Volume #26 - 113.|
ORGANISATION DU TRAITÉ DE L'ATLANTIQUE NORD
RÉUNION MINISTÉRIELLE DU CONSEIL DE L'ATLANTIQUE NORD, PARIS, 15-17, 22 DÉCEMBRE 1959
Note du sous-secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
le 7 décembre 1959|
NATO MINISTERIAL MEETING|
It would be useful, I think, to summarize briefly at this stage the expected course of proceedings at the Ministerial Meeting and to sketch out for your consideration the main areas where we might express Canadian views.
There appears to be general agreement now that the first day of the Meeting (i.e. Tuesday, December 15th) will be devoted to a discussion of political questions. The defence discussions are scheduled to commence in the morning of the following day. Assuming that the defence debate will include the Annual Review, Intelligence briefings and the report of the Military Committee (as it did last year) it will probably take almost a full day. Moreover, the Secretary General is pressing for the inclusion of two additional military items (on status of nuclear capability of the Alliance and report on the progress of air defence integration in Europe); if his proposal, to which we can see no objection, is approved, the debate on defence may take up more than one day.
The Chairman, Chiefs of Staff, has informed us that he does not plan to recommend to his Minister that he should make a prepared statement during the defence debate. Mr. Pearkes made such a statement last year but its purpose, as we recall, was chiefly to emphasize the extent of our commitments in the Canada-United States region and to remove any misunderstandings or misapprehensions about the Canadian defence effort at a time when there were pending a number of unresolved problems relating to both the North American and European areas of NATO (e.g. the re-equipment of the Air Division). This year our position is considerably improved. In the circumstances, there is probably less requirement for a prepared statement.228 Certainly we would be opposed to any statement which criticized the defence efforts of our European allies. Our over-all defence position is undoubtedly better than last year but we are not so strong and invulnerable that we should feel ourselves justified in lecturing our partners. (The attached table? prepared by NATO on the relationship of defence expenditures to G.N.P. is of interest in this connection.) However, we should certainly encourage and be prepared to participate in a full and frank discussion of the present state of the NATO defence effort. In a separate memorandum? to follow we shall set out our views more fully in this respect.
The Secretary General is expected to introduce the political debate with a short oral presentation which will probably touch on East-West relations, Summit problems, political consultation in and out of NATO, etc. (He has apparently attempted to prevail upon Mr. Herter to open the discussion but, so far, he has had no success.) There appears to be a good deal of support for a comprehensive discussion of Soviet intentions and the attitude which NATO should adopt in the light of the current Soviet approach to international problems. Since the actual Summit Meeting will not be held until April or May, it does not seem likely that the Four Western Heads of Government will concern themselves in their discussions with much more than the agenda and the timing of an East-West meeting. This means, in turn, that the Foreign Ministers of the Four will have little of substance to lay before the Ministerial Meeting.
We do not consider that the Four are trying to avoid consultation in NATO since it is obvious that it is too soon for them to reach conclusions on the position to be adopted on major issues, including Berlin, Germany and Disarmament. The Western Four Foreign Ministers, however, may raise the broader question of how the Western side should deal with the Russians, i.e. what philosophy should guide the Western approach to an East-West Summit Meeting. A Four Power Working Group is reported to be drawing up a questionnaire of this nature for examination at the Ministerial Meeting.
In these circumstances, it would seem appropriate for the Ministerial Meeting to take time to examine the basic factors underlying the present Soviet approach to international problems, to study the methods by which NATO can test the sincerity of Soviet intentions and to determine the attitude which NATO countries should adopt towards the Soviet bloc in the present more favourable international climate. Attention could also be given to the limitations on agreement on major issues imposed by the present commitments of each side and to the difficulties that face both sides in making the kind of compromise that would be necessary for settlement of major issues.
Another important reason why we should probably continue to take a positive and forthcoming position in this regard is that there exist, in the United States in particular, two schools of thought on the question of the attitude to be adopted by the West towards the Soviet bloc. Prominent amongst the proponents of a tough, uncompromising policy is the former Secretary of State, Dean Acheson; the more moderate and, in our view, more sensible line is being expounded by the present Secretary of State, Mr. Herter. Since the latter undoubtedly is facing a good deal of opposition, we think we should do what we can to support his more moderate line in the Council. We should recognize, however, that the approach set forth in the Prime Minister's Halifax speech229 and in Mr. Herter's speech in New York230 may not be in accord with the views of other members who, for defence reasons, may prefer to be guided by a more rigid interpretation of Soviet intentions as reflected in the recent paper on Trends of Soviet Policy produced by a group of NATO experts.
