On 8 January 1957, Cecil Gough from the British Ministry of Defence sends a letter to John Bushell at the Foreign Office on the interpretation of Article 23 of Protocol IV, which says that the Council of Western European Union (WEU) will transmit to the Arms Control Agency (ACA) information received from the United States and Canada about military aid furnished to the armed forces of WEU member States, deployed on the mainland of Europe.
On 15 February 1957, John Bushell from the British Foreign Office sends a letter to Cecil E. Gough at the Ministry of Defence. in which he asks for clarification about the armaments subject to control by the Western European (WEU) Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) and the definition of the phrase ‘stationed on the mainland of Europe’, especially in relation to controlling levels of naval forces which spend most of their time in non-European waters.
Division II of the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) circulates its report on the inspections held in French depots on 30 July and 6 August 1957, at the ERGM(EB) tank depot in Gien and the aircraft depot in Limoges (Romanet). For this joint inspection, the report concludes that the depots inspected were ‘mixed’ and that the SHAPE inspector played a full part in the inspections, which were carried out with no difficulty. The inspectors mention that it would be desirable to ensure that the French representatives agree with the Council decision (CR(57)20) which states that the inspections performed in depots in the second half of 1957 are to be considered as real inspections and not ‘exercises’. Furthermore, given the considerable differences between the quantities in the 1957 ACA questionnaire and the quantities shown in the depot records on 1 January 1957, as was also found in Bourges, it would be useful, if possible, for the questionnaire to be simplified and sent out no later than 1 December each year.
On 17 June 1958, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) of Western European Union (WEU) submits its report on the inspection exercise conducted in factories in France in spring 1958. In its conclusions, the ACA notes that officials in the Ministry of Defence and the management teams in the various factories had prepared for the inspections in great detail. When ‘real inspections’ are being made, it is important to make sure that certain areas will not be considered as ‘secret’ and not subject to inspection. The Agency also affirms that relations between the inspection group and the French authorities were most friendly, but that this was because the ACA had acquiesced in the limitations imposed by the French authorities.
On 3 December 1958, the French Chief of National Defence Staff sends a letter to French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville about the fact that the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) intends to issue an indictment against the French Government concerning the information it has provided on the stationing of the country’s naval forces. The ACA criticises France for not having filled in the Agency’s questionnaire fully. Given France’s overseas obligations, the Chief of National Defence Staff is of the view that the country does not have to indicate all the missions of its fleet. France will also provide detailed indications of the weapons supplied to its partners in Western European Union (WEU) but will not give an overall indication of equipment exported outside Europe and will not mention the recipients of this equipment.
In a telegram dated 6 April 1959, Jean Chauvel, French Ambassador to the United Kingdom, explains that the French Government believes the recruitment of a nuclear expert by the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) to be unnecessary and premature. He emphasises that all the other delegations to the Council of Western European Union (WEU), particularly the British delegation, take the opposite view and believe that this measure is justified.
Division II of the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) circulates its inspection report dated 13 April 1959 on the French Armoured Divisions Training Centre (CIDB) in Trier. The summary of the inspection carried out on 8 April 1959 gives a brief overview of the various activities carried out at the training centre and the centre’s equipment. It notes that the numbers are in line with those reported in the annual questionnaires sent by the ACA and that the inspection took place under the best possible conditions.
On 8 July 1959, Jean Chauvel, French Ambassador to the United Kingdom, sends a letter to French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville in which he refers to the question of inspections by the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) at British military depots on the European continent and the possibility of including them in the framework of joint inspections.
On 21 April 1961, a memorandum drafted by the United Kingdom delegation comments on the contribution of French representative Jean Chauvel to the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Western European Union on 15 February 1961 concerning Article III of Protocol III of the modified Brussels Treaty on controls of nuclear weapons stocks. The British hold the view that the Council has the authority to determine the nuclear weapons stocks that Member States can hold on the European mainland only once the production phase has been launched. This decision will be applicable both to weapons manufactured on the European continent and to those from other places. Consequently, it is not the Council’s role to check, via the intermediary of the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA), that stocks, whether or not they come under the command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), do not exceed the set limits. Moreover, Article IV of the modified Brussels Treaty should be seen as a complement to the North Atlantic Treaty and there are no plans to transfer military powers belonging to NATO to WEU. Since WEU has not yet exercised its powers in the area of nuclear weapons stocks, it cannot be said to have failed in its task or in the missions conferred on it.
