762A.022/12–2850: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


A–1037. 1. We are becoming increasingly concerned over prospect that Saar questions may again arise to plague us publicly in near future. We note: (a) Paris tel 3279, Dec 8, rptd London 797, Frankfort 378, Strasbourg unnumbered,2 describing possible Fr moves to put Saar forward for membership in internatl orgs and Fr desire avoid leaving Saar in vacuum as to treaty relationships since former Ger treaties applied to FedRep will not cover Saar; (b) Strasbourg Desp 215, Dec 8, copies Paris, Frankfort, Bonn,2 which indicates Saar Assembly hopes Saar will become signatory state to Schuman Plan; (c) Paris tel 3277, Dec 8, rptd London 796, Frankfort 376, Strasbourg unnumbered,2 indicating Saar contribution to European defense being considered Fr FonOff. We also interested knowing whether Fr intend Saarois participation in Jan conference on integration European defense forces and, if so, in what capacity.

2. We have made no public statements re US policy toward Saar questions since Sec’s press conference Jan 10 [18], 1950, when earlier US commitment to support detachment Saar from Ger and economic and financial integration with France maintained. Fr view that Saar sld have certain degree autonomy was acknowledged, but in this statement and all others exact polit status of Saar left for determination at final peace settlement. For May mtg FonMins, Dept prepared paper3 proposing that if it became necessary discuss Saar matters with Fr, our effort should be persuade them to: (a) use moderation in dealing with the Saar in order to minimize irritation to Ger sensibilties, (b) re-examine their long-range policy with a view to seeking a solution which would meet the wishes of the inhabitants of the Saar and contribute to close Western European association, (c) in gen confine Saar participation in internatl conferences and orgs for the foreseeable future to observers attached to the French delegations.

3. We consider we shld hold foregoing position even more firmly at present, although we have no intention suggesting to Fr in immediate future that they reconsider Saar policy (point 2b above). In our [Page 941] view, efforts to make decisions re Saar polit status or to cement foundations for later decisions at present can only serve to aggravate the tremendous difficulties under which we are already laboring, especially re problem Ger rearmament. We agree with analysis of difficulties to be faced in Ger if Saar problem raised (see Bonn 400 Dec 18, rptd Paris 102, London 1024) and foresee painful situation if US forced to make early decision favoring either Fr or Ger viewpoint.

4. Re last para Paris 3979 [3279], we consider leaving question internatl treaty relationships of Saar “up in air” for next few months will not raise serious practical difficulties for Saarois, Fr or Gers. We fail to see logic of concept that Saar status shld keep pace with developing status FedRep. Saar questions have rptdly been set aside to await broad polit settlement while FedRep questions decided by FonMins.

5. We wld like to know direction Brit thinking on these matters. If UK shares our view, we plan tentatively to (a) expose our fears re timing to Fr, (b) make clear to them that we do not consider ourselves obligated advance Fr aims toward Saar any farther than we already have, (c) state that if Fr sponsor Saar applications for membership in internatl orgs in near future, they will have to count on active opposition from our delegations to the orgs concerned, (d) ask that Saar membership problems be divorced from FedRep membership in internatl orgs which rests on agreement of three FonMins and (e) respond to point about Saar treaty relationships much as suggested in last para Bonn’s 400.5

6. Report reaction UK FonOff.

7. In event Fr FonOff meanwhile raises at Paris further questions, re Saar, Emb. Paris, requested withhold specific comment or citation tentative thoughts outlined above and limit response to gen comment re desirability playing down Saar issues at this time to avoid aggravating current difficulties. Should it become evident that Fr moving to open Saar questions to public discussion through internatl org membership applications or otherwise, Emb Paris requested take initative in presenting such gen comment to Fr FonOff.

  1. Repeated to Paris, Frankfort, and Strasbourg.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Under reference here is FM D E–2a, April 18, not printed, a revision of FM D E–2, dated April 16, prepared in the Bureau of German Affairs. (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 149: May CFM 1950 E, F, G, H Series) The CFM Files are a consolidated master collection of the records of conferences of Heads of State, Council of Foreign Ministers and ancillary bodies, North Atlantic Council, other meetings of the Secretary of State with the Foreign Ministers of European powers, and materials on the Austrian and German peace settlements for the years 1943–1955 prepared by the Department of State Records Service Center.
  6. Not printed; it reported that Federal sensitivity on the Saar and on other issues such as remilitarization, NATO discussions, and the recent losses by the CDU made it likely that if the French could not be dissuaded from raising the Saar problem, “efforts to achieve basic goals US policy in Germany will not be enhanced.” (762A.022/12–1850)
  7. The suggestion was that if the French asked, they would be informed “that due difficult technical and political aspects problem, US not yet in position to comment on status Saar’s relation to Germany in terms reactivation old Reich treaties.” (762A.022/12–1850)