Volume #18 - 419.|
NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION
NORTH ATLANTIC COMMUNITY COMMITTEE
High Commissioner in United Kingdom|
to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs
January 26th, 1952|
COMMITTEE OF FIVE1|
It is now possible to foresee the general outlines of the report which the Working Group can have ready for ministerial consideration in time for the Lisbon Conference.
2. The report will contain a brief introduction emphasizing that in the short interval which has elapsed since the Rome session it has only been practicable for the committee to register practical progress in two limited fields. The introduction will also stress the fact that the problems to which the committee is addressing itself are essentially long-term in character and that spectacular achievements are not to be expected. At the same time, attention will be drawn to three positive steps which have been taken since the Rome meeting, which represent substantial progress in strengthening the institutions of the organization as a whole and establishing closer relationships between the members of NATO: (1) the proposals for the reorganization of the civilian agencies of NATO; (2) the TCC exercise;2 and (3) the progress made in the establishment of the EDC within the broader NATO framework. It will conclude by indicating the limited and specific areas where proposals for action can now be made, and will point out that NATO action in the whole non-military field must take into account the existence of other organizations, avoid duplication of their work and seek to deal with problems as they emerge which are not being dealt with by other agencies and which appear to be susceptible of solution on a NATO basis.
3. The specific sections of the Graft report may be briefly summarized as follows:
4. The report will stress the importance which the committee attaches to the provisions of Section A of the interim report and will say that this section does not require elaboration but rather practical application. The attention of the Council will be drawn to the continuing need for effective consultation at an early stage on current political questions of common concern.
"This is essential in order that national policies may be developed and action taken on the basis of an awareness of the attitudes and interests of all the members of NATO.
"The proposals for the reorganization and concentration of the civilian agencies of NATO which the Council will be considering at Lisbon should result in the development of more rapid and effective procedures for arriving at joint decisions in the whole field of NATO effort and activity. In the field of political consultation it is the hope of the committee that these procedures will be utilized by member governments to the fullest extent for frequent exchanges of information and views on urgent and important issues. Such procedures will be effective to the extent to which North Atlantic Treaty Governments are prepared to grant their representatives the necessary measure of authority and discretion to participate fully in such discussion."
Possible relations between Parliamentary representatives and NATO
5. The Working Group has no further proposals to make in this field prior to the Lisbon meeting. Your attention is drawn to the fact, however, that in the United States proposals (Document DD(52)17) there is the following reference in Part IV.
"Some means may eventually have to be found for greater association of parliamentarians with NATO, in view of its dependence upon legislatures for funds. This problem will probably have to be handled nationally, possibly by including members of legislatures in delegations to general meetings of the council."
This section has not yet been discussed in the Deputies in connection with reorganization.
Economic and financial matters
6. We have received from Paris text of the draft FEB report as prepared by the FEB Working Group, but have not yet received a final text. The draft is essentially negative in character, its principal positive feature being the statement that it is the view of the board that when dealing with these problems outside NATO member governments should bear in mind that any specific solution evolved will have an important influence both on defence effort and on the longer-term development of the Atlantic Community. We understand that the final report is only slightly more positive than the draft text. In any event, the FEB comments will constitute the principal section of the Working Group's report on economic and financial matters.
Movement of labour
7. My telegram No. 269 of January 25th? and our previous exchanges will have summarized the progress made in this field, which, in the view of the Working Group provides one of the few areas in which a specific line of action at the Lisbon meeting can be foreseen.
Cooperation in the social field
8. In the light of a report which the Norwegian representative had obtained of the work in the social field now being undertaken under the aegis of the Council of Europe, and further discussion in the group itself, general agreement has now been reached that grounds do not exist at this time for the convening of an expert conference, as proposed in paragraph 31 of the interim report. The primary reason for this is that social cooperation lends itself particularly to regional collaboration and that the position and problems in North America and Europe are so different that constructive work in this field on a NATO basis does not appear to be practicable at this time.
