Volume #16 - 625.|
NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION
Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs|
to Prime Minister
November 23rd, 1950|
At their meeting in New York last September the French, United Kingdom and United States Foreign Ministers agreed that their Governments would take the following steps to maintain their position in Berlin:
(1) Build up Berlin fuel and non-perishable food stocks to one-year's supply with rationing.
(2) Reaffirm that counter-blockade measures against Soviet interference with Berlin transport will be taken in degrees commensurate with the Soviet or DDR (German Democratic Republic) interference. Direct the High Commission to prepare plans for such action at once.
(3) Request the NAT countries to cooperate in such counter-blockade action and, while it is going on, to restrict their trade with the rest of the Soviet orbit to a level at most no higher than in the period preceding the action.
(4) Strengthen Allied forces in Berlin by the assignment prior to 1 January 1951 to that garrison of additional French, British and United States units and authorize the formation of German auxiliary forces there.
(5) Make clear that the Soviet Union is responsible for any attack upon Berlin or Western Germany by the East German forces inasmuch as they are in occupation of the Eastern zone. In the event of an armed attack from whatever source, defend Berlin by force, bring the relevant provisions of the North Atlantic Treaty into effect, and present the issue to the United Nations.
For Canada the most important section of the agreement is, of course, Paragraph (5) which has the effect of bringing Western Berlin for all practical purposes into the area covered by the North Atlantic Treaty. Because of our obligations under the Treaty, we are now more directly concerned with the Berlin situation than at any time since the war. If, in the event of an armed attack on the city, the Western Occupying Powers invoked the "relevant provisions" of the North Atlantic Treaty, as they claim they would, we should presumably be morally bound to take such action as we deemed necessary to restore and maintain the security of the area.
At the end of October this agreement was brought to the attention of the North Atlantic Deputies in London with the indication that, after an exchange of views on the international situation as it affected the security of Berlin, the United States representative would propose for their consideration a resolution concerning the cooperation of North Atlantic Treaty countries in counter-blockade measures, if and when these should be required. We have now learned that the terms of the draft resolution are as follows:
Noting the Agreement on Berlin Security arrived at by the Foreign Ministers of the Three Occupying Powers, and in particular paragraph (3) thereof,
Agree on behalf of their governments that the other NAT countries, after having being notified by the Three Occupying Powers that counter-blockade action was being undertaken, will cooperate in such action and, while it is going on, will restrict their trade with the rest of the Soviet orbit to a level at most no higher than in the period preceding the action."
Mr. Wilgress was instructed to indicate that Canada, as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, would be prepared to cooperate in any necessary counter-blockade measures.86
86Note marginale:/Marginal Note: