762A.5/1–2751: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Frankfurt 1

top secret
niact

5301. Eyes only McCloy. Deliver by 9 a. m. Feb 2. Have discussed with Defense the point raised in your Bonn 4842 whether or not HICOM negots shld include judgment on Ger mil proposals, including expressing HICOM views on compatibility with proposals of Brussels agreement. It is our gen view that HICOM shld not be the determining body on mil proposals or acceptability of Ger proposals from the NATO viewpoint. It seems to us that mil discussions so far fall into three categories: first, internal Ger administrative problems, including housing; second, over-all troop strengths; and third, matters of higher mil org. We believe that Gers are entitled to fullest info on categories one and two to the extent necessary to achieve a realistic estimation of the Ger over-all effort involved. However, we do not believe that category three can be decided at this time, nor even tentative answers attempted by HICOM. Initial purpose of discussions is to obtain Ger viewpoint.

Several considerations lead to this conclusion. Obvious that no agreement may result from discussion of first two categories alone altho this wld be desirable as Brussels agreement indicates. Gers may not take action to start recruitment or training in absence of decisions on third category and until polit discussions between HICOM and Gers have advanced much further. In attempting to find answers to category 3, Eisenhower’s recommendations will be very pertinent factor, and Mil Chiefs of Occ Powers must be consulted and NATO must be brought in somehow.

For your Feb 2 mtg, believe you shld take line that HICOM cannot pass judgment on Ger proposals at this time since this is matter for later determination when mil chiefs of Occ Powers and NATO have studied all facts and recommendations. FedRep shld be informed their recommendations will be given most careful consideration and be basis for occ powers recommendations to NATO. Meanwhile you cld inform FedRep that answers will be obtained as soon as possible to their inquiries re over-all strengths and internal Ger mil administrative problems. We in turn wld wish to have more specific proposals from Gers re their plans to finance and procure equipment. We believe rather protracted delay must be expected pending resolution of polit problems in discussions with Gers. Present negots must be considered [Page 1003]first basic step and when all possible problems have been raised it might be advisable to recess mil talks for some time. Recess period cld be profitably used by Gers to work out recruitment and administrative problems while we seeking answers to problems of mil organization. Realize this may be disappointing to Gers but we see no other basis for handling negots.

FYI only, difficulties may be expected to arise with Fr during early stages their conference on Eur army. Meanwhile problems of higher formations of Ger units will continue under study by Defense and additional thinking by Ger reps wld be helpful.

Dept considering legal points raised by Franken and will comment later.

Acheson
  1. This telegram, drafted by Lewis and Laukhuff and cleared with the Bureau of European Affairs and the Department of Defense, was repeated to Bonn eyes only for Hays for delivery by 9 a. m., February 2, and to Heidelberg eyes only for Handy.
  2. Supra.