Chairman : Mr. D. U. Stikker.
4 May, 1962
Disarmament - Berlin - Procedures relating to the role of nuclear weapons ("Athens guidelines") - U.S. commitment to NATO of Polaris submarines - Triennial review - Political, Scientific and Economic questions - Economic development of Greece and Turkey - Greece's defence problems - The Defence Ministers met separately on 3rd May, vd. paragraph 10 of the communiqué.
- The regular Spring Ministerial Session of the NATO Council was held in Athens from 4th - 6th May, 1962. The meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministers of member countries as well as by the Defence Ministers, who had met separately on 3rd May.
- In their review of the international situation, Ministers discussed disarmament, and the problem of Germany and Berlin. In addition, various statements were made by Ministers on matters of particular concern to their countries.
- In reviewing developments at the Geneva Conference, the Council reaffirmed that general and complete disarmament under effective international control is the best means of ensuring lasting peace and security throughout the world. They noted with satisfaction the position taken by the Western Powers in Geneva in order to achieve this goal, and emphasized the importance and urgency of reaching agreement.
- The Council examined the Berlin question in the light of the basic commitments of NATO in this regard. They took note of the most recent developments in the situation, including the fact that exploratory talks were taking place with the Soviet Union. They took the opportunity to reaffirm their attachment to the principles set forth in their Declaration of 16th December, 1958, on Berlin.
- The Council noted the progress which has been made in the direction of closer co-operation between member countries in the development of the Alliance's defence policy. In this respect Ministers welcomed the confirmation by the United States that it will continue to make available for the Alliance the nuclear weapons necessary for NATO defence, concerting with its allies on basic plans and arrangements in regard to these weapons. In addition, both the United Kingdom and the United States Governments have given firm assurances that their strategic forces will continue to provide defence against threats to the Alliance beyond the capability of NATO-committed forces to deal with.
- So that all member states may play their full part in consultation on nuclear defence policy, it has been decided to set up special procedures which will enable all members of the Alliance to exchange information concerning the role of nuclear weapons in NATO defence.
- The purpose of NATO is defence, and it must be clear that in case of attack it will defend its members by all necessary means. The Council has reviewed the action that would be necessary on the part of member countries, collectively and individually, in the various circumstances in which the Alliance might be compelled to have recourse to its nuclear defenses
- The Council noted the progress made during the last twelve months in the defence effort of the Alliance and, in particular, the quantitative and qualitative improvements brought about in the NATO assigned or earmarked forces of member countries. Ministers noted with satisfaction the United States commitment of Polaris submarines to NATO.
- The Council is convinced that, if the Alliance is to meet the full range of threats to its security, the balance between the conventional and nuclear forces must be the subject of continuous examination. The contribution of member countries towards balanced forces for NATO defence during the coming years is to be examined within the framework of the Triennial Review procedure which is already under way. The Council expects to consider a report on this question at its next meeting in December.
- At their separate meeting on 3rd May, the Defence Ministers discussed and approved a report from the Armaments Committee which reviewed progress made since their meeting in April 1960 in sharing the burden of research, development and production of military equipment, and made a number of recommendations for improving this co-operation. While there had been certain initial difficulties, Ministers agreed that the program of cooperative projects launched at that time had made a successful start.
- Further efforts should now be made to build on this foundation. To obtain speedier results from this co-operation Ministers decided to set up a high-level group to examine the existing machinery, and to make recommendations to the Ministerial Meeting in December 1962 for any improvements necessary to achieve agree- ment on future military requirements and a better co-ordination of the resources of the Alliance. Meanwhile, special efforts would be made to take final decisions on projects ripe for joint development.
- The Council reviewed the development of political consultation within the Alliance. It noted the steady and encouraging progress made over the past twelve months in deepening and extending the process of consultation.
- The Council had before it a detailed analysis of the work of the Alliance in scientific and technical co-operation. They discussed the proposals for fostering international scientific co-operation put forward by a group of eminent scientists appointed by the Secretary General. Ministers requested the Council in Permanent Session to consider these proposals further with a view to making recommendations to member governments.
- Ministers noted that the Council in Permanent Session had discussed a report by the International Staff on Communist bloc activities in the economic field in less-developed countries. It was clear from this report that by far the largest proportion of the aid received by these countries continued to be that contributed by the economically most advanced countries of the Free World, and that the aid extended by the Communist bloc was not only substantially smaller than the assistance contributed by the Free World, but was also closely tied to political purposes. Ministers noted with satisfaction the efforts the Free World is making to help developing countries to raise their standards of living while fully respecting their national independence and freedom, and emphasized the importance of continuing and intensifying these efforts.
- Ministers gave special attention to the economic development requirements of Greece and Turkey. Bearing in mind the contribut- ion of Greece and Turkey to the defence of the Alliance and their continuing efforts to accelerate their economic development in order to improve the living conditions for their peoples, Ministers recognized the need for external assistance to these two countries. With a view to achieving the common objectives in this matter, they agreed that member governments in a position to assist Greece and Turkey should examine urgently the manner of establishing, in an appropriate forum, possibly with other countries and appropriate international organizations, consortia to co-ordinate the mobilization of resources needed to ensure the economic development of Greece and Turkey at a satisfactory rate. The Ministers also agreed to establish a Study Group to consider further the special defence problems of Greece.
- The next Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council is scheduled to be held in Paris in December, 1962.