Volume #27 - 224.|
NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION
NATO AND THE FREE WORLD
Memorandum by Ambassador in Federal Republic of Germany|
September 8, 1960|
NATO AND THE FREE WORLD|
The Task of the 1960s
1. NATO must in the sixties develop and maintain greater military and economic strength, moral purpose and internal unity if it is to continue to deter aggression by the Russo-Chinese bloc and if the fabric of the North Atlantic Community is to be further strengthened. This memorandum is concerned with the danger that we shall fail to achieve this dual purpose unless we are very clear in our own minds about the nature of the most critical international problems of the sixties.
2. My contention in this memorandum is that many, if not a majority, of these critical problems are not in their pith and substance aspects of a contest with Communism or with the Russo-Chinese bloc, that for such problems the NATO Council is not generally the most effective primary organ for consultation and coordination of policy, and that it would be dangerous to use it as such. This does not mean that NATO should not concern itself with these problems. Indeed the contrary is true. But it does mean that NATO must not try to set itself up as a sort of directorate of the free world.
3. The reason I believe it would be dangerous for NATO to try to do this is that this would make difficult or even impossible success in the task of creating and preserving in the sixties a high degree of unity, prosperity and personal freedom within the whole of the free world, whether it is coloured or white, underdeveloped or developed, Asian or European, African or American or Australian. The imperative task of the sixties is, I submit, to create and preserve that kind of unity, prosperity and freedom, for without it the mastery of the world will before long rest with the Russo-Chinese bloc. While therefore I believe that a ten year plan for NATO is needed, I also believe that a ten year plan for NATO is not enough. What is most needed is a ten year plan for the free world.
4. Such a plan should be based on a functional and pragmatic approach to world problems. I mean by this that at one time for a particular subject one agency would be used as the principal vehicle for consultation and common action within the free world, at another time or for another subject another agency would be used, and that each agency would be strengthened to the extent necessary for it to carry out its tasks. Canada is peculiarly fitted to play a major role in this kind of functional and pragmatic approach to world problems. This provides Canada with an opportunity and a challenge.
The Main Problems of the 1960s: Their Nature.
5. It is not easy to select out of the many important problems which are likely to confront us in the sixties, those which will probably prove to be the most critical. The following is my list:
(1) How to minimize the dangers to the free world created by the rise of China to the rank of a first-class power;
(2) How to organize effective help to India to speed up its economic development;
(3) How to prevent independent Africa south of the Sahara from relapsing into chaos and how to facilitate the orderly progress of the remaining dependent territories in Africa (including Angola and Mozambique) to independence;
(4) How to deal with the population explosion;
(5) How to work out equitable international arrangements under which the Western industrialized countries will each accept its fair share of a rapidly increasing flow of low-priced manufactured goods from the under-developed countries;
(6) How to work out effective international agreements to reduce the dangers resulting from the development of methods of mass destruction;
(7) How to maintain an effective balance of military power with the Russo-Chinese bloc; and
(8) How to reduce the dangers created by the division of Europe into a Soviet Zone and a Western Zone, particularly the division of Germany and of Berlin.
6. These problems are, of course, related. They exacerbate each other. But even if Communism did not exist, if Russia and China did not exist, or if Russia and China were liberal democracies, would not many of those problems be intractable and endanger the peace and welfare not only of the advanced countries but of the whole world? Is not this, for example, true of the problems of India and of Africa? Would not the present explosive growth in the population of the world, the difficulty in obtaining acceptance by Western nations of cheap manufactured goods from underdeveloped countries, and the control of methods of mass destruction constitute serious problems? While problems like these have significant implications for the struggle between the Russo-Chinese bloc and NATO, surely they have their core and origin in circumstances not directly related to that struggle.
Some Possible Methods of Tackling the Main Problems of the 1960s
7. Another way of approaching this question is to ask ourselves, in respect of some of the main international problems of the sixties, what agency or channel is inherently most appropriate in each individual case for consultation and for the formulation of agreed policies.
8. Take, for example, the problem of China. The two large countries of the free world which are most directly and immediately concerned by the growing might of China and the recklessness of its policies, which are indeed in clear and present danger from China, are India and Japan. They also have special knowledge of China. Without their cooperation it would be difficult if not impossible to work out and implement a common free world policy calculated to reduce to a minimum the dangers of China to the free world. Japan and India are proud countries; they are constantly suspicious that, just because they are coloured, the West is not treating them as equals. Are we not more likely to secure their full cooperation if they are treated from the beginning as equal in status with the Western powers principally concerned - the United States and Great Britain? Once there is a possibility of fruitful discussions on a new free world policy to China, would it not therefore be wise for these four powers to consult together, each of course keeping its special friends and associates and allies informed through NATO, SEATO, CENTO, the Commonwealth and the African-Asian group?
