50. Telegram From the United States Delegation at the North Atlantic Council Ministerial Meeting to the Department of State1

Polto 1425. Following is report morning session December 14 North Atlantic Council.2 Secretary suggested comments be transmitted in writing to committee which could then redraft, but that debate be postponed until redraft considered.3 This agreed.

Chairman turned to item V of agenda. On military progress report, Portuguese said they could accept any of three solutions that had been proposed for Iberland [Iberian?] command problem and urged quick solution in light Mediterranean situation. Progress report and statement approved.4

Chairman called for statements on 1956 Annual Review. Staf for Netherlands praised Annual Review procedure. Said rising costs affected all. Reappraisal should lead to evolution not revolution in thinking. Need for forces still apparent and in this spirit Dutch had decided create second active infantry division. More shield forces still needed. Problem of annual recurring costs urgently needs solution. Dutch believe solution possible only on multilateral basis.

Secretary Wilson spoke for US. Text transmitted separately.5

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Strauss spoke for Germans. Recent events showed need for greater political unity and political strength of West than ever. Germany cannot ignore anxiety of NATO at small German contribution for common defense which supplies defense of Germany. Reaffirmed that changes in German plans do not change determination of German Government to accomplish build-up in accordance with recommendations made. Will continue to discuss and plan with NATO authorities. Will proceed on assumption that technical as well as political reappraisal will be taken into account. Despite action of Parliament on 12-month term of service, government now sponsoring legislation that would allow 12 to 18 month term depending on category with 50 percent increased reserve service as well as providing for standby forces. These measures are taken for the shield in Central Europe to which 12 German divisions will contribute. They will have most modern equipment and great flexibility. Will be largely motorized, and suited to all kinds operations. Must be equipped with most modern weapons available.

Germany believes Soviet long-term aims are against Central Europe. Action in Middle East is merely step on way to Berlin and Paris. German forces alone cannot deal with threat. Therefore Germany welcomes reference to shield forces in Political Directive. Statement therein about US, UK, and Canadian forces in Europe important so any aggression can be met if need be with atomic weapons. Gratified French statement intention return divisions from North Africa in 1957. Recent lesson Hungary has increased willingness German people to contribute fair share. Agrees to resolution on annual review.6

Canada said logistic support for ground forces has been big trouble. Canada prepared provide 30-day logistic support, but basic question of reserves beyond 30-day period should be reconsidered. Canada intends for present maintain forces in Europe.

Canada has given $1.4 billion in mutual aid, of which approximately $1 billion in equipment and not in training. Training will decrease for lack of trainees next year and equipment will increase. Emphasis on modern equipment will continue.

Some limitation must be placed on long-range planning owing to need to integrate NATO requirements of defense at home. Aid for next year at about same level as this year.

Turkey said no basis relaxation defense effort. On military comments, particularly regarding air defense, agreed deficiencies in radar coverage should be eliminated and Turkish forces be made both quantitatively and qualitatively able face any reality. These are [Page 158] NATO-wide problems and action should be taken by common approach.

Portugal said would do best but could not meet military recommendations during 1957. Ammunition production already committed and other measures beyond capability. In addition new defense needs in India, Angola, Mozambique. Stressed importance Africa to NATO. Situation more critical if mutual aid should stop. Cannot increase defense expenditures, notwithstanding suggestions on annual review that this could be done.

Draft resolution on 1957 Annual Review accepted by Council.7 Chairman commented 1957 Annual Review should take place and that matters resulting from Political Directive should not interfere therewith.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 740.5/12–1456. Secret. Repeated to the other NATO capitals and Moscow.
  2. The summary, C–R(56)75, and verbatim, C–VR(56)75, records of this session, both dated December 14, are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 828.
  3. Reference is to the undated draft communiqué, a copy of which is ibid., CF 808.
  4. Reference is to Report Number 9—Military Progress of North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Report by the Military Committee, MC 5/11 (Final), neither found in Department of State files.
  5. See Polto 1424, infra.
  6. Reference is to the Draft Resolution on 1956 Annual Review, C–M(56)134 (Revised), not found in Department of State files.
  7. Not found in Department of State files.