740.5/10–1351: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Tripartite Talks on German Financial Contribution to Defense to the Secretary of State1


1814. Defense summary No. 2. From USDel Ger fin. First mtg tripartite comite on Ger fin contribution for def held Oct 11 with fol representations: Stevens for UK, Trimble (representing Holmes) and Reinstein for US, Leroy the Fr Emb assisted by Valery FonOff for France.

It was agreed no publicity wld be given discussions. Press questions wld be answered by statement along lines previously proposed by Brit FonOff that discussions tech for eventual use HICOM and wld result in no public statement.

Mtg devoted to program of work, discussion of which entered rapidly into substance. Agreed proceed simultaneously with study [Page 1649] figures and policy questions. After some maneuvering re statement policy issues, apparently involving Brit attempt to limit area of discussions, comite took up studies on figures.

US proposal to request HICOG to prepare recommendations on total Ger fin contribution, using NATO criteria, as basis, objected to by Brit and Fr. Brit wanted work done by subcomite in London; Fr in Paris. Fr eventually conceded desirability using London as basis operation. US deferred agrmt pending consultation US element HICOM. Brit and Fr agreed subcomite cld visit Ger if necessary.

In discussion allied costs, Brit indicated they include in costs all Brit costs in Ger, referring to wording their proposal in Wash FonMin’s discussions to cover “essential allied expenditures”. (In later private conv they indicated all Brit Govt operations in Ger are included, even Emb.) US pointed out question arose under heading “logistical and fin support of allied forces” and stated purpose of discussions was not to deal with costs, other than those of supporting forces in Ger. Discussion deferred to next mtg.

Fr stated Ger costs cld be considered only in EDF discussions. US suggested, with Brit concurrence, SG recommendations wld provide basis for work in London. US proposed early mtg in Paris to discuss relation work comite to EDF discussions. No decision reached but Fr undertook to present at early date statement of present state of fin discussions re EDF. At conclusion Brit circulated doc suggesting total Ger contribution for NATO (that is, US) FY 1953 of 10 percent of GNP. This they calculate wld represent contribution of 13 billion DM at FY 1953 prices, which they assume will be 15 percent higher than in FY 1951. Copies paper being pouched.2

Fr circulated paper suggesting total Ger contribution be sufficient permit use of Ger contribution under three headings: (1) Expenses involved in support of allied troops not integrated in EDC3 other than capital (infrastructure) costs; (2) Ger contribution to EDC; (3) capital (infrastructure) costs for support of EDC and non-integrated allied forces. Fr paper, without proposing any priorities, suggests (1) cld be handled by lump sum payment which cld be subj to revision annually; (2) wld be fixed by EDC budget. Fr paper does not suggest how (3) wld be handled or how any deficit shld be met.4

  1. Repeated to Frankfurt and to Paris for Harriman and OSR.
  2. A copy of the British paper, TGG(FD)P 3, dated October 10, not printed, is in the CFM files, lot M–88, box 205, TGG(FD)P, vol. i .
  3. For documentation on the work of the European Defense Conference at Paris, see pp. 755 ff.
  4. A copy of the French paper, TGG(FD)P 4, dated October 4, not printed, is in the CFM files, lot M–88, box 205, TGG(FD)P, vol. i .