9. Then there is the problem of organizing effective help to India to speed up its economic development. This is a difficult and delicate problem, for if the aid is to be most helpful it must be accompanied by friendly constructive advice and it is not easy for a poverty-stricken, coloured, proud and sensitive country with an ancient civilization and a rich culture to take advice from wealthy, white donor nations. At present the principal agency which is being used for the purpose of organizing advice and aid to India is the International Bank, aided by a consortium of the principal potential givers of aid acting under the Bank's auspices. India has become accustomed to dealing with the International Bank and the consortium. Should not the Bank and the consortium remain therefore as the principal agencies for coordinating free world policy on aid to India?
10. As for the problem of trying to prevent Africa south of the Sahara from relapsing into chaos, is it not likely that the chances of the political leaders of the non-white part of the free world, and particularly the leaders of Africa, cooperating in a sensible policy would be diminished if they thought that this policy had originated in discussions in the North Atlantic Council? For they are suspicious of a Council which includes so many colonial or ex-colonial powers having what in their eyes are dubious records in dealing with colonies or former colonies. Thus they consider that Belgium committed grave errors by not training the Congolese for self-government and that Portugal is continuing to commit similar and even grosser errors in Angola and Mozambique. They do not have a high opinion of the Dutch record in dealing with the Dutch East Indies when it was still a colony or with Indonesia after it became independent. They are still reserving judgment on France because, to offset its recent generally good record in black Africa, there are the armed struggles which it has waged in the past fifteen years in Syria, Indo-China and North Africa. It seems evident that the agencies of the free world which are most likely to be able to work out a policy on Africa which will carry with it the judgment of the bulk of the free world, both white and coloured, are the Commonwealth, the International Bank and the United Nations in its various aspects, especially the Special Fund under Mr. Hoffman, the expanded programme of technical assistance and a U.N. police force. Already the United Nations has in the summer of 1960 demonstrated in the Congo that it can in Africa act as the executive agent of the free world.
11. There are probably two main aspects of the problem of the explosion of the population of the free world. The first is to discover a cheap, reliable, safe, oral contraceptive or a vaccine giving temporary sterility. The second is to persuade people to use it. The North Atlantic Council is peculiarly unfitted to deal with either of these problems. In the first place most of the countries represented on the Council have large Roman Catholic populations and the Roman Catholic church appears to be resolutely opposed to the use of contraceptives. Secondly, the countries in which it may be most difficult to persuade people to use contraceptives are the Asian and African countries. The task of working out effective methods of persuasion had best be left to the governments of those countries, acting perhaps in consultation with each other, or through some agency which they themselves have been instrumental in setting up. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and pagans are not likely to welcome the intervention of white people from Christian countries in so delicate and intimate a matter.
12. A major international trade problem of the sixties will be to work out equitable international arrangements under which Western industrialized countries will each accept its fair share of a rapidly increasing flow of low-priced manufactured goods from under-developed countries. Here the countries which are most capable of leading the way to a solution of the problem would appear to be the four leading world traders.- the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Canada. Though these countries are all members of NATO, the question still arises whether they should consult in the first instance or primarily with their fellow members of the NATO Council or whether GATT or the International Bank would not be more appropriate forums.
13. This kind of examination of five major international problems of the sixties demonstrates, it seems to me, that the list of agencies most suitable for undertaking primary responsibility for dealing directly with problems of this type may be extensive but can scarcely be regarded as including NATO. This in turn suggests that it would be unwise for Canada and the other members of NATO to provide any grounds for a belief that they propose to use the NATO Council as a sort of directorate of the free world, a forum for the general determination of policies to be carried out by them through NATO or other agencies as may be deemed expedient but decided nevertheless by the NATO powers in the NATO Council. The five problems examined above, and others like them, have of course significant implications for NATO's efforts to develop and maintain greater military and economic strength, moral purpose and internal unity in order that it may continue to deter aggression by the Russo-Chinese bloc and further strengthen the fabric of the North Atlantic Community. Exchanges of views upon various aspects of problems of this kind should therefore take place in NATO from time to time, and such exchanges may on occasion include the examination of possible or proposed courses of action by one or more of the members of NATO. But it is essential that when such discussion does take place in the NATO Council it should not rest on the false assumptions that, because these problems have a bearing on the struggle between the Russo-Chinese bloc and NATO, they are in their essence part of that struggle, that the North Atlantic Council should therefore take the lead in working out possible solutions and that, if the lead is taken in some agency other than NATO, the legitimate concerns of NATO are likely to receive less than adequate attention.
