740.5/6–451: Telegram

The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret priority

9775. For Byroade from McCloy. Alphand, Arnauld Wapler and Bérard came to see me yesterday to post me on progress Paris meetings re European army and particularly to discuss forthcoming report on Petersberg discussions re German defense contingent by Deputy High Commissioners to High Commissioners who, in turn, will submit it to respective governments.2 Alphand stressed importance from French standpoint of synchronizing Petersberg and Paris discussions and reports and not having NATO receive report re former prior to report re latter. Chief French basis for this view is that they do not want NATO countries to formulate positions regarding German contingent prior to receiving report of Paris meetings. Alphand continuously stressed steadfastness French view that German contingent must be integrated into European army. Alphand indicated French expected report of Paris discussions to be available toward beginning of July. In light foregoing we reached following understanding:

High Commissioners would forward report to governments as soon as possible after receipt from deputies. Expect this to be by June 9.
Question remains open for discussion with François-Poncet and Kirkpatrick.
Whether High Commissioners will append comments to report:
Extent of such comments, if any.
I would be prepared to submit report to governments and pass on to my government the suggestion as put forward by the French that governments withhold report from NATO until receipt of Paris report (provided not delayed). I am inclined to think there is some advantage in this suggestion as it may give opportunity to reconcile differences before transmittal to entire NATO group.
Deputy High Commissioners should send to NATO their usual monthly report regarding Petersberg discussions but would not send text of report discussed in this cable.
Agreed Bérard, who in chair, at meeting to be held today with Germans to finish text of report would make short tripartite statement, text of which will be forwarded separately after meeting, plus additional unilateral French statement concerning importance they attach to European Army concept in light of French opinion.

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French envisage four power conference US, UK, Fr and Germany to discuss Petersberg and Paris reports with view to reconciling any differences. Alphand inquired whether I saw any difficulties in such conference going on at same time as CFM. I stressed importance avoiding delay, especially in light Russian divisions and air force in east zone. Further, in reply Alphand’s inquiry whether US still wants German defense contingent and wants it immediately, I replied US has not changed its view as our military experts feel Germans essential to effective European defense. Alphand agreed this was view of his present government but could not indicate what view of new government might be after June 17. Agreed, however, defense measures not be delayed because of fear of provoking Russians. Alphand further indicated belief must proceed with German rearmament but avoid recreation of former German Army, general staff and power of Ruhr industrialists. He stressed importance European army concept, especially to make clear to French and Russian people determination not to permit revival of separate German military establishment which might have power to go off on Eastern campaign perhaps dragging west with it. Alphand deplored state of opinion in France and in England which was taking on a certain resentfulness to American presence in Europe and demands for bases, installations, etc. Said it was increasingly important to explain NATO, NATO airfields, infrastructure, etc. to French people, portraying it as triumph of French diplomacy which had requested and finally obtained such protection. I said I hold European attitude faulty, including German, due in my judgment not so much to failure of US propaganda but utter lack of initiative on part of local sources actively to combat Communist anti-American line themselves with well directed self-generated responses. Local leaders too hesitant to offset increasing tempo of anti-American Communist propaganda by their own statements. I hope this made an impression as I firmly believe more conscious effort along this line is urgently needed.

  1. This telegram was repeated for information to Ambassador Spofford in London, to Ambassador Bruce in Paris, and to General Handy in Heidelberg.
  2. For documentation on the meetings, at Bonn between representatives of the Federal Republic and the Deputy High Commissioners, January 9–June 4, see pp. 990 ff. For the report, dated June 8, by the Allied High Commissioners on these meetings, see p. 1044.