In its note dated 22 June 1961, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates the observations raised by the French Government concerning the memorandum by the United Kingdom delegation on Article III of Protocol III of the revised Brussels Treaty. The French Government refers to three aspects of the British memorandum (C(61)62) that confirm the merits of the statements made by French Ambassador Jean Chauvel at the WEU Council on 15 February 1961. The first is the fact that the United States have stocks of atomic weapons on the European continent that are beyond WEU’s control. The second is that the levels of stocks should only be set and controls only carried out for the countries ‘concerned’, and that therefore the situation will remain the same since the only levels established for WEU Member States would be for the stocks held by France. Finally, contrary to what is stated in the British memorandum, the Council is not able to verify stocks of nuclear weapons.
On 28 June 1961, Division III of the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) publishes a legal analysis of the French and British statements to the Council of Western European Union (WEU) on the matter of nuclear weapons control. The analysis sets out the views of the French and British Governments on nuclear weapons control. France insists that the issue of nuclear weapons storage has completely changed since the signing of the Paris Protocols, while the United Kingdom holds the opposite view and maintains that the plans for nuclear controls appear to be satisfactory. Division III concludes that it would be worthwhile asking for further information from the French Government on its remarks regarding the Protocols of the modified Brussels Treaty.
On 3 October 1962, Geoffroy Chodron de Courcel, French Ambassador to the United Kingdom, sends a letter to French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville in which he refers to the joint meeting between the Council of Western European Union (WEU) and the WEU Assembly’s Committee on Defence Questions, held on 28 September 1962. Geoffroy Chodron de Courcel particularly comments on the lengthy debates over controls on production and the setting of levels of stocks of nuclear weapons in France. Given the increasing reluctance of other WEU Member States, he proposes the immediate adoption of another line of argument to justify France’s deferment of the application of Article III of the Treaty of Brussels, with an emphasis on the fact that this article is discriminatory towards France.
On 1 July 1963, French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville sends a letter to Geoffroy Chodron de Courcel, French Ambassador to London, in which he forwards a draft reply to question 57 put by a member of the Assembly of Western European Union (WEU). He emphasises that the provisions of the Treaty of Brussels apply to controls on stock levels but that their aim is not to initiate controls on production.
On 24 January 1963, Leslie Fielding, a British diplomat in the Western Organisations Department of the Foreign Office, sends a letter to W. M. Mumford, a member of the United Kingdom delegation to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Paris, in which he recalls the importance of pressing for amendments to be made to the figures for submarine tonnage presented by the Federal Republic of Germany to the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA). The letter raises the question of the procedural responsibility between the Western European Union (WEU) Council in London and the North Atlantic Council in Paris regarding amendments. The Foreign Office suggests a procedure whereby an amendment can be made within the WEU Council without the need to remit the question again to NATO in Paris. After outlining this procedure, the Foreign Office notes that the UK representative will confirm and support the French Ambassador’s remarks at the next WEU Council meeting. This procedure is still subject to the personal approval of Geoffroy Chodron de Courcel, the French Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
On 10 July 1963, Thomas Anthony Keith Elliott of the British Foreign Office sends a letter to L. J. Sabatini at the British Ministry of Defence in which he emphasises the importance of considering in detail how the Western European Union (WEU) agreement on the control of forces under national command in Europe will affect the United Kingdom. The letter outlines the reasons why the UK Government should press for a rapid implementation of this agreement. Firstly, WEU is the United Kingdom’s only organic link to the Six (the EEC), and secondly, the agreement will control the growing number of German forces under national command. In order to reply promptly to WEU, the Foreign Office stresses the need to identify which of the British forces under national command on the mainland of Europe fall into which of the WEU control categories, and to identify the armaments associated with these forces.
On 12 August 1963, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates a draft reply from the French delegation to the Council to paragraph 1 b) of Recommendation 93 by the WEU Assembly. The Council emphasises the importance it places on the entry into force of the Convention of 14 December 1957 making provision for due process of law so that the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) can effectively fulfil the duties assigned to it. The French delegation confirms that the control of stocks of atomic weapons raises various legal and technical problems but that the ACA has always been in a position to report that no unauthorised production has taken place. The Council does not consider it opportune to make the changes to the modified Brussels Treaty that would be entailed by the WEU Assembly’s recommendation.
