Updated: 05-Mar-2001 NATO the first five years 1949-1954

Appendix 1

by Lord Ismay

Secretary General




June 26
The United Nations Charter is signed at San Francisco.
March 4 France and the United Kingdom sign a 50-year Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance at Dunkirk.

March 12

President Truman delivers his message to Congress urging the United States of America 'to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure' (Truman Doctrine) and requesting the appropriation of direct financial aid to Greece and Turkey.
June 5 General of the Army George C. Marshall, United States Secretary of State, speaking at Harvard, announces a plan for the economic rehabilitation of Europe. This speech initiated the action which led to the European Recovery Programme.

January 22 Mr. Ernest Bevin, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, speaking in the House of Commons, proposes a form of Western Union.

February 22


The Communist Party in Czechoslovakia gains control of the government in Prague through a coup d'etat.
March 17 The Brussels Treaty - a 50-year treaty of economic, social and cultural collaboration and collective self-defence - is signed by the Foreign Ministers of Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
April 11
Secretary of State Marshall and Under Secretary Robert A. Lovett begin exploratory conversations with Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg and Senator Tom Connally on security problems of the North Atlantic area.
April 16
The Convention for European Co-operation is signed by the Foreign Ministers of sixteen European countries and by the Commanders-in-Chief of the Western Zones of Occupation in Germany. The OEEC was set up under Article 1 of the Convention.
June 11 The United States Senate adopts Resolution 239, known as the 'Vandenberg Resolution'.
July 6 Mr. Lovett and the Ambassadors in Washington of the Brussels Treaty Powers and of Canada begin discussions about North Atlantic defence.
September 27-28 The Defence Ministers of the Brussels Treaty Powers decide to create a Western Union Defence Organization.
October 25-26 The'Consultative Council of the Brussels Treaty Powers announce 'complete agreement on the principle of a defensive pact for the North Atlantic and on the next steps to be taken in this direction'.
December 10
Negotiations on the drafting of the North Atlantic Treaty open in Washington between the representatives of the Brussels Treaty Powers, Canada and the United States.

