The North Atlantic Council held its regular Ministerial Session
in Paris from 16th to 18th December, 1958.
- In a comprehensive survey of the international situation, the
Council gave first place to the question of Berlin. The Member
countries made clear their resolution not to yield to threats.
Their unanimous view on Berlin was expressed in the Council's
Declaration of 16th December. The Council will continue to
follow this question with close attention and will shortly
discuss the replies to be sent to the Soviet notes of 27th
- The member states of NATO sincerely believe that the
interests of peace require equitable settlements of the
outstanding political issues which divide the Free World from
the Communist world. A solution of the German question, linked
with European security arrangements, and an agreement on
controlled disarmament remain in their view essential. The NATO
governments will continue to seek just settlements of these
problems, but regret that Western proposals on these questions
have so far been ignored by the Soviet Government.
- The Council heard reports on the Geneva discussions on the
discontinuance of nuclear weapons tests, and on measures helpful
in preventing surprise attack.
- The Council's review of the international situation, on the
basis of reports prepared by the Political Committee, covered a
wide range of problems. Special attention was given to the
efforts of the Communist bloc to weaken the position of the Free
World in different areas.
- The Council had before it a report by the Secretary General
on political co operation in the Alliance. The Ministers
consider that important progress has been made in this field
during 1958. They examined the problems inevitably created by
the widening of political consultation. There was general
agreement that the existing machinery of NATO is well suited to
the needs of the Alliance, and that flexible methods would
produce better results than any codification of rules. The
Ministers agreed that the preparation of political consultation
in the Council could be improved, in particular by more
systematic study of long term political questions. The Council
paid tribute to the efforts of the Secretary General in the
field of conciliation between member countries.
- The Ministers reaffirmed the importance they attach to the
measures taken both individually and collectively by member
countries to stimulate economic activity and to ensure
continuing expansion without inflation.
- The Council noted the difficulties encountered in the
negotiations undertaken for the organization of economic
co operation between the European members of the Alliance who
are in the Common Market and those who are not. It considers it
necessary that a multilateral association should be established
at the earliest possible date and expresses the hope that the
efforts now being undertaken with a view to a solution will be
- The Council heard a joint statement by the Greek and Turkish
Foreign Ministers on the problems of the less developed member
countries, and instructed the Permanent Council to undertake a
study of this matter.
- The Council examined the military situation of the Alliance.
After hearing reports by the Standing Group and the Supreme
Allied Commanders, the Ministers emphasized the vital need, in
view of the continuing increase in Soviet armaments, to sustain
without relaxation the effort of member countries to improve the
defensive power of the Alliance.
- The Council reaffirmed that NATO defensive strategy con
tinues to be based on the existence of effective shield forces
and on the manifest will to use nuclear retaliatory forces to
- The Ministers examined the report of the 1958 Annual Review
and approved its conclusions. The implementation of the plans
agreed in December 1957 by the Heads of Government is
being actively pursued, and methods for accelerating their
realization were agreed.
- The next regular Ministerial meeting of the Council will be
held in Washington on 2nd to 4th April, 1959, at the invitation
of the United States Government, on the occasion of the tenth
anniversary of the signing of the
North Atlantic Treaty.