740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–2848: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

top secret

691. US Govt remains firm in its determination to prevent a resurgence of German militarism but Dept agrees with you that a three-power disarmament and demilitarization treaty would be unrealistic since the question is of larger scope and the menace lies elsewhere than in Western Germany to which effective provisions of such a treaty would be limited (Delsec 15831). While we continue to believe it desirable that the French be requested to specify what measures they have in mind to meet the present situation, the following considerations could be put forward in exploring the ground.

The French are secure against Germany as long as occupation continues. The French are painfully aware of the disagreeable connotations of recent events in Czechoslovakia. In view of Communist integration of a third of Germany and the likelihood of continuing stringent economic conditions, a united Germany bereft of Western occupation forces would be an easy prey to Communist domination. As long as European Communism threatens US vital interests and national security we could ill afford to abandon our military position in Germany which can now likewise serve as morale element in a Europe disposed to depression by Czechoslovak submission. The logical conclusion is that three-power occupation may be of unforeseeable and indefinite duration, thus offering protracted security guarantees and establishing a firm community of interests. We have not yet thoroughly thought through all the implications but you are at liberty to present the above factors as an expression of your personal views.

With respect to post-occupation period, the various aspects of development of US association with Western Europe were outlined in Dept’s message to Paris, repeated to you as 673, Feb 27.2 US support of Bevin’s idea and US initiative in ERP are unmistakable evidence of an evolution responsive to French security requirements.

If you feel agreement on some specific step will be called for in the London discussions, Dept would appreciate your views concerning suggestion for the establishment of a military security board on which Benelux would also be represented. Dept envisages such board could be adjunct of eventual tripartite military government administration. A continuing supervision of German disarmament and demilitarization by joint inspection groups, acting under full authority of military government, might reassure the Western European countries at this time concerning the proper protection of their security interests.

[Page 102]

Dept believes that pressure of events lends new cogency to immediate effective coordination three western occupation zones, leading to early French participation in Western German administration. Steps along these lines would serve to consolidate French present security needs and would facilitate integration of area concerned within general Western European recovery. Dept believes it would be most useful if agreement in principle on these purposes could be obtained for public announcement at end of talks. Details of arrangements for tripartite military government cooperation and coordination German administration could if necessary be worked out subsequently. Sent to London as 691, repeated to Paris as 627.

  1. Telegram 746, February 26, p. 94.
  2. The message under reference is printed in volume iii with the documentation on NATO.