March 15 The negotiating Powers invite Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway and Portugal to adhere to the North Atlantic Treaty.
March 18 The text of the North Atlantic Treaty is published.
March 31 The Soviet Government presents a memorandum to the twelve prospective signatories claiming that the Treaty is contrary to the United Nations Charter and to the decisions of the Council of Foreign Ministers.
April 2
The twelve governments repudiate the Soviet assertions in a common note.
April 4 The North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington by the Foreign Ministers of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom and United States.
April 8 Texts published of requests by the Brussels Treaty Powers, Denmark, Italy and Norway for United States military and financial assistance.
August 24 The North Atlantic Treaty enters into effect upon the deposit in Washington of the final instruments of ratifications.
September 17 North Atlantic Council, first session, Washington (Chairman: Mr. Dean Acheson, United States).
October 6 Mutual Defence Assistance Act of 1949 is signed by President Truman.
November 18 North Atlantic Council, second session, Washington (Chairman: Mr. Acheson).
January 6 North Atlantic Council, third session, Washington (Chairman: Mr. Acheson).
January 27 President Truman approves the plan for the integrated defence of the North Atlantic area, thus releasing $ 900,000,000 of military aid funds.
May 9 The French Government proposes the creation of a single authority to control the production of steel and coal in France and Germany, open for membership to other countries (Schuman Plan).
May 15-16 North Atlantic Council, fourth session, London (Chairman: Mr. Acheson).
June 25 North Korean forces attack the Republic of South Korea.
July 25 Council Deputies, First Meeting, London. Ambassador Charles M. Spofford, United States Deputy Representative to the North Atlantic Council, is elected Permanent Chairman.
August 1 Announcement is made in Ankara that the Turkish Government has decided to make formal application for Turkey's adhesion to the North Atlantic Treaty.
September 15-18 North Atlantic Council, fifth session. New York (Chairman: Mr. Acheson).
September 26 North Atlantic Council, fifth session. New York (continued).
October 2 Turkey accepts Council invitation to be associated with the military agencies of NATO in Mediterranean defence planning.
October 5 Greece accepts Council invitation to be associated with Mediterranean defence planning,
October 24 French Prime Minister, M. Rene Pleven, outlines to the National Assembly his plan for a European unified army, including German contingents, within the framework of NATO (Pleven Plan).
October 28-31 The NATO Defence Committee discusses the methods by which Germany might participate in the defence of Western Europe, and refers the political and military aspects of the problem to the Council Deputies and Military Committee respectively for further study.
December 18-19 North Atlantic Council, sixth session, Brussels (Chairman: M. Paul van Zeeland, Belgium).
December 19 The Council appoints General Dwight D. Eisenhower (United States) Supreme Allied Commander Europe. The Foreign Ministers of France, the United Kingdom and the United States, acting on the invitation of the North Atlantic Council at their sixth session, authorise the Allied High Commissioners in Western Germany to open discussions with the Federal Republic on a possible German contribution to the defence of Western Europe (Petersberg negotiations).
December 19 The Consultative Council of the Brussels Treaty Powers decide to merge the military organization of the Western Union into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
January 24
February 15
The French Government announces it will convene a Conference to discuss the European Army Plan. Conference on the setting up of a European Army opens in Paris.
April 2 General Eisenhower issues General Order No. 1 activating Allied Command Europe, and the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).
April 18 Representatives of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and the Federal Republic of Germany sign a joint declaration formally setting up the European Coal and Steel Community.
May 3 The Council Deputies announce important changes in the top structure of NATO, namely the incorporation by the North Atlantic Council of the Defence Committee and the Defence Financial and Economic Committee. The Council thus become the sole Ministerial body of the Organization.
June 19 An agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Status of their Forces (Military Status Agreement) is signed in London by the Council Deputies on behalf of their governments.
July 8 The Petersberg negotiations are suspended.
July 24 The Paris Conference approves an interim report to governments, recommending the creation of a European Army. General Elsenhower agrees to co-operate in working out the military problems.
September 15-20 North Atlantic Council, seventh session, Ottawa (Chairman; M. van Zeeland).
September 20 Agreement signed in Ottawa on the Status of NATO, National Representatives and International Staff (Civilian Status Agreement).
October 9-11 Temporary Council Committee (TCC), first session, Paris. Executive Bureau (Three Wise Men) established.
October 17-22 Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of Greece and Turkey is signed in London by the Council Deputies acting on behalf of their governments.
November 19 Inauguration of the NATO Defence College, Paris.
November 24-28 North Atlantic Council, eighth session, Rome (Chairman:Mr. L. B. Pearson, Canada).
January 30 Council Deputies, acting on behalf of the Council, appoint Vice-Admiral LyndeD.McCormick (United States) Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT)
February 18 Greece and Turkey acceed to the North Atlantic Treaty.
February 20-25 North Atlantic Council, ninth session, Lisbon (Chairman; Mr. Pearson).
February 21 The Council decide to establish a Channel Command and appoint Admiral Sir Arthur John Power Commander-in-Chief.
March 12 Announcement is made of the appointment of Lord Ismay, the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, as Vice-Chairman of the North Atlantic Council, and Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
April 4 Third anniversary of the signing of the Treaty. Lord Ismay takes office and the North Atlantic Council assume responsibility for the tasks hitherto performed by the Council Deputies, the Defence Production Board and the Economic and Financial Board, the international staffs serving those agencies being amalgamated into one organization with headquarters in Paris.
April 10 Activation of Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT).
April 16 NATO opens its provisional Headquarters at the Palais de Chaillot, Paris.
April 28
The North Atlantic Council, now in permanent session, hold their first meeting in Paris. Appoint General Matthew B. Bidgway (United States) Supreme Allied Commander Europe, to succeed General Eisenhower.
May 27
The Foreign Ministers of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the German Federal Republic sign in Paris the Treaty setting up the European Defence Community.
December 15-18 Representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty governments sign a Protocol to the Treaty on Guarantees given by the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty to the members of the European Defence Community. North Atlantic Council meet in Ministerial session in Paris (Chairman: Mr. Ole Bjem Kraft, Denmark).
February 28 A Treaty of 'friendship and collaboration' is signed in Ankara between Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia.
April 23-25 North Atlantic Council meet in Ministerial session in Paris (Chairman: Lord Ismay).
July 10
The North Atlantic Council appoint General Alfred M. Gruenther (United States) to succeed General Ridgway as Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
December 5 Lord Ismay attends the Bermuda Conference (France, the United Kingdom, the United States) as observer for NATO.
December 14-16 The North Atlantic Council meet in Ministerial session in Paris (Chairman: M. Georges Bidault, France).
February 17 The North Atlantic Council appoint Admiral Jerauld Wright (United States) to succeed Admiral McCormick as Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic.
April 23 North Atlantic Council meet in Ministerial session in Paris (Chairman: M. Bidault, France).
April 26 Opening of the Geneva Conference, convened by France, the United Kingdom, the USSR and the United States for the purpose of reaching a settlement of the Korean problem and of considering the question of the re-establishment of peace in Indo-China.
May7 In their reply to a Soviet note of March 31, France, the United Kingdom and the United States reject the USSR's bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
June 17-18 Meeting, at The Hague, of the Constituent Conference of the Atlantic Treaty Association, sponsored by the International Atlantic Committee (representing pro-NATO voluntary organizations). The constitution of the Association is agreed upon.
June 19 M. Pierre Mendes France, French Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, becomes Chairman of the North Atlantic Council.

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