740.5/11–1551: Telegram

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


2375. From USDel Ger fin. Comite on Ger financial contribution defense considered Nov 16 report of working party on Allied costs.2 Report includes considerable analytical material and comparisons on costs of respective Allied Forces, but does not provide material on number of points comite instructed to submit Embtel 2239, Nov 7, rptd Bonn 44, Frankfort 316, Paris 976.3

US pressed for elimination of some specific types of expenditures in budget in initial approach to Gers in order to make clear that defense costs do not represent occupation costs under different name. Brit agreed to drop Emb costs (which they said accts for about two-thirds of 9 million pound figure of Control Commission costs). However, both Brit and Fr felt it wld be difficult to eliminate other specific items in view of divergent practices Allied Forces. They believed that polit difficulties with Gers cld be met by reducing costs from present levels. They felt this cld be done in a number of categories by reduction to austerity levels, mentioning particularly construction.

US rep urged submission to Mins of recommendation which would guide HICOM in negots with Gers and give negots this leeway. He contd to feel that some cost elements shld be eliminated as objectionable to Gers but remarked that if Allies cld not agree on doing this, these eliminations wld occur as result of Ger objections in negots. He proposed that the instr to HICOM set forth minimum essential expenditures [Page 1670] for support of Allied Forces which Gers shld provide without qualification. Allied expenditures beyond this wld be subject to negots and adjustment in light of costs of raising and equipping Ger units. He emphasized purpose in entire exercise was to obtain additional essential military strength for West and that financial arrangements must insure that Ger resources were not diverted from this essential task. If Allied costs other than bare essential minimum conflict with costs of raising Ger units, former must yield to latter.

Both Brit and Fr said they had initiated studies as to methods of effecting reductions and were convinced, on the basis of studies to date, that these cld be substantial. Brit proposed adoption of instr to HICOM to reduce costs on formula which wld make allowance for troop build-up. They will present draft at mtg Nov 16 when discussions will be resumed.

In course of mtg, UK rep made a statement concerning decision at ministerial level concerning continuation of discussions on this subject with Gers.4

  1. Repeated to Bonn, Frankfurt and Paris for Byroade, OSR and TCC.
  2. No copy of this report, TGG(FD)P32, dated November 14, has been found in Department of State files.
  3. Not printed; it reported that a working party had been established to examine Allied costs in Germany and that it would prepare “figures on all costs items which any del believes shld be considered for possible elimination from Allied costs or considers will be questioned by Gers in negots.” (740.5/11–751)
  4. Stevens had stated that the British delegation had been authorized to participate in drafting the report to the Foreign Ministers and to agree to opening discussions with the Federal Republic. The U.S. delegation reported this in telegram 2374 from London, November 15 (740.5/11–1551).