44 Savingram from Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Washington, 20 May 1959

294. Confidential

United States Arrangements with N.A.T.O. Countries for Training in Nuclear Weapons and Installation of I.R.B.M.1 Bases

Following from Fessenden2 (Deputy Director, European Regional Affairs) on 19 May. (Although you will have most of the information, round-up may be useful).

  1. A wide variety of Nuclear Weapons was already deployed in N.A.T.O. European Countries, in the hands of United States Forces. In implementation of a decision by N.A.T.O. in December 1957 to equip N.A.T.O. forces with modern weapons, including Nuclear capable weapons, the United States was now taking steps to turn over to N.A.T.O. European countries, under priorities laid down by S.A.C.Eur.,3 various types of weapons capable of delivering Nuclear warheads. The warheads would remain under direct United States control.
  2. To carry out the above programme, bilateral agreements on training, and on I.R.B.M. installations were necessary.

    Agreements covering the training of N.A.T.O. servicemen in Nuclear capable weapons

  3. Under the provisions of Section 144(B) of the United States Atomic Energy Act, Congressional approval was required for such agreements. A training agreement with the United Kingdom was approved by Congress in 1958, and similar agreements were recently concluded with West Germany, Greece, Turkey and the Netherlands. It was the need to table these latter four agreements before Congress in its current session (and therefore to make them public immediately prior to the Geneva Foreign Ministers meeting), which had caused the concern described in Bonn memorandum No. 272.4 The N.A.T.O. Council had decided, at its meeting on 7th May, to go ahead, and the agreements were expected to be tabled before the United States Congress in the next few days.

[matter omitted]

[NAA: A1945, 186/5/10]