740.5/11–251: Telegram

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


2151. From USDel Ger fin. As will be evident from report our mtg on Ger fin contribution to Defense Oct 31, telegraphed separately,2 and from Paris 2544, Oct 31 to Dept, rptd London 640, Frankfort 319,3 there continues to be lack of common understanding among us as to US position on method by which costs of raising and equipping Ger forces are to be met at outset EDF. We consider it of greatest importance that clear US line be adopted on this subject.

There is difficulty in seeing how, in view Ger has no defense budget or program at present, Ger can be fitted into arrangements described in second para, Paris 2544, pending establishment genuine internatl budget approved by assembly of EDC. We appreciate that Fr may [Page 1662] have concern over estab in Ger of administrative services which wld in effect constitute elements of Defense Ministry. Some services must be estab quickly for procurement of supplies and control of expenditure. We assume problem of ensuring that this is not done in such a way as to undermine EDC concept wld be part of transitional arrangements.

Placing responsibilities on FedRep for fin costs of raising and equipping Ger units pending full estab common budget seems to us to be wholly different question. Character of expenses to be borne by Fed Govt wld have been worked out internationally, through estab force requirements, and time phasing in EDF conf, and through tripartite negots with Gers in framework contractual arrangements. Principle of common budget and provision for estab of common fin institutions wld have to be agreed in EDC treaty. In these circumstances, we wonder whether Fr fear that expenditure by FedRep directly for support Ger forces during period before common budget is established by EDC assembly is not greatly exaggerated.

It is hard for us to see what alternative there is which wld not involve new and lengthy negots. Fact that Fr have not been able to produce even their estimate of what Ger contribution to common budget shld be and that there is no clear ideas to how discussions wld proceed when they do, suggests that trying to work out solution without some interim transitional period wld involve considerable delays in making any approach to Fed Govt on fin questions.

Be last para, Paris 2544, we have reviewed briefing paper for Secy on EDF (WFM T–4/24) but do not find any clear indication of position on this subj. We wonder whether some confusion has not resulted from use word “contribution” to describe both Ger participation milit arrangements and fin obligations to be borne by Gers for Western defense. It may be recalled that in proposal submitted to FonMins at Wash (WFM T–5a of Sept 105) there was agreed US–Fr text describing Ger costs as “agreed costs borne by the Fed Govt of raising and supporting forces contributed by Germany to the common defense”.

Reinstein going Ger today to obtain McCloy’s views.

  1. Repeated to Paris for OSR and TCC and to Frankfurt.
  2. Telegram 2149 from London, November 2 (740.00/11–251). It reported that the British and American delegations had “stated strongly” to the French the “need for reaching some agreed basis for carrying on discussions.”
  3. Supra.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Ante, p. 1197.