740.5/3–951: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1

top secret

4875. Department awaiting with considerable interest draft convention re Eur Army circulated by Fr delegation and will study document with greatest care. Meanwhile, Paris desp 2323, Feb 16,2 and Embtel 5264 Mar 93 appear to call for certain observations.

We cannot help but be struck by great emphasis placed on second phase of Eur Army proposals and on permanent institutions in contrast with meagerness of info concerning first phase. This first phase strikes Dept as being highly important as difficult escape conclusion that it will last long time, probably several years. This opinion based on assumptions appearing both ref docs that second phase cannot be ushered in before difficult and thorny questions settled, unification of training and command procedures, establishment of uniform mil code, setting in place of polit institutions.

Regardless of far-reaching polit importance second phase both in mil and polit fields, Dept tends believe that Eur Army proposals will stand or fall on provisions for first phase. In this connection we shld bear in mind US position shared by most other NAT countries and which has been made clear to Fr on several occasions: i.e., results of conference in order to be acceptable must contribute to overall strength of NATO, be fully sound both politically and militarily, and under no circumstances shld deter the contribution of Ger to the def forces of WE. Consequently it is feared that however desirable long-term plans might be, they cannot be considered unless sound and practical program established for first phase so as not to delay buildup of strength.

Therefore, Dept requests Emb for as much concrete info concerning first phase as will be possible without actions, vis-à-vis Fr Govt which might be interpreted as committing US in any way. In particular, we desire maximum info concerning Fr thinking as to size, status, recruitment, [Page 782]training and use of Ger contribution during this period. This required in view of importance placed by Ger on equality of status or approximation thereof in Eur Army. In this respect, it wld appear that differentiations between two categories of nations, these having national forces in being, and those without such forces (i.e., Ger), extensively discriminate against Ger.4

[Here follows a number of detailed questions regarding the substance of the French proposal for a European Army.]

Acheson
  1. This telegram, which was drafted in the Office of European Regional Affairs and was cleared by other appropriate offices and by the Department of Defense, was repeated for information to London and Frankfurt.
  2. Not printed, but see footnote 3, p. 767.
  3. See telegram 5293, March 9, from Paris, p. 772.
  4. In his telegram 5569, March 20, from Paris, not printed, Ambassador Bruce observed that the European army conference had so far concentrated largely on explanatory comment, and many of the questions raised by the Department had not yet been discussed or fully clarified. Ambassador Bruce promised to discuss the matter further upon his arrival in Washington for consultation. (740.5/3–2051)