Collaboration in the fields of (a) culture, (b) public information
9. (a) In the cultural field, on the basis of a carefully prepared report from a sub-committee which met under the chairmanship of Van deer Bruges, of Belgium, the Working Group considers that progress can be made by convening a meeting of cultural experts. Progress might be made on four projects: (1) possible educational exchanges between university students of NAT countries; (2) encouragement of travel by groups of young people; (3) establishment of service leave centres in NAT countries for educational purposes; and (4) seminars of teachers from NAT countries. Our telegram No. 157 of January 18th refers.
(b) In the public information field, considerable difficultly has arisen in making progress. It will be recalled that prior to the Rome meeting the Working Group had been informed by the NATO Information Service that NATIS was planning to prepare a comprehensive programme for submission to governments. The interim report approved by the Council contented itself with
expressing the view that before any programme, long-terra or immediate, went forward to NAT Governments for consideration, it should be carefully examined in the Council Deputies. "NATIS" has now produced a Document (AC/10-D/7 of January 22nd), outlining possible projects for an "Atlantic Community programme" but unfortunately linking its presentation with a great deal of special pleading for staff and budget, which was clearly premature and out of place. The document, as drafted, placed undue emphasis on the over-all role of "NATIS" in this field, and did not really meet the committee's requirements for a list of concrete projects which might then be submitted to national governments for comments, and for an indication of the extent to which action on such projects might be considered advisable and whether any action should be taken at this stage to recommend a meeting of experts in this field, but the general feeling was that the projects as drafted by NATIS required a good deal of further study and preparation before such a meeting would be useful. It was also felt that NATIS should clarify its objectives and prepare a more limited programme directed towards: (1) the fuller flow of information on the NATO alliance and national efforts; (2) the creation of a sense of "Atlantic Community"; and (3) the strengthening of mutual understanding between NAT countries and the stimulation of an increased consciousness of their common ties and cultural associations.
10. The "NATIS" draft paper also contained the recommendation that "the Article 2 Committee should be permanently established as an advisory committee to the Information Services for Atlantic Community matters." It was the view of the committee that it would be premature, in view of the general reorganization now in progress, to make any specific recommendations as to the responsibilities of the Committee of Five in this field.
11. The Working Group at its next meeting, will be considering further what sections should be included in the report as a whole. It is probable that the report in the information field will indicate that the Information Service should prepare for consideration of the Council concrete proposals to provide a basis for meeting the objective outlined in paragraph 9(b) above.
12. The foregoing summary will make it clear that the Working Group report will include proposals for specific action in only two fields - movement of labour and in certain limited, but it is hoped practical, aspects of cultural relations.
13. The Working Group is fully conscious of the fact that a good deal of interest and attention has been devoted to the work of the Committee of Five, and that such meager progress as we have been able to make may create a sense of disillusionment. One thing our experience has shown is that in most of these fields with which we have been dealing it is impossible to make real progress without placing the consideration of the problems on a twelve-power basis. The Netherlands Deputy appears to be inclined to the view that the Committee of Five has done virtually all it can in this general field, and that it might be wound up after the Lisbon meeting. Clearly the future of the committee is a matter for ministers. My own view is that if the committee continues after Lisbon it should not be placed in the position of having to make a detailed report to the Council at regular intervals, but should only examine problems which may emerge from time to time bearing on the general goal of strengthening the North Atlantic Community and report when it has had time to consider them.
14. I recognize that just as we have found ourselves here dealing with problems of more immediate priority, i.e., TCC exercise, EDC-NATO relationships and the rest, the Department has been similarly placed. This perhaps explains the fact that since the Rome meeting we have in fact received very little in the way of guidance and direction as to departmental thinking in this field.
15. Your comments on the direction which the work is taking, and on the lines of the report as I have sketched them, would be greatly appreciated.