On 16 September 1963, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates the amendments proposed by the United Kingdom delegation to the draft reply by the Council to Recommendation 93 (WPM(335)). The British delegation suggests removing the section that refers to the importance placed by the Council on the entry into force of the Convention and simplifying but preserving the substance of the paragraph proposed by France. Moreover, the British believe that the fact that the provisions of the revised Brussels Treaty do not apply equally to each Member State cannot be described as discrimination since the treaty should be considered as a balanced whole with regard to national interests.
On 11 October 1963, Geoffroy Chodron de Courcel, French Ambassador to London, sends a telegram about an article in the British daily newspaper Times which reports on the recent statements by the French Government on the progress of its nuclear force. The Times emphasises the provisions of the Treaty of Brussels, particularly the obligation for France to comply with inspections by the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA). He even raises the possibility that the Federal Republic of Germany might invoke France’s refusal to allow its nuclear weapons to be controlled in order to claim that it no longer has to fulfil its obligations within Western European Union (WEU).
On 12 April 1966, Sir E. John W. Barnes, Head of the Western Organisations and Coordination Department in the British Foreign Office, sends a note to Lord Hood, Deputy Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office and Permanent Representative to WEU, on the seven 'sins' committed by the French against Western European Union. The Foreign Office lists the ways in which it believes the French have either contravened specific articles of certain WEU protocols, such as not submitting levels of nuclear weapons to WEU controls, or have opposed certain agreements relating to WEU, such as proposals for setting a more detailed agenda prior to meetings of the Permanent Council.
In April 1966, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) of Western European Union (WEU) issues a summary note on the question of controls of the quantitative limitation of nuclear weapon stockpiles in the WEU Member States on the European mainland and the ban on manufacturing these weapons in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The note particularly mentions the statement made on 15 February 1961 by French Ambassador Jean Chauvel on the changes that have been made in the area of nuclear weapon stockpiles, which affect the notion of maximum levels provided for in the Treaty. It also emphasises the role of questions and recommendations by the WEU Assembly in furthering the debate, noting that the political scope of this matter goes beyond the framework of WEU.
In June 1967, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) of Western European Union (WEU) issues a draft note, which supplements the note dated April 1966 on the question of controls of the quantitative limitation of stockpiles of nuclear weapons in the WEU Member States. The text also mentions the ban on the manufacture of nuclear weapons in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The document refers to the various French statements on the issue of nuclear weapons storage, noting that the ongoing development of nuclear weapons is affecting the notion of maximum levels laid down in the treaty. It also emphasises the role of questions and recommendations by the WEU Assembly in furthering the debate and points out that the political scope of this matter goes beyond the framework of WEU. The Agency concludes by mentioning that it is useful for all the Member States of the WEU Council to have certain information at their disposal until actual controls are introduced.
In a note dated 13 February 1970, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates the draft reply by the United Kingdom delegation to the WEU Council to Assembly Recommendation 194 on the international trade in armaments. The Council, like the Assembly, would welcome an international agreement to control the international arms trade. The WEU Member States will continue to scrutinise the merits of each application for the supply of arms. The Council also considers that the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) is not authorised to draw up a list of all the armaments exported and the effects that these exports might have on world peace unless the Protocols governing the Agency are amended. The ACA is not informed of the destinations of exports outside WEU, and the United Kingdom is excluded from the control of exports.
On 11 December 1970, the Information and Analysis Division (Division I) of the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) sends a note to its Director, General Gombeaud, concerning France’s incomplete response to the Agency’s questionnaire for 1969. The ACA has been able to contact the army and navy chiefs of staff to fill in the missing data on manufacturing for 1968, but the matter remains unresolved for the air force. During inspections, it was noted that the French authorities had failed to declare equipment including Mirage V aircraft for Israel — which were not delivered because of the embargo imposed by the French Government — and for Argentina. The Head of Division I suggests extending an informal invitation to the French authorities to ask them to provide the missing data as soon as possible.
