740.5/2–151: Telegram

The Ambassador in Belgium ( Murphy ) to the Secretary of State 1


1263. We are in agreement with general philosophy expressed Depcirtel 439, January 29.2 Following comment is offered pursuant to paragraph 7 reftel:

As indicated Embtel 1246, January 30 repeated Paris 284, London 238, Frankfort 993 Van Zeeland, as chairman NATO Council has on a number of occasions proposed concept of a European army which is at variance with Department’s view as expressed paragraph 6 reftel. Department speaks of agreeing that forces, including all German forces, would be merged into European army when activated, thus apparently comprising all units under command General Eisenhower. Van Zeeland, on contrary, envisages Eisenhower’s NATO command as being composed US, British, French, Belgian, et cetera, divisions, plus extra element which would be dubbed “the European army”. It would be this latter small group which would include any German formations which might be offered for NATO defense.
At Brussels on December 18 defense committee approved joint report of North Atlantic Council deputies and military committee in document C6–D/1 which was the joint report on German contribution to the defense of Western Europe.4 On same day NATO Council approved recommendation of defense committee and therefore this [Page 763] report. Accordingly, it would seem that thus far only terms of reference for forthcoming conference in Paris are as expressed in paragraphs 11 and 12 of document C6–D/1. These terms of reference are admittedly fairly vague. We do not know if French Government has prepared any more precise agenda for conference which convenes February 6. We presume as Department has intimated in paragraph 1 reftel that Washington has general picture of what each NATO government thinks should be done re European army but we frankly are in dark as to whether general consensus favors Van Zeeland’s approach or whether majority NATO countries support concepts of one single European army made up of potentially 13 contingents, the 13th being Germany.

  1. Repeated for information to Paris, London, and Frankfurt.
  2. Supra.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Regarding document C6–D/1, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iii, pp. 538 ff.