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Fonds DC - 05 - Defence Committee

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05 - Defence Committee


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Name of creator

Defence Committee

Administrative history

The DC chronological Fonds contains the records of the Defence Committee.In accordance with Article 9 of the North Atlantic Treaty and the guidance given by the working group on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, at its first session in 1949 the Council established a Defence Committee (C1-D-1/1, C1-D-1/2).The terms of reference, established at the first Council session, laid down a number of points. The Committee was made up of Defence Ministers or their representatives from each signatory State. The Chair was held for an ordinary annual session by the signatory states in turn, in their English alphabetical order, starting with the United States. The Committee met each year, normally behind closed doors, in an ordinary session convened by the Chair. The venue of the meeting was fixed by the Chair after consulting Committee members. Additional meetings could be held at the express request of the Council or of a majority of Committee members (C1-D-1/2).The Committee's task was to prepare unified defence plans for the North Atlantic region (C1-D-1/2).The Committee was aided by subsidiary military bodies set up during the first two Council sessions:- the Military Committee(1), which was directly subordinate to the Defence Committee;-the Standing Group(2), a sub-committee of the Military Committee;-the five strategic regional groups (the Northern European Regional Planning Group, Western European Regional Planning Group, Southern European-Western Mediterranean Regional Planning Group, Canadian-United States Regional Planning Group and the North Atlantic Ocean Regional Planning Group);-the Military Production and Supply Board(3), also subordinate to the Defence Committee (C1-D-1/2,C2-D-1/5).The Defence Committee took importance decisions for the development of NATO’s structure. In 1949 it proposed a strategic concept for the integrated defence of the North Atlantic area, and the methods of working out a programme for the production and supply of arms and equipment. In 1950 it approved a four-year medium-term defence plan. Following the communist attack on South Korea, also in 1950, at the Council's request the Defence Committee made plans for the creation of a powerful integrated European force under centralized command(4). The Committee started operating on 4 October 1949, and was abolished as a separate ministerial body of the Council when the latter was reorganized on 3 May 1951 (D-D(51)86 (Final)).

Archival history

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Scope and content

The Fonds includes Directives, Proposals, Notes, Memoranda, Resolutions and Decisions by the Defence Committee created between 1949 and 1951. The Defence Committee primarily drafted these items and sent them to the North Atlantic Council, the Military Committee and the Standing Group.
Other memorandum and reports were received by the Defence Committee from other NATO bodies.
The Defence Committee also created and kept Agendas, Meeting Summaries and Meeting Minutes.


System of arrangement

The Fonds is organized into five Series:
• DC

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

NATO publicly disclosed information is available for research and education purposes. Any commercial use requires the written permission of NATO. Please credit the NATO Archives should any documents be used for publication. Guidelines for the proper citation of NATO publicly disclosed information can be found on the NATO Archives website (

Conditions governing reproduction

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Language and script notes

Although all documents produced should have an official French and English version, not all of the translations were recovered and some documents may only be available in one language. Overall, there are 168 English documents and 105 French documents.

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