On 11 September 1975, the Head of Division II of the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) sends a document to the Director containing comments on the report on the mission to SNIAS (Société nationale industrielle aérospatiale) in Châtillon and to the SNIAS factory in Bourges on 21 and 22 May 1975. The Head of Division notes that the request to see the Pluton missile was refused, even though it had not been included in the French response to the ACA questionnaire. In general the mission went well, despite the fact that the establishments had been given less than 24 hours warning that the visits would be taking place. This affected the preparation of production figures and so should be avoided in future since a successful inspection relies on both national members and heads of missions.
On 24 January 1979, Colonel Hugo, from Division II (‘Inspections and controls’) of the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) of Western European Union (WEU), sends a letter to the Director of the ACA in which he describes the situation with regard to the control of tactical nuclear forces. The letter particularly mentions France, which, if it continues to refuse controls, could end up not declaring elements of its tactical strike force and launch systems. This would represent a highly political decision with which the Council would have to deal appropriately.
In a note dated 19 January 1979, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) makes it clear that France’s opposition to an inspection in a unit fitted with nuclear delivery systems is in breach of the position adopted by the Council of Western European Union (WEU). The ACA emphasises that, from 1975 onwards, France has declared its ‘Pluton’ units in its responses to the annual questionnaire ‘Information on the armaments subject to controls on levels to be provided to the Agency for control year…’, and the levels of stocks have been approved annually by the Council. The Agency notes that similar equipment in other Member States is regularly inspected and that the exclusion of equipment held by France would equate to de facto discrimination against the other WEU members.
On 2 November 1981, an internal note from the Western European Department of the British Foreign Office emphasises that the British Government is keen to reduce the scale of activity of Western European Union (WEU). It recommends that efforts should be made to persuade the other Member States to agree to a lower frequency of controls by the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA), which would result in useful economies. Despite these cuts, the United Kingdom should continue to give full political support to WEU, including its commitment to maintain forces on the European continent. The note draws attention to the need to convince France and Italy, who have blocked the necessary consensus and do not support the British proposal to reduce the cost of the ministerial organs of WEU by some 15% over the next few years.
On 13 September 1982, the Head of Division II sends the Head of Division I a note on the inspection of the 730th Groupement de munitions (munitions stocks) at the depots in Stetten and Breithülen on 22 and 23 April 1982. The report is critical and notes that it is difficult to carry out an effective quantitative control when the requirements of Article XXI and Protocol No IV have not been met. But the inspection itself went very smoothly, which justifies the favourable comments regarding the two depots. The Head of Division I therefore recommends that the French authorities should indicate the exact locations of the armaments under control, in accordance with the provisions of the modified Brussels Treaty.
In this interview excerpt, Francis Gutmann, an official in the French Foreign Ministry from 1951 to 1957 and Secretary-General of the External Relations Ministry from 1981 to 1985, discusses France’s refusal to cooperate with the Agency for the Control of Armaments of Western European Union (WEU) in the nuclear field, since deterrence in this area is considered to be the preserve of France.
On 13 October 1954, the working party on the Brussels Treaty circulates a draft protocol on armaments to be controlled by the Agency of the Brussels Treaty. The protocol indicates the undertaking given by the Federal Republic of Germany and the stance of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, which, although they reserve their position, intend to make a declaration in which they undertake not to manufacture atomic, chemical or biological weapons. The working party also notes that, for those countries that have not given up the right to produce atomic, chemical and biological weapons, the level of stocks that those countries will be allowed to hold on the European continent will be decided by a majority vote in the Council of Western European Union. The list of armaments controlled may be changed by unanimous decision.
On 14 November 1956, Admiral Emilio Ferreri, Director of the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA), sends a note to Louis Goffin, Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) in which he outlines the supervisory powers conferred on the ACA by WEU in the field of nuclear energy for military purposes. The note has been drafted in response to the report (document 30) by Italian Member of Parliament Lodovico Benvenuti on relations between the WEU Treaty and a document being prepared by the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), both of which are to be amended. Admiral Ferreri mentions the difficulties in establishing a boundary in the nuclear field between production for civil and military purposes; such a division would underpin the allocation of tasks between the two organisations. The note concludes that the preparation of future reports could be improved if Euratom joins the ACA for the supervision of fissile material production.
