Memorandum by the Director of the
Office of Eastern European Affairs (Barbour) to the Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State for European Affairs (Elbrick)
I attended in your stead a meeting held today of the ad hoc working group for the implementation of NSC 143/2.1
General Crittenberger reported on his recent trip to Europe and his conversations in connection with this project with Ambassadors Aldrich, Dillon and Conant and the military officers involved, specifically Generals Gruenther, Handy, Cook and Hogue. General Crittenberger stated that the view was unanimous among all the civilian and military people he talked to that no action should be taken on this project pending either the ratification of EDC or a decision that ratification is impossible. In the event EDC comes into effect, Ambassador Conant felt that Adenauer’s prestige would be sufficiently increased to permit him considerable leeway in matters of this kind and his agreement to this project might then be obtainable.
Ambassadors Dillon and Aldrich also felt that it will be easier to obtain French and British concurrence if EDC is ratified. In the event that EDC does not go through and the “agonizing reappraisal” becomes necessary, it was the unanimous view of the individuals [Page 230] with whom General Crittenberger talked that this project should be considered further in connection with that appraisal. It was the general view that in those circumstances there might be additional factors which would increase the desirability of this project.
General Crittenberger told the ad hoc committee that he had reported in the same sense to the President this morning, adding his recommendation in support of the views of the Ambassadors and the military that further consideration should be postponed pending the outcome of our efforts to obtain the EDC. He said that the President agreed with this view.
General Crittenberger suggested, and it was agreed by the ad hoc committee, that his report to the committee2 should be put in proper form to constitute a Committee Report to OCB and be circulated to the committee members for further clearance before transmission to the OCB. It was further agreed, on General Crittenberger’s suggestion, that having submitted the contemplated report to the OCB, the committee will regard the work as completed, pending the receipt of notification that EDC has come into effect or that further efforts to obtain EDC ratification have been abandoned.