762A. 5/7–1450: Telegram

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

top secret

26. For Acheson and Byroade eyes only (no distribution).

1. Kirkpatrick1 today reported to Poncet and me a long talk he had with Adenauer on July 11 in which the Chancellor again expressed his concern over the question of security. The main points were as follows:

The Chancellor said he had acquiesced in my suggestion that this was not time to press matter of security guaranty, but that he felt there was a real vacuum in all Western preparations. Unless remedied by the introduction of some concrete measures in Europe it would result in a total lack of confidence on the part of the West Germans. His reports gave him no hope from the French and he feared the revival of an attitude among the Germans, particularly if the news from Korea continued bad, that they had better modify their policy regarding Russia unless the Allies took steps to convince the Germans that some opportunity would be afforded them to defend their country [Page 697] in the event of emergency. He said that he acknowledged that any thought of creating a German army as such was out of the question, at least as long as France remained with no substantial army, but that some provision should be made to maintain stability in West Germany in the event of a Volkspolizei attack from the east and that opportunity should be given to Germans to play some part if such a development occurred. He is also concerned naturally with a Soviet attack and he makes the same point if the attack should take such a form. The Chancellor also complained that he had no knowledge of Allied plans in the event of an attack and felt there should be exchanges between a representative of the Allies and a representative of the German Government to deal with these emergency plans.

2. Both Kirkpatrick and Poncet expressed the belief that continued bad news from Korea would cause Western Germans to become more restive, dilute their enthusiasm for Adenauer’s Western policy, and create pressure to change it, at least until the situation improved. Kirkpatrick felt that we should give the Chancellor and the Germans the feeling that we are at least doing all that we reasonably can to protect the government and to maintain order. Thus, Kirkpatrick pled as a minimum step for the immediate approval of an effective German auxiliary force which would at least be able to deal with refugees and assist in keeping order while the Allied armies composed themselves for an attack. Kirkpatrick said he did not care whether this force took the form of a federal police or a strengthening of the land police so long as the force could be considered effective for the purposes intended. He felt this necessitated some central inspecting agency and the erection of means whereby the force could be available in strength at short notice.

Insert A: It was interesting to note that Poncet today definitely stated that he felt German service troops with our armies could be increased and given training and he also felt that in case of an emergency should be means for Germans to fight with us.

3. While I naturally discount somewhat Kirkpatrick’s and Adenauer’s concern in view of the possibility that Kirkpatrick may only be pressing in another form the British desire for the rearmament of Germany and that Adenauer may only be seeking means to strengthen his government by the creation of a federal police force and using the Korean incident as a gambit for this purpose, I feel that continued bad news from Korea and the likely increase of rumors in the Balkans and perhaps from Czechoslovakia will tend to unseat the general stability of the population which now exists.

Insert B: I also saw Adenauer yesterday and he said much the same to me and Hays. He also gave us a report on his recent talk with Schumacher which apparently dealt with this subject as well [Page 698] as the role of the SPD in connection with Schuman Plan. He is off today for Switzerland, still a little weak—mentally, morally and physically. Bluecher has been left in charge.

My feeling is that there is a lack of sufficient emergency planning in respect to the use of Germans, including the role of the Federal Government. In my judgment it is necessary to advise the Germans at some point that we would permit them to fight shoulder to shoulder with us when the need should arise.

I also believe we should permit those who wish to, to enlist in our army, and my impression is that Kirkpatrick and Poncet are in agreement with this. Indeed, I have already told Handy2 that I have no objection to the enlistment of aliens in the army in the event of emergency and I understand that he is about to request permission to do this. Moreover, I have agreed that Hays can act as the Allied representative to receive any proposals from Adenauer’s representatives for the safety of the government and the employment of German volunteers in the event of an emergency. While my view is that we should make plans to permit Germans to fight with us if an emergency arose, we should make no commitment in this regard unless we know we have the equipment and the means to enable them effectively to do so.

4. Whether the measures suggested by Adenauer would tend to reassure the Germans is somewhat doubtful but in any event I would think that it would be to our advantage to start planning for the use of German manpower along the line suggested above and subject to the condition stated above.

Insert C: Please give us some guidance as soon as possible.3

Sent Department priority 26, repeated Frankfort priority 29 for Gerhardt eyes only (no distribution).

  1. Sir Ivone A. Kirkpatrick had been appointed British High Commissioner for Germany on June 24.
  2. General Thomas T. Handy, United States Commander in Chief for Europe.
  3. In telegram 340, July 15, to Frankfort, not printed, McCloy was advised that there were “no serious political objections to use of Ger personnel within US or other Allied forces.” On the use of German forces, however, McCloy was asked for clarification of his views before the Department of State discussed it with the Department of Defense. (762A.0221/7–1450) McCloy replied on July 18, stating that he was considering the matter with Generals Hays and Handy and would report further. In the interim he offered three additional thoughts: 1) “there should be no impediment to the enlistment of Germans in our armed forces,” 2) “there should be an increase in the auxiliary service troops by German recruitment,” 3) “we should consider whether we should provide means to permit much larger groups to train and fight in the event of an emergency.” (Telegram 461, July 18, from Frankfort, not printed, 740.5/7–1850)