No. 345

757.5/8–2751: Telegram

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

top secret

Norep 1. First meeting re military operating rights held this morning2 at Akershus. Composition Norwegian team Colonel Ornulf Dahl, Defense Staff, Chairman; Lt. Colonel Kaldager, RNAF; Commander R. K. Andresen, RNN; Jan Rustad, Minister of Defense; Frithjof Jacobsen, FonOff (American desk).

Welcoming team, Dahl expressed hope that negotiations would result in draft agreement which could be laid before both governments for approval. He next explained Norwegian base policy, both reading and circulating excerpts Hauge’s February 21 Storting speech (Embassy’s despatch 1427, April 23) and referred to latter as official policy which Norwegian team not entitled discuss. Dahl further stated any agreement reached must be ratified by Storting. Upon query this point, FonOff representative explained agreement for publication should be in general terms accompanied as necessary by secret annexes.

US delegation briefly set forth our requirements including reference to US personnel needed at Gardermoen and Sola to supplement Norwegians. Norwegian reaction not negative. Norwegian delegation described expansion under way or planned at numerous airfields in Norway together with relationship this expansion to MTDP and planned disposition Norwegian units. It was agreed form technical sub-comite compare detailed US requirements with existing and planned Norwegian facilities and service at Gardermoen and Sola. Meeting adjourned, having required only one hour.

Norwegians appeared surprised at narrowness pre-D-Day requirements as stated. However, during meeting Colonel Page, USAF [Page 760] SHAPE observer, explained that US requirements as set forth by US delegation could not be regarded as final since regional planning under SHAPE may develop additional requirements all three services. Apparent that Norwegians expect negotiations lead to formal agreement but not as yet clear whether they have in mind agreement which would include pre-D-Day operating rights. We expect explore this point simultaneously with sub-comite discussion detailed requirements.

Hauge’s speech was a restatement of Norwegian defense policy and said, in part, “Norway will not take part in any alliance that leads to the ‘opening of bases for the armed forces of foreign powers on Norwegian territory as long as Norway is not attacked, or exposed to threat of attack.’ “Hauge said the section quoted by him was taken from a February 1, 1949 note from Norway to the Soviet Union, and Norwegian policy had not changed since then. (700.56357/4–251)

  1. Repeated to London for USDep and to Paris for MacArthur. The Department of State relayed it to the Air Force for Newmark on August 28 at 9:30 a.m.
  2. More detailed minutes of the meetings of the Military Operating Rights Team for Norway are in file 757.5.
  3. The Embassy sent a copy of the speech under reference to the Department of State in despatch 1427 after a March 30 proposal by Gromyko to the Four-Power Deputies in Paris that the agenda for a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers include an item on U.S. military bases in Norway. See telegram 5835, March 31, vol. iii, Part 1, p. 1118.