740.5/1–1051: Telegram

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

top secret
priority

449. First meeting took place today between representatives of HICOM and FedRep on German military contribution to defense of Europe.2 Present Ward (chairman), General Wansbrough-Jones, UK; Bérard, General Ganeval, France; Hays, Buttenwieser, US; Blank, Generals Speidel and Heusinger, Germany. Meeting was informal with no secretariat, record or minutes, and confined to verbal discussion with no written documents exchanged. Brief opening statement by chairman contained the general principle that any military contribution of Germany must be within the framework of NATO. This was accepted by Blank as the only method by which Germany would be willing to contribute. Chairman then passed ball to Germans asking their proposals.

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Blank asked first the general extent of the military contribution to be expected of Germany; said Chancellor would have to be able to inform the Bundestag of the defense forces provided by other NATO countries for European defense in support of German contribution.

HICOM deputies stated size and composition of contingents to be provided by each country was in planning stage and would be firmed up only after Eisenhower had made his defense plan and secured firm commitments from each country concerned. Moreover, necessity for secrecy would prevent disclosures except of very general nature. Blank acquiesced that only general nature of contribution could be made known but stated that some idea of the numerical extent of German military contribution must be made known to the Bundestag. HICOM deputies stated that view of NATO was that maximum German land contribution should be 20 percent of total land forces under command SHAPE. Note: British state they interpreted paragraph 24–f of C 6–D/13 to mean that German land forces could be one-fifth of other NATO forces which would result in German land forces comprising maximum of one-sixth of the total land forces available to SHAPE, this interpretation was not commented on by French or US.

In order to give the Germans some idea of extent of military contribution which might be expected by them by end of 1951, HICOM deputies agreed to seek advice from their governments of a numerical total to include sum of combat and service personnel to be given Germans for planning purposes. (Request advice.)

German representatives agreed to formulate their proposals for administrative machinery for recruitment and training and assistance they contemplated should be furnished by Allies in equipment and military instructors for presentation at next meeting.

Blank stated FedRep did not wish to produce armament as they wanted to convince the world that Germany will not again become a threat to peace of the world. He states, however, there were many items needed by soldiers other than armament which Germany could produce. Chairman pointed out NATO view was that to considerable extent Germany should produce armament for her own needs as capacities of armament industries of NATO countries needed by them selves. Blank agreed to explore this subject further.

Meeting held in cordial atmosphere. German representatives seemed sincere and displayed no evasiveness. Date of next meeting agreed 10:30 a. m., Tuesday January 16.

[ Hays ]
  1. Repeated to Frankfurt and Heidelberg eyes only for McCloy and Handy.
  2. The meeting took place January 9 at Petersberg in the Allied High Commission building.
  3. For text of Document C6–D/1 December 13, 1950, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iii, pp. 531 547; in particular footnote 1, p. 538.