The Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of State 1
Unnumbered. Pearson (Canad) and Spofford have just discussed with me urgent question of determining whether Rome NATO mtg shld be held on November 24 or postponed. Fol are various considerations and national positions.
UK position: Pearson reports in conversations with Eden latter urged postponements to December 8. Eden apparently has in mind this wld be better from point of view Ger negotiations and TCC report.
Fr view: Schuman told me this morning that he wld like postponement until Jan. This view seems to be affected by problem of his debates in Parliament on EDF. He probably also has in mind lack of completion of negotiations on Ger contractual arrangements.
Italian view: Spofford thinks Italians might be considerably upset by long postponement, but wld not object to postponement of one or two weeks.
Pearson has no personal preference, but indicated undesirability of holding mtg if nothing cld be accomplished. He thought postponement to December 8 might permit action on TCC report and on Ger negotiations. He will agree to whatever date others approve.
Spofford reports no vigorous feeling among smaller NATO members. On the EDF he believes some paper cld be submitted by November 24 which wld place before NAC those aspects of EDF bearing on NATO relationship even though problems such as budgetary arrangements which do not concern NATO still remained unsettled. He reports Harriman expects to have TCC report finished November 31 and printed by December 5. This wld not seem to allow time for full govt consideration even if mtg were postponed until December 8. Will discuss this aspect with Harriman tomorrow.
Am asking McCloy for preliminary statement his views, but will discuss further with him, Byroade and Perkins 2 on Mon. Will also probably discuss with Eden Sun night.
Pointed out to Pearson problem from point of view of completion of our budget in Dec.[Page 698]
Promised Pearson definite US view on Mon evening since time is very short particularly for planned military comite mtg week before 24th. Accordingly hope to receive your views on those of Def on Mon.