Memorandum by Ridgway B. Knight of the Office of European Regional Affairs to the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Perkins)1

Subj: Your Luncheon Tomorrow with General Eisenhower, the Secretary, and Mr. Harriman.

1. I discussed with Doug MacArthur this general question after we had initiated it in your office.

2. We came to the conclusion that the major positive achievement of the Rome meeting should be the laying of the foundation for the battle readiness by next summer of those divisions now potentially available. As far as the new MTDP (SG20/372) is concerned, it should be one of the major topics for the January meeting of the NAC. Consequently, we came to the conclusion that the following items should come up at Rome together and in the following order:

The intelligence report requested at Ottawa on the strength and capabilities of NATO and of the Soviet bloc. While this report should be distributed ahead of time, we thought it would be wise to have the highlights of the report presented by a spokesman of the Standing Group (perhaps General Bradley). Not only would this provide an appropriate introduction but it would also make certain that all the Ministers at the table would be familiar with the essence of this report before hearing Mr. Harriman and General Eisenhower.
Mr. Harriman to make his personal report on the status of the TCC. We are of the opinion that as the November objective is the immediate readiness of available forces other than the MTDP as a whole, Mr. Harriman should speak before General Eisenhower. (On the contrary in January Mr. Harriman should speak last as his field is the synthesis of the military and the economic in relation to the NATO’s complete military objective.)
General Eisenhower speaks. In addition to explaining the reasons why it is so important to place available divisions in a state of full battle readiness as soon as possible, he might appropriately speak on the necessity of firming up our political and military plans by the January meeting, of the urgency of obtaining a German contribution, and of the crying need for more energetic NATO information policies on the part of all countries and more particularly of European NATO nations.

Doug and I believe that even though the Military Committee agenda does not absolutely require General Eisenhower’s participation, nevertheless it would be well worth his time to meet with the NATO Chiefs [Page 705]of Staff on November 23rd as suggested in Deptel 2841.3 The resulting psychological uplift to the Chiefs of Staff and particularly in the case of those of the smaller NAT countries would be worth the time. On this assumption, and in view of General Eisenhower’s desire to return to his headquarters as soon as possible, the following order of the agenda would appear to be appropriate:

Saturday afternoon, Nov. 24th—Public opening of the Council with newspapermen, cameramen, et cetera. As this public session should not take more than half an hour to one hour at the most, it should be possible after a brief recess for the Council to hold a closed meeting when the following items could be disposed of:

  • Item I. Chairman’s opening statement (if he wishes to make one in addition to his statement during the public meeting).
  • Item II. Adoption of agenda, procedure, and decisions as to handling of the press during the Rome meeting.

Sunday, Nov. 25th—No NAC meetings. Day devoted to additional briefings if necessary, internal delegation work, and ad hoc negotiations with other delegations as may be appropriate at the time.

Monday, Nov. 26th—Item III, Presentation by Standing Group representative (General Bradley?) of intelligence report on Soviet and NATO capabilities.

  • Item IV. Mr. Harriman’s report on the TCC’s report to date.
  • Item V. Statement by General Eisenhower.

If any time is left it should be devoted to starting discussion on Item VI, Command Questions, in view of General Eisenhower’s interest in this subject.

Tuesday, Nov. 27th—Item VI, Command Questions. Close of consideration.

  • Item VII. Other military questions resulting from Military Committee.
  • Item VIII. German participation in Western defense. (Report by Alphand on status of EDF talks)
  • Item IX. Report by Committee on North Atlantic Community.

Wednesday, Nov. 28th—Item X. Reports by NATO agencies, if any.

  • Item XI Exchange of views on political matters (German unity, et cetera).
  • Item XII. Other business.
  • Item XIII. Communiqué.

While in principle we only wish to hold one Council meeting a day, it would, of course, be possible to call exceptionally a morning meeting or an evening meeting should this be necessary in order to conclude by the close of business Wednesday the 28th.

  1. Knight was given the additional responsibility during the period from September through November 1951 to serve as the Coordinator of International Conferences.
  2. Not found in the Department of State files.
  3. Not printed; it stated that the Military Committee was planning on meeting on November 20–21, would hold a joint meeting with the Council Deputies on November 22, and was scheduled to meet with General Eisenhower on the 23d. (740.5/11–1051)