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129 Cablegram From Spender to Casey

Cablegram, Washington, 19 March 1952


Tripartite Security Treaty.

This morning Foster and Melby called on me at their request. They said they were truly concerned that the treaty should be implemented and the Council function in accordance with the understandings which were reached with Dulles. They explained that there were certain gaps in their knowledge of the negotiations particularly in respect of the amendments to Articles 7 and 8 of the treaty which were discussed in June 1951 since there was no record in State Department of Dulles's negotiations at that time, and asked me to fill in these gaps.

2. After consulting my telegrams 987[1] and 991[2] of 31st May and 1st June I gave Foster following account of the understandings which we reached with Dulles:

(a) The importance of the Council was never disputed by Dulles.

(b) Dulles had stated that the deletion of the [provision for][3] 'subsidiary bodies' in the original draft Treaty did not mean that the Council could not establish additional [and supplemental] machinery. Moreover Dulles had stated that the Council could determine its own organisation.

(c) We had agreed that there was no need for complex and cumbersome machinery under the Council. Dulles had however stated that both he and Joint Chiefs of Staff thought it was essential to have a top level Council with authority to take decisions.

(d) Dulles had said that there was no intention in amendment to Article 8 to preclude consultation between ourselves and other regional organisations.

(e) The Treaty had never been regarded as a lawyer's document to be [put under microscope]. We had met Dulles's wishes with regard to wording in order not to create misgivings with Joint Chiefs of Staff. However Dulles had made it clear that our acceptance of the precise form of words did not mean that [there would be a limitation of] the Council's functions [which would be for it to determine.]

(f) I emphasised that it was not and never had been our intention to set up complex machinery under the Council and asked Foster to make this clear to the military authorities.

3. Foster asked me whether I had ever exchanged views with Dulles as to subject matter which Council might consider. I replied that although we had never attempted to list precise subject matters we had during course of our negotiations in Canberra in February 1951 talked in a very general way of such subjects as logistics in the Pacific, the problem of supply, the problem of Japan and the possible extension of the Treaty at some later stage [and comparable matters.]

4. Foster thanked me for the above information which he said added considerably to their knowledge of the understandings we had reached with Dulles. He said that whilst the State Department was fully behind us in our desire to have an effective Council some difficulties might be encountered in overcoming the Pentagon's inertia and pre-occupation in other matters. He assured me however that the State Department would follow this matter up immediately with the Pentagon and expressed confidence that the end result would be to our satisfaction.

1 Document 90.

2 See note 1 to Document 93.

3 Words in square brackets were added by hand.

[NAA : A5461, 1/4/1 (TS)]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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