740.5/2–2552: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State 1

Secto 79. Council opened final session 5 p.m. with adopting drastically amended version UK declaration transmitted Secto 54.2 Agreed text released to press tonight with final communiqué.3 Both texts sent Dept via press wireless.

Pearson reported agreement reached by FonMins re NATO reorganization.4 Ministerial meetings will be held in city other than permanent headquarters only in “special” instead of “exceptional” circumstances. Re vice chairman, Pearson stated some preferred other alternatives in principle but because issue so closely related to function SecGen FonMins prepared recommend first alternative (i.e. US position) if preferred by SecGen. Committee agreed permanent headquarters shld be in general area Paris. At Eden’s request agreed communiqué indicates that in reaching decision council had in mind political and administrative importance of location near other international organizations having responsibilities and interests closely related to NATO.
FonMins also included paragraph stating SecGen functions along following lines: should initiate and prepare matters for Council action; take appropriate steps to follow up and coordinate actions; submit progress reports every six months to Council. SecGen should have direct access to all NATO agencies and govts. Relationships with govts should be organized in consultation with each permanent representative concerned. Portuguese representative put in record that in case his country relationship subject country approval. Chairman noted this applied all countries. Re access to commands, FonMins [Page 158] agreed should not interfere with existing chains of authority and MC and SG should be kept fully informed of contacts.
Pearson informed Council that he had phoned Franks at request FonMins to discuss possibility his accepting position of SecGen if Council approved FonMins’ recommendation. Franks requested 48 hours to consider. Council authorized Pearson confirm offer on behalf Council. Also agreed deputies would follow up and Franks could become SecGen through their action. If Franks unavailable deputies would make other recommendation to govts. Communiqué will not name SecGen nominee but Pearson will state job offered to Franks.5
Agreed leave open date when reorganization will become effective until known when SecGen will be appointed.
Agreed paragraph re international secretariat would read that secretary shld play “an effective” not “major” role.
Council approved paper with other minor changes.
Pearson expressed council appreciation for services permanent staff stressing Spofford’s contribution. Council approved resolution thanking Spofford.
Report on cost-sharing third slice infrastructure adopted without discussion.6 Details being cabled separately.7
Council approved communiqué issued this evening after considerable discussion. Re para on EDC and NATO, Schuman objected to inclusion sentence taken from approved deputies report stating relationships between communities should be based not on concept of two separate bodies working independently toward same objective but on concept of one so far as this objective concerned, working with framework, of other. This proposal generated typical EDC debate, Stikker strongly opposing apparent weakening of statement of relationship to NATO and DeGasperi emphasizing federation aspect EDC. Solution proposed by Secretary which deleted negative phrase but retained balance of sentence, agreed. During discussion Pearson twice pointed out that inclusion or exclusion of particular language in communiqué could not alter formal decision already taken by Council in approving resolution re EDC.8
Pearson proposed and Council agree next meeting Ministerial level should be at new headquarters if established with date meeting left for subsequent decision in light developments.
  1. This telegram was repeated for information to all NATO capitals.
  2. The telegram under reference here is not printed; for the text of the draft declaration, circulated to the Council as C9–D/18 (2nd Revise), Feb. 25, see p. 193.
  3. For the agreed text of “The Declaration of Aims” of the Council as released to the press on Feb. 25, see p. 195; for the text of the final communiqué, see p. 177.
  4. For the final approved version of the paper under consideration by the Council at this point, C9–D/4 (Revise), Feb. 29, see p. 198.
  5. Soon after the conclusion of the Council session, Franks indicated his intention not to accept the proffered position. Eventually, Lord Ismay was chosen to become NATO Secretary General. For documentation relative to that appointment, see pp. 180 ff.
  6. For the text of the report, document C9–D/21, Feb. 25, see p. 196.
  7. Telegram Secto 89, Feb. 20, is not printed.
  8. For the text of the final Council communiqué, document C9–D/22 (Final), see p. 177.