- The North Atlantic Council began its regular Ministerial Session in
Paris on 15th December. At the opening meeting, which marked the inauguration
of the Permanent Headquarters of NATO at the Porte Dauphine, statements
were made by M. Michel Debre, Prime Minister of the French Republic
and Mr. Halvard Lange, President of the Council and Norwegian Minister
for Foreign Affairs.
- The Council devoted three days to a thorough discussion of the affairs
of the Alliance, beginning with a review of the international situation.
The Ministers unanimously reaffirmed their confidence in the North Atlantic
Alliance, and agreed that it will remain indispensable during the coming
years. They instructed the Permanent Council to undertake long telm
planning, to cover the next ten years, on the objectives of the Alliance
in the political, military, scientific and economic fields, and in regard
to arms control.
The Council also agreed that various economic problems, as they
relate to NATO, should form the subject of further study in the Permanent
- The Council examined the military situation. It took cognizance of
the fact that Soviet military strength continues to grow. Current NATO
defence plans therefore remain valid. In view of this, and in the light
of the Annual Review, the Ministers agreed that a determined effort
is required to guarantee the necessary strength of the Alliance. They
expressed confidence that on the basis of the progress already achieved
and in view of favorable economic developments in most NATO countries,
this essential task is certainly within the ability of the Alliance
as a whole.
- The Council reaffirmed that general and controlled disarmament remains
the goal of the West. Every opportunity will be taken to make progress
in this direction. Until this goal is achieved, however, the Alliance
cannot afford to neglect the measures necessary for its security.
- The Ministers had a full discussion on the forthcoming negot iations
between East and West and agreed on the procedures whereby NATO will
continue to participate in the preparations for these negotiations.
The Council will resume these discussions on December 22nd after the
meeting of Heads of Government, and a second communique will then be
The Council concluded by expressing the hope that the negot iations
between East and West will advance the solution of important problems
and thus serve the ideals of peace and security which the Alliance
has always upheld and defended.
- At the invitation of the Turkish Government the next Ministerial Session
of the Council will take place in Istanbul in May 1960.
- The North Atlantic Council completed its Ministerial Session on December
- The Council heard an account by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of
France, speaking on behalf of the governments of the United States,
France, the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany, of the
conclusions reached by the Heads of State and of Government during their
discussions in Paris from l9th to 21st December in regard to East West
relations. During the detailed discussions which followed, the Council
recognized that the views expressed by the four governments fully reflected
those which had been expounded by its members on December 15th. The
Council gives its full support to the position adopted by the four governments.
- The Council takes note of the arrangements proposed to the Soviet
Government for the opening of negotiations in Paris in April. It agrees
with the arrangements made to secure full consultation with all member
governments during the preparation of these negotiations and undertakes
to play a constructive part in ensuring their success. It instructed
the Permanent Council to ensure that member governments are informed
and consulted, and to make the necessary arrangements to that end.
- The Council heard a report from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of
Italy, on behalf of the five Western members of the Committee of Ten
on disarmament (Canada, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United
States), regarding the decisions taken by them. It agrees with the five
governments that March l5th should be proposed for the meeting of this
Committee. It approves the arrangements made in regard to prior consultations,
and instructs the Permanent Council, calling as it desires upon the
NATO military authorities, to consider what further assistance it can
give to the consideration of plans for controlled disarmament.
- While welcoming the new prospects of negotiations and agreement, the
Council thinks it necessary to reaffirm the principles which it set
out in its statement on Berlin of 16th December, 1958, and to emphasize
once again that the Alliance must remain vigilant and strong. The Council
shares the hope of the Heads of State and of Government that the forthcoming
Conference will contribute to the strengthening of peace with justice.