740.5/4–1851: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Bruce ) to the Secretary of State 1

secret

6295. From MacArthur. During informal talk with Gen Gruenther re European army, Alphand expressed personal view that agreement on size basic units and level of integration will be reached in “two or three months”. Does not believe however that agreement can be reached until after (a) French elections;2 (b) Big Four meeting.3

Re (a) above he explained that prior to elections virtually impossible for French to modify their present position. Re (b) he observed that since Ger demilitarization one of points Sov insist discussing in prospective Big Four French wld probably be most reluctant to reach any final agreement with Ger prior to Big Four mtg since this wld place them in position being accused by Commie propaganda of having prejudiced outcome or even sabotaging CFM.

Also perfectly clear from Alphand’s comments that at this juncture political (rather than mil) aspects of level of integration of Ger units is all-important. [MacArthur.]4

Bruce
  1. This telegram was repeated for information to London and Frankfurt.
  2. National elections were held in France on June 17. For documentation on the elections, see volume iv.
  3. The reference here is to the Four-Power Talks at Paris (The Conference of the Palais Marble Rose), March-June; for documentation on the talks, see pp. 1086 ff.
  4. Telegram 6221, April 14, from Paris, not printed, reported that at the sixth plenary session of the European army conference in Paris on April 13, Alphand indicated to American observers that agreement on the size of the basic unit and level and integration of the proposed army was likely after the forthcoming French elections, since prior to that time it would be difficult for the French Government to talk about anything resembling German divisions. Because of the danger of Communist propagandist exploitation of the division concept and for other reasons as well, the French Foreign Ministry was pursuing a policy of minimum publicity and was content to give the public the impression that the conference was deadlocked or quiescent (740.5/4–1451)