Committee of Three

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Committee of Three

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Dates of existence

1956

History

The chronological series under the reference CT contains the documents of the Committee of Three on Non-Military Cooperation, also known as the Three Wise Men.Set up by the Council on 5 May 1956 (see C-R(56)23) in order to "advise the Council on ways and means to improve and extend NATO cooperation in non-military fields and to develop greater unity within the Atlantic Community", the Committee comprised three ministers - Mr Halvard Lange, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Gaetano Martino, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr Lester B. Pearson, Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs. The International Staff provided support for the preparation of their documents and administrative matters.A Committee of Deputies was also established, composed of the Canadian, Italian and Norwegian Permanent Representatives. The chairmanship of the Committee of Deputies was to devolve on the Secretary General or the Deputy Secretary General.The Committee of Three first met from 20 to 22 June 1956 at NATO Headquarters in Paris. It immediately sent out a questionnaire to the NATO nations to establish a basis for the discussion. The questionnaire plan was as follows:I. Political questionsII. Economic questionsIII. Cultural questionsIV. Questions concerning informationV. Organization and functionsThe Committee met again in Paris in September 1956 to consider and analyse the answers to the questionnaire. They also surveyed the development of NATO and other international organizations, NATO's achievements up to that point in the military field, and the political and economic questions which had been dealt with in the past.On the basis of these consultations a draft report to the Council was prepared. A final meeting in New York in November 1956 allowed the Committee to revise the document. The report, which in particular recommended the establishment of committees of political and economic advisers under the Council, was reviewed and approved by the Council in ministerial session on 13 December 1956. With its mission accomplished, the Committee of Three then disbanded.

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CT

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