

Mr. Acheson indicated that he hoped that something might be done under Article 2 of the NAT which would reassure the peoples of Europe.

Mr. Lange asked why Mr. Acheson had suggested a preliminary discussion of Article 6 on the agenda.

Mr. Acheson said that he felt that Item VI was worthy of hard thought, that this would not be achieved unless the discussion was focused, and, therefore, some action should be taken early in the meeting to focus the discussion when we came to Item VI.

Mr. Lange agreed but felt that any recommendations that were made should not exceed the possibilities of fulfillment.

Mr. Lange then took up the question of Greece and Turkey in the Command picture. As he understood it, Turkey in the Command structure would be out of NATO and in the Mediterranean Command. This would give Turkey a different status from other NATO countries and might set a precedent.

Mr. Acheson replied that he did not feel that this was the situation. Actually, the position of Turkey was one of added responsibilities—not a special position.

Mr. Lange then asked about the feasibility of a Middle Eastern Pact.

Mr. Acheson pointed out that this would not achieve the reciprocal guarantees which membership in NATO provided and mentioned the great difficulty of the membership problem in the organization of any Middle Eastern or Mediterranean Pact. The Middle Eastern Command would protect the Turkish flank and therefore was of great interest to the Turks. It would also be possible to bring the Commonwealth countries into such a Command and ultimately it might be possible to bring in the Arab States and Israel. This could be done without mixing up this situation with the NAT. He explained the dual relationship of the proposed Command, where Turkey as a Member of NATO would come under NATO, and in connection with Middle Eastern problems would come under the Middle Eastern Command.