762A.00/4–2550: Telegram

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


3486. Personal for Byroade from McCloy. I have studied carefully and discussed with my staff the approach to the German problem set forth in FM D A–/2.1 It is a bold and imaginative piece of work and provokes real thought.

I agree that time has come when West must develop and announce fundamentals of its philosophy, not only to counteract propaganda bombardment from East, but to put lift into West. Form and content such announcement should be carefully drafted, should have ring and spirit of real meaning.

Proposal of Germany for North Atlantic union and Germany’s part therein was more difficult to assess. It is basically continuation of our policy of having three western powers concert together on German problem. Realizing difficulties of creating balance in Europe with no American participation, it is perhaps inevitable that solution should seek organization of wider geographic scope and function than existing [Page 683] bodies. US and UK, whose power combination is the basis of our world policy, must act together to bring along France. That is what we have been doing since 1945, suppose it is a logical extension of our policy. I do not take issue with this but have considered alternatives to it. Have considered here possibility of US putting its support behind UK, by removing some of the differences which now exist between British and ourselves and permitting them thereby more flexibility in their handling of European problem, at same time increasing our aid so that they will not be overly concerned in their own economic welfare. We have also considered whether US should change its policy of support in Europe and place its weight behind Germany as a coming leader in European integration. After careful consideration, we have rejected these alternatives, although some appear very attractive at first glance. We have also considered whether within existing organizations US, by more participation, could achieve integration of Europe more effectively. Certainly some progress could be made through this approach, but it lacks real spark and vigor of the North Atlantic union concept, and may be inadequate to achieve results in time allowed us.

As you know, I have had considerable doubts that a democratic Germany as we would like to see it is certainly in [the?] new Germany. I think all elements are here and that Germany perhaps has never been in more receptive mood for proper orientation and that given time and effort American influence can bring her along right road. Could we afford time, that is path I would choose. However, I realize that such time is most probably not available to us. Pressures from the Germans from within and from Soviets from without will mount and our effectiveness and influence will diminish.

Though I would prefer to make a clear-cut early decision relying on pressure from the East to keep Germany in the democratic path, I feel that risk of dangerous back-slidings on part of Germans is very great. There are real liberal elements here who still need an umbrella under which to develop. If we lost all power now, they will almost certainly be resubmerged as I judge their present strength. This is perhaps best indicated by the cat and mouse efforts of the free press to survive. Therefore, I believe we should continue active reeducation in Germany for at least another 18 months, and to give it effect, I feel we must maintain a commission even with limited powers but with some power to disapprove legislation and assume authority in event of direct challenge during that period.

I realize, of course, that program such as has been outlined in the paper is not something which can be accomplished in few months. If it is accomplished in a year or 18 months, it will be doing well and during that time we can do much to bring Germany along right path. It places heavy burden upon us to bring about further acceptance [Page 684] by the Germans of basic democratic principles which their present older generation at least do not have and which are generally acknowledged and accepted in the western world.

  1. Not printed: it proposed: “1. A Tripartite ‘Declaration setting forth the Fundamental Philosophy of the Western World’. 2. A Tripartite proposal for a North Atlantic Union (which would include Germany as well as the U.S.). 3. A Tripartite declaration in favor of all-German elections, and a restored Control Council without the veto, as a prelude to a German peace treaty.” FM D A–4/2 was a revision of FM D A 4/1, dated February 11, in response to questions within the Department of State. (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 149: May FM Meeting A Series)