52. Message From the Secretary of State to the President1

Dear Mr. President: The work of the Council is now over except for preparing the communiqué2 which as you know is always troublesome and will be so this afternoon.

I believe the results have been all that could reasonably have been expected. The recommendations of the three Ministers for developing NATO have been unanimously adopted including a proposal for settlement of disputes between members.3

The Directive to the military which this year was particularly serious and controversial has been adopted.4 Wilson’s statement on the military annual review made today5 was, I think, a good statement, at least as could have been made given the internal differences of opinion.…

We have in informal talks done much to regain the sense of unity which was dissipated by the attack on Egypt although obviously some scars and resentments still remain.

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Ismay’s resignation was accepted in which connection I expressed on your behalf your personal regard for him and his services. Spaak was elected to succeed him.6

As always at these conferences the informal contacts between the Ministers have provided the most profitable aspect of the meeting.

I shall report more fully when I see you soon.7

Faithfully yours,

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 110.11–DU/12–1456. Secret; Priority. Transmitted to Washington in Dulte 19, December 14, at 4 p.m. The copy of the telegram in the Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DullesHerter Series, bears the President’s initials.
  2. For text of the final communiqué, dated December 14, see Department of State Bulletin, December 24 and 31, 1956, p. 981.
  3. For text of the Report of the Committee of Three on Non-Military Co-operation in NATO and the Resolution on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes and Differences Between Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, both dated December 14, see ibid., January 7, 1957, pp. 17–28.
  4. See footnote 3, Document 49.
  5. See Polto 1424, supra.
  6. Ismay announced his decision to retire on December 14, 1956. Spaak did not assume responsibilities as Secretary General of NATO until May 16, 1957.
  7. See Document 54.