740.5/1–1151: Telegram

The Ambassador in Denmark (Anderson) to the Secretary of State 1


604. Pass Defense. For Perkins from MacArthur. Following is résumé of General Eisenhower’s conversations with Stikker and Drees:2

1. Stikker.

General Eisenhower opened by stressing to Stikker view that problem of holding adequate strength manageable but only if all put their hearts into job and each country begins at once take necessary steps to translate plans into action et cetera. Stikker agreed and said Dutch had real desire to take necessary steps.

He then brought up question of Big Four CFM.3 He believed CFM was most dangerous and feared Soviets would not only exploit it but might well propose the nonmilitarization of Germany. This would appeal not only to very substantial elements in France who oppose German rearmament but also to elements in Germany who wish to [Page 414] lie neutral or who might see in such a proposal a hope for reuniting of Germany. Stikker believes rearmament Western Germany and closely tieing it in with West essential. He would even be willing for them to join NATO but realizes this premature and French would oppose. He said German rearmament essential to “forward strategy” and defense as far to east in Germany as possible. Without rearmament German defense line would be on Rhine-Issel which is “totally unacceptable to Netherlands”.

2. European Army.

He is opposed to concept of European army and also thinks it an error for French to call conference4 at this time since it will not succeed and will aggravate existing disagreements and divisions of opinion not only over Germany but also over French concept of European Federation which UK, Scandinavians and Dutch oppose. He believes that Pleven, FonOff and Monnet are behind French plan[s] which are characterized as unrealistic and impractical. His greatest concern about a meeting at this time is that it will involve disagreements in front of the Germans.

3. Raw materials.5

Stikker emphasized again importance of satisfactory solution which took into account not only interests but psychology of smaller countries. He recognized that US, UK and France should have decisive voice in raw material control arrangements but said that whatever system is set up, should provide for smaller countries to voice their views and have them receive adequate consideration prior to Big Three decisions. This was at the heart of the problem and the form observed was almost as important to small countries as the arrangements themselves if there were to be the necessary mutual trust. He also stressed need for a satisfactory arrangement between NATO and OEEC.6 He said he was leaving for Paris to meet with the 18 OEEC Ministers tomorrow. He would try to pour cooling water on fire generated by smaller countries but to succeed, Big Three would have to also give outward signs of understanding.

4. Drees meeting.

General Eisenhower gave Drees an excellent talk on the need for translating plans into action et cetera. Drees listened but did not [Page 415] react with enthusiasm as have the other NAT Cabinet members with whom the General has talked. He referred to German problem and expressed view that Allied policy towards Germany had placed Germans in a position where they could blackmail us. He was strongly opposed to French plan for European army. Drees stolid complacency contrasted unfavorably with attitude of other officers.

Mr. Drees gave the impression of an exceedingly amiable individual who is unwilling to grapple with the urgent problems of this era with determination and energy. [MacArthur.]7

  1. Repeated to The Hague for Chapin and to London for Spofford.
  2. Regarding Eisenhower’s visit to The Hague, January 10–11, see telegram 1009, supra.
  3. For documentation on exploratory talks in Paris regarding a proposed Council of Foreign Ministers meeting involving France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union, see pp. 1086 ff.
  4. For documentation on the conference convened in Paris on February 15 by the French Government to discuss the creation of a European army and the development of a European Defense Community, see pp. 755 ff.
  5. For previous documentation on measures to control the supply of strategic raw materials among the NATO participants, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iii, pp. 508 ff, and 1698 ff.
  6. Stikker was referring here to the current debate over the need to merge certain economic and financial responsibilities of these two organizations, involving perhaps the moving of the economic functions of NATO to Paris. For documentation, see pp. 1 ff.
  7. Telegram 1023, January 13, from The Hague, informed General Eisenhower that the impression of inertia and weak support of the NATO program which the General had probably felt in his meetings at The Hague ought not to be considered the true attitude of the Dutch people (740.5/1–1351). Eisenhower’s views on his visit were the subject of a letter of January 13 to Chapin; see footnote 1, p. 416.