762A.022/1–2050: Telegram

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


460. Dept desires you to make clear to Gers US attitude on recent Saar devels and you shld therefore take early opportunity to explain this attitude to Adenauer as well as leaders of the other parties. Position stated by Sec at press conference means unequivocally that US supports and will support at time of peace settlement Fr claim that Saar shld be politically detached from Ger and financially and economically integrated with France. Actions taken meanwhile in Saar are regarded as provisional in sense that only a peace settlement can make them definitive. Moreover this over-all commitment does not provide carte-blanche as to detailed arrangements. We hope Ger leaders will recognize intent of Sec’s statement of Jan 18 (Deptel 406 to Frankfort, rptd. London as 234, Paris as 2461) was to give unmistakable support to Fr on basic principles this issue. Pls emphasize to Adenauer and other leaders that US is firmly committed to general Fr thesis and that recent Ger statements which tend to have increasingly nationalistic flavor and to be uncompromising in their assertion of rights to the Saar will be unproductive and unhelpful. Exact political status of Saar will not be fixed until peace settlement and extremist agitation meanwhile will only serve to worsen Franco-Ger relations to whose improvement both govts assert they are devoted. Ger leaders will not have failed to note the Sec’s quiet reminder to them that certain consequences do inevitably flow from the war. Dept is fully aware of internal and foreign political factors which have impelled Gers to recent statements but they will be well advised not to exasperate Amer and other western opinion by too frequent assertion of their rights with no corresponding recognition of their responsibilities. You might refer to Sabath Res as indication of uneasy and critical attitude [Page 931] now pervading some sections of Amer and Congressional opinion.2

You will have seen Deptel to Paris 274, rptd. London, as 278, Frankfort as 4613 and you may in your discretion indicate to Adenauer and others that in view of the great importance we attach to good Franco-Ger relations and to closest possible cooperation of Ger with western Eur, we are losing no opportunity to urge upon the Fr a policy of moderation and caution in handling specific Saar problems.4

Have read your 554 Jan 19 (rptd London as 12, Paris as 235) with interest but do not consider situation altered by Adenauer’s new expressions. We find it difficult to believe Bidault and Schuman gave him assurances Saar would not be polit detached as detachment has been continuous post-war Fr policy. Sec’s phrase that mine leases “wld not prejudice questions which would await peace settlement” merely underlines our view that arrangements presently entered into are subj to review at peace settlement within framework of overall commitment.

  1. Not printed; it transmitted the text of Secretary Acheson’s statement on the Saar. (752A.00/1–1850)
  2. Under reference here is H.R. 425 introduced on January 12 in the House of Representatives by Representative Adolph J. Sabath, of Illinois, authorizing and directing the Committee on Foreign Affairs to investigate and study American military government and the civilian administration which succeeded it in Germany.
  3. Infra.
  4. In an interview with Adenauer on January 25, Maj. Gen. George P. Hays, United States Deputy High Commissioner, “explained with precision US attitude on Saar developments” and exercised the discretion given in this paragraph to inform the Federal Chancellor of the importance which the United States attached to good Franco-German relations. Adenauer then requested that Hays convey the “serious effect which a French decision to continue wholly along announced lines, and, particularly, fifty year leases for Saar mines, would have on the Bundestag.” In commenting on the situation, Hays stated that the problem of the Saar would affect Allied unity and the work of the High Commission and recommended that it be considered on a tripartite basis either by the Governments or by the High Commission. Telegram 12, January 25, from Bonn, not printed. (762A.022/1–2350)
  5. Not printed, but see the first footnote 3, p. 928.