840.00/11–1049: Airgram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom ( Bliss ) to the Acting Secretary of State

top secret

A–2077. The following information was received in strictest confidence . . . .

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6. Admission of New Members

a.) Western Germany

(The formula for consulting the Standing Committee on the subject of the admission of new members is described in Paris confidential telegram no. 791 of November 4, 1949, and the text of the communiqué on the subject of the admission of Germany in Paris confidential telegram no. 795 of November 5, 19491).

When the question of inviting Germany came up there was no outspoken objection. The Danes, Norwegians and French may have had reservations, but as stated in the communiqué it was agreed in principle that Western Germany should be associated as soon as possible with the Council of Europe. The need for prior consultation on the subject with the occupying powers (therefore the United States) was accepted, and the commitment of the French Foreign Minister to consult the French National Assembly was recognized. Under the procedure agreed to earlier in the meetings the advice of the Standing Committee of the Assembly was to be sought. In fact, the question of an invitation to Germany did not cause any particular difficulty in the Committee.

[Page 497]

The point as to whether an invitation could be issued after the various steps had been taken, without a further meeting of the Committee of Ministers, was not taken up. As the Committee agreed in principle to the issuance of an invitation to the Federal German Republic to become an associate member, it might be possible for the Chairman to request by telegraph the authorization of his eleven colleagues for extending the invitation. There was, however, no discussion on this point.

b.) The Saar

When Schuman laid before the Committee the request of the Saar to become an associate member there was a stony silence. It was broken by Bevin who in substance approved, subject to consultation with the occupying powers (viz. the one not present, the United States). Schuman took exception claiming that the status of the Saar was recognized, that it no longer formed a part of Germany, etc., although he admitted that the ultimate status was subject to the terms of the peace treaty. A stalemate was very nearly reached, but Bevin in fact pulled Schuman’s chestnuts out of the fire. The argument he used was that if the United States should oppose the admission of the Saar and the Germans learned of it, then the Germans might refuse to come in if the Saar were admitted. In order to avoid such a possibility, Bevin argued, preliminary consultation with the United States [was necessary?], and an understanding was reached that Schuman would not take any action until the matter had been discussed with the United States. The statements of some high ranking French officials that Bevin let Schuman down and did not follow their agreed course of action were therefore not in accord with the facts. The Committee then without any commitment in principle (as there was in the case of Germany) agreed to ascertain the views of the Standing Committee.

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  1. Neither printed.