862A.511/9–1150: Telegram

The Acting United States High Commissioner for Germany (Hays) to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Frankfort


157. Repeated info Department 138, Berlin 57.

1. Blankenhorn Monday informed liaison Bonn that Saturday [at] meeting of Chancellor with ministers president all agreed necessity (a) to reform and strengthen Laender police and (b) to establish a federal police. SPD ministers favor implementing (b) through amendment of constitution and thereafter a federal law. All other favored formation under item 10, Article 73,1 thereby avoiding necessity of a constitutional amendment. Question was left open as Chancellor has not made up his mind.

2. Blankenhorn stated Chancellor and MP’s except SPD all believe federal police should be capable of handling Volkspolizei aggression in whatever form. However, Chancellor fully stands by his two memorandums on police and their armament.2 Blankenhorn stated repeatedly that police under memorandum limitations could not possibly be considered an army. He said, however, they might be used eventually as nucleus of German contribution to European defense force.

3. Blankenhorn confirmed that steps to train leaders of 10,000 Laender Polizei Bereitschaften are proceeding rapidly. However essential question of command control by Federal Government had not been discussed on Saturday. This question he said would be delayed pending outcome of CFM discussion. (See last paragraph Bonn’s 149 Frankfort, 131 Department, 52 Berlin.3)

4. Blankenhorn said he was hopeful that CFM would produce satisfactory solution of security question. Recent conversation with Bérard indicated positions are coming closer on command control question although French still insist on Land organization while Chancellor is equally adamant on need for complete federal control.4

  1. Under Article 73, Item 10, the Federal Government had exclusive legislation on the establishment of a Federal Office of Criminal Police and on cooperation between the Federal Government and Laender on criminal police.
  2. The texts of these two memoranda, which supplemented Adenauer’s memorandum of August 29, were transmitted in telegram 122, September 2, from Bonn, not printed. They provided for a Schutzpolizei of 25,000 men armed with automatic hand arms, machine guns, grenades, and mortars. (862A.511/9–250)
  3. Not printed.
  4. In telegram 140, September 12, from Bonn, not printed, Hays reported that the French had a different report of the meeting from two Ministers-President who denied that they had agreed to the necessity of a Federal police force. Hays added that other sources confirmed this report, stating that the meeting was purely informatory with no agreements reached or sought. (862A.511/9–1250)