740.5/2–1051: Telegram

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

confidential

6650. Byroade 2 met with Blank and his assistant, former Colonel Count Kielmannsegg, and discussed course of current technical military negotiations. Blank complained rather vigorously that he had been let down by Allies since he had not been told what had been agreed to at Brussels. Consequently he had set forth in great detail plans for a German contribution which apparently went far beyond what Allies had agreed at Brussels. Thus he was left in awkward position of having frankly stated his case only to be confronted with negative silence by Allies. The political opposition could make great capital out of this development should it become known. Blank reiterated that he fully shared American objectives but did not apparently enjoy our support.

Byroade took exception to these allegations by Blank. He explained that our chief aim at Brussels and elsewhere had been to maintain flexibility in NATO plans so that the subject could be developed with full consideration of German views. Subsequent to the Brussels decisions we could have presented them to the Germans as a fixed proposition for their acceptance or rejection. We had intentionally avoided such a procedure as we believed a better end product for all concerned would come from full and open discussions with German authorities. [Page 1014]It was obvious that Blank, as well as many other Germans, consider that the Brussels decisions were in the nature of detailed plan covering all aspects of creation of the German force. Byroade attempted to correct this impression, and indicated that the primary aspects of the Brussels decisions had been presented to the Chancellor by the High Commissioner immediately following Brussels.

The necessary delay in formulating tripartite answers to various questions raised by the Germans was also explained. It was precisely because there is not on the Allied side a detailed plan that causes delay in answers to their questions. He explained that the process would undoubtedly be somewhat simplified when the Supreme Commander and his staff were in a position to function, and that it was his hope that the views of the Commander-in-Chief and of the Germans themselves would be given great weight in determining an exact manner in which the Brussels decisions were to be implemented.

Byroade stated that he considered it to be in the best interests of all concerned for Blank to continue the military discussions in such a manner as to make general progress over the whole range of problems involved rather than take the attitude that the Germans must know the eventual end product in detail now before being able to proceed further. In the meantime it would be helpful since no publicity need be involved, for Blank and his staff to do all possible preliminary planning, including drafting of legislation, which need not be materially affected by final decisions on such matters as size and armor of German units.

Blank seemed receptive to this advice and departed professing agreement with and understanding of our position.

McCloy
  1. Repeated to Bonn, London, and Paris.
  2. Byroade was in Europe for the meeting of U.S. Ambassadors to Western Europe, held at Frankfurt, February 5–7; for documentation on this meeting, see volume iv .