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121 Memorandum From McNicol to Watt

Memorandum, Washington, 5 November 1951


Tripartite Security Treaty
Reference is made to the Ambassador's telegram No 1735[1] of 1st October which reported a conversation between the Ambassador and Mr. George W. Perkins, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, concerning arrangements for carrying out the terms of Article 7 of the Tripartite Security Treaty.[2] You will recall that the Ambassador suggested to Mr. Perkins that it might be helpful before ratification to have a working party meet in Washington to make arrangements for the first meeting of the Council to be established in accordance with Article 7. (See paragraph 4 of your telegram No 1091[3] of 29th August).

2. In the absence of any reaction to the Ambassador's approach of 1st October we have followed this matter up with Mr. N. Haselton,[4] Acting Director of the State Department Office of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs, and enquired about the progress of the discussions which Mr. Perkins said would be conducted between the Department of State and the Pentagon. Haselton informed us that no approach had yet been made to the Pentagon because the State Department's position was still undecided. The prevailing view in the State Department was that it would be undesirable, before the Tripartite Security Treaty was ratified, to proceed with detailed planning for the carrying out of the terms of Article 7 since it was felt that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee might take exception to this procedure and perhaps raise difficulties which otherwise would be avoided. Haselton qualified his remarks by stating that Departmental thinking on this matter was still tentative and that no firm decision on tactics would be made until there had been consultations with Mr. Dulles, who would guide the Treaty through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and with Mr. Myron Cowen when he took up his appointment as Consultant to the Secretary of State.[5] Mr. Haselton observed that, although the Department was presently disinclined to discuss detailed arrangements for the implementation of the Tripartite Treaty, the announcement on 23rd October of Mr. Cowen's appointment was a clear and certain indication of the Department's intention to press ahead with the establishment of the Council as provided in Article 7 of the Treaty.

3. The Ambassador intends to see Mr. Cowen as soon as possible after his return to the United States and discuss the whole matter with him.

1 It reported Spender's discussion with Perkins on the ANZUS Council, arrangements for which both agreed should be initiated before ratification of the ANZUS Treaty. Spender put to Perkins his personal thinking that the Council should deal with both political and military matters and that its political activities might usefully be centred in Washington.

2 See Document 105.

3 Document 112.

4 Norris S. Haselton.

5 On 22 October the Department of State announced the appointment of Cowen, as Consultant to the Secretary, with the personal rank of Ambassador. As his initial task, Cowen was assigned responsibility for the execution of the treaties with the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand signed in August and September 1951.

[NAA : A5460, 217/6, iii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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