• Short Summary

    The North Atlantic Council met in Ministerial Session in Paris from 13th to 15th December, 1961.

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    The North Atlantic Council met in Ministerial Session in Paris from 13th to 15th December, 1961. A thorough examination was made of the problems confronting the Alliance. The world-wide Communist threat to freedom, the problem of relations between the North Atlantic Alliance and the Soviet Bloc, in particular Berlin, were its central concern.

    2. The aim of the peoples of the Atlantic Community is a stable order in which no man and no nation need fear for their existence, their liberty of their future. World peace cannot indefinitely rest on a precarious balance of mutual terror.

    3. The Alliance seeks peace and disarmament. But this desire has consistently been frustrated by the Soviet Bloc. The Western Powers have presented a series of plans for general and complete disarmament. The Soviet Government has, however, so far refused to accept an effective an universally applicable system of international control, without which no nation could have confidence in a disarmament agreement. It envisages only verification of the arms destroyed, while rejecting control of the arms that remain. It is still the earnest hope of the Alliance that despite previous disappointments disarmament negotiations when resumed will yield useful results.

    4. On the question of the abolition of nuclear tests, the Soviet Union has argued, evaded and obstructed for over three years, and through more than three hundred meetings. The Soviet Union, while professing to negotiate in good faith, must for many months past have been secretly preparing the longest series of nuclear tests yet carried out, culminating in the largest nuclear explosion yet known.

    5. At the same time as the Soviet Union has been attempting to intimidate the peoples of the Free World with demonstrations of its nuclear strength, it has intensified its efforts to get the whole of Berlin at its mercy, it impose a discriminatory status on Germany, to perpetuate her divided state, and to break up the Atlantic Alliance. With these ultimate aims in mind, the USSR has artificially provoked a crisis over Berlin. Disregarding the obligations it has undertaken, the Soviet Union has cut Berlin in two. The walling-in of the people under its control has once more
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    They instructed the Permanent Council to continue its examination of these urgent questions at an early date.

    10. The North Atlantic Treaty Alliance threatens no one. In the world as it is today the Alliance must more than ever look to its defence, in view of the ever-increasing military capability of the Communist bloc and its manifest intention to expand its domination. So long as the Communist bloc is unwilling to agree to real disarmament, the countries of the Alliance must continue to strengthen their forces and modernise equipment so as to be able to deal with any form of attack. Only by an increased defence capability can the Alliance continue to deter Communist aggression. This will require still further dedication and effort from the NATO nations: but the clear and growing threat they face leaves no alternative.

    11. In considering Civil Emergency Planning, particularly the protection of the civilian population, the Council recognised that such measures represented an essential element in the defence effort of NATO countries.

    12. In the economic field the Council noted that a mission of high-ranking personalities had been set up in conformity with a decision taken at the last Ministerial Meeting to study ways and means of assisting the efforts of Greece and Turkey to speed up their development programmes and improve the living standards of their people. The mission will report to the Council before the end of April, 1962.

    13. Ministers emphasised the importance for member states, not only of raising the living standards of their peoples, while maintaining an economic structure capable of supporting an adequate defence system, but also of expanding aid to the developing countries. The economies of the NATO countries are far stronger now than when the Alliance was formed. Ministers stressed the need to strengthen and deepen co-operation between all member countries in order to continue this progress.

    14. The next Ministerial Meeting of the Council will be held at Athens from 3rd to 5th May, 1962.

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