740.5/10–451: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the United States Deputy Representative on the North Atlantic Council (Spofford), at London1

Todep 217. Re Rome NAC mtg, US Govt favors Nov 24 or 26 as planning date, with preference for Nov 24. Sun hiatus after opening session proved of distinct value Ottawa for talks with other dels and for internal US Del work.2 As Rome NAC mtg shld consider Ger problems and in view their many complex facets which must be worked out in prelim negots in Bonn, Paris and London to permit NAC action, we can not definitely firm up this date now. Nevertheless we most anxious do all we can to achieve our objective of having mtg by Nov 24 and don’t wish cast doubts on its feasibility which might provide temptation to slow down schedules of work in various fields. Not only most important make progress on Ger, but urgent we reach earliest possible agreement as to mil requirements (i.e., revised MTDP).3 Also essential Council receive interim TCC report4 and supply guidance before findings transmitted govts on Dec 1 for their consideration prior to final Council action.

Shld it be suggested that NAC planning date be set for Dec 1 to coincide with deadline set for Wise Men’s findings, you can state it wld be most difficult for Sec thus prolong his stay in Eur. If Nov 24 date established as target by Deps now, difference of one week shld not be major complication for comite of Twelve.

Shld Nov 19 be suggested, we do not wish appear slight UN in favor NATO in eyes of non-NAT countries and by so doing give weapon to Sov propaganda. We believe Nov 24 shld permit NAT FonMins carry out their participation UNGA in accordance with past practice. Perhaps after breather they wld reassemble Rome. This wld not be case with Nov 19 date as FonMins wld give impression cutting short their UN participation and rushing off to Rome. Further factor arguing for later date is necessity of leaving time for possible mtg of three Mins fol GA and before NAC to settle any unresolved Ger issues resulting from prelim negots.

Re time daily schedule, we much prefer 11:00 a. m. and 3:30 p. m. for daily session. Earlier mtgs might give impression more work being [Page 695]done, but we believe to contrary that availability more time for work with other dels and within ours outside plenary hall more productive of results and wld, in final analysis, speed up, instead of retard NAC work.

For action Rome Emb. Because pressure of work NAC mtgs, please express our view to Ital Govt US preference for minimum entertainment especially during first few days. While we cannot commit Sec one way or other this far in advance, he has strong personal preference for absolute minimum social activities. You might bear in mind that, due to pressure of work, Sec forced cancel social engagements Ottawa. We believe easier limit social functions if we express our views earlier rather than later when plans made or well advanced.

  1. Drafted by Ridgway B. Knight of the Office of European Regional Affairs and cleared by EUR, UNA, White House, RA, Department of Defense, Treasury, S/ISA, ECA, and GER; repeated to Ottawa, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, and Bonn.
  2. This reference concerns the meetings of the Seventh Session of the North Atlantic Council which met in Ottawa. The first meetings were held on Saturday, September 15. with no meetings scheduled for Sunday; the meetings then continued from Monday to Wednesday of the following week.
  3. For documentation concerning the Medium Term Defense Plan (MTDP) see pp. 1 ff.
  4. For documentation on the Temporary Council Committee (TCC), sometimes referred to as the “wise men”, see ibid. , which includes the interim report.