105. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Missions0

1793. Following guidance for use (along with final Communiqué)1 in briefing Governments as well as SEATO and CENTO on NATO Ministerial meeting Oslo May 8–10:

Oslo meeting was highly successful opportunity for Secretary, representing new U.S. Administration, engage in far-reaching, frank and lively discussion of major international issues with other NATO FonMins. While non-military aspects of internal development of Alliance, including future evolution of political consultation, were discussed, primary focus was on actual practice of political consultation at Ministerial level. Throughout, Secretary stressed US desire that other members freely raise questions and comment on any subject of significance.
In discussion of international situation, there was broad acceptance of US view that militant Soviet initiatives stemming from Moscow December 12 declaration of Communist parties, and as evidenced in Africa, Southeast Asia, Cuba and UN must be thought of and dealt with as part of overall confrontation. Free world-Soviet bloc issues are now at stake in all parts of world and neither can nor should be thought of in isolation. (Acceptance this thought is reflected in Communiqué.) While making serious, sober appraisal of world situation, US stressed importance disabuse Khrushchev of any idea West would accept additional setbacks. Growing strength of free world provides firm basis for action toward this end and this fact also reflected in Communiqué.
Strong Communiqué statement on Berlin makes clear West will insist on Western rights Berlin including access irrespective of Soviet action.
Re nuclear test talks, there was clear recognition that Soviets have raised new obstacles to successful conclusion current negotiations, that West must not allow itself to become victim of a hoax and that if talks should fail (despite comprehensive and reasonable draft treaty presented by U.S. and U.K.) it must be made clear to public that responsibility rests fully with USSR. There was also recognition that Soviet intransigeance [Page 303] on key issue of international control in enforcing a test agreement does not augur well for disarmament negotiations.
Discussion of developments in Congo, Southeast Asia and Cuba was not intended affect primacy of other Organizations (UN, SEATO and OAS) in dealing with situations these areas, but was in recognition of fact these either are or involve manifestations of single world-wide threat.
Colonial question was discussed in Council and bilaterally by Secretary with Portuguese and Belgians.3 While in colonial questions there are bound to be some differences of opinion, result these discussions was improved understanding of issues and viewpoints involved. No commitments re colonial questions were made but U.S. considers that as result these discussions we are in better position than previously to bring our influence to bear constructively on difficulties as they arise.
Both general discussion and specific decisions re internal development of Alliance, particularly in political consultation but also in future economic role of NATO, Civil Defense Planning and information field emphasized need for anticipatory consultation on member country policies in order facilitate rapid consultation on specific issues either in or outside of NATO as questions arise.
There is general agreement OECD is primary framework for Atlantic Community consultation on economic policies and means increasing development assistance. Recognition of importance NATO member countries attach to increased development assistance also reflected in Communiqué.
No discussion future development NATO military posture was contemplated for Oslo and none took place. However, in context Secretary’s overall presentation on future development of Alliance Secretary briefly referred to (a) U.S. determination maintain its forces in Europe (b) need strengthen NATO conventional capabilities (c) need maintain NATO nuclear capability and (d) U.S. intention commit Polaris submarines to defense European NATO area. U.S. plans re strengthening Alliance defense posture were presented to NAC by Ambassador Finletter in late April and will require thorough consideration in Permanent Council. Para 11 of Communiqué reflects recognition by Ministers of this fact.
For Ankara and Bangkok:CENTO and SEATO briefings should be coordinated with your NATO colleagues.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–OS/5–1261. Confidential. Drafted by Lehmann (EUR/RA), cleared by Fessenden, and approved by Kohler. Transmitted to 55 missions.
  2. For text of the final communiqué, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, pp. 483–485.
  3. For text of the Declaration of the Conference of Communist Parties, see Pravda or Izvestiia, December 2, 1960.
  4. For a record of the conversation with Nogueira, see Document 338. No record of the discussion with the Belgians has been found.