396.1/1–951: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy), at Frankfurt


4745. For McCloy from Byroade. In considering various aspects possible CFM, we have become increasingly concerned about problem of consultation with Ger leaders. Fol are certain tentative ideas on which wld like your comments earliest.

With development our policy on Ger in past few months and particularly on Ger participation western defense, we are convinced time has passed when we can negot on Ger in four-power CFM without prior and continuing consultation with responsible Get auths. Such consultation all more important now as Gers in increasingly strong position, particularly re possibility carrying on talks or other negots [Page 1061]themselves with East Ger auths. Therefore seems important obtain early UK-Fr acceptance principle of consulting with Gers on these matters so we wld be able initiate such consultation without undue delay when time seems appropriate. Provided you concur, we prepd take question up with UK and Fr FonOffs.

At present moment we are holding firmly to position of refusing accept commitment for CFM until preliminary conversations with Sovs reveal acceptable basis. To consult formally with Gers at this stage wld therefore be inappropriate and might prejudice position vis-à-vis UK and Fr that we are not yet committed to CFM. Assuming there might be agreement on opening exploratory talks fol further exchange of notes between Western Powers and USSR, we might consider broaching subj with Ger auths when such agreement reached. This wld seem best done by HICOM, perhaps at time it informs Ger auths re substance further exchange with Sovs. In doing so, wld be important to avoid discussion of possible positions with Gers since tripartite positions wld probably not be sufficiently advanced. Initial approach to Gers shld probably be limited to request for their ideas re whether acceptable basis for agreement with Sovs on Ger exists and if so what they wld consider to be its principal elements. In eliciting Ger views, wld also be important that views shld be, so far as possible, broadly rep of Fed Rep (as opposed to Adenauer or govt coalition parties only). Realize this raises very delicate problem and involves certain risks but believe we cannot afford at this juncture to base our info on Ger views too narrowly.

Fear Fr may oppose this proposal but consider it sufficient importance to warrant pressing it in Paris (and London) if you concur and consider main lines practicable.1 [Byroade.]

  1. On January 11 McCloy reported his concurrence with the idea of consulting the Germans through the High Commission and with the idea that the German views should be broadly representative of the Federal Republic. (Telegram 454, from Bonn (396.1/1–1151))