26. Telegram From the United States Delegation at the North Atlantic Council Ministerial Meeting to the Department of State 1

Polto 2026. 1. Theotokis opened afternoon session, 3 p.m., May 5, continuing discussion item III(A).2 Said military posture had to be kept up, and reinforced. To do so might induce favorable changes in Soviet policy. Political problems were of two kinds—first, against Russia where NATO action should be concerted, and second, among NATO members, where he thought NATO was not as effective as it should be, more should be done. On economic side practical application of Article 2 should be concentrated on NATO members, leaving other existing organizations to help in development of countries outside of NATO.

2. After some discussion by Brentano, Spaak, Martino, Lange, Koprulu and Lloyd, Council adopted substance of Italian resolution for inclusion in communiqué.3

3. Following considerable discussion of draft communiqué,4 Council took up agenda item III(C). Pearson said report before Council, C–M(56)18, was useful document.5 Information policy and procedure very important part NATO activity. However, we have not yet succeeded in informing either own peoples of importance NATO or those of neutral or uncommitted nations. Of course, no information organization can be effective unless substantive policies and actions provide right foundation. Should see if we cannot make further progress in coordinating information policy in NATO. Our information output should stress danger military aggression had not disappeared, and also interdependence NATO countries and their importance to each other. Cited Iceland as example. Small member of community but vitally important cog in NATO collective defense mechanism. Without free and wholehearted cooperation Iceland, strength NATO as deterrent to aggression would be less. Said more encouragement should be given NATO information activities and closer [Page 75] contacts with national information agencies so as to harmonize national information policies. Lange suggested that if more frequent meetings of Council with Foreign Ministers attending are to be held, they might with advantage occasionally be held in capitals of various member countries. Suggestion will be explored by PermReps.

4. Discussion agenda item II(C) followed. Separate report follows.6

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 740.5/5–656. Secret. Approved by Timmons and repeated to all other NATO capitals.
  2. The summary, C–R(56)23, and verbatim, C–VR(56)23, records of this season, both dated May 5, are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 696.
  3. A copy of the Italian resolution, dated May 4, which proposed that NATO undertake periodic examinations of the political aspects of economic problems is ibid., CF 685.
  4. A copy of the draft final communiqué, dated May 5, is ibid.
  5. A copy of the 14-page report by the Chairman of the Committee on Information and Cultural Relations, C–M(56)18, “Information Programme for 1956” dated February 20, which recommended ways to improve the dissemination of information about NATO and the cultural relations between the Allies, is ibid., CF 695.
  6. Polto 2027, not printed. (Ibid., Central Files, 740.5/5–656)