275. Telegram From the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Regional Organizations to the Department of State0

Polto 3099. NAC meeting, private—April 27, 1959—Four-Power Working Report to NAC.1

This telegram gives highlights of meeting. Full report follows.2 Discussion centered on sections Working Group Report dealing with German reunification and security with some discussion peace treaty section. Virtually nothing said ref Berlin and tactics sections.

Main development discussion security section was German statement under instructions that his government has reservations concerning zone of inspection. It should not be limited by political borders in order not to discriminate against Germany. Also, inspection and control would prohibit arms production in FedRep and would give Soviets control of important segments of German industry. Furthermore Soviets could use inspection as device for spying on German industry and through it on Allied industry associated with the Germans in various European organizations. German PermRep said his FonMin would make this point in Foreign Ministers Meetings.3

Spaak commented it had always been clear West rejects zone of inspection limited to Germany alone but other aspects presented by German statement seemed new. Norway pointed out security arrangements only applied if Germany reunified. UK thought zones under consideration are those proposed earlier and included more territory than just Germany. He understood German concern related only to a small area. Thought it important to realize that, given Soviet attitude toward inspection as demonstrated most recently at Geneva,4 any inspection which included Eastern Zone would not be too strict.

Comment: Plain from remarks members other delegations both during and after meeting this German statement caused considerable concern and not clear yet in its implications.

Remainder of discussion security and disarmament sections revealed familiar Scandinavian concern lest West be too hesitant in [Page 650] undertaking (as distinct from merely proposing) practical measures of disarmament prior to agreement on entire package. Dutch statement (which they circulated)5 voiced familiar worries about limiting size of area of limitation of forces and application of measures against surprise attack. Dutch also insisted there be no variations from or spell-out of agreed NATO positions without NAC consultation.

Another principle subject discussion was meaning of phrase “indissoluble package”. Canadians and Scandinavians expressed concern lest it meant no part of package could be extracted at some stage if West might gain by so doing. Spaak voiced fear that since Soviets would never accept free elections there would be no discussion on security if plan really indissoluble. Consensus of NAC finally was that plan as envisaged by Working Group indissoluble in sense that security measures and German reunification steps must proceed by stages together as outlined. Council understood Working Group envisaged necessity providing for possibility of discussion on Berlin alone. Recognized Western plan should be presented as solid package so as to discourage Russians from plucking specific parts out of it for negotiation. However, Spaak and others stressed presentation should not preclude possibility dealing separately with European security during negotiations.

Under German reunification some discussion of mixed committee, with Spaak expressing fears lest this went too far in direct recognition East Germans. However, most members seemed to approve of this device for going part way to meet Russian position and adding novelty to traditional Western proposal.

Ref peace treaty Spaak again voiced his doubts about wisdom of West tabling either treaty or principles and questioned why West should discuss peace treaty at all.

Only point brought up under Berlin and tactics sections was Italy’s request, apparently under instructions, that NAC be given more information ref emergency planning for Berlin under conditions utmost secrecy such as meeting of PermReps only in Spaak’s office. Also requested more precise information ref tactics.

Council plans to meet again afternoon April 29 for possible further discussion WG Report as well as other matters.6 Plans also meeting afternoon May 1 or morning May 2 in hope there will be report from Ministers at that time.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/4–2859. Secret; Priority. Repeated to London, Bonn, Moscow, and Berlin and pouched to other NATO capitals.
  2. See Document 271.
  3. Polto 3106 from Paris, April 28. (Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/4–2859)
  4. See Documents 280282.
  5. Documentation on the nuclear testing talks at Geneva which began on January 20, 1959, is scheduled for publication in volume III.
  6. A translation of the Dutch statement was transmitted in Polto G–987 from Paris, April 29. (Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/4–2959)
  7. No record of any discussion of the report by the Council on April 29 has been found.