762A.5/4–751: Telegram

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

top secret

7329. Eyes only McCloy. Ger proposals for org of Def Admin in Ger as outlined Bonn 705 Apr 72 appear to us to be logical and reasonable. [Page 1036]They seem to provide a method of insuring civilian and parliamentary control which we consider most important and therefore cld be accepted by this Govt without serious reservation.

Considerations supporting single responsible ministry seem compelling. Such admin obviously far more efficient and more capable of handling relations with NATO and SHAPE. Most important is fact that single ministry shld actually be more cautious and prudent and more likely to avoid revival of uncontrolled Ger militarism. To bury vital defense functions in other ministries wld render defense policies less sensitive to parliamentary control and wld make effective supervision by occupation authorities more difficult. Also hiding defense functions in two or more non-defense ministries might encourage assumption military planning activities by informal committee-type groups and possibly stimulate growth of sub-rosa general staff. Combining defense functions with important domestic functions might inject military influence unnecessarily in important areas of domestic life. For instance, we wld not wish see portions defense function deposited in Interior Ministry in manner which wld combine mil and police responsibilities. Nor do we believe it desirable to have office set up in chancellery, which might result in less parliamentary control than in separate ministry.

Chief difficulty involved Ger proposals is whether or not they violate ltr or spirit Brussels Agreement. We think not, but Allies may not agree. Para 7 (f) of C–6–D/13 clearly envisages possibility that Allies, after discussions with Ger authorites, may determine establish defense functions in single agency. At same time, para 7 (f) is equally clear in rejecting assignment to the Ger admin any functions which might permit redevelopment of Ger Defense Ministry. Most reasonable explanation of apparent ambiguity is that NAC desires prevent redevelopment of complete Defense Ministry as normal in nations that have national forces under their own complete control, including full operational and intelligence staffing. We do not interpret current Ger proposals as suggesting this type of organization, to which of course we cld not agree. In other words we wld consider unacceptable the redevelopment of a Def Min which wld permit either secret Mil operational planning or the rebirth of a Ger Gen Staff in the traditional sense.

If, as wld seem likely, Fr and Brit reps cannot readily agree that Ger proposals do not violate intent of Brussels Agreement, believe best alternative may be to persuade them to leave this question open pending final report of High Comm so that this question wld be one of those to be considered by Govts.

Acheson
  1. This telegram, drafted by Byroade, Hays, and Nunley and cleared by the Department of Defense, was repeated to Bonn, London, Heidelberg, and Paris, eyes only for Hays, Spofford, Handy, and MacArthur.
  2. Supra.
  3. For text of C6–D/1, December 13, 1950, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iii, pp. 531 547; in particular footnote 1, p. 538.