No. 344

740.5/8–1151: Telegram

The Ambassador in Norway (Bay) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret

163. Lange called me to FonOff today to inform me that Cabinet has approved discussions with US representatives along lines of Deptel 104, Aug 1,2 and suggested that discussions begin week of Aug 20. (Embtel 143, Aug 7;3 rptd London 25, Paris 20.) Lange stated Norwegian authorities assume these talks will be exploratory and that they are based on decision taken by NATO Ministers of Defense at Washington last October and subsequently approved by NAT Council. On that assumption Lange supposes bilateral agreement with US would be followed by negotiations with each of the other countries in North Atlantic regional planning group. He expects US-Norway agreement therefore to set precedent for bilateral agreements with Great Britain and Denmark.

Lange stated that Norwegian Govt would like to have representative Northern European Command of SHAPE present at discussions. I presume North European Command representative would be either General Taylor or his Chief of Staff Col. Reynolds, both of whom happen to be Americans, although it might turn out to be British or even Danish officer.

Please advise as to (a) correctness of Norwegian assumption that these negotiations stem from NATO decisions of last year cited above,4 (b) Dept’s attitude toward presence of Northern European Command representatives, (c) acceptability of dates proposed, and (d) composition of US delegation.5


It informed Bay that the team would consist of Col. Sidney Ofsthun, Air Force, Chairman; Maj. Earl Schroeder, Army; John Johnson, Associate General Counsel of the Air Force; and Charles Rodors, Department of State. Those members were to arrive on August 24, and August 27 was accepted as the date for the beginning of the talks. Comdr. James Clute, MAAG, who was already in Oslo, was the Navy member of the team. (740.5/8–1151)

  1. Repeated to London for USDep and to Paris for MacArthur.
  2. Document 342.
  3. Supra.
  4. Telegram Repno 1 to Oslo, August 21, informed Bay that the Norwegian assumption was correct and indicated some NATO documents supporting that assumption. (757.5/8–2151)
  5. In telegram 141 to Oslo, August 14, the Department of State reported it had no objection to a SHAPE representative. It preferred him to be an American but would not insist on that point.