Conference Files: Lot 59 D 95: CF 20

Paper Approved by the Foreign Ministers 1


MIN/TRI/P/10 Final2

Security of German Federal Republic Reply to Dr. Adenauer’s Request

The three High Commissioners, having consulted their Governments on the request made by the Federal Chancellor for a declaration that the territory of the Federal Republic would be defended against attack, have been authorised to make the following reply.

Dr. Adenauer’s request was sympathetically considered by the Foreign Ministers of the three Powers in the course of an examination of questions relating to the security of Germany during their recent meeting in London.

The Federal Republic does not lie alone and unprotected in Europe. Under Articles 5 and 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty, an armed attack upon the occupation forces of the Western Allies in Germany will be considered as an armed attack against all the parties to the Treaty, and will at once bring into place the provisions of Article 5 of the Treaty. So long, therefore, as the Western occupation forces remain in Germany the Federal Republic enjoys, in effect,3 protection under the North Atlantic Treaty.

The three Allied Powers have no4 intention in the present European situation of withdrawing their occupation forces from Germany.

Proposed oral explanation

The defence for Germany at present, as for the rest of Western Europe, will be assured by further consolidating the system expressed in the North Atlantic Treaty and so deterring the Russians from launching a war. The building of this system is proceeding steadily [Page 1086] under the combined efforts of all the members of the North Atlantic and Brussels Treaty organisations.5

Furthermore, the High Commissioners wish to point out that the common object of deterring the Russians from attacking the West through Germany will most effectively be secured by convincing the Russians (a) that such an attack will involve them in a world war, and (b) that the defence of the West will be effectively conducted. Point (a) is ensured by the presence of Allied troops in Germany; (b) is the responsibility of the Atlantic Pact and Brussels Treaty Powers and is being resolutely undertaken.

  1. Attached to the source text was a cover sheet, not printed, which stated that this paper was approved by the Foreign Ministers at their fourth meeting on May 12. Regarding this meeting, see editorial note, p. 1051.
  2. This paper is a revision of MIN/TRI/P/10, as amended by the Foreign Ministers at their fourth meeting. MIN/TRI/P/10 was prepared by Subcommittee B on May 6 but was not discussed at the tripartite plenary meetings. For its text, see footnotes 3, 4, and 5 below.
  3. The remainder of this sentence in MIN/TRI/P/10, read: “the same measure of protection under the North Atlantic Treaty as is enjoyed by any of the parties to that Treaty.”
  4. The word “present” was deleted from MIN/TRI/P/10 at this point.
  5. After this paragraph in MIN/TRI/P/10 appeared the following paragraph which was deleted from the paper at the request of the United States:

    “If Dr. Adenauer seeks a guarantee that the territory of the Federal Republic will remain inviolable he is asking for a guarantee of an unprecedented nature, and one which it is in the nature of things impossible for one Power ever to give to another.”