Bonn Embassy files, lot 311, McCloy project

Memorandum by the Chancellor of the German Federal Republic (Adenauer)1

D (51) 1256

Preliminary Solutions of a European Defense Community

1) The Federal Government is fully aware that it is necessary to build up a European Defense Community, and is willing to cooperate with all its powers. A number of essential questions have already been the subject of the negotiations within the framework of the Paris Conference for the creation of a European Defense Community and has to a great extent resulted in a jointly accepted clarification as may be seen from the Interim Report of that Conference.2 It will, however, take considerably longer time to create the Defense Community itself and its instrument the European Army. For this purpose such a great number of political, military, legal, and other questions must be clarified and settled that the aim may only be reached by careful, detailed, and therefore protracted joint work.

2) Time is short. The Federal Government, therefore, believes that it is necessary and possible to come to an agreement on a number of basic questions in a relatively short time. It would then be possible for the governments to reach an agreement which, as a precursor to the Treaty for the Establishment of a European Defense Community, would permit to make a start with the legal and military measures necessary for the creation of European armed forces without delay. This agreement could be concluded after the signing of the general Treaty being discussed now, and without waiting for the completion of the Treaty for the Establishment of a European Defense Community. Participation in this agreement shall be open to all European members of the Atlantic Treaty and to the USA.

3) The Federal Government proposes that provision should be made in this agreement for certain general and specific items which, in a sense, constitute elements anticipated from the future Treaty for the Establishment of a European Defense Community. Generally speaking this would refer to items with respect to which considerable clarification of opinions has been reached in the Paris discussions. These items would be:

to create a provisional European Defense Council as a trusteeship organ for the future European Defense Community. This Council [Page 870] is to be composed of the defense ministers of the participating European countries and the United States. It is to be charged with, and entitled to, coordinating the measures to be taken in the individual countries in the spirit of the European Defense Community. It is to be able to give factual directives within limits to be defined. The execution of these directives is incumbent upon the competent agencies of the participating countries.
The provisional European Defense Council furthermore prepares the transfer of the armed forces of the individual States into the European Defense Community pending the date of ratification of the Treaty or the Establishment of the European Defense Community;
to safeguard that all armed forces of the participating countries, with the exception of overseas troops and police forces, are of a European character from the very beginning, instilled with a European spirit, and trained on a European level;
to charge the appropriate agencies in the individual States with carrying through the tasks which according to the Treaty will later devolve upon the European Defense Community;
to fix the total extent of the German contribution within the framework of the European army.
The Federal Government is of the opinion that this contribution could consist of 250,000 men out of whom 12 divisions with the army troops, tactical air forces and coastguard forces belonging thereto should be formed;
to fix the size and organization of the formations of the European Army including air forces and coast guards. The German proposal envisages an armored or mechanized division composed of 11,000–13,000 men;
to define the German political and military authorities. As regards this item, the Federal Government is of the opinion that a German Defense Ministry and a superior German Military Authority should be established which would carry out in Germany the measures necessary for the German contribution according to the directives of the provisional European Defense Council;
to safeguard equal participation by all participating States in all common political and military institutions concerned with planning and directing European defense;
to elucidate the possibilities existing for the equipment with matériel of the formations to be set up for the European Army, as regards time and extent.

4) Measures must be taken from the very beginning to insure that the armed forces of the members of the projected European Defense Community be subordinated to SHAPE.

  1. The source text is on stationery of the Office of the High Commissioner for Germany. The memorandum was presumably translated by HICOG. The manner of transmission of this memorandum to High Commissioner McCloy has not been determined.
  2. See p. 843.