No. 619

740.5/3–1251: Telegram

The United States Deputy Representative on the North Atlantic Council (Spofford) to the Secretary of State 1


Depto 622. Deputies 19th meeting March 12:2

Italian Deputy summarized increased defense measures. (Separate report to Rome and Department when text available.)
Exchanged views on Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Albania. Canada, Iceland, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Norway stated unrepresented there and no information to contribute.

Belgium stated WU report nearly completed on satellite treatment Western diplomats found strict reciprocity impracticable due greater importance Western missions behind Curtain. France anticipated early purge in Bulgaria on Czechoslovak pattern. UK differed, holding Bulgarian regime duly entrenched since conclusion Kostov trials.

Italy considered geographic isolation Albania and ease with which West could control territory make its use as base for aggression improbable. Expressed view that rebellion against Hodza [Hoxha] would be unfortunate since it would give USSR pretext to intervene under Mutual Assistance Treaty provisions. Albania had suffered prolonged economic crisis and opposition to regime was increasing. Russia catered to Albanian nationalism which West could not ignore. Italy being careful give no cause for complaint.

Netherlands believed no chance, successful uprisings and Titoism under too strict surveillance. Thought increasing use Soviet officers indicated lack confidence in satellite troops and that Russia would hesitate to use them except in conjunction with Russian units.

[Page 1237]

UK felt peasant resistance strongest, church resistance seriously weakened and economic conditions reasonably good despite reluctant labor and shortages raw materials. Only in Albania was internal opposition serious, despite Russian military mission recently strengthened to 2,000.

US followed Deptel 40003 and suggested WG prepare agreed minute. UK requested minute cover intelligence estimate only rather than policy. US acquiesced since no other Deputy had discussed his country’s policy.

[Here follows a description of other items taken up at the meeting.]

  1. Repeated for information to the other NATO capitals and to Frankfurt, Heidelberg for Handy, and Wiesbaden for Norstad.
  2. This was the 19th meeting in 1951 of the North Atlantic Council Deputies.
  3. Document 617.