Mr. P. van Zeeland, Foreign Minister of Belgium.
Council appoints General Eisenhower to be SACEUR - Approves creation of a Defence Production Board - Invites the three Occupying Powers to explore with the German Federal
Government Germany's participation in defence.
The North Atlantic Council acting on recommendations of the
Defence Committee today completed the arrangements initiated
in September last for the establishment in Europe of an
integrated force under centralized control and command. This
force is to be composed of contingents contributed by the
The Council yesterday unanimously decided to ask the
President of the United States to make available General of
the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower to serve as Supreme Commander.
Following receipt this morning of a message from the
President of the United States that he had made General
Eisenhower available, the Council appointed him. He will
assume his command and establish his headquarters in Europe
early in the New Year. He will have the authority to train
the national units assigned to his command and to organize
them into an effective integrated defence force. He will be
supported by an international staff drawn from the nations
contributing to the force.
The Council, desiring to simplify the structure of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization in order to make it more
effective, asked the Council Deputies to initiate appropriate
action. In this connection the Defence Committee, meeting
separately on 18th December, had already taken action to
establish a Defence Production Board with greater powers than
those of the Military Production and Supply Board which it
supersedes. The new Board is charged with expanding and
accelerating production and with furthering the mutual use of
the industrial capacities of the member nations.
The Council also reached unanimous agreement regarding the
part which Germany might assume in the common defence. The
German participation would strengthen the defence of Europe
without altering in any way the purely defensive character of
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The Council invited
the Governments of France, the United Kingdom and the United
States to explore this matter with the Government of the
German Federal Republic.
The decisions taken and the measures contemplated have the
sole purpose of maintaining and consolidating peace. The
North Atlantic nations are determined to pursue this policy
until peace is secure.