762A.5/6–2150: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Frankfort1

top secret

4428. Eyes only for McCloy from the Secretary. I am very much concerned by back-stage Brit talks with Gen von Schwerin as described urtel 5052 June 13 (rptd London 3192). Not only are such activities considered harmful to correct solution of police and remilitarization problems, but in gen I consider that this kind of unilateral negot with the Gers can speedily wreck HICOM. I note your ref to other info indicating Brit activity on question of creation of a Ger police force and I recall fact that you have evidence that Adenauer’s ltr requesting creation of such force was at least inspired by, if not partly written by Brit. I consider this type of activity to be of sufficient importance to be called to personal attention of Bevin in a forceful manner either by Douglas or in personal letter from me. In this connection I shld appreciate views of Douglas as to best method of procedure as I am not certain whether Bevin is available at this stage for conversation of such a nature. Under either procedure we must be very certain of the facts and I wish you wld send Dept and Douglas without delay all the evidence you have indicating unilateral Brit intervention in this and other matters.3

I fully agree with attitude expressed in your reftel that police problem shld be strictly separated from remilitarization, and I consider [Page 690] latter premature. If Brit indeed told Schwerin that US cld “be brought into line quickly”, they are seriously misinformed. Best expression of Dept’s official attitude can be found in statement which I am submitting to NSC in response to paper on this subj submitted by Dept of Defense. While for present it is desired maintain strict silence regarding fact this question is being discussed in NSC for your info text of paper is as follows:

[Here follows the text of the paper that became NSC 71/1 of July 3, infra.]

Turning from remilitarization to Adenauer’s request for Fed police force, while we are not prepared agree to creation of large, centralized barracks police, we appreciate need for police protection under fed control for Bonn enclave and for adequate police forces within FedEep to deal with widespread disorders. We wld be willing permit estab of small force for Bonn enclave, (whether of 500 men, as Fr appear to favor (Ref Paris 2871, June 14, rptd Frankfort 403, London 8004), or whether up to four times that size). Beyond that we feel that forces sufficient to cope with widespread disorders cld be built up adequately by strengthening Land police forces, possibly in numbers, more probably in organization, equipment and training. This wld no doubt require, as Fr FonOff appears to think, implementing legis of a precise nature under Art 91 of Basic Law,5 but it will also require additional action in order to prod Laender into taking effective steps. We believe that if these courses are explored results can be achieved which will be entirely adequate to meet Adenauer’s plea without recreating dangers to democracy inherent in strong centralized Ger police forces.

  1. Repeated to London, eyes only for Douglas as 3027 and to Paris, eyes only for Bruce as 2927.
  2. Not printed, but see footnote 1, supra.
  3. In telegram 5449, June 24, from Bonn, not printed, McCloy expressed his full agreement with the substance of the paper for the NSC (NSC 71/1, infra). Since he was at Bonn, he could not provide detailed intelligence on von Schwerin’s trip to England, but after reporting two statements by Adenauer and François-Poncet in support of his position, stressed that it was “extremely important that we come to a common understanding among the governments regarding our position on German remilitarization,” (762A.5/6–2450)
  4. Not printed; it reported that the Foreign Ministry expected’ to send to François-Poncet, for the High Commission discussions on German security forces, instructions to accept a small force for the Bonn enclave and allow Federal control of Land police in certain circumstances, with the clear understanding that this would not be the first in a series of steps and that no connection existed between the remilitarization of East Germany and the problem of Bonn police powers. (762A.5/6–1450)
  5. Article 91 of the Basic Law reads as follows:

    • “(1) In order to avert an imminent danger to the existence of the free democratic basic order of the Federation or a Land, a Land may call in the police forces of other Laender.
    • (2) If the Land in which the danger is imminent is not itself prepared or in a position to combat the danger, the Federal Government may place the police in that Land or the police forces of other Laender under its instructions. The order (Anordnung) shall be rescinded after the danger has been overcome, otherwise at any time on demand from the Bundesrat.”