Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 97

United States Delegation Minutes of the Tripartite Foreign Ministers Meeting at the Quai d’Orsay, November 22, 11 a. m.–2 p. m.1



  • France
  • Deputy Foreign Minister Maurice Schumann
  • Ambassador Bonnet
  • High Commissioner François-Poncet
  • M. Parodi
  • M. LeRoy
  • M. Alphand
  • United Kingdom
  • Foreign Minister Eden
  • High Commissioner Kirkpatrick
  • Mr. Frank Roberts
  • Ambassador Harvey
  • United States
  • Secretary Acheson
  • High Commissioner McCloy
  • Ambassador Bruce
  • Mr. Perkins
  • Mr. Byroade

[Here follows the record of the first part of this meeting, in which the Foreign Ministers discussed the Austrian Treaty, printed volume IV. For the record of the second part, in which the Foreign Ministers discussed contractual relations with the Federal Republic, see page 1604.]

Financing German Defense

Mr. Roberts reported on behalf of the Tripartite Group which had been working in London on the question of financing German defense. He referred to the report of the group2 and noted that although there was agreement on four points, the Group had been unable to agree on three points. He said that a meeting had been held on Tuesday (November 20) in an effort to bridge the differences but that it was not successful.3

Mr. Acheson said that he thought that the positions of the three governments were in fact closer together than they were at the time that the report was written. He said that it was agreed that the discussions with the Germans should commence without delay and that some kind of arrangement was required to initiate these discussions and that a final solution of the problems must be worked out only with the Germans. He said he thought that perhaps the passage of time and a transition period might help. He said that there was no agreement [Page 1677] on how to handle a financial gap, but that nevertheless it might be possible during the first year to work out the problem so as not to have a financial gap. He said this would require a revision of the costs of the Allied Forces on a realistic basis and a new estimate of German costs in the light of what is possible.

Mr. Acheson then referred to a proposal which the U.S. Delegation had submitted to the other delegations on Tuesday, November 20. He said that he thought that this proposal offered a basis for handling the transition period. He noted that there was a difference between the U.S. position and that of the French Government in that the French had suggested that the transition arrangements be limited to a period of several months until such time as the EDC common budget is formulated. He said that the U.S. felt that the longer period was required and in fact that in our view, the EDC budget would take a longer period to be worked out. He suggested that the figure for the first year as proposed in the U.S. paper might be adopted as representing the Germans contribution to the EDC for the first year.

Mr. Acheson said that the differences as to the effecting of reductions in allied costs should be worked out by the High Commission in Germany.

Mr. Schumann said that he did not believe there were substantial differences between the three governments. The French also believed that it was desirable to initiate discussions to avoid any misapprehension on the part of the Germans as to the total defense burden which they would be expected to carry. He said that this burden would exceed the cost of maintaining allied forces in Germany, which Germany is currently bearing, even if such costs are reduced as the French believe they should be.

On the other hand, the amount which Germany should contribute in support of allied forces cannot be finally determined except in the light of recommendations by the TCC and after negotiations with the EDC.

Mr. Eden said that he agreed with Mr. Acheson’s analysis of the problem. He also shared the hope that it would be possible to work out a defense program within German capabilities during the first year. He said that he was obliged to adhere to a Cabinet decision that although his government was prepared to go forward with discussions with the Germans, it must be clear that the U.K. cannot accept additional defense burdens. He said that this position would also have to be made known to the Germans during the course of the negotiations.

Mr. Acheson said that he thought that it would be wise to obtain a fixed agreement with the Germans covering a period of one year. For the year after that, he said it would be appropriate to take into account the recommendations of the TCC, decisions as to U.S. aid and other factors which would then be known.

[Page 1678]

Mr. Schumann said that he could not commit his government to this period without consultation. He said that the lack of information with regard to decisions of the TCC and with respect to the distribution of U.S. aid affected the French balance of payments as well as the German; that his government, therefore, was not in a position to take decisions in the light of the present confusion and lack of information.

Mr. Schumann felt that the High Commission had an adequate basis for proceeding with discussions with the Germans on the following three points: (1) the global contribution to be made by the Germans as calculated in terms of percentage of national revenue (viz. DM 13 billion), (2) the support for Allied Forces in Germany on a firm basis until agreement on a common EDC budget (Mr. Schumann said he could not now commit himself to a longer period), (3) the necessity for reducing allied costs in Germany so as to relieve the burden on the national budget of the countries concerned.

Mr. Acheson said that he did not believe that this would be an adequate basis for discussion with the German Government. He turned to Mr. McCloy and requested his opinion.

Mr. McCloy said that it might be a basis for opening the discussions with the Germans, to see how such discussions might proceed. He thought, however, that the German Government would wish to be informed specifically on how much would be required for the support of Allied Forces and how much as a contribution to the EDF and what type of priorities would be established.

Mr. Schumann said both questions were appropriate, but the answers were not available. He thought the High Commission could at least open the discussions with the information now at its disposal.

Mr. Acheson said that the real problem was to determine how much of a defense effort the Germans would be willing to make over and beyond their support of Allied Forces in Germany. For at least the initial period it would be necessary, he said, to relate this amount specifically to the effort which the Germans would make in terms of their own defense activities.

Mr. Schumann said it would be dangerous to identify the contribution of Germany to the EDC with the cost of raising and equipping German Forces. This would in effect amount to establishing a precedent for a German national military budget. He said that the German contribution to EDC must be approached in terms of sharing in a global budget and this in turn could not be worked out for the time being.

Mr. Acheson said that it was not possible to wait until the EDC budget is organized. He said that the Germans will not raise money for defense problems unless they know how it is proposed to use this money. He said that therefore during the first year, it would be necessary to work with the figures which could be worked out now. It can [Page 1679] be done on a different basis next year after more information is available.

