In a note dated 16 January 1958, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Standing Armaments Committee (SAC) circulates a note from the United Kingdom delegation on the relationship between bilateral discussions between the Member States of Western European Union (WEU) and multilateral discussions in the SAC. Given that the main objective of the European countries is to provide for their armed forces at the right time and in the right quantities, the United Kingdom observes that it is vital to coordinate military requirements in order to establish the nature of the equipment required, to share the scientific effort needed to develop the equipment and to coordinate production orders so that production can be planned on the right scale. The note explains the different processes and the most suitable format — multilateral or bilateral — to carry them out successfully. The United Kingdom delegation also hopes that the United States will be involved in all these processes.
In a note dated 15 June 1965, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates question 93 put by German Assembly member Georg Kliesing and the draft reply by the United Kingdom delegation to the WEU Council to this question. The question deals with the possibility of other WEU member states being able to participate in the Franco-British cooperation agreement signed on 17 May 1965 and on the need for common development and production of light strike and trainer aircraft. The reply notes that France and the United Kingdom are willing to extend their cooperation to third countries and are currently considering the arrangements to put in place. The Council welcomes this information and hopes that it will be possible to invite third countries before any decision is taken on production.
On 29 March 1955, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates a note from the French delegation analysing the economic and financial conditions for an armaments market in Western Europe.
On 14 November 1977, the Secretary-General of the Council of Western European Union (WEU) circulates a draft reply from the French delegation to Recommendation 297 on a European armaments policy. The French draft particularly emphasises the importance of maintaining an armaments industry, which provides many jobs and plays a vital role in common defence, but it notes that safeguarding this industry requires cooperation between European countries, as demonstrated by the Atlantic Alliance’s independent European Programme Group. The interoperability of equipment is essential for military effectiveness. However, general standardisation, which would result in a rationalisation of armaments production between Europe and the United States, would actually endanger the future of the European industries: if the Western armaments industries engage in open competition, it would jeopardise the European defence effort.
On 15 April 1955, the Secretary-General of the Interim Commission of Western European Union (WEU) circulates a note from the United Kingdom representative on equipment to be standardised. The British representative starts by emphasising that the note represents his personal conclusions as a member of the committee of experts. The document focuses on the question ‘What is the useful scope for WEU in the field of equipment standardisation?’ The British representative believes that the most useful activity for WEU in this field would be to explore the possibilities of developing standard components on behalf of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) as a whole.
In a note dated 23 June 1965, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates question 93 put by German Assembly member Georg Kliesing (see document WPM(481)) and the draft reply by the French delegation to the WEU Council to this question. The reply confirms that the French and British delegations will examine, at the appropriate stage, the conditions for the association of other Member States. Decisions regarding participation or the communication of information will be considered by the steering committee set up by the agreement of 17 May 1965.
In a note dated 26 January 1967, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates written question 100 put to the Council by Étienne de la Vallée Poussin, a Belgian member of the Assembly Committee on Defence Questions and Armaments, together with the draft reply drawn up by the French and British delegations to the WEU and reproduced in the final version (see C(67)23). Etienne de la Vallée Poussin speculates on the possibility of other WEU Member States participating in the proposed Anglo-French project for the development of a variable-geometry aircraft. The Council replies that any governments interested in this project should directly approach the French and British Governments, which are prepared in principle to consider industrial participation by other countries, including members of WEU.
In a note dated 14 March 1980, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates the revised draft reply by the French delegation to Recommendation 339 on the industrial bases of European security — guidelines drawn from the symposium on 15, 16 and 17 October 1979. On the matter of cooperation between European industries, the Council considers that the most effective use should be made of existing machinery for concerting measures in the armaments field, in particular the independent European Programme Group (IEPG) and the Conference of National Armaments Directors. This cooperation is too complicated for any changes to be made to working practices in the near future. The draft reply mentions cooperation in the three branches of the military and emphasises the satisfactory results of cooperation on missiles and the importance for armaments industries of mastering all telecommunications techniques.
In a note dated 14 May 1963, the Secretary-General of Western European Union (WEU) circulates the draft reply by the French delegation to the WEU Council to Assembly Recommendation 85 on standardisation and interdependence in the production of armaments. The Council notes that joint armaments production raises many difficulties that can only be overcome by political will both at bilateral level and also at multilateral level, particularly within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
On 2 February 1955, the Secretary-General of the Interim Commission of Western European Union circulates a note from the United Kingdom delegation on the establishment of a Western European Armaments Committee, whose aims will be to improve to the greatest extent possible the standardisation of armaments and to promote the common production of agreed items between the Member States. The note particularly emphasises the links that the organisation will establish with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), including the possibility for other NATO member countries to participate in the activities and projects of the Armaments Committee.