- In accordance with the decision taken at the Ministerial Meeting
of the North Atlantic Council held at the level of Heads of
Government on l9th December last, the Defence Ministers of the
NATO member countries met at the Palais de Chaillot, under the
chairmanship of the Secretary General, Monsieur P.-H. Spaak, on
15th, 16th and 17th April, 1958.
- The Ministers heard full and valuable reports by the Military
Committee, the Standing Group and the Supreme Allied Commanders
on the present state of the forces of the Alliance, on the pro-
gressive introduction of the most modern weapons and equipment
and on the forces needed for NATO defence in the years ahead.
They also heard progress reports on projects initiated by the
Heads of Government in December. On the basis of these reports a
most useful discussion took place between the Ministers and the
NATO military authorities.
- In order to meet the continuing efforts made by the Soviet
leaders to equip their large forces with the most modern weapons
the Ministers discussed ways and means of making the best use of
the resources of the Alliance and of achieving greater
effectiveness for its forces. They confirmed their support of
the basic NATO strategy for the preservation of peace and for
the defence of member countries. This defensive strategy
continues to be founded on the concept of a strong deterrent,
comprising the Shield, with its conventional and nuclear
elements, and the nuclear retaliatory forces.
- The Ministers also were in agreement on certain measures to
achieve greater co-ordination and to widen co-operation among
member countries, both with respect to defence research,
development and production and to the organization of forces.
- The Ministers are confident after these discussions, which
confirmed their unity and common purpose, that the progressive
modernization of NATO forces, on the basis of the agreed
strategic plans, will enable the Alliance to maintain its
defensive strength, while efforts continue to be made to
re-establish international confidence through effective,