The birth of the Western European Union began some 28 years
ago on May 6th 1955. However, this alliance was formed from the
original Treaty of Dunkirk. The Treaty of Dunkirk was an Anglo-French
alliance which was signed on March 4th 1947, when the two signatories
agreed to give mutual support to each other should the event of
renewed German aggression show it\'s face again. It was also to agree
on a common action should either signatory be prejudiced by any
failure of Germany to fulfil it\'s economic obligations which were
enforced upon her by the allies at the end of WWII. The Treaty of

Dunkirk was enhanced within only 12 months with the signing of The

Brussels Treaty. This was a "Treaty of Economic, Social and Cultural

Co-operation and Collective Self Defence" signed on March 17th 1948 by
the countries of Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the

United Kingdom, and was implemented by the U.K. Foreign Secretary

Ernest Bevin. This new and enhanced Treaty of Dunkirk was to be given
the name of the Brussels Treaty Organisation (B.T.O.). Among the aims
of the treaty were the "strengthening of economic, social and cultural
ties between the signatories, the co-ordination of efforts to create a
firm basis for European economic recovery, and mutual assistance in
maintaining international peace and security". Of the Brussels treaty
two articles in particular need mentioning. Article 4 of treaty
provided for " mutual assistance in maintaining international peace
and security". While article 7 created a Consultative Council to
discuss matters covered by the treaty.

Over the coming years more talks were held on the formation of
a European Defence Council, however these talks broke down and proved
fruitless. A new set of talks were scheduled in the summer of 1954 to
extend and amend the Brussels Treaty and proved much more successful,
with the conclusion of the talks in London between September 28th and

October 3rd. The "Paris Agreements" were signed in Paris on October

23rd 1954 by the nine conference powers which included representatives
from Belgium, Canada, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy,

Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Although some concern may be expressed at the inclusion of Germany as
one of the representative states Protocol 1 of the Paris Agreement
will explain this. Protocol I Amended the Brussels treaty of 1948 to
permit the entry of the Federal Republic of Germany and Italy into the

Treaty Organisation. The assistance in case of attack was extended to
the two new entrants. The Consultative Council set up under the
original treaty was given powers of decision and renamed the Council
of Western European Union. On May 6th 1955 the Paris Agreements came
into force and the expanded Brussels Treaty Organisation became the

Western European Union. There are however three other protocols worth
mentioning that were agreed upon within the Paris Agreements.

Protocol II Laid down the maximum strength of land and air
forces to be maintained in Europe at the disposal of Supreme Allied

Commander of NATO by each of the member countries of the WEU in peace
time. The contribution of naval forces to NATO by each of the WEU
countries would be determined annually. Regular inspections would be
held by the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, to ensure that the
limits were observed. A special article recapitulated an undertaking
by Britain not to withdraw or diminish her forces in Europe against
the wishes of the majority of her partners. In 1957 Britain was given
permission, by the WEU to withdraw some of her forces from the Federal

Republic of Germany. Protocol III Embodied resolutions on the control
of armaments on the European mainland. The Federal Republic of Germany
was forbidden to manufacture atomic, biological or chemical weapons,
and stocks of such weapons in other countries of continental Europe
were to be strictly controlled. In addition, Germany undertook not to
manufacture long-range and guided missiles, influence mines, warships
and strategic bombers unless the competent NATO Supreme Commander
should recommend any change in the ruling. Protocol IV Set up an
agency for the Control of Armaments and defined its functions, these
being mainly to enforce the provision of Protocol III. The German

Build Up Within a short period of time due to the build up of the

Warsaw pact it was felt that the Federal Republic of Germany would be
unable to defend itself against possible aggression from the Russian
dominated treaty, and that a number of arrangements would have to be
made with regards to the increase in size of its forces. This would,
it was believed enhance the FRG right to self defence against
aggression, enhance the military strength