862.00/10–2849: Telegram

The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Secretary of State


3542. Following is brief summary of informal meeting between Federal Chancellor Adenauer and the Council of the Allied High [Page 291] Commission held at Adenauer’s request on 27 October 1949 at Bonn–Petersberg:1

Adenauer, in presenting his views made the following points:
That a press report to the effect that his Cabinet is considering a request to High Commission to review Occupation Statute and to terminate the state of war with Germany is completely unfounded. This has appeared in Die Welt.
That the movement in Western Germany headed by Professor Noack is now preparing for a conference in Western Germany at which three Ministers from Eastern Zone Government will be present. Adenauer considers that this indicates that Noack is an agent for the SMA and that the Soviet Union through the newly-established Eastern Democratic Government2 is beginning a campaign to infiltrate the ranks of Federal Republic and institutions in the Western Zone. Adenauer states this movement advocates a line which has great propaganda appeal to the German people, i.e., the “neutralization of Germany.” He seems to feel that it must be taken far more seriously now that the new Eastern Government is set up. He was critical of Poncet having received Noack when the attitude of the Adenauer Government had been made so clear in its refusal to see or deal with any “East-West” agents. He said Western German opinion was shocked that this visit had taken place.
That a secret conference in Dresden made up of 16 SED and KPD leaders set forth a new line of propaganda which terms the “Oder–Neisse line” the “peace line.” Further, that the county administrators had already commenced preparations to liquidate parties now in Eastern Germany.
That High Commission aided the Soviet propaganda effort by announcing the procedure of accrediting foreign missions to High Commission at the same time the Eastern Zone Government announced its right to send foreign missions abroad. Further that German representatives to the special conference of ILO in Geneva on social and working conditions of Rhine boatmen were told that they would again have to be screened. (Conference will commence on 31 October 1949.)
That the German people are impatiently waiting for an answer concerning German participation in the Council for Europe.
That, finally, and most important, the recent “speed-up” in dismantling was causing great unrest and distrust among the German population.
Adenauer continued that in view of the points cited in paragraph 1, af above, his government needs assurances of help from the Commission in order to allay the fears and distrust of the German people and to meet the Soviet propaganda attack.
As Chairman, I replied:
That with respect to announcement of accrediting Allied Missions to High Commission, this matter had come up in the general course of the Commission’s procedure and announced in a routine press release. It is impossible for the High Commission to phase its work with a view to answering Soviet propaganda charges or responding to Soviet moves in relation to the Eastern Government. I pointed out that our case must rest by consistent implementation of democratic policies on the foundation which we have already established, and the fact that freedoms in the Western Zones can never be matched by the totalitarian-inspired Eastern Government.
That in the case of the Rhine Boatmen Conference to commence on 31 October in Geneva, the personnel designated by Adenauer would be issued passports in time to attend.
That dismantling and reparations problems cannot be dealt with in a piece-meal fashion. Further, that the Council still awaits the comprehensive report on this subject promised by Adenauer at the last meeting on 20 October 1949. However, dismantling in Charlottenheute will stop, pending the outcome of a study now under way (see HICOG, Bonn 25, 21 October 19493).
That anticipated full-fledged participation by the Federal Republic in OEEC was a concrete example of Germany’s increasing participation in the European community and a letter concerning an invitation of the Interim Commission for ITC was being forwarded to Federal Republic.
That the Council was anxious to hear Federal Republic’s views concerning financial aid to Berlin. High Commission experts are alerted to meet with Federal Republic’s experts.
François-Poncet made the following points:
That he had talked to Noack and has concluded that although he may not be a “paid agent,” he is extremely useful to the USSR.
That the Council cannot promise assistance to Federal Republic which it cannot fulfill. The Council is not afraid of criticism in the Bundestag.
That the German press is full of false news.
That the German people should not be shocked that he had received Noack as he would not adjust his behavior “to a public which is not politically enlightened or tolerant.”
That the campaign against dismantling seems to be well organized.
Finally that not enough attention is paid to enlightening the German people and that the “entire situation harkens back twenty years.”

Adenauer stated he did not want to gain the reputation that he was blackmailing the Council or trying to squeeze concessions from it on the basis of Soviet moves, but that if action were not taken along [Page 293] the lines he suggested, all of Western Europe would fall in Soviet orbit. He insisted that the dismantling program was being speeded up and that he could not be responsible for the consequences in terms of public distrust and the disturbance this engendered. He charged that UK General Bistop [Bishop?] annulled a 10,000 DM fine issued by a German court against a dismantling company and this act deprived Germany of her rights; that a British Colonel at Gelsenberg stated that his dismantling orders were received direct from London; and that France and UK were making the same psychological errors they had made since 1933 and with respect to the Nazi regime.

I told him we realized his troubles with the Bundestag and with the erection of a strong and properly disposed new government, that we did not doubt his integrity nor his skill, that we were prepared to help and would help but he must realize the age-old problem is not only for him and his government to solve but also for those who represent the victims of former German aggressions and occupations. The only hope, and it is a true hope, is that good will on both sides will eventually solve it.

Steele, sitting in for Robertson, replied that annulment of the fine in the dismantling incident cited in paragraph 5 above was quite proper and that acceleration of dismantling has not taken place in Gelsenberg.
I pointed out that the Allies had taken great steps since the close of the war and for this Germany had much to be thankful, considering the enormity of the destruction which German aggression had inspired. The rehabilitation provided by the victorious Allies has no precedent in history, and in relation to the extent of this contribution dismantling is an irritant that could well be overlooked by a responsive Germany even if it were not based on the recurrent examples of German aggression; the views of the people who suffered German aggression must be taken into account as well as German susceptibilities; the world will respond promptly to any German moves towards peace and freedom.
Meeting ended on apologetic note on part of Adenauer but with his expression of disappointment that he was unable to return to his government and report anything which would improve the “psychological crisis.”
It was agreed that no press communiqué as to the substance of the talk would be issued.

Adenauer was suffering from heavy cold and was in a rather complaining mood even though he has real basis for concern over his Parliamentary situation, and the apparent speeding-up processes on dismantling are a source of the greatest embarrassment to him in the Bundestag. The touchy character of the meeting really resulted, in my judgment, from his personal criticism of Poncet over the Noack incident. It irritated Poncet and I feel it set back Poncet’s half-developed instincts to respond somewhat generously to what he considered to be Adenauer’s good sense over the Berlin question. Although such [Page 294] passages will no doubt recur, the continuation of these informal meetings is of great help in getting things aired and sometimes adjusted.

Sent Department 3542; repeated Paris 265, Berlin 233, London 230.

  1. The minutes of this meeting, HICOM–FED/M(49)4, are in file 862.00/10–2749.
  2. For documentation relating to the establishment of the “German Democratic Republic,” see pp. 505 ff.
  3. Not printed.