The Treaty of Dunkirk (1947)

The Treaty of Dunkirk, formally titled the Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance, was signed by Britain and France in March 1947. One of the first alliances of the Cold War era, it was a military alliance in the event of revived German aggression:

His Majesty the King of Great Britain… and the President of the French Republic, desiring to confirm in a Treaty of Alliance the cordial friendship and close association of interests between the United Kingdom and France;

Convinced that the conclusion of such a Treaty will facilitate the settlement in a spirit of mutual understanding of all questions arising between the two countries;

Resolved to co-operate closely with one another as well as with the other United Nations in preserving peace and resisting aggression, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations…

Determined to collaborate in measures of mutual assistance in the event of any renewal of German aggression, while considering most desirable the conclusion of a treaty between all the Powers having responsibility for action in relation to Germany with the object of preventing Germany from becoming again a menace to peace;

Having regard to the Treaties of Alliance and Mutual Assistance which they have respectively concluded with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics;

Intending to strengthen the economic relations between the two countries to their mutual advantage and in the interests of general prosperity;

Have decided to conclude a Treaty… and have agreed as follows:—

Article I

Without prejudice to any arrangements that may be made, under any Treaty concluded between all the Powers having responsibility for action in relation to Germany under the Charter of the United Nations, for the purpose of preventing any infringements by Germany of her obligations with regard to disarmament and de-militarisation, and generally of ensuring that Germany shall not again become a menace to peace, the High Contracting Parties will, in the event of any threat to the security of either of them arising from the adoption by Germany of a policy of aggression, or from action by Germany designed to facilitate such a policy, take, after consulting with each other and where appropriate with the other Powers… such agreed action as is best calculated to put an end to this threat.

Article II

Should either of the High Contracting Parties become again involved in hostilities with Germany, either in consequence of an armed attack, within the meaning of Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, by Germany against that Party, or as a result of agreed action taken against Germany under Article I of this Treaty, or as a result of enforcement action taken against Germany by the United Nations Security Council, the other High Contracting Party will at once give the High Contracting Party so involved in hostilities all the military and other support and assistance in his power.

Article III

In the event of either High Contracting Party being prejudiced by the failure of Germany to fulfil any obligation of an economic character imposed on her as a result of the Instrument of Surrender, or arising out of any subsequent settlement, the High Contracting Parties will consult with each other and, where appropriate with the other Powers having responsibility for action in relation to Germany, with a view to taking agreed action to deal with the situation…

Signed in Dunkirk, March 4th 1947.