Volume #26 - 88.|
ORGANISATION DU TRAITÉ DE L'ATLANTIQUE NORD
Le représentant permanent auprès du Conseil de l'Atlantique Nord|
au secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
le 1er mai 1959|
Repeat London, Washington, Bonn, Paris (OpImmediate) (Information).
PROPOSED NATO PRESS RELEASE ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS
NATO Council was called into private session yesterday afternoon to consider a proposal from Secretary General that NATO issue a press release on arrangements being made for provision of nuclear weapons to NATO forces.
2. Secretary General advanced two reasons for this proposal. First was recent Soviet move in notes to USA, Germany and Italy, to represent provision of nuclear weapons to NATO forces as an attempt to place before Geneva Conference a fait accompli.193 Second was complication that agreements between USA and four or five NATO countries regarding establishment in these countries of stockpiles of nuclear warheads are about to be concluded. Final acceptance of these agreements by USA involves usual procedure of having them placed before Congress for a period of sixty days. To ensure that this can be done during current session of Congress USA Government wishes to place agreements before Congress on May 15. It is also anticipated that agreements would be discussed in parliaments of at least some of the other countries involved during the same period.
3. Object of proposed press release would be to place NATO position clearly on record and in proper perspective in light of recent Soviet Notes and any further public criticisms to which NATO or its members might be subjected by Soviets when negotiation of agreements becomes public knowledge.
4. Following discussion, on which we are reporting in separate telegrams, Secretary General undertook to circulate a revised draft press release for consideration by governments. It is desired that agreement be reached by Wednesday May 6 although there may be some further discussion tomorrow May 2 when Council meets to hear a report on recent meeting of the four Western Foreign Ministers on Germany.194 It seems likely that a few countries may be in a position to state their views fairly definitely tomorrow.
5. Following is text of revised draft press release. Parts in square brackets at end of paragraph 2 are alternatives. Text Begins: "Council today considered recent Soviet Notes addressed to several NATO governments, in which it was represented that current programmes of NATO powers for introduction of modern weapons were an attempt to torpedo in advance the negotiations which will begin in Geneva May 11. Same allegations are to be found in commu-niqué issued after Warsaw Pact Meeting of April 28.195
Council have reviewed, in consultation with NATO military authorities, progress made in equipping and training of forces of the alliance with modern arms including arrangements concluded and under negotiation with certain NATO countries [for the establishment of stocks of nuclear warheads and for the necessary training] [in this field].
Council noted that these programmes for improving NATO defences are the consequence of long-established NATO policies which were arrived at through joint decisions of NATO countries. They have been in process of implementation for over two years, as is shown by statement issued after Heads of Government Meeting December 1957, reaffirming decision previously taken to equip NATO forces with modern weapons. This disposes of any suggestion that these measures have an aggressive purpose or that they are designed, as alleged in Soviet Notes, to prejudice the success of forthcoming meeting in Geneva.
Council agreed that considerations expressed in its communiqués of May and December 1957196 are still valid today. In December 1957 NATO Heads of Government stated that "The Soviet leaders, while preventing a general disarmament agreement, have made it clear that the most modern and destructive weapons, including missiles of all kinds, are being introduced in Soviet armed forces. In Soviet view, all European nations except USSR should, without waiting for general disarmament, renounce nuclear weapons and missiles and rely on arms of the preatomic age. As long as USSR persists in this attitude, we have no repeat no alternative but to remain vigilant and to look to our defences. We are therefore resolved to achieve the most effective pattern of NATO military defensive strength, taking into account the most recent developments in weapons and techniques."
Council recalls and emphasizes particularly the following statement which was included in the communiqué of May 1957, which constitutes essential basis of NATO policy in this matter: "Pending an acceptable agreement on disarmament, no repeat no power can claim the right to deny to the alliance the possession of the modern arms needed for its defence. If however the fears professed by USSR are sincere, they could be readily dissipated. All that is needed is for USSR to accept a general disarmament agreement embodying effective measures of control and inspection within framework of the proposals made on numerous occasions by the Western powers, which remain an essential basis of their policy." Text Ends.
193Voir le texte de la note soviétique du 22 avril 1959 aux États-Unis dans The New York Times, April 23, 1959, p. 4.
194 Voir le rapport sur cette conférence dans Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, volume VIII, (Washington: United States Government Printing office, 1993) pp. 655 à 672.
195Voir/See The New York Times, April 29, 1959, pp. 1-2.
196Voir le volume 22, document 625, note 86, et le volume 24, document 256, note 55.