740.5/9–1751: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Seventh Session of the North Atlantic Council to the Acting Secretary of State1

Secto 12. ToISA. Fol summarizes NAC meeting 10 a. m. Sept 17 which concluded item 3, had brief preliminary discussion item 6 and began item 4.

De Gasperi referred Italy position in zone of immed danger and said even if Italy’s economic ills overcome, peace treaty limitations wld inhibit Italian effort. Full efforts all partners needed despite preliminary successes for which Marshall Plan largely responsible. It was now time to turn to democratic offensive and West should have dynamic propaganda policy. De Gasperi outlined value of even temporary employment for Ital labor in def effort and activation of plants now idle. He made further plea for action to remove discrimination. Re Eur def community Italy had agreed this concept all along but took into account organizational problems, especially common financing, involved in this step towards federalization. Therefore, means should be found for temporary solution which wld obtain Ger contribution to defense. Lange praised spirit of item 3 discussion, but felt summary needed to clarify its meaning. He proposed and council agreed chairman of deputies shld prepare summary which wld include appreciation of world situation. He felt document such as this wld aid govts when they went to Parliaments for funds.

Before taking up item IV council had preliminary discussion of item VI proposed by US on Sat.

Acheson opened discussion, stating time had come for careful consideration non-military aspects NATO re which it had welcomed various initiatives by Stikker. NAT was far more than defensive alliance as it represented will of peoples to develop their freedom and common heritage. Importance we attach to development NA community shld be made clear to all. Moreover, this had bearing on defense which today must counter both military and ideological aggression. Our peoples would make sacrifices more readily if they realized what they were doing was not for military reasons alone.

Wld be desirable expand present practice of exchanging views on policy matters through council and deputies and also wld be desirable endorse OEEC manifesto.2 Obviously desirable raise living standards and thereby reduce need for artificial external assistance. Acheson suggested chairman appoint small subcomite consider with chairman [Page 665] and chairman of deputies and other members of council means make clear importance attached by govts to non-military objectives and suggest lines of future action.

Stikker made long statement explaining he had not spoken under item III of agenda because views he wld have expressed equally appropriate under this item.3 Analyzing Pax Sovietica, Stikker said Soviets regard politics as war by other means and their peace campaign was really act of war in Sov sense of word. He ascribed uneasiness in West Europe to worsening econ position which followed Korean war and resulting impetus for rearmament. While general willingness make sacrifices existed, any further lowering present standards wld endanger social peace on home front. Balance needed between military and economic efforts. NAT framers considered it constitutional action which they hoped wld some day give rise to NA community. Proclamation of determination establish Atlantic community might well reverse present mood of apathy and uncertainty. Govts shld examine means for practical realization this concept and movement for Atlantic federation union originating in US was of particular interest although hardly ripe for immediate use.

Even though Atlantic community long-term target, should start now provide broader platform for cooperation than afforded under present practice to clarify NATO objectives (1) common def, (2) polit coordination and frequent consultations on foreign policy, (3) econ, financial and social cooperation towards full employment, increase in productivity, progressive elimination trade barriers, stability of balances of payments, equitable production and distribution raw materials, price stabilization for essential commodities, and (4) coordination of info and cultural activities.

Stikker suggested possibility creating NATO advisory committee on info, issuance of “declaration of intentions” to move towards closer association, and endorsement of European manifesto. Declaration should set forth achievements under NATO and repeat firm intention work towards closer association and establishment of Atlantic community within framework UN. Care shld be exercised avoid duplication overlapping other orgs in this field.

Schuman stated France had always insisted on (1) avoidance excessive military character, (2) connection between social economic, and military problems, and (3) solid basis for military cooperation through establishment spiritual and economic community of interests. France supported Acheson’s initiative and hoped wld lead to practical results without overlapping or competition between groups. Schuman also referred to aims of proposed committee and emphasized need to strengthen propaganda which was now primarily defensive.

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Morrison agreed to proposal but said cooperation must be practical. It was well to have vision of military, economic, and social cooperation, but far better to move step by step in sensible way. Proposal accepted on basis chairman wld later submit names and terms of reference.

After brief presentation4 SG intelligence estimate of present situation and defense capabilities, [De Greef] criticized report as not giving clear picture existing forces and efficiency. Considered report slightly frightening. Suggested council invite Eisenhower Rome.

Shinwell reviewed progress UK program, citing familiar statistics and warned against emphasis on gap rather than present plans to fulfill commitments. Made five general points: (1) Speedy political decisions on which military decisions based are essential. Cited infrastructure, stating hopeful decision be reached while here; Germany, on which progress being made: use of idle production capacity; and solution economic difficulties; (2) must meet time-phased commitments with forces fully equipped and trained for emergency action; (3) when standing forces ready task not ended. Members then must build effective reserves behind forces; (4) reserves must be ready for action in few days or few weeks; (5) prerequisite of military strength utmost cooperation in NATO, with full consultation between Defense Ministers and planners.

Claxton raised Canadian proposal for reorganization MRC,5 citing SG treatment (i.e., SG draft report proposing country force allocations by non-SG members without full consultation) of gap as indicative inadequacy present arrangement. SG members obviously had consulted govts in accepting paper while no such chance for non-SG members review allocation.

Italy outlined plan meet present commitments on time and indicated prepared do more than treaty permits, stating already agreed in military planning to future force levels in excess treaty limits. Supported Belgian and Canadian statement as did Netherlands. Lange, while supporting Canadian reorganization proposal, stated national auths and distance partly to blame for difficulties with SG. Proposed that SG intelligence appreciation be prepared for council with a summary of discussion of agenda item III which Spofford preparing at NAC direction.

Pace welcomed frank discussion and opportunity Defense Ministers give views to SG. Emphasized importance viewing present situation in proper perspective, thought very substantial progress since Brussels, although much still remains be done. Requested Bradley speak, clear up misapprehensions re SG. Bradley said he thought discussion [Page 667] raised three points: (1) Re intelligence estimate it wld be of more value if allow adequate time to prepare. Also C of S of each NAT member shld have chance study SG intelligence estimate and discuss it in MC meeting Rome; (2) re gap he explained any paper must have first draft and gap treatment by SG was not in any sense allocation but first cut at problem based on best info SG cld obtain; (3) re reorganization SG he pointed out this on Rome agenda and MRC should study for discussion three.

Janne discussed DPB report, describing present system uncoordinated natl programs and problems in undertaking integrated program. DPB mission to follow and expedite natl programs, find surplus capacity, coordinate Eur production with US MDAP. Mentioned US interest in offshore procurement of ammunition and spares, and Van Zeeland pre-financing scheme. Emphasized planning must be internatl if progress to be made, suggesting NATO direction of funds for procurement. Herod described unutilized capacity in Eur which wld go long way to fill deficiencies and called for solution financial bottleneck, said DPB has no responsibility or auth do this and asked council solve fin and raw material problems.

  1. Repeated to The Hague, Paris, Oslo, Copenhagen, London, Rome, Brussels, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Reykjavik, and Luxembourg.
  2. For documentation concerning this manifesto and U.S. interest in the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), see volume iv .
  3. Stikker’s statement on the Atlantic Community was made from a prepared statement which was circulated at the meeting as Council Document C7–D/13.
  4. General Paul Ely was the first speaker when discussion of agenda item IV began. He informed the delegations that a fuller report would be forthcoming at the Eighth Session of the Council in Rome.
  5. For documentation concerning the reorganization of NATO, see pp. 1 ff.