Volume #15 - 263.|
NORTH ATLANTIC SECURITY
NEGOTIATION OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY
Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs|
to Prime Minister
January 4th, 1949|
Last week in New York I discussed with Mr. Wrong the draft of the proposed North Atlantic treaty as agreed on by the Ambassadors' Committee in Washington. This draft is in the nature of a first reading and has not yet been cleared in Washington above the level of the Under-Secretary of State, though General Marshall is, I believe, familiar in a general way with its terms. At the present time, Mr. Lovett is discussing the draft with the White House, Congressional leaders and the War Department. It may be therefore that the second draft, which will be submitted later in the light of observations received from governments, will differ in certain substantial respects from the one we now have before us.
I am outlining below the views which we agreed on in New York on the various articles of the draft.
Article I. (Peaceful Settlement) - The patties undertake, as set forth in Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations, to settle their international disputes in such a manner that peace, security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of farce in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.
Though juridically this article is unnecessary for those signatories who are members of the United Nations, it is politically desirable. We felt that it might be advantageous to include in the treaty an article along the lines of that suggested by the French representative providing that the parties will refer to the International Court of Justice all disputes which come under the provision of Article 36 of the Statute of the Court. When the French Ambassador submitted an article to this effect, it did not secure general approval in the Working Group, but Mr. Wrong will take the matter up again in the second reading. One difficulty is that the United Kingdom has maintained certain reservations regarding submissions to the Court and there would be no value in including a paragraph of this kind in the draft unless those reservations were abandoned.
Article 2. (General Welfare)-The parties will encourage cooperative efforts between any or all of them to promote the general welfare through collaboration in the cultural, economic and social fields. Such efforts shall, to the greatest possible extent, be undertaken through and assist the work of existing international organizations.
We have been doing our best to include in the draft some positive reference to economic and social collaboration between the signatory powers in order to broaden the basis of the agreement beyond that of a mere military alliance. This paragraph is the best we have been able to secure as yet, though we hope that there will also be a reference to economic and social collaboration in the preamble. Mr. Wrong, however, will continue his efforts to strengthen this article in second reading, possibly by the inclusion of some such words as "The parties agree to make every effort in conunon to eliminate conflict in their economic policies and to develop the great possibilities of trade between them."
Article 3. (Mutual Aid)-In order better to assure the security of the North Atlantic area, the parties will use every endeavor, severally and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, to strengthen their individual and collective capacity to resist aggression.
The only change that we have suggested to the above is the substitution of the words "individually and collectively" for "severally and jointly" (the latter are used in the Brussels Pact).
Article 4. (Consultation)-The parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them
(a) The territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened; or
(b) There exists any situation which constitutes a threat to or breach of the peace. This is a useful article and covers the possibility of "indirect aggression". The obligation, you will note, is one merely of consultation.
Article 5. Paragraph 1 (Mutual Assistance)-
(1) The parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them occurring within the area defined below shall be considered an attack against them all; and consequently that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the party or parties so attacked by taking forthwith such military or other action, individually and in concert with the other parties, as may be necessary to restore and assure the security of the North Atlantic area.
This is the heart of the draft. The text seems generally satisfactory and goes further than we had thought the Americans would agree to. We should, I think, attempt to maintain this text, though I have a feeling that the Americans may try to water it down somewhat as a result of their discussions with Congressional leaders. The obligation is, of course, a specific one to come to the help of a country attacked, but the determination of what constitutes aggression in any particular case remains with the individual signatories of the pact, as does the formal right or duty to declare war.
Article 5. Paragraph 2 (Definition of Area)-
(2) The provisions of the foregoing paragraph shall be applicable in the event of any armed attack directed against the territory, the population or the armed forces of any of the parties in:
(a) Europe or North America;
(b) The sea and air space of the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.
(a) Europe or North America; Africa north of latitude 30░ north and west of longitude 12░ east;
(b) The sea and air space of the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer; and
(c) The sea and air space of the Western Mediterranean, west of longitude 12░ east [or if Italy comes in, longitude 20░ east].
This is a most important article as it defines the geographical area which is to be covered by the guarantee of the pact. I think that our objective in this article should be to make it quite clear that the far northern area and the islands in the Atlantic are included beyond doubt in the security zone and that, on the other hand, the Mediterranean area, including North Africa, should be excluded. It would, I think, be desirable to have a map attached to the treaty identifying the area covered by the agreement. It is rather amusing to note that the guarantee would, either in afernative A or alternative B, cover an attack by Guatemala on British Honduras as this colony would be a "territory" in "North America". It should also be noted that the guarantee is applicable in the event of an attack on the armed forces of any of the parties in Europe or North America. This would cover an attack on United States forces in Germany, or indeed in Trieste.
