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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

NATO final communiqué, December 18, 1958,   pp. 334-335 PDF (826.9 KB)

Page 335

Political Cooperation
The Council had before it a report by the Secretary General on
political cooperation 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 machin-
Ory 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 con-
.sultation in the Councillcould 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.
Economic Questions
The Ministers reaffirmed the importance they attach to the meas-
-ures taken both individually.yand-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 Organizaion of Economic Cooperation between
the European members of the Alliance who fare 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 la 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
4of this matter.
Military Questions
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
The Council reaffirmed that NATO defensive strategy continues to
be based on the existence of effective shield forces and on the manifest
will to use nuclear retaliatory forces to repel aggression.;I
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 pur--
sued, and methods for accelerating their realization were agreed.
The next regular Ministerial Meeting of the Council will be held
in Washington on April 2nd to 4th, 1959, at the invitation of the
United States Government,;on the occasion of the tenth anniversary
of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty.

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