The Secretary of State to the President
Secto 25. For the President from Secretary. Council session has been noteworthy for harmony and for increasing sense cooperation between PC’s. While difficulties coordinating fully govt actions twelve sovereign countries remain great, community spirit developing and US leadership always recognized as unavoidable is increasingly accepted. I was especially pleased by comments reps of Den and Iceland with whom we recently concluded base agreements. Both expressed full appreciation for manner in which US conducted negotiation and paid homage to democratic sense equality which US displayed notwithstanding huge discrepancy size and power of parties.
Ottawa session also significant as first NAC attended by DefMins and FinMins as well as FonMins in accordance with last spring’s reorganization of NATO structure. While presence of so many Mins somewhat delayed proceedings, I believe distinct benefits will be derived from this personal participation of three senior Cabinet officials each govt. This should lead to broader understanding complexity of our security tasks. There has been minimum speaking for record and all have displayed real desire come to grips with problems.
It is, of course, too soon fully assess result of session as only ends tomorrow. In judging results to date you should bear in mind the objectives which we had set for ourselves at this session. Primary purpose was obtain favorable action on admission Greece and Turkey. In addition, we wished pave way for acceptance by exec branches of NATO govts of solid military plan at subsequent NAC in Rome. Our third major objective was reassure our NATO allies increasingly fearful that US considered NATO only as mil alliance without regard for econ and soc realities or cultural matters. This concern recently enhanced by our pressure for admission Greece and Turkey, especially latter, [Page 679] which Scandinavian and others were reluctant to accept as lacking Eur, Christian and democratic background. While a handicap in this instance, the seriousness with which these countries considered NATO as nucleus for gradually developing North Atl community holds promise for future.
Greece–Turkey item introduced Mon and fully supported by US, UK, Fr and Italy. Other countries expressed varying degrees acceptance with Nor and Dutch stressing that their action due to desire not block will of majority. This would have resulted from their negative vote because of unanimity rule. Danish rep said not permitted by his instructions to vote aye. Discussion interpreted to permit Dan rep request new instructions from Copenhagen and will resume tomorrow when I expect favorable action by council. This action will take for recommendation to govts that they invite Greece and Turkey join NAT. As preliminary action required by constitutions most countries, we must expect delay two or three months before Greece–Turkey accede. This, however, will not prevent talks with Greek-Turkish govts with view establishing command set-up.
Re non-mil aspects NATO press has displayed fanciful imagination in reporting alleged action and decisions. We have done our utmost to rebut allegations that we have committed ourselves to econ programs for Eur at expense US taxpayer. We have made no such commitment of any kind. We have supported resolution estab ministerial comite consisting of Bel, Can, Ital, Dutch and Nor reps to make recommendations on (a) pol coordination and frequent consultation on foreign policy; (b) closer econ, fin and soc cooperation within NAT organization or thru other agencies; (c) collaboration in fields cultural and public info.
Re offshore procurement, we only expressed interest in helping use idle equipment facilities which would also provide Eur with some needed foreign exchange and would also develop alternate sources mil production which could be most useful under war time conditions shipping shortages. No figure mentioned as to amount such US procurement.
Re hastening acceptance firm mil plan, council has taken a major step this general subject, now generally referred to as “operation wise-men”. Resolution adopted today provides for temporary comite of twelve reps of Cabinet rank and on which I hope Averell Harriman will serve as US rep and we expect, would be elected chairman. There will be a small exec comite consisting of chairman and vice chairman. Resolution directs all NATO agencies (this includes SHAPE) to place their services full disposal comite. Puropse is to make synthesis starting with valuable work done by deps and NATO agencies in mil, econ and fin fields but which have not yet been fitted together. It is hoped comite members will be statesmen with broad vision who will [Page 680] tackle problem both in terms of requirements of mil situation and of econ and fin potential. Every effort will be made by comit insure most severe screening mil requirements while at same time seeking ways and means use most efficiently econ strength of West to pay the bill without disrupting economies. Comite instructed to present interim report Rome and “findings” no later than Dec 1. I hope this work will lead to economically feasible and militarily adequate plan to insure security NATO countries.
Most report grave worry Eur countries over deterioration their internal economies under impact post Korea defense programs has been unanimous. All have stressed that mil build up at accelerated rate which US has been advocating would result in run-away inflation and econ chaos, would foster communism and thus be self-defeating.
While next meeting had been generally though informally accepted as in Rome, Oct 29, UK elections Oct 25 now leaves question open as to place and date of future meeting. We have not had time discuss with other delegations this problem. Until we can make more definite plans, appears advisable not to comment.