Chairman: Mr. K. Gudmundsson
Assessment of negative outcome of the Geneva meeting- Its effect on German reunification - Reaffirmation of the Federal German Government as sole representative of the German people - Decision to equip NATO forces with atomic weapons - Adoption of princi
The North Atlantic Council held its regular December Ministerial Session in Paris on the 15th and 16th of December. Member governments were represented by Foreign, Defence and Finance Ministers. Dr. Kristinn Gudmundsson, Foreign Minister of Iceland, acted as chairman.
The Council examined and assessed the present international situation.
It unanimously welcomed the vigour with which the three Western Ministers had represented to the second Geneva Conference the proposals already outlined at previous meetings of the North Atlantic Council. These proposals aimed at the reunification of Germany through free elections; left the unified German Govern- ment free to choose its own foreign policy and offered a security pact to the USSR.
The Council noted with regret:
- that the USSR had repudiated the proposal to negotiate on the reunification of Germany through free elections, in spite of the directive agreed at the first Geneva conference.
- that the USSR was opposed to any effective system for the control of armaments including the air inspection plan proposed by President Eisenhower.
- that the USSR had given proof of its fear and hostility with regard to the free exchange of information between the people of the Soviet Union and the free world.
The Council declared that the negative outcome of the Geneva Conference had in no way halted the efforts of the North Atlantic powers to secure the reunification of Germany in freedom, such reunification continuing to be held by them as an essential condition for the establishment of a just and lasting peace.
The Council reaffirmed that they consider the Government of the Federal Republic as the only German Government freely and legitimately constituted and therefore entitled to speak for Germany as the representative of the German people in international affairs; it stressed once again that the security and welfare of Berlin should be considered as essential elements of the peace of the free world in the present international situation; it urged the importance of consulting further within NATO on the question of German reunification and on the situation in Berlin.
The Council also reviewed recent provocative moves and declarations by the Soviet Union regarding the Middle East and Asia. They recognized that these tactics, coupled with a continued increase in Soviet military capability created new problems and a new challenge to the Free World.
Following a report by the Secretary General on the work and activities of the Organization in the last eight months, the Council discussed future defence planning of NATO. It considered the Annual Review Report for 1955 and approved force goals for 1956, 1957 and 1958. The Council welcomed the German Federal Republic's participation for the first time in the NATO Annual Review. The Council adopted procedures designed to give new impulse and direction to the future defence planning of the Alliance and to ensure even closer co-operation in this field. The Council expressed the firm determination of all member governments to see the Atlantic forces equipped with the most modern weapons. The Council noted with satisfaction that substantial progress could be achieved in this respect as a result of the valuable assistance of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
The Council devoted major attention to improving the arrangements for air defence and warning in Europe. It accepted recommendations for the re-organization and closer co-ordination of the air defence in NATO European countries, so as to integrate further NATO activities in this vital field. The Council also received a report on a new type of communications system for air defence and warning. The United States offered to finance a pilot project for this new system.
The Council recognized that recent developments in the inter- national situation made it more necessary than ever to have closer co-operation between the members of the Alliance as envisaged in Article 2 of the Treaty. They decided to instruct the Permanent Council to examine and implement all measures conducive to this end.IV In concluding its work, the Council declared that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization remains the essential foundation of the security of the fifteen associated nations. Such association is in direct contrast to the obsolete system under which isolated nations are in danger of being subjugated, one by one, by despotic groups such as the Soviet bloc.