Mr. Poncet said that after April 1, 1952, German support of allied forces would be on a basis to be agreed upon with the German Government. In this connection, the three powers should attempt to keep their requirements to a minimum. However, there can only be general discussion of the additional expenses to be borne by the Germans over and above allied expenses, since the information relating to the German contribution to the EDC budget will not be available.

Mr. Eden said that he failed to see how the High Commission could proceed with negotiations with the Federal Government if specific figures were not discussed.

Mr. Schumann asked Mr. Acheson if he would be willing to modify his proposal to provide for a six months period instead of a one year period.

Mr. Acheson said that he felt that a one year period was required to permit the type of budgetary planning which is required. He pointed out that the German Bundestag would need to estimate a figure based upon probable costs of raising and equipping German units if it is to avoid the necessity of passing supplementary appropriations during the year. He emphasized that he agreed with the statement of Mr. Schumann that the German contribution to the EDC should not be identified with German military costs exclusively. He said that this statement might well be made to the Germans, explaining that the arrangement followed for the current year was an interim measure which would not be repeated in the future.

Mr. Schumann asked why it would not be feasible to discuss with the Germans their total defense contribution and the allied requirements computed on a reduced basis, leaving open the question of the Germans’ own defense costs for the time being.

Mr. Acheson said that it would be easier all the way around if the Germans would readily agree to the DM 13 billion figure. He said, however, that they would have a number of questions as to why this amount was required and how it would be used. He said he thought that the data we now had could be used to convince the Germans that this amount of money is required in order to accomplish what must be done during the coming year and that the cost of what can be done will fit into this figure. What we need, therefore, he said is a decision to give the High Commission authority to open discussions with the German Government on this basis.

Mr. Eden said that he fully concurred with Mr. Acheson’s remarks and wanted to know from Mr. Schuman whether he agreed or whether he did not agree.

Mr. Schumann said that he would appreciate being told again exactly what would be the basis for the division between the cost of [Page 1680] supporting Allied Forces on the one hand and the EDF forces on the other.

Mr. Acheson said the answer was very clear: (1) Allied costs for the first year would be a fixed sum, computed on a real military basis with the elimination of frills. (2) The German costs would be the amounts which the German Government would spend on its own military participation in defense. (3) The total German defense contribution would be the result of adding the first two items together.

Mr. Acheson went on to say that the U.S. regretted the fact that Allied costs are treated as fixed, but in view of the British and French positions, there is no other position open.

Mr. Schumann said that this absolute priority in favor of support of Allied forces operated to penalize the defense forces of other countries.

Mr. Acheson said that there was no question of priorities. The question was how much the Germans themselves would be willing to spend on defense. He said that Mr. Eden and Mr. Schumann had made it clear that their governments would not be prepared to help the German Government meet the defense costs in Germany; therefore the figure to be negotiated with the German Government is how much it is willing to spend on defense.

Mr. Eden said he wished to emphasize that the French and Belgian forces would be treated on exactly the same basis as those of the U.S. and U.K.

Mr. Schumann said that the French and Belgian forces would receive their support from Germany through the EDC.

Mr. Eden said that his government would be willing as far as mechanics are concerned to have its support handled in the same way.

Mr. Schumann thanked Mr. Eden for the suggestion and said that a decision would, of course, depend upon the European Defense Treaty Conference.

Mr. Schumann asked Mr. Acheson again whether he would modify his proposal from one year to six months.

Mr. Acheson said that in view of the time schedule for reaching decisions on other related matters, and in particular the distribution of U.S. aid, he believed the proposal should be considered by the French Government in its present form. He asked that the ministers meet again in Rome to discuss the subject after it has been considered by the French Government. He also asked that the security issue be discussed in Rome.

Mr. Schumann said that as far as the financial question was concerned there would be an answer in Rome. He said that there would also be an answer on the position introduced on the day before by the U.S. Government with respect to security controls.4 He said that his [Page 1681] personal opinion was, however, that it would be much more difficult to reach an agreement on the question of security controls than on finance.

Meeting With Chancellor Adenauer

There was a brief discussion of the arrangements for the meeting with Mr. Adenauer which was scheduled to take place that afternoon.

Mr. Acheson suggested that as Mr. Adenauer would be accompanied by only three advisors, it would be desirable for the Allied ministers to restrict the number of advisors on their side as well. This was agreed.

Mr. Eden outlined an agenda for the meeting, which was approved.

Mr. McCloy mentioned that the Chancellor might possibly raise the question of war criminals, although it was not on the agenda.

Mr. McCloy handed around copies of a draft communiqué5 and requested comments so that if an agreement were reached, it would be possible to give a copy to the Chancellor before the meeting. After some consideration of the draft, it was decided to take it up further after luncheon.

  1. Secretary Acheson and Foreign Secretary Eden were in Paris for the sixth regular session of the United Nations General Assembly.
  2. TGG(FD)P 35, supra.
  3. The meeting took place at the Foreign Ministry. Both the United States and France made proposals for dealing with the unresolved issues for German financing, but no agreement had been reached. Copies of these proposals are included as tabs D and E to document PAR D–7, dated November 21, not printed, but no record of the meeting has been found in Department of State files. (CFM files, lot M–88, box 160, PAR/documents 1–9)
  4. For the text of the U.S. proposals, see PAR M–1, p. 1715.
  5. No copy of the draft under reference here has been identified in the Department of State files. For the text of the final communiqué released to the press following the Foreign Ministers meeting with Chancellor Adenauer, see p. 1607; for a report on the meeting with Adenauer, see telegram 3086, November 22, p. 1605.