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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 14, 1964

MEETING MINUTES, COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE NETHERLANDS, 'MULTILATERAL NUCLEAR FORCE'

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    The Council decides to participate in the NATO Multilateral Force test ship (the Mixed-Manning Demonstration, or MMD). Among the arguments that persuade the Minister of Defense is the danger of shifting the center of gravity to the German Federal Republic and the concomitant risk of giving Russia the impression that the whole project is a guise for providing the Germans with nuclear weapons.
    "Meeting Minutes, Council of Ministers of the Netherlands, 'Multilateral Nuclear Force'" February 14, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Archives, The Hague, Council of Ministers, access number 2.02.05.02, inventory number 753. Obtained and translated by Bastiaan Bouwman. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117672
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Council of Ministers

14 February 1964

2 b. Multilateral nuclear force (See minutes c[ouncil].[of ]m[inisters]. 29 November 1963, point 2 d)

Minister [of Foreign Affairs] Luns has spoken with Minister [of Defense] De Jong about Dutch participation in a test ship as part of the talks regarding the creation of a multilateral nuclear force. If this does not happen, the Netherlands would be the only maritime country to not participate. Minister De Jong recounts that the Council of Ministers has decided to participate in the study on the creation of a multilateral nuclear force without any obligations. Speaker sees little advantage in participating in this test project, from a defense point of view. Foreign Affairs cited as arguments for participation that declining to do so would also bring Belgium to abstain from cooperation, which would move the center of gravity to the German Federal Republic. This would, moreover, increase the impression on Russia that the Federal Republic is using this as a guise for acquiring nuclear armaments. Because of the weight of these arguments from Foreign Affairs, speaker is prepared to participate in this experiment, on the condition that it is once more made very clear that this does not bind the Netherlands to participation in a multilateral nuclear force. Participation in the project means that 20 to 25 Dutch troops will be stationed in America for two years and that this will carry 150,000 guilders per year in extra exploitation costs. Minister Andriessen assumes, as minister of finance ad interim, that these costs will fall under the defense ceiling. Minister De Jong answers in the affirmative. The council agrees with the proposal regarding participation in the test project.