On 4 December 1956, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) issues a report on the first control exercise at a United Kingdom depot on the European mainland, which was carried out on 20 November 1956 to gain useful experience of control measures and enable the ACA to make a constructive report to the Council of Western European Union. The inspectors conclude that, except for two discrepancies in the figures, no special remarks are called for concerning this visit, as the British authorities were very cooperative.
Example of a questionnaire sent by the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) to the Member States of Western European Union (WEU), in this case on the subject of armaments for naval forces in 1957.
Convention signed in Paris on 14 December 1957 concerning measures to be taken by the Member States of Western European Union in order to enable the Agency for the Control of Armaments to carry out its control effectively and making provision for due process of law in accordance with Protocol No IV of the Modified Brussels Treaty.
In 1957, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) publishes the report of its first year’s activities (in 1956) in the field of arms control. The scope for experimental action determined by the Council has led the ACA to carry out documentary controls and on-site inspections of the forces under the command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). In its conclusions, the ACA notes that the experience acquired during this first year confirms that it will be in a position to perform its tasks as laid down in Protocol IV of the modified Brussels Treaty and that, given the limited resources at its disposal, the Agency hopes to be able to cooperate with national authorities.
In a note dated 21 December 1959, the WEU Secretary-General outlines the situation regarding the ratification of the Convention making provision for due process of law in accordance with Protocol No IV and the Agreement drawn up in implementation of Article V of Protocol No II, both signed in Paris on 14 December 1957. Despite the fact that the Convention was signed two years ago, no Member States have yet ratified it. As regards the Agreement, it has so far been approved only by Belgium, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France. This state of affairs is limiting the ability of the Agency for the Control of Armaments to supervise the level of armaments of forces under national command.
In 1960, the Council of Western European Union (WEU) issues the third directive for the Director of the Agency for the Control of Armaments in which it extends the provisions of the second directive to the chemical weapons contained in the provisional list of equipment and chemical products, together with any addition or amendment to this list approved by the Council.
On 15 November 1961, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) of Western European Union (WEU) publishes a note outlining the reasons for the urgent need to recruit an expert in nuclear issues. The Agency also notes that its Director has notified the WEU Council on several occasions of the need to recruit such an expert to enable the ACA to fulfil its mission in due course. There are serious drawbacks in not preparing for future controls, and developments in the field of armaments are certainly affecting the assessment of weapons levels. France has taken a stance, affirming that some of the stockpiles are intended for the WEU countries, although the Council has not been able to establish the level of the stockpiles. Moreover, although for the time being the physical situation of the stockpiles and the production stages are not yet sufficiently developed for controls to be carried out, the situation is likely to change in the near future.
On 22 June 1962, a note sent to the Director of the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) outlines the legal framework for ACA controls of nuclear weapons in British storage facilities on the European mainland. The British government authorities maintain that they are not legally obliged to authorise the inspection of these facilities, which were set up within the framework of NATO and are therefore only subject to inspection by that organisation.
In 1963, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) of Western European Union (WEU) publishes its report for 1962, the seventh year of controls, pursuant to Article VII of Protocol IV. This report is the first to contain a section on ‘Atomic weapons’. According to the ACA, some problems are influencing the assessment of arms levels; moreover, the Agency does not have a qualified expert who specialises in general scientific and technical nuclear issues in relation with military uses. Nevertheless, the report concludes that the documentary and on-site controls carried out indicate that appropriate levels of weapons are being inspected. The year 1962 confirms the ongoing adaptation of the ACA to its tasks.
In its note dated 25 September 1963, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates the Council’s reply to Recommendation 93 of the WEU Assembly. The wording of the final reply is essentially the same as the draft WPM(335).
In March 1964, with the limitation and control of armaments becoming a matter of growing concern and analysis in public circles, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) of Western European Union (WEU) circulates a memorandum on its origins and missions and the resources at its disposal, as well as the various controls and inspections that it has to carry out. The note concludes by examining the ACA’s contribution to armaments control in WEU.
