740.5/5–354: Telegram

The United States Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council (Hughes) to the Department of State


Polto 1759. Pass OSD. Subject NAC Meeting With Standing Group, April 30.

NAC met with Standing Group Friday afternoon. At request Standing Group, discussion capabilities, requirements, and air defense studies lumped together and taken up in restricted meeting. Whiteley1 made brief presentation describing these three studies in general terms and indicating character of assumptions provided in Standing Group guidance. Indicated availability of atomic weapons had been assumed and that assumptions were being made about effectiveness of forces other than NATO Forces, including strategic command forces, but gave no specifics nor details. Emphasized difficulties involved in terms of new field being plowed. Estimated submittal of studies by July 1 to Standing Group, study by national staffs of Standing Group members until September, completion of Standing Group report October 15, and consideration by other NATO countries until December 1. Discussion devoted largely to unimportant procedural questions, such as relation of December 1 target date to timing of Annual Report meeting.2 No important substantive questions raised and no one questioned firm statement that results of studies would not be available for use in 1954 Annual Report. General agreement after some discussion that would be desirable if conclusions from studies could be incorporated by Council in its fall meeting in directives for 1955 Annual Report.
Whiteley indicated that air defense study might be slower than others, particularly if countries did not speed up their replies to SHAPE questionnaires on their plans. Importance of coordinated European air defense was stressed.
Collins3 made presentation on infrastructure, emphasizing serious concern over lags in committing funds with particular reference to getting additional funds, including in United States suggested committee might be set up to look into problem and to coordinate work of multitude of agencies now involved in infrastructure. Also suggested some arrangements for staff of expediters to follow up on country or regional basis, implementation of program. IS representatives questioned need for additional committee, pointing out WG on lags already underway and working in cooperation SGLO and SHAPE. Agreed that Collins’ suggestions would be discussed further in infrastructure committee.
Valluy4 presented statement problems of standardization which covered all usual points. Recognized for re-examining operation of military agency for standardization and indicated Standing Group was meeting with them following week in London. Indicated consideration being given to firming up organization, without, of course, making any of their decisions mandatory, which was impossible.
Regarding possible meeting with Standing Group in September, Standing Group indicated it was at service of Council. Council consensus seemed to be that such meeting would probably be useful. Final decision to be made later. Was presumed that at that time would be possible to consider whether there were questions which would be appropriate to have military committee consider in advance of usual meeting just preceding Ministerial meeting on Annual Report.
Atmosphere was cordial. Council questions quite limited and uncritical, perhaps partly due to fact no papers were distributed in advance and only very limited knowledge of what Standing Group would have to say.
More detailed report will follow by airgram.5
  1. Gen. Sir John Whiteley on Feb. 1, 1954, succeeded Air Chief Marshal Sir William Elliot as the U.K. Representative on the NATO Military Representatives Committee and the Standing Group.
  2. At the Ninth Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council at Lisbon, February 1952, it had been agreed that the basis of year-to-year NATO defense planning would revolve around the Annual Review. Annual Review Questionnaires (ARQ’s) would be sent to each country through its Permanent Representative on the North Atlantic Council and in due course the Council would receive in reply the individual country responses, or “chapters” which, taken together would comprise the Annual Review (AR) which the Secretary General would submit to the ministers at their semi-annual meetings. The ministers would then pass on the AR’s and in this way the progress of the NATO defensive efforts could be continually reviewed. Throughout the period 1952–1954, the North Atlantic Council and its various committees were continually and deeply absorbed in the development of the Annual Reviews. Documentation on submission by NATO member countries of their individual “chapter” responses to the ARQ’s for 1952–1954 is in file 740.5. Ministerial resolutions on the 1952, 1953, and 1954 AR’s and the Secretary General’s presentation of the AR’s to the Council Ministers during the Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Fifteenth Ministerial meetings are in Conference files, lots 59 D 95 and 60 D 627.
  3. Gen. J. Lawton Collins, U.S.A., U.S. Representative to the NATO Military Representatives Committee and the Standing Group.
  4. Lieutenant General Jean E. Valluy, French Representative on the NATO Military Representatives Committee and the Standing Group.
  5. Not found in Department of State files.