740.5/10–2351: Telegram

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

secret   priority

1996. From USDel Ger fin. Ref immed preceding tel,2 and Paris 2300, Oct 193 and 2330, Oct 214 to Dept, rptd London 575 and 587, Frankfort 276 and 284 and previous refs.

1. Fr position as now revealed seems to us to involve basic point of substance. Fr insistence on application of common budget at outset EDF is contrary to assumption on which our instrs are explicitly based.5 Question is not whether there shld be fin clauses in EDF treaty (re Paris 2300, para 3). It is rather to what degree EDC fin arrangements must be worked out before EDF and contractual arrangements can be agreed and to what extent they must be implemented as condition of placing two treaties in effect.

2. Fr position seems to involve much fuller working out and implementation fin arrangements than has been contemplated in Washington. We believe this point and its implications re time at which can [Page 1658] expect Ger forces to begin to be raised, require urgent consideration. Acceptance this position wld seem to involve protracting EDF discussions for some time. It wld also seem to involve complicating and protracting tripartite talks with Gers thru HICOM. Effect in both cases wld be to move back entire timetable for conclusion of contract and EDF, and raising of Ger units.

3. Effect of acceptance Fr position on negots here wld be to delay beginning substantive discussions for at least several weeks, during which time it wld be necessary for US prepare for negots on wholly new and broader basis than originally contemplated. Negots wld have to deal with complex set of issues involving longer term relations between Ger as member of EDC and non-EDC NATO countries. They might involve broader problems, of relations between US and UK and EDC as a whole. (Aside from substantive questions, there is also involved question to what extent we shld negot on EDC questions first with Fr and then tripartitely with Gers). How rapidly tripartite agmt cld be reached once we enter into this area is very unclear. Meanwhile, no discussions with Gers in context contractual arrangements cld take place, with inevitable prejudice to Bonn negots.6

4. It is our feeling that any rapid progress must involve taking these problems in stages. Interim solution seems only practical way of achieving this. Fr rejection our proposal for interim arrangements on fin matters seems to us inconsistent with their own ideas of a transitional period of one year in milit field reported in Paris tel 2328, Oct 21, rptd London 585, Frankfort 282.7 It seems to us entirely possible to work out interim solution in fin matters which wld not prejudice principle of common budget but allow it to be worked out in such a way as to avoid delay to completion overall arrangements with Ger. This is line we have been taking as reported in Embtel 1828 [1825?], rptd Paris 714, Frankfort 225,8 which we understand to be in accord with our instrs.

5. We interpret Deptel 2270 to Paris, rptd London 2064, Frankfort 24689 as statement Fr position inconsistent with Schuman’s statements to Secy during discussions in Sept. Whether or not there was mtg of minds among FonMins, questions raised by Fr position must be faced. We believe results of our conv with Alphand reported in preceding tel are as far as we can go here. If Dept desires interim solution, it will presumably be necessary to take matter up at high level in Paris. If prompt decision on this point not reached, there is [Page 1659] danger we will be forced into discussion of substance Fr proposals, which we have thus far avoided, without adequate US preparation.

6. Dept’s views urgently requested.

  1. Repeated to Frankfurt and to Paris for OSR, TCC, and MacArthur.
  2. Telegram 1995, not printed, but see footnote 2, supra.
  3. Ante, p. 893.
  4. Not printed, but see footnote 2, p. 903.
  5. No copy of the instructions under reference has been found in the Department of State files.
  6. For documentation on the negotiations for a new contractual arrangement with the Federal Republic, see pp. 1446 ff.
  7. Not printed.
  8. Dated October 15, p. 1652.
  9. Not printed; it stated, inter alia, that the U.S. approach to the London discussions was based on Schuman’s assurance that the final working out of the details of the EDF would not delay agreement on contractual relations or recruitment of Germans into the EDF. (740.5/10–1451)