396.1 LO/3–3150: Telegram

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


2219. Personal for McCloy from Byroade. Wld like give you present status of our thinking and planning for May Conf of Fon Mins. Conferences are expected begin on May 8 and to include bilateral talks with Schuman, bilateral talks with Bevin, trilateral talks and Atlantic Pact talks in that order. It is contemplated that preliminary bilateral and trilateral talks on lower level will be held in Paris and London prior to Secretary’s arrival.

Discussions are now going on with Brit concerning agenda. No firm agenda has yet been agreed. Subjects will include problems in Far East, Near East, Eur and United Nations as well as broad economic problems. It is hoped review with Brit our world wide objectives and roles which each country can play in achieving these objectives. It is hoped that much of discussion can be fitted into framework of our cold war objectives. With particular reference to Eur, much thinking is going on in Dept as to ways and means of achieving strengthened Western organization both economically, politically and militarily. We hope particularly to consider Ger in this context rather than entire problem in itself. We feel that if real progress can be made on the question of strengthening Western organization, together with a decision to incorporate Ger into such organization, the main outline of our Ger policy will be fixed.

We also feel that it wld be dangerous to over-emphasize the discussion of specific Ger problems from the point of view of public relations. We are not sure what can come out of specific discussions on Ger which cld be satisfactorily announced to the public.

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The Brit ideas seem to involve giving Ger a more prominent place on the Agenda for tripartite talks. They propose Ger as the first item on the Agenda with following specific subjects for discussion:

Germany and the West.
Soviet designs in Ger and possible Western countermeasures.
Ger internal economic situation.
Ruhr authority.
Defence of Ger.
Ending the state of war.

The only info we have on Fr ideas is the fol statement hi letter from Schuman to Secretary:1 “With regard to Germany, I think we should examine in particular how the arrangements which we made in Paris last Nov2 have been applied and what the results have been. Certain new proposals such as that posed by the economic position of Ger cld also be examined.”

While we do not believe that all items on Brit list can be usefully discussed by Mins, some of them can perhaps be taken up in preparatory talks. Wld welcome your view on whether any additional items should be proposed for Agenda. We feel that we shld not propose additional items unless it is clear that their discussion by Mins is essential to further progress of work in HICOM. Only specific subj on which we feel this may be situation is decartelization.

We are preparing papers on the subjs in Brit list plus the question of Ger unity. We are sending airmail copies of all preparatory papers so far distributed, some of which will give you an idea of the general trend of thinking. We will try to keep you informed of preparations and get positions on Ger subjs to you for comment as quickly as we can. We will welcome your comments on any of the subjs and will undoubtedly ask you later to do the main preparation on some subjs.3 [Byroade.]

  1. The letter under reference here is presumably that referred to in footnote 3, p. 830.
  2. For documentation on the Foreign Ministers meeting at Paris, November 9–11, 1949, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. iii, pp. 594 ff.
  3. Following receipt of this telegram, the Office of the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany began preparation of a set of briefing papers on Germany. A complete set of these papers, covering some 21 topics, is in the CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 150: HICOG Briefs.