14. For many problems it seems clear that it would be wiser if the lead were to be taken not by NATO but either by some other international agency or by an ad hoc group of those free countries, whether members of NATO or not, which are especially concerned with the problem, have special knowledge of it, or are in an especially good position to help implement an agreed policy. To attempt to use NATO as the principal free world agency for dealing with all problems which impinge on the struggle between the Russo-Chinese bloc and NATO, would greatly lessen, if not eliminate, the possibility that the two main parts of the free world - the North Atlantic and the coloured - could work in harness.
The Basic Prerequisites of Free World Unity.
15. It is going to be extremely difficult to maintain within the free world during the sixties a degree of unity on the main international problems sufficiently great to enable the free world to hold back Russo-Chinese expansionism. The problems of the sixties will be difficult enough no matter how well they are handled. They will be insoluble unless all the countries which are in a position to help significantly lend their active cooperation and support. Countries such as India, Japan, Pakistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Brazil and Mexico can give significant help. But they are far more likely to cooperate in implementing a free world policy if they have a sense of having participated fully and as equals in the decision-making process which finally led to the formulation of that policy.
16. In order to secure their active cooperation two things are necessary. The first is for the Western powers to make clear that they do not believe that all the main problems before the world are aspects of a struggle against Communism. The second is for the main Western powers to treat the other principal countries of the free world as their equals in consultation on problems in which their concern is at least equal to that of the West.
17. In my farewell despatch from Delhi in May of 1957 I emphasized these two points in relation to India. They have a wider application. I then said: "They [the Indians] argue that it is an extreme simplification of a highly complicated problem to present the problem before the world as Communism versus anti-Communism. Equally important are the demands of colonial peoples for self-government, the demand of coloured races for racial equality, the revolt of two-thirds of mankind against its poverty, its disease and its illiteracy. All these, they say, have created a revolutionary ferment in Asia and Africa. How to deal with this ferment is [in their view] as important or more important than how to deal with Communism."
18. I went on to say that India interpreted "a failure to consult India on an issue which is important to India and to Asia not merely as a snub to Nehru but as a snub to India and as demonstrating a failure to recognize the importance of Asian opinion and the profound changes which have taken place in Asia since the war as a result of a revolutionary ferment born of nationalism and an urge for economic betterment."
19. Moreover the NATO countries do not possess a monopoly of wisdom. On many issues the policies formulated for the consideration of the free world would probably be a good deal sounder if the appropriate non-NATO members of the free world as well as the appropriate NATO members had participated as equal partners in their formulation.
Hazards to Free World Unity
20. Canada has been apprehensive lest the establishment by the United States, Great Britain and France of a tripartite directorate or the development of increased political consultation among the six members of Little Europe might reduce Canada to the rank of a second-class member of NATO. The fact that we have this apprehension should make it easier for us to comprehend the kind of apprehensions which countries like India, Japan, Pakistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Brazil and Mexico would have if they thought that NATO was trying to arrogate to itself the role of a sort of political directorate of the free world. Such apprehensions have indeed already arisen on various occasions; already there is to a disturbing degree a sense of separation between the NATO group of powers and other large sections of the free world, surpassing a difference of view on specific and limited and practical questions of policy. This uneasy relationship has been a characteristic of the 1950's which it would be na´ve not to recognize, and at critical times it has become strained almost to breaking point. A vital task of the sixties is not only to prevent a further separation but to nurture and consolidate the rather limited confidence which major sections of free world opinion have at present in the collective behaviour of NATO powers. In these circumstances it would be disastrous for the NATO powers, in approaching problems not essentially the concern of NATO as such but rather of various free countries including NATO members, to flaunt their NATO hats.
Consultation: The Choice Among Available Agencies
21. The strains already existing in the relations between the NATO powers and other important countries of the free world would not be lessened - they would indeed be increased - if NATO were, as has been suggested, to build up stronger links with SEATO and CENTO for these two organizations include only one country, Pakistan, of the leading non-white members of the free world. The chances, therefore, of the United States, Great Britain and their Western associates carrying with them the non-white countries of the free world would be even further diminished if the NATO powers were to give to the members of SEATO and CENTO a preferred position in consultations on world problems.
22. Moreover any such development would subject the Commonwealth to a strain which might become almost intolerable. India, Malaya, Ceylon, Nigeria and Ghana are outside of NATO, SEATO and CENTO, and all are quick to conclude, if they are excluded from consultation on a matter of concern to them, that it is because of their colour. These countries have three-quarters of the total population of the Commonwealth.
