740.00119 Council/11–1049: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the President and the Acting Secretary of State

top secret

4694. For President and Webb only from Secretary. At my suggestion, closed session three Foreign Ministers and three High Commissioners convened following session, reported in Paris telegram 46931 for purpose discussing dismantling. After lengthy discussion we agreed discontinue dismantling all plants in Berlin. Further agreed discontinue dismantling 9 synthetic oil, 2 rubber and 1 chemical plants. Lengthy discussion followed on relation steel capacity and production to security and economy Germany and Western Europe. Joined by British, urged discontinuance dismantling seven steel plants stressing necessity to French discontinuance dismantling following four: Hamborn, Goering, Hattingen, Charlottenhuette. Schuman, after listening carefully our arguments, appeared to come around to US position. He indicated lack of authority to make commitment steel dismantling but agreed to take up in French Cabinet Thursday morning on basis study being prepared by Robertson, British High Commissioner. Decision expected prior meeting three Foreign Ministers 11 a. m. Thursday.

Under proposed procedure question dismantling to be referred to High Commissioners for discussion with West German Government. This should provide leverage for discussions with Germans on questions such as recognition security interest three powers, participation Ruhr authority2 and a number of other points which High Commissioners have in mind.

Robertson stated he was clearly faced with likely collapse of dismantling of the general purpose plants due to lack of German labor, possible violence, all of which would seriously prejudice our long range objectives in entire European stake. Germans have blown up dismantling issue to a rather artificial level of which we feel we can now take advantage by limited concessions which have relatively small intrinsic value but which due to artificial exaggeration by Germans give us opportunity to obtain solid commitments from them that ought to lead to the establishment of a new level of our relations with Federal Government and thus a heavy offset to the blandishments of the east German state. Schuman much impressed by a recital of the number and size of plants we have already dismantled and the very sizeable portion of dismantling which we will continue to effect in the [Page 635] field of true war plants as against the relatively small amount of increased capacity (production which we do not intend to increase in any event) which is represented by the plants on which we are prepared to stop dismantling.

Extremely important that prior to negotiation with Adenauer on part of High Commissioners no indication be given of the extent we are prepared to go in order to be able to obtain from Adenauer the maximum of German commitments of a truly constructive nature. We have therefore determined that any communiqué we issue should not carry any concrete decisions, the disclosure of which would weaken negotiation in the pending discussions with the German officials.

[ Acheson ]
  1. Supra.
  2. For documentation on West German accession to the International Authority for the Ruhr, see pp. 477 ff.