740.00/3–2050: Telegram

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

confidential   priority

116. All evidence available here indicates that Bundestag will approve German associate membership in European Council even [Page 773] if terms proposed by Adenauer to HICOM not met.1 When press leak on last week’s negotiations occurred, there was extensive grumbling among deputies that Adenauer had gone ahead without consulting Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee or party faction leaders. This criticism was strong not only in SPD ranks but also in CDU, and was most severe in FDP circles.

Carl Pfleiderer, FDP member Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee, stated yesterday, however, that his party will do nothing to oppose associate membership. CDU also will keep party discipline.

Carlo Schmid stated last night that SPD will adhere to policy indicated by Schumacher in Bundestag debate on Saar (reference cable 97, repeated Department 822). Schmid did not believe, however, that SPD negative vote would affect the outcome. He pointed out once more that SPD did not intend to refrain from participation in sending representatives once decision had been taken.

Press comment on Adenauer’s proposal to HICOM has been conspicuous in its almost total absence. Apparently newspapers are afraid to publish anything which might prejudice the issue. This seems to indicate an awareness of widespread desire in Federal Republic to have Germany enjoy distinction of European Council membership.

Sent Frankfort 130, repeated Department 116.

  1. The issue of the Federal Republic of Germany’s early participation in the international political, military, and economic organizations being created by the Western Powers at this time provoked sharp controversy. Addressing the House of Commons on March 28, 1950, in reply to some positive remarks on the topic by Winston Churchill, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin urged “caution” in admitting Germany to membership in such organizations and specifically to the Council of Europe. (Documents on International Affairs, 1949–1950, pp. 314–315) Chancellor Adenauer voiced skepticism concerning the utility of an early Associate membership for the Federal Republic in the Consultative Assembly of the Council. In telegram 3179 from Bonn, dated April 17, 1950, High Commissioner McCloy informed the Secretary of State that Chancellor Adenauer had complained to him in the course of a lengthy conversation that “little progress has been made” toward meaningful European federation and that the “minor importance” of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe “is now apparent.” In reply, McCloy asserted “that the weight of 48 million Germans would make itself felt in the Council of Europe regardless” and “it is desirable to get as much popular support as possible in Germany for the Council of Europe and in my opinion at least inevitable that Germany must have an important role in any effective European federation.” (740.00/4–1750) In telegram 18, dated March 31, 1950, Consul Dalferes in Strasbourg informed the Secretary of State that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe had agreed to send “identic invitations” to join the Council as Associate Members to both the Federal Republic and the Saar (740.00/3–3150).
  2. Not printed.