740.5/7–751: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in France (MacArthur) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret priority

131. Eyes only Perkins and Byroade from MacArthur (distribution at Perkins’ discretion). See immediately preceding message. Following from Gen. Eisenhower to Secretary of Defense for your information only.

Begin verbatim text: 1. Re Def 95320 June 29.2 On basis that differences can be resolved which will make the army units combat effective, I concur with your views. I should like to emphasize the importance of two principles apparently already accepted in the statement of JCS views. These are, first, that the time-phasing of the build-up of forces now in progress for the effective defense of Western Europe must not be impaired or hampered by the manner in which the European Army concept comes into being; and second, that SACEUR’s authority to deploy German units to augment Allied Army forces as he may deem necessary is clearly recognized.

2. It should be clearly understood also that the title “European Army” should not be interpreted as referred to a military field organization only; rather, we are referring to an agency which includes primarily a directing organization concerning itself initially with the problems of training, equipping, and administering forces later to be assigned to a NATO command. With this thought in mind, I believe that the title “European Defense Forces” might be a more appropriate one.

3. It is obvious that the success of such a concept depends upon the good will, sincerity, and energetic efforts of the European nations [Page 821]themselves, and that therefore the creation of the organization and its direction must be entirely the responsibilities of those nations. I am, of course, prepared to cooperate and assist in every possible way consistent with my mission in the furtherance of this concept. In rendering such assistance, however, I must avoid becoming involved in ministerial functions which more properly should be passed from national ministers direct to the new European Defense Organization at such time as that agency is prepared to receive and exercise them.

4. Subject to the above safeguards, I consider the approach outlined in your Def 95320 June 29 to be thoroughly sound. End verbatim text.

[ MacArthur ]
  1. This telegram was repeated for information to London as 25 for the eyes only of Spofford and to Frankfurt as 14 for the eyes only of McCloy.
  2. Substantially the same as telegram 7155, June 28, to Paris, p. 801; see footnote 1, thereto.