Article 6. (United Nations)-
1. This Treaty does not prejudice in any way the obligations of the parties under the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. It shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.
2. Any fact or situation constituting a threat to or breach of the peace and deemed to require consultation under article 4, or any armed attack requiring action under article 5, shall be immediately reported to the Security Council.
3. All measures taken as a result of article 5 shall be immediately reported to the Security Council. They shall be tenninated as soon as the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore international peace and security. This article seems to be satisfactory, though it would be improved if the first lines of paragraph I were changed to read, "This Treaty does not affect in any way the obligations ...or the authority or responsibility of the Security Council, etc."
Article 7. (Other International Engagements)-The parties declare, each so far as be is concerned, that none of the international engagements now in force between him and any other of the parties or any third State is in conflict with or affected by the provisions of this Treaty.
In its present form this article seems to be juridically ineffective and should be changed to read:
"Each party to this Treaty agrees not to accept any obligations in conflict with this Treaty or with the Charter of the United Nations."
Article 8. (Organization)-The parties hereby establish a Council, on which each of them shall be represented, to deal with matters concerning the implementation of this Treaty. The Council shall be so organized as to be able to meet promptly at any time. The Council shall set up such subsidiary bodies as may be necessary; in particular it shall establish immediately a Defence Committee which shall recommend measures for the implementation of Articles 3 and 5. No change is suggested.
Article 9. (Accession)-The parties may, by agreement, invite any other country in the North Atlantic or Western European regions to accede to this Treaty. Any State so invited may become a party to the Treaty by depositing its Instrument of Accession with the Government of .... The Government of ... will inform each of the parties of the deposit of each such Instrument of Accession.
We should try to have an additional article inserted after the above Accession article to read somewhat as follows:
"The parties may, by agreement and on terms to be agreed with the State concerned, extend some or all of the provisions of this Treaty to any other country in the North Atlantic or Western European regions whose defence is considered vital to the defence of the parties to this Treaty."
The value of such an article would be that it would make possible special arrangements which would include additional territories, e.g. Italy. This, however, could only be done by agreement among the existing signatories. Some or all of the provisions could thus be extended by some or all of the signatories.
Article 10. (Ratification and Duration)-This Treaty shall be ratified by the Signatory States and the Instruments of Ratification shall be deposited as soon as possible with the ... Government. It shall enter into force between the States which have ratified it as soon as the Ratifications of a majority of the signatories have been deposited and shall remain in effect for ... years from that date. It shall come into effect with respect to the other signatory States on the date of the deposit of their Ratifications.
After this treaty has been in force for ... years, each of the parties may cease to be a party one year after its notice of denunciation has been given to the ... Government.
The ... Government shall inform the Governments of the other parties of the deposit of each Instrument of Ratification and each Notice of Denunciation.
We feel that the duration of the treaty should be no longer than 20 years and might be even 16 or 12. We also suggest that an additional clause might be provided for registration of the treaty with the Secretary General of the United Nations; even though this is not juridically necessary, it would be politically useful and might read somewhat as follows:
"This treaty shall be registered by the ... Government with the Secretary General of the United Nations."
You will note that there are some points on which agreement has not yet been reached. The most important of these is whether or not Italy and French North Africa should be included. We feel that, while the arguments in favour of Italian inclusion are strong, the arguments against such inclusion are even stronger and that Italy might be taken care of by some guarantee outside the pact. It would, we think, be unwise for Canada to participate in any such guarantee which goes beyond the acceptance of the obligation to consult with the Italian Government in the case of a threat to the peace. Similarly, we feel that we should not support the inclusion of French North Africa in the agreement as this would give rise to possible colonial difficulties and introduce a new and complicating factor.
One difficulty that might arise if Italy and French North Africa were included would be the desire of Greece, Turkey and possibly Iran to be given the same treatment as Italy: this we certainly should not accept.
Another point not covered in the draft is the desirability or otherwise of an article permitting suspension or expulsion of signatories of the pact. We think that, on the whole, such an article would be useful and that provision should be made for suspension, to be followed in certain cases by expulsion; the decision in this regard to be taken by the Atlantic Council on the basis of rules of procedure to be established by it. This leaves open the question of whether expulsion should be by unanimous or two-thirds vote of the Council.