Chairman : Mr P. H. Spaak
Lack of progress on disarmament deplored - 1958 Berlin Declaration reaffirmed - U.S. suggestion concerning MRBM multilateral force Creation of OECD welcomed - Development of Communist economic offensive.
- The regular Ministerial session of the North Atlantic Council was held in Paris from December 16th to 18th, 1960.
- The Ministers engaged in an extensive review of the inter- national situation--political, military and economic. In pursuance of decisions previously taken, they also considered the question of long-term planning on the basis of a progress report from the Secretary General and suggestions put forward by Governments.
- The Council reaffirmed the solidarity of the Alliance and their dedication to the principle of the settlement of all disputes by peaceful means, without recourse to the use of force or threats. They declared their determination to work for a lasting improvement in international relations, in which freedom, national independence and law would be respected. This would be true peaceful coexistence free from all idea of world domination.
- The Council deplored the lack of progress during the past year on disarmament, resulting from the Communist states' withdrawal from the Ten-Power Conference before even examining the Western proposals. The Council reaffirmed their support for the principles expressed in those proposals as a basis for attaining their common objective of general and complete disarmament by stages under effective international control. They expressed their hope for the early resumption of negotiations.
- The Council regretted the lack of progress on the reunification of Germany on the basis of self-determination. With regard to Berlin, the Council reaffirmed their declaration of December 16th, 1958. In face of the recent Soviet threats and harassing tactics, they once again declared their determination to protect the freedom of the people of West Berlin.
- In order that the Atlantic Alliance may pursue its constructive purposes in peace and without fear, confronted as it is by the menace of growing Communist military strength, the North Atlantic nations must be able to respond to any attack with whatever force might be appropriate. There must be a proper balance in the forces of the Alliance of nuclear and conventional strength to provide the required flexibility. The Ministers, in the light of the Annual Review, took note of the progress which had been made, and expressed their determination to continue their efforts to improve the deterrent and defensive strength of the Alliance.
- In this connection, the United States Government suggested the concept of an MRBM multilateral force for consideration by the Alliance. The Council took note of the United States suggestion with great interest and instructed the Permanent Representatives to study the suggestion and related matters in detail.
- The Council welcomed the assurance of the United States to maintain in the NATO area United States nuclear weapons made available to NATO.
- At the same time, the Council agreed on the equal importance of strengthening the shield forces of NATO in other respects so that there can be no possibility of miscalculation or misunderstanding of the Alliance's determination and ability to resist aggression by whatever means are appropriate and necessary.
- The Ministers noted with satisfaction the steps so far taken in response to the proposals made by Defence Ministers in Spring 1960 in the field of logistics and for co-operation in research, development and production of military equipment. They urged all parties concerned to press on with the projects already selected, and to study what further projects are suitable for co-operative action.
- The Ministers examined the report submitted to them on long-term planning, in particular with regard to political consultation and economic problems.
- They reaffirmed their determination to pursue within the Alliance comprehensive political consultation designed to achieve the closest possible co-ordination of their views and unity of action. They studied ways and means of achieving this result.
- In the economic field, they welcomed the creation of the OECD which, by promoting balanced economic growth and the expansion of world trade, will benefit all the nations of the free world.
- They emphasized the importance they attach to the develop- ment of the less-favored countries of the Alliance.
- Comprising as they do many of the more industrially developed countries, the Atlantic nations recognize their special responsibility in the field of aid to underdeveloped countries.
- The Ministers instructed the Permanent Representatives to follow up previous studies to enable the countries of the Alliance to watch the development of the Communist economic offensive and to concert the necessary defensive measures.
- The Secretary General was invited to draw up a report on these various questions which will be examined at the Spring Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council.
- This meeting will take place, at the invitation of the Norwegian Government, in Oslo in May 1961.