840.00/10–3149: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

top secret
us urgent

3917.1 Personal for the Ambassador. Brit Emb today handed us following Aide-Mémoire:

“The Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe has recommended that the Committee of Ministers should consider the admission of new members and new associate members to the Council. The main question at issue is whether Germany should be admitted.

2. The matter has been considered in London and it is felt that at the forthcoming meeting of the Committee of Ministers on the 3rd November, Mr. Bevin should make the following proposals:—

The Committee of Ministers should make a declaration that if the German Federal Republic desires to accede as an associate member and is prepared to subscribe to the provisions of Article 3 of the statute, the governments concerned will at once issue an invitation to it under Article 5.
The Committee should make a similar declaration in respect of the Saar. The reasons for this suggestion are explained in paragraph 4 below.

Mr. Bevin would also propose that the Committee should postpone a decision regarding the admission of Austria until the result of the present Peace Treaty negotiations is known.2

3. The United Kingdom Government consider that since the Council of Europe is a focus for European co-operation and since it is the [Page 493] declared policy that Germany should be incorporated into the Western system, the Council is the most suitable body with which to begin the process. Germany, however, should be invited to participate as an associate member and not as a full member since she does not as yet control her foreign policy. Furthermore there is reason to believe that the German Chancellor would be quite satisfied with associate membership. It is moreover most unlikely that the French Government would agree to full membership at present.

4. With regard to the Saar, it is clearly unlikely that the French Government will agree even to associate membership for Germany unless a similar move is made for the Saar. His Majesty’s Government consider that something must be done to break this deadlock. His Majesty’s Government realise that the future status of the Saar is closely involved, but provided that the French Government can be induced to say that, just as in the case of Germany, they would have no objection to the Saar eventually becoming a full member, they feel that they should agree with the French view that the Saar should have associate membership now. If the Saar should ever become a full member it will be clear that as an independent state it would possess the inherent right of eventually choosing between remaining independent or joining up with either Germany or France.

5. Although it is not specifically mentioned in any Assembly resolution or recommendation, the Assembly at its recent meeting thought that if the Committee of Ministers admitted Germany as an associate member this year it would be desirable to have a special session of the Assembly in the spring of 1950 so that Germany should be able to take a definite part at an early date. On general grounds His Majesty’s Government are opposed to a special session in the spring and hope that a declaration now by the Committee of Ministers, as suggested, would help to avoid it.

6. In view of the obvious interest of the United States Government in this matter, Mr. Bevin does not wish to proceed on the foregoing lines without first informing the State Department. If the United States Government have any observations, Mr. Bevin would be very grateful to receive them as soon as possible.”

In view of short time available we believe and Brit Emb agrees that you shld coordinate this matter in Lon. Our views are as follows:

We believe there would be obvious advantages in handling this matter in conjunction with other questions relating to Ger such as dismantling. We therefore suggest that it be proposed at meeting of Committee of Ministers on Nov 3 that question of membership for both Ger and Saar be postponed to a later meeting which shld be fixed at an early date, say within one month. In this connection see Rome’s 3445 to Dept, rptd Lon as 223, Paris as 356, Berlin as 263 which states Itals intend to urge postponement to Fr. It shld then be possible to take up matter of Saar and Ger membership together with other questions to be discussed at the proposed high level meeting in Paris end [Page 494] of this week in hope of reaching decisions acceptable to both Fr and Gers. In such meeting we will be prepared to discuss question of Saar membership in Council of Eur. We still feel that any action on this matter shld preserve our position that final status of Saar shld be determined at time of conclusion of a Ger Peace settlement.

  1. Repeated to Frankfurt as 2447, Paris as 4160, Rome as 2725, Brussels as 1270, and The Hague as 960.
  2. For documentation relating to the Austrian Treaty negotiations in New York, September 23–Deeember 16, see pp. 1146 ff.
  3. Not printed.