23. May I emphasize again the principal point which I made in my memorandum of last October on "Canada and the strengthening of the new Commonwealth."83 I then said: "The task of strengthening the links between the members of the Commonwealth is one of great difficulty and delicacy. There are many obstacles to be avoided. Thus there must be no impression given that the four white members consider themselves superior to the coloured members or that they belong to an inner group in the Commonwealth. The newer members are touchy about their newly acquired independence. They must be persuaded that a stronger Commonwealth does not diminish their independence; that instead it adds to their influence . The one essential requirement of greater Commonwealth unity is greater Commonwealth consultation, and greater exchange of information among Commonwealth countries. The motto of the new Commonwealth must be "consult, consult, consult." This is a principle which members of the Commonwealth readily affirm but the reality of the consultation which in fact takes place among the members of the Commonwealth is often remote from the ideal."
24. The free world has many agencies for the exchange of information, for consultation on policy, for working out common programmes of action. NATO is only one of these many agencies. There are also the Commonwealth, the Colombo Plan, the International Bank, the International Monetary Fund, GATT, OECD, the Organization of American States, and, as the Congo crisis has recently demonstrated, the U.N. and the specialized agencies in certain of their aspects. What is required to unite the free world on wise courses of action in the sixties is increased consultation, coordination and common action within all of these agencies and where appropriate agencies do not exist to deal with a certain problem a temporary ad hoc group of states can be informally called together.
25. The essential point is for the North Atlantic countries not to consider the North Atlantic Council as the exclusive agency for consultation among them on world problems, or even as always the most important agency; not to consider that the North Atlantic Council is the agency in which preliminary discussion should necessarily take place; not to assume that discussion in the North Atlantic Council should necessarily lead to a common attitude or a common policy or common action.
26. The tidy pattern of increased consultation within NATO might have been an appropriate prescription for the fifties. It is not appropriate for the sixties. Increased consultation within NATO which is not accompanied by increased consultation within those agencies which are composed of a representative group of nations of the free world both white and coloured could endanger our peace and security.
Some Thoughts for the Future
27. A ten year plan for NATO is needed. But a ten year plan for NATO is not enough. Indeed unless it is accompanied by plans to strengthen other international agencies of the free world, a ten year plan for NATO may frustrate the very purposes we have in view. What is most needed is a ten year plan not for NATO but for the free world.
28. The free world's chances of survival are increased the more united it becomes, the more prosperous it becomes in all its parts, the more personal and political freedom there is in all its parts. The primary task of the sixties is to create and maintain within the free world ever greater unity, prosperity and freedom. The pursuit of this objective will at times require sacrificing unity within NATO in order to secure the cooperation in a workable solution of the governments most directly concerned and a wide measure of support throughout the free world. This has recently happened in respect of the Congo. It is certain to happen again.
29. The time is not ripe for trying to build a constitutional or institutional structure for the free world. But the time is ripe for driving down to bed rock the pilings on which a constitutional structure of the free world could eventually be built. Most of the existing international agencies for free world consultation, cooperation and common action can be made into pilings for such an eventual free world structure.
30. What is required is a functional and pragmatic approach to the solution of the world problems of the sixties. What we should do in the next few years is to feel our way forward using for a particular subject at one time one agency as the chief organ for consultation and common action within the free world and at another time or on another subject another agency, sometimes having the preliminary consultation in one, sometimes having the preliminary consultation in another. We should strengthen each agency to the extent necessary for it to carry out its tasks. Perhaps out of this kind of functional and pragmatic approach there may gradually emerge during the sixties the outline of some institutional or constitutional structure for the free world as a whole.
31. Canada is peculiarly fitted to play a major role in this kind of approach to a solution of the main world problems for Canada's associations within the free world are rich and varied. Canada is, for example, one of the leading members of NATO, the Commonwealth, the Colombo Plan, GATT, the OECD, the International Bank, the Monetary Fund, I.C.A.O. and F.A.O. There are few nations in the free world which rank among the leading members of so many important agencies of the free world. This provides Canada with an opportunity and a challenge.
32. Canada has this year given a welcome impetus to moves to strengthen NATO. Last year it gave a successful impetus to moves to strengthen the International Bank and the Monetary Fund. Now it has an opportunity to give an impetus to the strengthening of the other agencies of the free world. Strong winds of change will be blowing through Washington after the election. If Ottawa now launches the free world on a new course, the winds from Washington may carry it safely to port.
83Voir/See Volume 26, document 143.