862.00/11–1549: Telegram

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


4021. Following is summary of discussion at meeting between the Council of Allied High Commission and Federal Chancellor Adenauer held at Bonn-Petersberg on Tuesday 15 November, 1949.

This meeting was called at Adenauer’s request in order to prepare him for a Bundestag debate this date “on the question of dismantling and other problems of foreign policy which the Social Democrats had asked for.” (See Bonn 38.2) Adenauer wished to be informed of results of Paris Conference3 in order to inform Bundestag accordingly.

1. General Robertson, as chairman, in reviewing decisions of Paris Conference, made the following points:

. . . . . . .

(g) That agreement had been reached on certain technical regulations concerning control of German ship building. The new regulations represented great simplification. Specifically, German shipyards would be able to work on ships which are larger and faster than those permitted under previous directives. Ministers would permit Federal Republic to construct a certain number of special ocean-going vessels as Federal Republic has now completed her coastal fleet and that the speed of such vessels would permit them to be fully competitive;

4. With respect to reparations and dismantling, Robertson stated Council could not agree:

To modification of the program for disposition of category number one war plants;
To modification of “measures of demilitarization”;
To rescind or reverse dismantling action which had already taken place, i.e., a plant would not be re-equipped to its former state

5. Robertson said that everything disclosed to Adenauer to this point could be employed in afternoon debate in Bundestag. He then pointed out that the proposals of the Allied Governments represented great change in their position. The French Government, and particularly Mr. Schuman, would experience difficulty in the debate on foreign affairs which is to take place in the French Parliament on 22 November, 1949. Disclosure of various Allied “concessions” before this debate would make Mr. Schuman’s position considerably more difficult. Robertson continued that a full disclosure of the decisions of Paris Conference should be released in London, Paris and Bonn simultaneously at a date to be determined in the future but certainly only after debates had taken place in the three capitals. Robertson further stated that the Bundestag would be unreasonable to demand of Adenauer after a 2-hour meeting more information than that which Adenauer had been given authority to disclose.

. . . . . . .

7. With respect to the dismantling problem, Robertson indicated Adenauer could state in the Bundestag debate that dismantling in the following plants would be slowed down to a point where nothing of importance would take place during the course of the current discussions with respect to the entire dismantling question:

Gelsenberg Benzin Werke
Chemische Werke Huels (synthetic oil and rubber plant)
August Thyssen-Hamborn
Ruhrstahp [Ruhrstahl?] A. G. Hattingen
Borsig, Berlin

Robertson emphasized:

That this action is merely a slowing down operation and does not constitute a decision, prejudice the final decision, nor indicate that these plants will be removed from the reparations list;
That this list does not necessarily constitute the full list of plants which will be under consideration and review;
That in plants where dismantling is almost complete, the pace will be speeded up. In the British zone, at least, such dismantling will probably be finished by Christmas;
That there has been no decision permitting level of steel production to be raised although the High Commission would be prepared to discuss the question of increasing the capacity at a later date. With respect to the synthetic industries, that although no synthetic rubber or oil could be produced and certain laboratory equipment in these industries would be removed, the Council could go very far in removing synthetic oil and rubber plants from dismantling lists.

[Page 640]

8. The Council pointed out to Adenauer that it had not agreed to establish a committee to discuss the “questions of dismantling, security, and international economic problems” at this time as proposed by Adenauer in his two communications.

9. Adenauer stated that he felt very hopeful about the debate in the Bundestag on the basis of the information which had been communicated to him and he took no pains to conceal his satisfaction with the entire meeting.

10. Finally, the Council agreed that there would be a series of meetings with Adenauer at which time further disclosures of the decisions of the Paris Conference could be made and discussions continued. The next meeting with Chancellor Adenauer will take place on Thursday, 17 November at 1600 hours after the Council meeting scheduled at 10:30.

Sent Department 4021, repeated London 256, Paris 301.

  1. For the remaining portions of this telegram, see p. 314.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Regarding the Tripartite meeting of the Foreign Ministers of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States in Paris, November 9–11, see telegrams 4693, 4694, 4723, and editorial note, pp. 632638, and telegrams 4716 and 4724, pp. 305 and 306.