740.5/10–1551: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Tripartite Talks on German Financial Contribution to Defense to the Secretary of State 1


1825. From USDel Ger fin. At Oct 13 mtg tripartite comite on Ger fin contribution for defense USDel commented on Fr and Brit statements at preceding meeting. (See immed following tel.2).

US rep said in preparation for mtg, US had assumed fin aspects of EDF wld take some time to work out. While it was clear that three power arrangements with Ger wld have to be modified to accord with EDF fin arrangements, US had assumed arrangements between three powers and Ger wld at beginning be on basis NAT budgets. US understood from FonMin’s discussion in Wash estab EDF wld not [Page 1653] have to be delayed until all institutions and detailed problems involved in broader concepts EDC had been completed.

Fr statement at preceding mtg made clear EDF wld involve changes of most fundamental character in relations among participants of EDC. Detailed implementation fin arrangements appear to involve problems of extremely complex character and Fr statement also indicated harmonizing these arrangements with those of support of other troops in Ger wld likewise be extremely complex task.

It appeared to USDel that preparation first budget EDC wld require long time and in fact wld depend in part upon negots with other powers. It was difficult to see how all this cld be done in time to permit estab effective fin arrangements for support Allied troops in Ger when contractual arrangements enter into force.

US rep pointed out problems involved require action some time before contractual arrangements become effective. Although possibility new arrangements wld not involve additional cost to Allied powers was pleasant to contemplate, US doubted this wld be result. In any event, it is necessary to obtain precise ideas at earliest possible moment. US budget for FY 1953 was now in advance state of preparation and must be presented to Cong beginning Jan. US must therefore know very soon whether and to what extent it faces need to seek appropriations for support forces in Ger.

USDel did not understand how, in Fr proposals, relationship between three powers and EDF cld be estab in time to complete sched laid down by mins if EDF negots continue until Rome mtg. Wld there not be some point at which EDF conference wld report to govts and fin aspects arrangements wld firm up?

Study Fr statement had led USDel to believe it wld be necessary to have some interim arrangement pending time EDC fin arrangements became fully effective. This wld permit arrangements to be worked out for say first year. These arrangements which wld be on NAT basis wld be without prejudice to negot of adjustments in light of EDC and negots on these adjustments cld begin as soon as EDC countries were prepared to undertake them. USDel asked whether Fr del cld not envisage some such arrangement and opening of discussions with Gers on this basis at early date.

US rep made clear what he was seeking was a practical way of dealing with urgent problems of considerable importance which cld constitute a bridge to situation in which EDC was fully estab. He pointed out US fully supports EDC as had been made clear by Acheson in Wash FonMin’s mtgs.

With ref UK statement previous day, US rep said question came down to actual figures. He thought best way of getting ahead was to examine figures. He made clear US did not believe total Ger contribution should be arrived at simply by mechanical process applying [Page 1654] to Ger GNP percentage derived from defense expenditures in one NATO country.

UK rep agreed with US statement on urgency working out some arrangement and on need for completing it prior to creation and implemention all EDC fin arrangements. He doubted arrangements with Ger cld be purely interim since this wld involve giving up present powers without any assurance as to relations with Ger beyond interim period.

US rep stated by interim he meant all fin problems involved creation EDC shld not be dealt with in negots contractual arrangements and that problems shld be resolved by stages. He agreed arrangements cld not be interim in sense Ger wld be without obligation to non-EDC countries to furnish support of some kind. This wld place Ger in position of not being obligated to do as much as was done by NATO countries for one another under their mutual arrangements.

During exchange between Brit and Fr on statistics, Fr remarked Brit estimate of Ger costs was considerably less than those contemplated by Paris discussions. However, it appeared they were thinking of Ger fin contribution to EDC rather than Ger costs proper. They also noted that Brit figures envisaged increasing Allied costs by 2 billion DM over current level. They felt this wld be very difficult for Gere to accept unless it were clear costs were genuine defense costs. Also they felt arrangement must involve presentation to Gers in form which wld make it acceptable and that it shld represent Allied economies from present levels of expenditure. They said this underlay their division of costs into categories (re Embtel 1814, Oct 133).

US rep suggested way to get forward was to refer to subcomites development estimates total Ger contribution and Allied and Ger costs. He suggested these figures cld be developed without prejudice to consideration policy aspects in plenary mtgs. Meanwhile he urged Fr study for early reply US suggestions as to method of approach.

It was agreed to take up Oct 15 terms of ref of subcomites. Brit tabled additional papers and indicated they wld desire continue gen discussion policy questions.

  1. Repeated to Paris for Harriman and OSR and Frankfurt.
  2. Telegram 1826, supra.
  3. Ante, p. 1648.