Volume #22 - 621.|
NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION
MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL, BONN, MAY 2-4, 1957
Secretary of State for External Affairs|
to Embassy in Federal Republic of Germany
SECRET. OP IMMEDIATE.
May 1st, 1957|
Reference: Our Tel DL-439 of Apr 24? - Para 7.
Repeat NATO Paris (OP Immediate), Paris, Washington, London (Priority) (Information).
MINISTERIAL COUNCIL MEETING - COMMUNIQUÉ
With Western Europe being alternately wooed and bullied by the USSR, and with NATO itself divided on a number of major questions both of European defence and of foreign policy, drafting of the Communiqué of the Ministerial meeting this week will present special problems and opportunities. In addition to the material in the departmental brief? commenting on specific topics, you may wish to have our thoughts as to what might be considered for inclusion in the Council's Communiqué or in press guidance.
2. There are, it seems to us, 3 principal objectives the Council's Communiqué might aim to attain:
(a) to give a telling collective answer to the present phase of Soviet foreign policy towards Europe;
(b) to secure better press for NATO in Germany and a deeper realization of Western Europe's dependence on the Alliance;
(c) to regain a greater sense of political unity for the Alliance as a whole.
3. It is easier to prescribe a forthright and constructive Communiqué which should give a lead to Western public opinion on current topics of contention with the Soviet Union than it is to draft such a document in terms acceptable to all members. In spite of the differences of emphasis which exist among the members of the Alliance on for example the cessation of atomic tests, it should in our opinion be possible to find a common denominator on most of the issues on which the Soviet Union is at present campaigning by means of diplomatic notes and broadcasts to members of the Alliance in an attempt to divide, confuse and intimidate. The Alliance was formed in response to a Soviet threat and even though there seems today less immediate risk of a military assault on Western Europe, the new Soviet campaign has conveniently reminded us of our community of purpose in standing together against both blandishments and threats aimed at dividing and weakening us.
4. At the same time the Communiqué might reasonably be expected to give the Soviet Union categorical reassurances that its fears of NATO forces or NATO bases being used aggressively are groundless. The proposed Western reductions in UK and German force levels should demonstrate our pacific purposes. In a period when the Russians are being given some credit in the uncommitted countries for military reductions they may not have made, it seems unfortunate that NATO should be divided on a similar issue without at least being able to take some credit for what some of its members have decided they must do.
5. Too often, it seems to us, Western countries have been getting the worst of both worlds in terms of public relations and a Communiqué that repudiated Soviet charges and reasserted as concretely as possible the defensive character of the Alliance would be timely.
6. Since the Council will be meeting in Bonn and in an election year, there is a special problem in regard to Germany. No doubt the German delegation will be in the best position to advise the Council in this regard, and will know how the German Government plans to reply to the particularly crude Soviet note of April 27 which attempts to interfere directly in German domestic politics. The Council should, however, be doubly careful to avoid such interference itself. The German delegation will no doubt have prepared for the Communiqué ideas on German reunification with reference to the 4-Power Working Group's report and may wish to explain in the Communiqué its essential features, which have as yet not been made public.
7. In addition the Communiqué might attempt to present a positive NATO attitude towards European security proposals in relation to German reunification and the general disarmament talks in London. In fact there is, we believe, a necessary interdependence between these three subjects which could be expressed in a form which would not trespass on the work of the Disarmament Sub-Committee.
8. Whether or not agreement can be reached in London on the elements of a limited disarmament agreement, it might be well for the Council to endorse in principle the new and flexible Western disarmament proposals particularly those of the United States. The Council may also wish to emphasize the interest of NATO in the European aspects of disarmament. In addition, the Communiqué might seek to express in a clear and convincing way the position of NATO governments on the need for nuclear tests and on the conditions under which their cessation would be acceptable as part of an international agreement providing controls which would ensure that compliance would not be only one sided.
9. It would seem desirable that something be said in the Communiqué about Soviet policy in Eastern Europe and particularly in regard to Hungary. The Council might again go on record as condemning the flagrant violation of human rights which has taken place through the military intervention of the Soviet Union. Although Soviet control of Hungary is now exercised less directly, the right of a people to chose its own government is still suppressed. Reference might also be made to Western help for the Hungarians through immigration and relief operations. It is surely a dramatic commentary on the state of affairs in Eastern Europe when an elaborate system of barb-wire, ploughed fields, lights, dogs, and watch towers must be erected to keep people from leaving their country. At the same time talk of "peaceful liberation" might be soft pedalled and the special position of Poland kept in mind so that the Council will not embarrass Gomulka.
10. We are of two minds as to whether any reference to Cyprus should be attempted in the Communiqué. Depending on whether it would help or hinder Mr. Spaak's future efforts, some reference might be made to the accepted need for using all possible means of reconciling differences among members. Any reference should if possible be related to the theme of political partnership.
11. The subject of the Suez Canal is not on the agenda and may well not be discussed. We would not be inclined to do anything to raise this issue, but if Ministers feel that reference should be made to it, in view of the past discussions of the problem and more particularly of their endorsement in the December Communiqué of the Security Council's six principles, we would hope that the reference might merely consist in noting the progress achieved and the useful role played by the UN Secretary General and others.
12. As the Bermuda Conference obviously has an important bearing on the re-establishment of close political partnership among the members of the Alliance, it may be that some of the points made in the Anglo-American Bermuda Communiqué could be used in the Bonn Communiqué although it might be inappropriate to refer explicitly to Bermuda.
13. In short, we suggest that the theme of the Communiqué should
be political partnership. Last December, the Council's Communiqué
expressed the undertaking of NATO governments to pursue the
development of political, economic and cultural unity in
accordance with the recommendations of the Committee of Three. It
would now seem logical to stress the need for increasing the
effectiveness of political consultation as a further step in
building a genuine political partnership among all members of the
Alliance. Each section of the Communiqué would we hope contribute
to this theme rather than consisting of a series of separate
policy statements on isolated topics.