The United States Deputy Representative on the North Atlantic Council (Spofford) to the Secretary of State 1
Depto 35. Following are my comments on Deptel 6196.2 In formulating them I have had benefit of consultation with US element of SHAPE.
- Fully concur time has come to reassert vigorous US leadership toward breaking log-jam and realizing an early German contribution. Various time factors, not merely French elections and progress toward contractual relationship with Germans but also more basic one such as progress of West rearmament in relation to USSR and French rearmament in comparison to German, are now more favorable. On other hand, unless some definitive agreement is reached shortly other factors such as solution of Korea and Soviet efforts to weaken determination of West to build adequate security may tend before long to make agreement more difficult.
- We have all along favored German membership in NATO as soon as practicable and believed that any European army must be integral part of NATO force and so organized as to facilitate rather than complicate Gen Eisenhower’s task and strengthen his hand in developing effective integrated force. Present problem as we see it is to “marry” Bonn and Paris proposals in such form as to secure whole-hearted cooperation from both Germans and French in developing a sound practical program which will facilitate Eisenhower’s task and contribute toward our basic objectives.
- We recognize that astute Soviet moves toward relaxation of East-West tension might at some time create very strong pressures at [Page 822] home for withdrawal of US participation in collective defense effort. It was against this danger which Vandenberg repeatedly warned and which led to inclusion in Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s report of statement, “treaty is in accordance with basic interests of US, which shld be steadfastly served regardless of fluctuations in international situation or our relations with any country.” In view of physical power relationships it is difficult to conceive of the development at any time in foreseeable future of individual or collective strength of European members sufficient to stand up diplomatically or militarily to USSR except as part of larger effort in which US is full partner. Accordingly, while conditions may well develop so that US Supreme Commander or physical presence of substantial forces in Europe may be unnecessary it would seem dangerous to permit development of any thought of NATO defense framework as being temporary in comparison with European framework. Believe it important, therefore, that European army developments be considered as permanently rather than temporarily within NATO framework.
- Concur that modification of Brussels agreement in direction of German Bonn proposals offers most practical basis for early development of specific German contribution. Likewise agree on importance of seeking sincere French cooperation rather than reluctant and obstructive acquiescence and that utilization of European army concept to such extent as US military and Eisenhower may consider practical is probably best method of obtaining it.
- Look forward to learning latter’s views on military aspects of US proposals but to me course indicated in paragraph 9 of reference telegram, particularly concept of combining military units of continental countries International Corps, armies, etc., within NATO force, seems practical approach. To extent that existing units under Eisenhower’s command, and new Germany and other units as they are activated for it, are called “European” rather than national units this process should be greatly facilitated, it is assumed that any units, European or other, under his command could be combined or utilized in any manner he might direct.
- With regard to economic financial and political fields, while French would certainly welcome maximum US support, believe that they and other Europeans would prefer to work out problems of civilian superstructure themselves, that they are in better position than we to do so from points of view of knowledge of their own problems and responsibility for coping with them and that they might consider US suggestions in this field inappropriate. However, Eisenhower may consider certain measures necessary or more desirable than others for best development of his integrated force and such suggestions from him could hardly be resented.
- Success of Eisenhower’s task in organizing effective integrated force for defense of West Europe is primary consideration to which development of both Bonn and Paris proposals must be directed. His position, therefore, seems focal point for amalgamating them and developing realistic future course. His responsibilities and function (as spelled out in D–C, 24/3 (final)3 paragraphs 40(d), 43(c), and 44(a), (b), (c) and (d)) appear to involve in addition to strictly command function a number of peacetime responsibilities of a nature similar to, although more modest in extent than, those contemplated for European Defense Commissioner (Paris despatch 3636, June 19). Similarly, Brussels agreement (C 6–D/I)4 provides for progressive putting into effect of such arrangements as might emerge from Paris conference provided they were practical and suitable for integration into NATO. Believe Eisenhower already has all authority necessary to do this.
- As to procedure, believe that Bonn and Paris reports can be “married” only by those who can effectively agree to changes in them and that end product satisfactory to Eisenhower can best be achieved if SHAPE participates in process. Suggest this can best be done initially by informal working group in Paris in which US, UK, France and Germany participate with SHAPE furnishing such assistance and guidance as it considers necessary or desirable. Am advised French expect to request SHAPE views on Paris report at least informally. Suggest SHAPE be officially seized of both reports by governments concerned and requested to comment and that we seek UK and French agreement to establish such working group. Believe good approach for working group would be that suggested in paragraph 9 of reference telegram and that it could be amplified and developed into concrete plan along such lines as SHAPE considers most effective and desirable. While Bonn report apparently represents considerably greater degree of governmental commitment than Paris report, fact that both are presently being submitted to governments for their consideration provides desirable latitude and flexibility.
- End product might be NATO directive to SACEUR to integrate combat forces of those nations who so desire into European army formations as part of his integrated force in accordance with plans developed by working group, assuming of course that those plans when completed are satisfactory to SACEUR.
- This telegram was repeated for information to Paris as 49 for MacArthur and to Frankfurt as 21.↩
- Same as telegram 7155, June 28, to Paris, p. 801.↩
- This NATO Defense Committee document was the same as document C6–D/2, the report of the NATO Military Committee on the creation of an integrated force for the defense of Western Europe which was discussed and approved at the first meeting of the Sixth Session of the North Atlantic Treaty Council in Brussels on December 18, 1950. For the minutes of that meeting, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iii, pp. 585–595.↩
- For a summary of the documents under reference here, see the briefing paper prepared in the Department of State, January 26, p. 755.↩