Extract from minutes of the 110th meeting of the WEU Council held at ministerial level (Rome, 5 March 1958)

The minutes of the 110th meeting of the Council of Western European Union (WEU) at ministerial level, held in Rome on 5 March 1958, focus on the debates on cooperation in arms research, development and production. British representative Selwyn Lloyd believes that multilateral consultations on the subject are possible but that most countries are limited by programmes that have already been adopted. In order to establish a definite production programme, the United Kingdom thinks that consultations should begin on a bilateral basis. The British Government has therefore begun discussions with Germany, France and the Netherlands and will shortly hold talks with Italy. The United Kingdom is keen to conclude other bilateral agreements with the Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and WEU and to keep its WEU partners informed. The end product of this cooperation should be made available to all the members of WEU and NATO. Finally, Selwyn Lloyd refers to a statement made in the House of Commons by the Minister for Supply to the effect that the United Kingdom is seeking to cooperate not only with the Americans but also with the countries of Europe, which share similar industrial and strategic problems. The German representative, Heinrich von Brentano, believes that difficulties particularly arise when attempts are made to solve problems by pursuing several separate lines and that it would be useful for the chairmen of the steering committees set up by the various different arrangements to meet with the members of the Standing Armaments Committee (SAC). He also suggests that the North Atlantic Council should make use of the experience of the SAC. French representative Maurice Faure supports the position of the German representative and confirms that after discussing the matter for so many years, it would be regrettable if the Member States were unable to coordinate their efforts; he believes that success depends on the political determination of the governments to promote effective cooperation. Selwyn Lloyd also agrees with the German proposal and suggests that the North Atlantic Council should refer the matter to NATO before the meeting of the NATO Defence Ministers.

Source and copyright

Source: Council of the Western European Union. Extract from minutes of the 108th meeting Ministers of WEU Council held on 5 March 1958. Rome. II. Exchange of views on co-operation in arms research, development and production. CR (58)8. pp. 5-10.

Archives nationales de Luxembourg (ANLux). http://www.anlux.lu. Western European Union Archives. Secretariat-General/Council’s Archives. 1954-1987. Subject dealt with by various WEU ORGANS. Year: 1958, 01/06/1957-30/04/1958. File 442.00. Volume 1/4.

Copyright: (c) WEU Secretariat General - Secrétariat Général UEO

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