Memorandum by the Director of the Bureau of German Affairs (Byroade) to the Secretary of State 1


Subject: Situation in Germany (Senate Foreign Relations Briefing)

[Here follow sections dealing with the situation in Berlin, the third SED Congress in East Germany, and the struggle for German minds; regarding Berlin, see pages 818 ff.; regarding the SED Party Congress, see telegram 921, August 2, page 964.]

A. Dilemma of German Rearmament

We are conscious of the real need for strengthening the West and of the general man-power situation in the West. In considering the use of German man-power for military purposes, however, we must think of the following:

We must retain Allied unity on approach to Europe which itself is a factor of strength.
The German people as a whole do not desire armed forces even in the present situation.
While we have a Soviet menace in Germany we still have the dual problem of combatting this and at the same time attempting to obtain the right kind of Germany. Telling the Germans to rearm would particularly discourage the elements in Germany we have been counting on for future leadership. It would make ineffective to a large degree our present reorientation effort and discourage retention of reforms already made.
It would provide a point of very high tension with the Soviets and would undoubtedly result in an armaments race with Germans against Germans.
There should be greater economic and political integration with the West prior to Germans returning to the military field.

The policy we are following, and pushing to its utmost, will if successful, within a period of time decrease many of the arguments against German rearmament. We are bringing Germany back into Europe just as quickly as she has been able to proceed and we are working with the French and British now in London to make further steps in this direction. We want greater strength in the rest of Western Europe and particularly in France. If this were accomplished prior to the formation of German units they would be in better perspective. [Page 700] We wish to obtain a practical acceptance of the theory of “balanced” forces. This again would make German units of a specified type more acceptable. We wish to proceed to a better integrated European command. This again has a bearing on German rearmament.

Finally, we wish to see a scheme, such as the Schuman plan work out in practice. This plan alone, if successful, should change the situation considerably.

The above factors are under constant review. We also have under study, but as yet with no conclusion, the possibility of intermediate steps for the use of German man-power. One possible way would be to allow their enlistment in allied forces. We are also studying the possible ways in which German man-power might be conceivably used in the defense of Germany without having German units actually in being in peace time. No scheme along this line has yet been devised, however, that does not carry with it most of the disadvantages of actual German rearmament.

B. German Police Situation

There are slightly over 100,000 police in the Western zones of Germany and somewhere around 120,000 police in the Eastern Zone. Of that total in the East approximately 50,000 are so-called para-military units and cannot be properly called police. We wish to see a strengthening of Western German police, not so much in numbers as in equipment and training. We are approving McCloy’s recommendation of this weekend that we authorize the Germans to create to additional 10,000 men unit which would be mobile and have more effective weapons and training.2 Arrangements will be made so that this force could be transferred between German laender in emergency. We have not as yet received notice of the approval of the British and French Governments.

C. Military Procurement in Germany

We are studying the advisability of procurement for NATO forces in Germany. It may be that a considerable amount of the non-ordnance equipment needed could be profitably procured in Germany.

  1. Attached to the source text was a memorandum from Byroade to Webb, dated July 25, not printed, stating that the Under Secretary might wish to discuss any or all of the subjects with Senator Connally and that the source text had been prepared for Secretary Acheson’s conference with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (862A.00/7–2550).
  2. Regarding McCloy’s recommendations on the Federal police and the High Commission’s letter to Adenauer, see telegram 58, infra.