Chairman: Mr. Acheson
Council Deputies established to meet permanently in London - Definition of "balanced collective forces" and of "progressive build-up of defence" - North Atlantic Planning Board for Ocean Shipping established.
At the fourth session of the Atlantic Council in London the Foreign Ministers of the 12 nations of the North Atlantic Treaty considered the principles on which their association is founded and the objectives toward which they are working.
They reaffirmed the adherence of their governments to the principles which inspire the United Nations Charter and their conviction that common action under the Treaty is an integral part of the effort which all free nations are making to secure conditions of world peace and human welfare.
They are determined that freedom, which is the common basis of their institutions, shall be defended against every threat of aggression or subversion, direct or indirect. Freedom means the independence of nations, the respect for spiritual values, and the dignity of man. Only a free society can guarantee to the individual, the benefits of economic and social betterment.
They are resolved to secure the economic progress and prosperity of the peoples of their countries and to promote the economic and social development of other peoples of the free world through close co-operation with each other and with other nations. To the immense resources of the free world, and its industrial and scientific development, the peoples of the North Atlantic Community bring the spiritual strength which comes from freedom.
Conscious of the strength and of the will to peace of their countries, the Ministers remain ready to seize any opportunity for achieving a genuine and lasting settlement of international problems: but for so long as some nations are not willing to co-operate on a basis of equality and mutual respect, they believe that the maintenance of peace and the defence of freedom require the organization of adequate military defence.
The nations of the Atlantic Council are accordingly resolved, by their united efforts, to build up a system of defence equipped with modern weapons and capable of withstanding any external threat directed against any of them.
The Council throughout its deliberations recognized that only through co-ordinated planning and joint effort could these objectives be achieved.
To this end the Council took the following decisions to improve the functioning of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and to guide its future work.
- They decided to establish, by the appointment of Deputies, mechanism to permit the Council fully to discharge its role as the principal and directing body of the North Atlantic Treaty. The full text of the Council resolution on this subject is attached.
- The Council in this connection agreed on principles which should guide the work of the Deputies and of the other organizations of the North Atlantic Treaty.
- The Council, having considered the reports of the Defence Committee, and the Defence Financial and Economic Committee, issued directives to guide them in their future work. These directives emphasize that the problem of adequate military forces and the necessary financial costs should be examined as one and not as separate problems.
In formulating their directives the Council proceeded on the basis that the combined resources of the members of the North Atlantic Treaty are sufficient, if properly co-ordinated and applied, to ensure the progressive and speedy development of adequate military defence without impairing the social and economic progress of these countries.
- The Council recognizing the indispensability of self-help and mutual aid among the Treaty Powers in making progress towards an integrated defence, and convinced that further mutual assistance is essential to rapid progress towards the strength required for the common security of the North Atlantic area, recommended that each Party make its full contribution through mutual assistance in all practicable forms.
- The Council unanimously agreed that if adequate military defence of the member countries is to be achieved it must be along the lines of the most economical and effective utilization of the forces and material at the disposal of the North Atlantic countries. They accordingly urged their governments to concentrate on the creation of balanced collective forces in the progressive build-up of the defence of the North Atlantic area, taking at the same time fully into consideration the requirements for national forces which arise out of commitments external to the North Atlantic area.
- In furtherance of Article 9 of the Treaty the Council established a North Atlantic Planning Board for Ocean Shipping to be composed of representatives of the participating countries concerned. This Board will report directly to the Council and will work in close co-operation with other bodies of the Treaty Organization in all matters relating to the factor of merchant shipping in defence planning.
The Ministers believe that the decisions they have taken here in London represent a marked advance towards the practical realization of the objectives of the North Atlantic Treaty.