The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Secretary of State 1
524. AGSec from Slater. Following is brief summary report of executive session HICOM Council held 8 February on implementation of Brussels decisions:
1. Contractual Relations.
2. Defense Contribution.
In lengthy discussion on status of HICOM talks on Federal Republic’s participation in Western defense, following views were expressed.
- Poncet, who appeared to be in no hurry to terminate talks
at HICOM level, made
- That in next meeting with Blank scheduled for 16 February, fuller and more informal exchanges of views should take place between HICOM and Federal Republic;
- That Federal Republic should be asked to make additional proposals within framework of Brussels decisions which could be discussed by defense committee;
- That, for an alternative, Federal Republic might be asked to put aside further discussion of combat groups and lack of equality until after forthcoming Paris discussions and also asked whether they would be prepared at once to commence general program of planning, recruitment, supply, et cetera. (In Poncet’s opinion, Federal Republic will not want to commit themselves before Paris and Chancellor in the meanwhile will attempt to [Page 1012]extract political concessions from HICOM in advance of Federal Republic military contribution);
- That Federal Republic be told Brussels decisions provided that German lack of equality (restricted to combat groups) would only last until European or NATO force was established. Federal Republic should be given opportunity to state whether they would accept non-equality in certain matters in this interim period or whether they believed that there was no room for agreement on such basis;
- That defense committee must in any event submit its report to Council which will decide what further action can be taken and what type report should be made to NATO.
portrayed present HICOM–Federal Republic discussions as being in
state of complete deadlock, made the following points:
- That although he believed Federal Republic had already rejected concept of less than full equality for Federal Republic forces (i.e., combat groups) in the interim period and that HICOM, in accordance with Stikker’s instructions at Brussels Conference, should refer the entire matter back to NATO. In view of this deadlock, he was prepared to have Federal Republic informed at next meeting of defense committee that HICOM must report at once to NATO substantial divergence of opinion which now exists and to ask Federal Republic whether they had anything more to say before such report was submitted. (Kirkpatrick went on to say that he did not think that a Wehrgesetz could pass Bundestag at this time);
- That HICOM should be honest in admitting that NA forces under discussion were not composed of Germans, allies would ask for all the troops which could be supplied and would agree that they could be organized in the strongest and most efficient force possible. (In this connection, he stated that in his opinion Federal Republic in discussions of combat groups and concept of equality could logically ask whether French, for example, were going to organize their forces into such combat groups.)
- General Hays and
I, after giving resume of present Federal Republic position,
made following points:
- That in our opinion Federal Republic delegation headed by Blank, was acting on direct instructions from Adenauer when it opposed concept of Federal Republic combat groups;
- That US element has no instructions which would permit it to inform Federal Republic of greater details concerning size, composition, et cetera, of combat groups contemplated for interim period or to decide on various alternatives with Federal Republic;
- That it was not within HICOM’s competence to pass one way or another on Federal Republic’s proposals and that HICOM must not tell Federal Republic whether their proposals are either acceptable or unacceptable but merely tell them they will be reported to NATO.
After considerable discussion, Council agreed that Deputy High Commissioners would draft carefully worded statement which could be [Page 1013]presented at next meeting to Federal Republic experts and which would indicate:
- That HICOM is merely exploratory and reporting body and it is not within its competence to make decisions on such questions as form of German defense participation in interim period, and
- That before HICOM refers any Federal Republic proposals for Federal Republic defense contribution in interim period or reports Federal Republic position to higher authorities, it wishes to have further opportunity to explore with Federal Republic military experts latter’s proposals for Federal Republic defense participation during interim period.
(Text of draft tripartite statement will be forwarded Department soonest.) [Slater.]
- Repeated to Frankfurt eyes only for King, to Paris eyes only for Bruce, and to London eyes only for Gifford.↩