Series DPB - Defence Production Board

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Defence Production Board


  • 1951 - 1952 (Creation)

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The DPB chronological series contains the records of the Defence Production Board.In November 1950 the Production Experts to the Working Group on Production and Finance recommended to establish a Defence Production Board (see D-D/168). On 11th December 1950 the Council Deputies approved the Draft Terms of Reference for the North Atlantic Defence Production Board (See D-D/205). The DPB should meet in London and would be constituted by one member per country plus a Coordinator. The objectives of the DPB were mainly to achieve the maximum production of military equipment in the most efficient manner, at the least cost and the shortest time to meet the military requirements by coordinating national production programmes. Among DPB’s tasks were: to keep military production and availability under constant review, increase military supplies where they fall short and to consider the eligibility of major production projects for external aid applicable to military production, examine problems of obtaining materials, propose new production facilities, recommend measures to improve production and distribution and facilitate the exchange of patents.The 1st Meeting was held on 11 January 1951 (see DPB(51)M-1) and established a working party for the transfer and assumption of Military Production and Supply Board (MPSB) tasks, responsibilities and staff to the DPB. During this first meeting the Belgian Member Henri Janne was elected Chairman. On 15th January Mr. William R. Herod was appointed Coordinator for the DPB (see DPB (51)02). Following this appointment the MPSB was dissolved (see DPB(51)05) and its functions were assumed by the DPB (see DPB(51)6). The MPSB Permanent Working Staff activities were continued by the DPB interim organization. These activities, as reviewed in DPB(51)17 were: Production and Programmes, Equipment Requirements and Availabilities, Surpluses (Redistribution of existing stocks of military interest), Materials, Industrial Mobilization Planning, Customs barriers, Standardization and Production equipment.The following divisions were created within the DPB: Production and Programs Division (leading the allocation of production tasks and developing combined production programs), Analysis Division, Legal Division, Economic and Finance Division, Specialties Division and a Secretariat and Administrative Division.MPSB End Item Task Forces reviews were continued under the auspices of the Defence Production Board. A formulaire was delivered to member countries to collect data on defence expenditure planned for the period 1951-1954 so that the DPB could have an up-to-date picture of the current situation. Data on Aircraft, artillery, ammunition, electronics, combat vehicles, small arms, engineering equipment, transport vehicles and ships expenditures was to be collected (see DPB(51)11).The DPB produced the first Report to the Council Deputies in August 1951 (see DPB(51)77(Revised)) emphasizing the planning of additional production to meet the time-phased requirements up to July 1954. This report was presented to the North Atlantic Council in Ottawa (September 1951) where a Temporary Council Committee was set up to reconcile military requirements as a whole with real NATO Countries capabilities for undertaking defence.Due to the reorganisation of NATO and its installation in Paris (1952) the DPB was disestablished. After the move to Paris, the Production Division of the International Staff, under the Assistant Secretary General for Production and Logistics took over the activities of the previous production agencies.

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DPB series records mainly contain DPB Secretariat Memoranda including documents to be circulated from national delegations, Meeting Summary Minutes and Documents as Reports by Divisions (i.e. Production and Programs Division) and outstanding replies to questionnaires.

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System of arrangement

The chronological document series created by Defence Production Board is arranged by type - Secretariat Memoranda (DPB SEC MEMO), Meeting Summary Minutes (DPB-M) and Documents (DPB)- and then by number.

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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 (

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All records were circulated in NATO’s two official languages, English and French

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