Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 101

Background Paper Prepared in the Department of State 1
[LIS D–4/2]

Work of the Temporary Council Committee Prior to Lisbon

Status of TCC Work

Governments were requested by TCC to submit their comments on its report of December 18th2 no later than January 15th. The U.S. response [Page 207]was in support of the general lines of the report. The country comments are now being analyzed by the TCC Executive Bureau (Mr. Draper for the U.S.). The Executive Bureau has prepared a supplemental report, based on these comments, and a draft resolution for Council action on the TCC. These are being considered by the TCC itself at its meeting started Wednesday, February 6th. Attachments A and B summarize the current drafts of these documents, the general lines of which are acceptable to us.3

Mr. Harriman is representing the U.S. at the TCC meeting, which is expected to run through Friday. After adjournment to permit TCC members to consult their governments, TCC will reconvene in Lisbon on the 13th or 14th. The purpose of this final meeting is to put the report and resolution in final shape, after receiving governmental guidance, and to coordinate action with the Military Committee, which will be meeting at Lisbon during that week.4

In its Rome meeting, the Council requested the Military Committee to comment on the TCC report. The Standing Group prepared a report5 which was submitted to Governments last week, to be acted on by the Military Committee at Lisbon. Copies of the Standing Group report are available to the TCC. However, there has been no opportunity to coordinate views with either the Standing Group or the Military Committee prior to the present meeting. Therefore, the parallel meetings in Lisbon are set up to provide an opportunity for the TCC members to consult their colleagues on the Military Committee and for staff consultation between the Committees to insure the maximum coordination between the military portions of the TCC report and the Military Committee comments on the TCC report.

Basic Issues Before TCC

Both the country comments and the Standing Group report indicate a wide area of agreement on the TCC plan of action. While the Council should have relatively few issues before it, the issues that remain may be of critical importance. The more important issues now before the TCC are indicated below.

1. Firm Acceptance of 1952 Force Targets

The TCC approach is to propose a firm force target to be reached at the end of calendar 1952, and provisional targets for later years, [Page 208]largely as planning guides for long-lead actions. The country comments contain a number of reservations and the draft supplemental report recognizes these shortfalls. It is essential that TCC and Council agree that the plan of action for 1952 is feasible. Otherwise, there will be no sound basis for our Fiscal Year 1953 aid program presentation, or any blueprint to guide the permanent agencies of the NATO in implementing the buildup. The draft report and resolution handle this problem in a satisfactory manner. Unless the TCC itself “waters down” the report, this will not be an issue for Council.

2. The Belgian Challenge of TCC Procedures and Recommendations

The Belgian comments consisted of an ill-tempered blast at TCC procedures and recommendations, i.e., that Belgium should substantially increase its defense effort, through mutual aid if necessary. This country took vigorous exception to the Belgian position. Ambassadors Murphy and Draper have been engaged in informal bilateral negotiations to bring the Belgians into line prior to the TCC meeting. The procedural and interpretative problems can be handled in the drafting of the Council resolution. If, as it now appears, Belgium endorses the draft resolution, the problem need not go to Council. If the Belgians hold out, Ambassador Draper is authorized to circulate to TCC members a strong U.S. reply to the Belgian note, and thrash out the issue in the TCC. However, it is expected that the Belgian representative will make a satisfactory statement to TCC, which should settle the procedural issue.

The Belgians have also reconsidered their position regarding their own effort and have indicated their willingness to consider a larger effort, although their proposals to date have been somewhat less than generous. It is believed that enough progress on this can be made prior to the Council meeting so that it need not become an issue there.

3. The French Crisis

Whether or not the TCC will be able to affirm that a reconciliation has been achieved between military requirements and politico-economic capabilities is still questionable, largely because of the gap between the cost of the French force plans and the expenditures they can undertake, with the support we can give them from Fiscal Year 1952 mutual aid funds. While the French have told us that they must cut back their force plans sharply—so sharply that we consider it doubtful that a German contribution of 12 divisions would be politically possible—the French submission to the TCC indicates their intention to proceed with the buildup recommended by TCC. If, however, the French should take the position in TCC that they must scale down their plans, it would be difficult for the Council to take meaningful action on the TCC report, without having found some solution to this problem.

  1. This was one of the series of background, position, and negotiating papers prepared in the Department of State and other agencies in preparation for the Ninth Session of the North Atlantic Council in Lisbon. This paper, which was drafted by Vass of RA, was distributed for information to the members of the interagency Steering Group which guided the preparations for the Council session.
  2. For a summary of the Temporary Council Committee Report of Dec. 18, 1951, see supra.
  3. The attachments under reference were not found. For the TCC Supplementary Report, see p. 211. For the text of the resolution on the reports of the Temporary Council Committee as adopted by the North Atlantic Council on Feb. 23, see document C9–D/20, Feb. 23, p. 220.
  4. For accounts of the concluding meetings of the Temporary Council Committee in Lisbon, see telegram Secto 22, Feb, 20, from Lisbon, p. 219.
  5. The editors have not had access to the report under reference.