CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 200: ISG Ist Session

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


67. During discussion between Liaison Officers and Brentano (CDU), Euler (FDP) and Wehner (SPD), latter were asked what US authorities could do to strengthen West German position vis-à-vis East. All three agreed first essential was radical modification of Occupation Statute. All seemed to have more than casual knowledge of ISG meetings. Brentano said it was useless to modify Statute paragraph by paragraph. Allies must give Federal Republic much wider powers if it was to earn the respect and loyalty of West Germans so essential in these critical times. He feared Allies failed to appreciate psychological [Page 758] effect of Petersberg methods on population. FedRep could not continue to be puppet regime of HICOM. Present relationship was hardly conductive to development of strong democratic tradition.

Euler stated a parliamentary group should be called to hear German views of Statute revision. In his view that Statute should be replaced by security pact and High Commissioners by Ambassadors. Furthermore, revision should reflect basically changed relationships and not merely altered terminology. Maintenance in Germany of Allied troops and all the powers necessary to this end should, of course, be retained but in foreign and internal affairs Allies should grant far greater freedom of action. West Germans could not be expected to resist threats and blandishments of East Government if their own government was constantly undersold by HICOM. One could not expect population to have greater confidence in FedRep than Allies themselves had.

Wehner said somewhat cynically that he did not foresee ISG coming up with more than a series of meaningless platitudes such as the CFM statement that future developments depended on Germans themselves. This remark was heartily endorsed by his political opponents Brentano and Euler.

All three agreed that changes they advocated were most unlikely but warned that reaction of West German population to probable outcome of review would be demoralization and disillusionment. Something they agreed might be done to cushion the blow but nothing short of drastic relaxation of controls could strengthen Western morale against the East.

Brentano, Euler and Wehner are top leaders in Parliament and their views may be taken as representative of the 2 major government parties and leading opposition party of the FedRep.

Liaison Officers refrained from comment beyond pointing out improbability of drastic revisions in immediate future.