Updated: 23-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


15th-18th Dec

Final Communiqué

Chairman: Mr. O.B. Kraft, Foreign Minister of Denmark.


Secretary General's Report - Military Committee's Report - Annual Review and Infrastructure - Resolutions approved on economic cooperation, on Indo-China and on the proposed European Defence Community.

  1. The Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council ended in Paris today. The Chairman was Mr. Ole Bjorn Kraft, Foreign Minister of Denmark. It was attended by thirty-two Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Economics and Defence.

  2. The Council received a Progress Report by the Secretary General, which outlined the structure of the International Secretariat. It described the work accomplished in the last eight months by the Council, meeting regularly through the Permanent Representatives, and the development of close working relations between NATO's civilian and military authorities. It also dealt with the constructive work of the Council's Committee on civil defence, and of those concerned with non-military aspects of the Treaty covered by Article 2, such as over-population and social, cultural and informational matters.

  3. After taking note of Lord Ismay's report, the Council adopted a resolution (the text of which is issued with this communique) periodically to review the Organization's work under Article 2 of the Treaty.

  4. ln parallel with the Secretary General's Report, the Council considered a progress report prepared by the Military Committee. This Report showed a great advance in the training and effectiveness of the various national forces assigned to the Supreme Commanders. Combined land, air and sea maneuvers had shown a marked improvement in co-operation between units as well as at the staff level. The Report also showed a substantial advance in the standardization of international military procedures notably in signals.

  5. The Council approved proposals from the Military Committee for the establishment of a Mediterranean Command, so completing the European Command structure for the defence of the North Atlantic Area. Admiral Lord Mountbatten has been appointed.

  6. The Council considered the Strategic Guidance submitted to them by the Military Committee, which took account of the accession of Greece and Turkey to NATO. In approving it the Council re-affirmed their determination to defence all the territories and peoples of the North Atlantic Treaty area.

  7. The Council also had the benefit of statements from the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic. General Ridgway paid tribute to the high quality of the forces under his command but emphasized that only by a continuing increase in the forces assigned to him would he be able to carry out his responsibilities. Consequently, there could be no relaxation: on the contrary every effort must be made to increase NATO armed strength as rapidly as possible. Admiral McCormick spoke in similar vein.

  8. Against this background the Council then considered the first report on the Annual Review for 1952. They noted with satisfaction that the increase in forces agreed to at Lisbon had been substantially achieved by the end of 1952, and that it was planned to make further individual and collective efforts in 1953 to increase, improve and strengthen the forces now in being. At the same time they recognized that strong defence requires a healthy economy.

  9. For the future the Council directed that more emphasis should be given to increasing the effectiveness of the forces of the alliance and the units necessary for their support rather than to the provision of greater numbers, to the extent that resources were not available for both tasks. The Council noted the progress being made in the coordination of production of defence equipment and directed that further study be given to this and to further standardisation in this field. The Council also welcomed the assistance given to European production by United States off-shore procurement contracts.

  10. Agreement was reached on the financing of a further portion of the Infrastructure programme for airfields, communications and jet fuel supplies, to the amount of approximately $ 80 million.

  11. During the past eight months, the Council have regularly exchanged views and information on political problems affecting their common interests. At this meeting the Council paid particular attention to the struggle in Indo-China, to the European Defence Community Treaty, and to the situation in Eastern Germany. They noted in particular that, despite the Soviet Union's repeated declarations favouring a German peace treaty and German unification, no reply had been received to the proposals of the United Kingdom, France and the United States sent three months ago. The Council also received a progress report upon the work of the Interim Commission of the European Defence Community. The Council adopted resolutions (the text of which are attached) on Indo- China and the European Defence Community.

  12. It was agreed that the next Ministerial Meeting of the Council should be held as early as possible in the Spring of 1953, when its first task will be to consider the final report on the Annual Review for 1952.

  13. In the course of the present Meeting, the Council considered the present situation of the Atlantic Community and its prospects for the future. In the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, fourteen sovereign states have developed a degree of voluntary co-operation without precedent in history. By combining their resources and their knowledge, by sharing the material burden of defence, by the constant practice of mutual consultation and mutual assistance, member states have already increased their common strength, understanding and unity.

  14. Member governments are more than ever convinced that the course they have chosen is the best way of protecting their free society from direct or indirect Communist attempts to overwhelm it. Such improvement as has taken place in the general international situation can be attributed to the efforts which member governments have made in increasing their collective strength since the foundation of the alliance. If there were any relaxation in these efforts, there would be a corresponding increase in the dangers to which they are exposed. The increasingly successful co- operation of the fourteen member governments is a clear proof that the avowed intentions of the Soviet Government to sow dissension in the free world will not succeed.

  15. The Council re-affirmed the purpose of their alliance as being for defence, for peace, and for security, and their resolve to extend the scope of their joint action, and collectively to preserve their common heritage of freedom. The Council welcomed the sense of unity which is steadily growing among the peoples of the Atlantic Community.


  1. Implementation of Article 2 of the North Atlantic Treaty
  2. The North Atlantic Council:

    Convinced of the necessity of a continuing review and of an adequate solution of economic problems which face member states, not only to provide the defence effort with a firm foundation but also to promote social progress and the ideals of freedom which are the bases of the North Atlantic Community; and

    Having in mind Article 2 of the North Atlantic Treaty and the work already initiated within the Organization to give effect to the report of the Committee on the North Atlantic Community, approved by the Council at its Lisbon session and particularly as far as over-population problems are concerned;

    Agrees that member governments should seek by individual and collective measures to strengthen their political and economic capacities by finding solutions to their problems such as balance of payments, increase of output, internal financial stability and manpower; and that the results of their endeavors should be examined periodically by the Council.

  3. Indo-China
  4. The North Atlantic Council:

    Recognizes that resistance to direct or indirect aggression in any part of the world is an essential contribution to the common security of the free world;

    Having been informed as its meeting in Paris on the 16th December of the latest developments in the military and political situation in Indo-China;

    Expresses its wholehearted admiration for the valiant and long continued struggle by the French forces and the armies of the Associated States against Communist aggression; and

    Acknowledges that the resistance of the free nations in Southeast Asia as in Korea is in fullest harmony with the aims and ideals of the Atlantic Community;

    And therefore agrees that the campaign waged by the French Union forces in Indo-China deserves continuing support from the NATO governments.

  5. The European Defence Community
  6. The North Atlantic Council:

    Recalling the decisions taken by the Council at Brussels and at Lisbon regarding German participation in Western defence, and the resolution of the 26th May 1952 by which the Council noted the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community fulfilled the conditions embodied in the Brussels and Lisbon decisions;

    Taking note that this Treaty was signed on the 27th May 1952;

    Taking note of the progress made towards European integration, in particular in the economic field by the creation of the Coal and Steel Community which is already functioning;

    Having now heard the report on the activities of the Interim Committee of the Conference for the Organization of the European Defence Community submitted by the Chairman of this committee;

    Reiterates that the defence of Europe, including Western Germany, calls for the early establishment of the European Defence Community;

    Reaffirms the importance of the reciprocal guarantees exchanged between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty and the members of the European Defence Community;

    Stresses the paramount importance which the Atlantic Community attaches to the rapid entry into force of the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community and consequently to its ratification by all the signatories, as well as to the ratification of the Additional Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on guarantees given by the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty to members of the European Defence Community.

     [ Go to Comm '49-'59 Index ]  [ Go to Homepage ]