|British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin: agreement of "historic significance"
|1950: US and Europe agree NATO aims
Almost exactly a year after signing the North Atlantic Treaty, 12 nations have agreed a permanent organisation for the defence of the United States and Europe.
The final meeting of the fourth session of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, or Nato as it has become known, was held in front of cameras at Lancaster House in London.
The 12 foreign ministers sat around a horseshoe table, with the United States Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, at the centre. A large audience of newspaper andnewsreelcorrespondents, cameramen and photographers broadcast their speeches around the world.
"This business of building for peace is a very grim business, and it has to be worked for day in and day out." UK Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin said.
During negotiations over the past few days, the ministers have reached agreement over a communique outlining the aims of the Organisation, and setting out a six-point plan for strengthening ties between their countries.
Key among these was the establishment of a council of deputies, with a permanent chairman and a full-time staff, to put the objectives of the Treaty into action.
Opening the meeting, Mr Acheson thanked all his colleagues for their "tireless efforts" and said that "genuine progress" had been made.
"Throughout its deliberations, the council has recognised that only through coordinated plans and effort could its great objectives be achieved," he said.
He then went on to read the communique which spoke of the principles behind Nato and outlined the objectives the organisation is working towards.
It stressed the importance of seeking a diplomatic solution before military force is used, but where some nations are not willing to cooperate, it said, "the maintenance of peace and the defence of freedom require the organisation of adequate military defence."
The communique also includes directives on defence, finance and economics, and establishes a North Atlantic planning board for shipping.
The British Foreign Minister, Ernest Bevin, called the agreement one of "historic significance".
"I'm afraid we cannot arrive at sensational decisions," he told the meeting. "This business of building for peace is a very grim business, and it has to be worked for day in and day out.
"We must never give up faith in its ultimate trials."