The meeting of the Council of Western European Union (WEU), held on 20 July 1967, continues the discussions held in previous meetings (documents CR(67)6 and CR(67)16) on relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and WEU. British delegate Lord Hood speaks about the consequences that France’s withdrawal from the NATO integrated command arrangements might have for WEU. The discussions focus on the documentary controls carried out by the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) and the joint Agency–SHAPE inspections. Given that the review of levels of forces can no longer be carried out within the North Atlantic Council, it will be necessary to find another way of dealing with this matter in practice. Similarly, the Agency will now have to perform alone inspections that were previously carried out jointly. On the first point, French Ambassador Geoffroy de Courcel replies that France would not be in favour of a new procedure, particularly because the country has agreed to continue with existing levels of forces. On the matter of inspections, the procedure can no longer apply since France is no longer a member of SHAPE, but Ambassador Courcel affirms that every facility will be given to the ACA to carry out inspections of French installations, with the exception of atomic weapons.
On 3 October 1968, the Director of the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA), General Fiori, issues control order 1776 to Engineer-General Loborie, an inspector at the ACA, for the inspection of the equipment and munitions stored at the regional military warehouse in Gresswiller and at the three annexes in Bitche, Neuburg and Illkirch.
In 1968, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) of Western European Union (WEU) publishes the report for its twelfth year of controls. Following the withdrawal of French forces from the integrated military command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on 1 July 1966, the numbers of French forces maintained under national command for joint defence in the area of Allied Command in Europe have been indicated by France to the North Atlantic Council, which has informed the WEU Council. Control activities have not been affected by the French withdrawal, and the relocation of SHAPE from France to Belgium has not hindered the ACA’s work. On the matter of nuclear weapons, the ACA has not been able to carry out any controls as it receives no information on the nuclear elements of weapons with nuclear capability in the member countries or on the French forces that the state deems to be strategic. The report also notes that the Agency has still not been able to recruit an expert on nuclear issues.
On 10 December 1969, the WEU Assembly adopts a Recommendation on the international trade in armaments. In view of the fact that arms are being supplied to war zones with often dramatic consequences, the Assembly recommends that the WEU Council urge member governments to make every effort, at the highest international level and in particular in the framework of the United Nations, to ensure that all trade in armaments is strictly controlled and that an arbitration tribunal is established that is capable of providing a peaceful settlement of international conflicts. The Agency for the Control of Armaments should also prepare a full report for the Committee on Defence Questions and Armaments on armaments exports and on the effects which these exports have on the maintenance of peace in the world.
In a note dated 20 March 1970, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates the reply by the WEU Council to Assembly Recommendation 194 on the international trade in armaments. This final reply is identical to the text of the British proposal of 13 February (WPM(70)16).
On 10 January 1973, Georges Heisbourg, Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU), sends the clerk of the Assembly, Francis Humblet, a summary of the activities of the WEU Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) for the years 1966 to 1971. The WEU Council concludes that there has been no change in the scope of the ACA’s control activities because atomic and biological weapons are still not subject to control. Over these six years, methods and efficiency have been improved and the ACA’s experts have become more proficient. The Council considers that, for the categories of armaments which it is authorised to control, the Agency’s activity is effective.
In March 1971, with the limitation and control of armaments becoming a matter of growing concern and analysis in public circles, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) of Western European Union (WEU) circulates a memorandum on its origins and missions and the resources at its disposal, as well as the various controls and inspections that the Agency has to carry out. The note ends with a series of considerations on the ACA’s contribution to WEU’s armaments control activities, particularly emphasising the fact that it is the only experimental laboratory in armaments control techniques.
On 27 March 1975, the Information and Analysis Division (Division I) of the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) sends a note to its director on the control of atomic weapons. The note points out that there are no quantitative controls or controls on non-production of atomic weapons on the European mainland, for both American and French nuclear weapons. Division I concludes by speculating on the definition of an atomic weapon within the meaning of the treaty and would like further information on this matter.
In January 1983, the Agency for the Control of Armaments (ACA) of Western European Union (WEU) publishes its annual report for the year 1982. The first part covers nuclear weapons, noting that the ACA has no control over nuclear warheads except for non-nuclear components that France sees as being complementary and inseparable from its strategic weapons. The report also focuses on the main weapons held by the member countries and concludes that the global economic recession has affected the procurement of weapons among the WEU Member States. On the matter of weapons development, it emphasises the fact that the states must work together on both production and development. The report also concludes that on-site inspections and documentary controls indicate that appropriate levels of armaments have been respected and that the consultation of documents has confirmed that no country is producing categories of weapons that it has undertaken not to produce and that the stocks of weapons do not exceed appropriate levels.