Disarmament is the second, and probably most appropriate area, where we might play an important rôle at the Meeting. With a wide gap still dividing the Western and Soviet positions on Berlin and Germany, disarmament is probably the one subject which offers scope for fruitful discussions at an East-West Summit Meeting. Yet it is still a matter of some uncertainty when the Western Five should meet (e.g. before or after the Coolidge report)231 and when the Ten-Power Committee should get together.232 Some of these procedural questions could well be discussed at the Ministerial Meeting. NATO members could stress the urgency of the situation, examine some of the basic principles involved and try to decide what the NATO rôle should be and what contribution NATO can make to disarmament negotiations.
In any examination of the principles underlying the Western approach to disarmament there is, it seems to us, one highly important question which must first be answered. Are the members of the Alliance agreed that the defence and security of NATO as a whole would be promoted more surely and effectively by an agreed East-West programme of adequately verified disarmament than by the indefinite continuation of the present competition in armaments? While on the face of it we may say that a positive response should be a foregone conclusion, it is essential, we believe, to put such a question, if only to remove by our collective answer the impression often prevalent among the military, that disarmament is just a propaganda exercise in which politicians and diplomats engage from time to time.
Assuming a positive response to such a question, Ministers could then deliberate on the relationship of NATO to the forthcoming disarmament discussions in order to define more precisely what NATO's rôle should be and in order to explore whether NATO would be able to make a useful contribution to such discussions.
As far as NATO's relationship to the disarmament discussions is concerned, we are inclined to consider that the arrangements made during the disarmament discussions of 1957 could well be repeated. This involved periodic reports to the Council and the general understanding that the Western negotiating powers would welcome comments and advice on certain questions of substance of direct interest to the Alliance. At the same time, it was understood that the Western negotiating powers should not feel themselves obligated to consult the Alliance on every aspect of their tactical dealings with the Soviet bloc on disarmament.
In a recent telegram to Mr. Léger (copy attached),? we have set out a few suggestions which, if you agree, might be developed in broad terms at the Ministerial Meeting. Essentially they involve:
(a) the idea of having NATO look at its own techniques and methods (and those employed by the Western European Union) for examining the defence efforts of member countries to see whether there are any elements in these techniques which might be usefully adapted to the verification procedures of a disarmament agreement;
(b) the establishment of a special NATO committee composed of disarmament experts and NATO military representatives with the purpose of studying the broad techniques mentioned in (a) above and some of the SACEUR's imaginative schemes for inspection teams and overlapping radar to minimize the dangers of surprise attack. Apart from East-West relations, Summit problems and disarmament, the only other major issues looming in the background are:
(i) NATO consultation and political consultation between the members of the Common Market;
(ii) Soviet economic offensive;
(iii) aid to under-developed countries;
(iv) the implications for NATO of the economic split in Europe.
If it seems appropriate for Canada to intervene in any discussion which develops on (i), we would recommend that the Delegation should take basically the same line which you developed on this subject during your visit to the NATO Council on October 28.233 We are currently consulting with the other Departments concerned on the other three subjects mentioned and we expect to be in a position to recommend to you very soon a line which, if you agree, might be adopted at the Meeting. Our impression is that the Turks and the Greeks are sponsoring a discussion of the Soviet economic offensive in order that they may have an opportunity to renew their long-standing request for special economic and financial assistance from their NATO allies. On the question of aid to under-developed areas, there are signs that the United States may make a plea to its NATO partners to encourage them to assume a fair share of the burden. The fourth subject mentioned (i.e. the economic split in Europe) may not be discussed but it will certainly loom large in the background. We are working with other Departments on a memorandum which would, we think, be useful in the event there is a debate on this highly important question.
We are endeavouring to have all the briefing papers in your hands by Friday. We are also preparing draft notes for your statement in the Council. As we have mentioned above, the emphasis, if you agree, will be mainly on East-West relations and disarmament.
228Note marginale :/Marginal note:
229Voir « Prospérité et paix, » Affaires Extérieures, vol. 11, No 12 (décembre 1959), pp. 378 à 384. See "Prosperity and Peace," External Affairs, Vol. 11, No. 12 (December 1959), pp. 382-388.
230 Voir/See Department of State Bulletin, Vol. XLI, No. 1067 (December 7, 1959), pp. 819-823.
231Le 29 juillet 1959, le président Eisenhower a nommé Charles A. Coolidge directeur de l'étude conjointe sur le désarmement. Le rapport de Coolidge, remis à la fin décembre 1959, n'a pas été publié. Voir le résumé des conclusions préliminaires de Coolidge dans Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, volume III, (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1996), pp. 804 à 811.
232Voir les documents 11 à 13./See Documents 11-13.
233Voir " M. Green à Paris et à Londres, " Affaires Extérieures, vol. XI, No 12 (décembre 1959), pp. 385 à 387.