94. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Germany0

1360. Deliver to Ambassador 9 a.m. 2/8/61. You should seek appointment Adenauer prior his departure for Paris to convey orally message drawing on text quoted below.1 In presenting to Adenauer, you should explain that these are President’s views on certain basic matters which he wished conveyed to Adenauer at earliest opportunity in view President’s knowledge of Adenauer’s deep interest in these matters. President also wished to have expressed his deep appreciation of Adenauer’s unfailing efforts to promote the goals of NATO solidarity and European unity. You should explain also that we plan make statement in NAC shortly explaining our basic position on NATO along lines indicated in statement below.2

Begin Text: The Atlantic Community stands today as the principal cornerstone of human freedom in our world. The nations of Europe and North America which make up the Atlantic Community were among the first to give effect to the ideals and practices of political democracy. At great effort and sacrifice, they have maintained freedom for their [Page 259] own peoples and have helped guide to freedom and economic betterment hundreds of millions of peoples in more than thirty new nations.

The Atlantic Community is also the central source of strength for the entire free world. Its members possess most of the free world’s capacity for military defense, most of its industrial production, most of its commerce, most of its general economic power and most of its scientific and technological potential. These advantages permit us to secure important benefits for our peoples. But more than this, they enable us to lead the way to freedom and economic betterment for peoples everywhere. We have a great responsibility to mankind as a whole.

The keystone of the Atlantic Community is NATO. Through it, we seek to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of our peoples and to achieve a basic harmony of purpose in our international relations. The military function of NATO, the preservation of our common security, is as important as ever. The United States intends to continue its full participation in the common defense. I am convinced that the maintenance of U.S. military strength in Europe is essential to the security of the Atlantic Community and the free world as a whole. We also expect that our friends will want to contribute their full share to the mutual defense effort.

The non-military functions of NATO are equally important. We must expand and improve the processes of consultation in order to achieve that unity of purpose and action which is indispensable in a perilous age. We must also use NATO as a framework for cooperation in other programs and projects aimed at advancing the cause of human freedom everywhere.

The United States is convinced that the OECD can also become an effective instrument for cooperation toward our common goals, and I have requested the Congress to give its approval to the Convention. Our own Atlantic economies will obviously benefit from closer cooperation among ourselves. But today our economic challenges are world-wide. Of greatest importance is coordination of our efforts to promote sound economic expansion in the lesser developed countries. It is a sacred trust of the Atlantic Community to build the road to peace and freedom with the paving blocks of economic and technical development. The United States intends to do its part. Here, too, I am sure our partners will want to contribute their full share.

We also continue to encourage and support the movement toward European integration. This movement is a powerful and unifying force which can multiply free Europe’s strength and prestige, can furnish increased economic and security benefits to the European peoples and can contribute greatly toward achieving the goals of the broader Atlantic Community.

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We are all aware that the Atlantic Community, in recent years, has been hampered by differences of attitude and interest among its members. Differences will always exist, of course, among free nations. I believe it is essential, however, that we work hard to compose our differences on secondary issues in the interest of our paramount concern for peace, security and freedom. It is the firm intention of the United States to move vigorously to sustain and improve the unity, safety and well-being of the Atlantic Community, making full use of all available instruments. The United States Government looks forward to considering with our partners, in the context of long-range planning, the means for accomplishing these goals. End text.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 375/2–761. Secret; Priority; Eyes Only. Drafted by Fessenden, cleared with Rusk and the White House, and approved by Kohler. Repeated to Paris.
  2. Drafts of the message to Adenauer and the statement referred to in footnote 2 below were transmitted to the President on February 4 as attachments to a memorandum from Rusk. (Ibid., Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204)
  3. For text of the statement to the North Atlantic Council, February 15, see Department of State Bulletin, March 6, 1961, pp. 333–334.
  4. On February 8 Dowling reported that Adenauer, after interrupting a Cabinet meeting to see him, expressed his appreciation for the message and stressed that without vigorous American leadership all else would fail, “no matter how well conceived or carried out.” (Telegram 1214 from Bonn; Department of State, Central Files, 375/2–861)