December 24, 1959

FRANCE AND NATO: Paris, 11 – The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Nathan F. Twining, has raised the question as to whether the Atlantic alliance can survive if its members do not abide by their commitments. During a confidential meeting of NATO military leaders, the general made it clear that his criticism was directed at France and its president, General Charles de Gaulle, personally. The dispute between the United States and France over the latter’s failure to fulfill its obligations is threatening to develop into more than a diplomatic incident. An Associated Press correspondent writes that US Secretary of State Christian Herter is expected to follow up Twining’s statement in his talks with French officials in order to try to press de Gaulle to fall in line. Meanwhile, Herter is expected to adopt the same approach at NATO ministerial meetings. US President Dwight D. Eisenhower is likely to do the same at a forthcoming Western summit. According to NATO military sources, Twining’s comments fell like a bombshell at the NATO committee meeting. US sources emphasize that France has refused to accept American atomic weapons on its soil and to incorporate its air force and navy in the NATO force.

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