North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Defence Ministers, meeting in Brussels on Thursday (7 June), have been discussing United States calls for them to pay an increased share of NATO costs.
SV INT Minister arriving in conference hall
SV Luxembourg, USA & Netherlands delegates standing behind seats (3 shots)
SV Delegates PAN TO empty seats of Iceland
GV Delegates (2 shots)
SV ZOOM IN Chairman Joseph Luns (Sec.-Gen. NATO)
SV U.K. Delegates seated
SV Delegates from Turkey, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Canada, Belgium, Germany (7 shots)
SV Empty Iceland seats
GV PAN Delegates seated
Initials BB/0158 JS/PN/BB/0214
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Background: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Defence Ministers, meeting in Brussels on Thursday (7 June), have been discussing United States calls for them to pay an increased share of NATO costs.
European Ministers reacted coolly to the suggestion and Britain and West Germany in particular stressed the contribution Europe was already making towards its own defence.
The request from the United States was made by Defence-Secretary-designate Mr. James Schlesinger.
The meeting was a routine meeting of the Nato Defence Planning Committee which groups all the alliance defence ministers except France. This meeting was boycotted by Iceland because of its fisheries dispute with Britain, a matter that was raised briefly.
The Scandinavian NATO partners, Denmark and Norway, appealed to Britain to withdraw its warships which at present are protecting British trawlers operating within the fifty-mile limit claimed by the Icelanders.
The appeal was rejected by British Defence Minister Lord Carrington who said Britain was protecting vessels fishing legally in international waters.
The ministers, whose meeting began on Wednesday, have also discussed a NATO report which said that Soviet military capabilities were much higher than previously thought.
SYNOPSIS: In Brussels, Defence Ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation have been holding a meeting of the NATO Defence Planning Committee. Among the subjects they discussed was the military capabilities of the Warsaw Pact countries -- higher than estimated previously according to an intelligence report.
The meeting was boycotted by Iceland because of its fishing dispute with fellow-member Britain.
Normally the meeting is attended by all NATO Defence Ministers with the exception of France.
The chairman was NATO Secretary-General, Joseph Luns.
Britain rejected a call to withdraw its Navy from the disputed 50-mile limit claimed by Iceland. British Defence Secretary Lord Carrington told the meeting that Britain was only protecting vessels fishing legally within international waters. The Scandinavians had asked that the navy be withdrawn to allow negotiation.
Iceland says that fellow NATO allies should not send warships against it. It has boycotted the meeting because NATO has taken no action.