740.5/10–3054: Telegram

The United States Permanent Representative on the North Atlantic Council ( Hughes ) to the Department of State 1


Polto 782. Ismay has sent personal memorandum to PermReps on question associating Germany with NATO work pending her accession [Page 1466] to NATO which he raised orally at NAC meeting October 27 (see Polto 753 rptd Bonn Polto 1242). Stated purpose of memorandum is set out certain relevant considerations and to suggest some possible courses of action, but Ismay notes that he is not himself wedded to anything suggested therein and that political considerations may outweigh what otherwise desirable and practicable. Memorandum then continues

“2. I think it would be well to recall the following facts which bear on this problem:

An interim commission of the EDC sat for some two years to enable the Germans and their potential colleagues to collaborate in advance of ratification;
This created a mechanism through which SHAPE was authorized to give military advice to the Germans and to release to them certain classified information;
Ministers have agreed that an interim Seven-Power Working Group should operate in London with the Germans as a member, pending accession of Germany and Italy to the Western European Union.

3. The following possible courses of action which might be taken to associate Germany with the work of NATO are put forward as a basis of discussion. The putting into operation of certain of these would, of course, depend on a satisfactory outcome of the inspection of German security which the Council has in mind to institute.

Continuation of the work of the special civil defence committee, which is in existence, and which was in no way related to the interim commission of the EDC;
The release of classified NATO information, particularly insofar as military advice from SHAPE is concerned, under the procedure agreed with the Germans for the handling of NATO information through the Paris steering group series of documents;
Association of German representatives with such planning work as will obviously have repercussions beyond the first quarter of 1955, e.g. the preparation of the questionnaires for the 1955 annual review;
The establishment of a Fifteen-Power ad hoc committee, to include the Germans, with appropriate Fifteen-Power ad hoc subordinate committees.”

First three Ismay proposals above seem acceptable, but we are not entirely clear as to what he has in mind in proposing Fifteen-Power ad hoc committee. Next NAC meeting should provide opportunity obtain amplification his thinking. We know Ismay is concerned about possibility that interim Seven-Power Working Group to be established [Page 1467] London will begin to nose into areas appropriately reserved to NATO unless similar body established by NATO in which Germans formerly participated. During discussions which we have had this week with delegations in Paris, general feeling (in which we share) is that we should not act precipitously in attempting formalize relations with FedRep at this early stage, but should retain flexibility to deal with specific problems requiring liaison as they arise. At time of December ministerial meetings, when ratification situation should be clearer, we can consider whether more formal modes of association are desirable. Ismay’s concern about encroachments by London Working Group is generally considered exaggerated.3

  1. Repeated to London and Bonn.
  2. Not printed; it informed the Department of State that Ismay intended to raise this subject at the next meeting of the North Atlantic Council (740.5/10–2754).
  3. In telegram Topol 541 to Paris, Nov. 2, the Department of State noted its general agreement with the views expressed in the source text (740.5/10–3054).