174. Telegram From Secretary of State Rusk to the Department of State1

Secto 54. Eyes only for the President. We have had our first and crucial day with the 14 and I am happy to report that “the family of 14” remains together. Paul Martin, looking over his shoulder at Quebec, was our most difficult problem. But we succeeded in reaching decision on relocation of NATO military headquarters to Benelux, subject to Belgium’s necessity to take it up with their Parliament before a final decision was concluded. But Belgium promises a “large majority” in the Parliament on this issue. On the possible transfer of the North Atlantic Council out of Paris, we indicated that that question would be finally decided on the basis of the interests of NATO itself. If in the weeks and months ahead during a series of negotiations with the French, and after De Gaulle’s visit to Moscow, they want to turn toward more cooperation, we have some leeway. On the other hand, continued difficulty on their part will mean that the others will insist upon moving NAC out of Paris. Exact texts are coming by other telegrams.2

I definitely am coming back by London after I leave Bonn next Thursday afternoon. That means I will not reach Washington before the [Page 410] end of the day on Friday Washington time. Will be glad to have from you or George Ball any additional points I should take up with Wilson beyond the main one on which I am fully briefed.

Have not yet seen Couve de Murville but am having a quadripartite dinner with him later tonight.3

We are doing our best to get across to the press that the 14 have had a good day in making decisions with genuine solidarity. Their usual skepticism and nose for differences may not clench the point but I can assure you that the 14 Foreign Ministers are deeply satisfied with what was accomplished in our opening session. I have strongly emphasized that our job is to do what is good for NATO and not to engage in retaliation or a vendetta against De Gaulle.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 4 NATO. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. The source text bears no time of transmission; the telegram was received at 4:28 p.m.
  2. The Fourteen met in the morning and afternoon of June 6 to discuss changes in the organization of NATO. The U.S. Delegation transmitted reports on these meetings in Secto 51 and 59 from Paris, June 6. (Ibid., NATO 3 BEL(BR) and DEF 4 NATO) At the beginning of the afternoon session, they adopted a set of decisions that transferred NATO military headquarters from France, extended an invitation to Benelux to provide a new site for SHAPE, moved the NATO Defense College to Italy, and abolished the Standing Group. The Fourteen also agreed to study a number of other problems associated with the move from France. The text of the decisions was transmitted in Secto 52 from Paris, June 6. (Ibid., NATO 3 BEL(BR))
  3. A memorandum of the conversation at the quadripartite dinner, US/MC/3, which was largely devoted to East-West relations and Germany, is ibid.