Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 97

United States Delegation Minutes of the Tripartite Foreign Ministers Meeting at the American Embassy at Rome, Tuesday, November 27, 5–7 p. m.1




  • France
  • Foreign Minister Robert Schuman
  • M. Alphand
  • M. Parodi
  • United Kingdom
  • Foreign Minister Eden
  • Mr. Roberts
  • Mr. Crawford
  • United States
  • Secretary Acheson
  • Ambassador Bruce
  • Mr. Perkins
  • Mr. Byroade
  • Mr. Nash
  • Mr. Reinstein

Financing German Defense

Mr. Acheson asked whether it was desired to discuss the security question or the financial question first.

[Page 1682]

Mr. Eden suggested that the financial question be discussed first, since there was an agreed paper (PAR D–9 of November 273). It was agreed to discuss the financial question first.

Mr. Acheson said that he had read the agreed paper and did not understand paragraph 4. He wondered who it was who might undertake to explain it.

Mr. Eden agreed it would be helpful to obtain an explanation of that paragraph.

M. Alphand suggested that Mr. Reinstein explain the paper.

Mr. Reinstein said that at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers at Paris last week, a discussion took place concerning the problems involved in preparing a German budget on the one hand, and the common budget of the European Defense Community on the other.4 The U.S. had submitted a proposal for identifying the actual cost of raising and equipping German forces and linking these costs to the first contribution to be made by Germany to the Community in the first year. This link between actual cost and the contribution was not acceptable to the French Government. Mr. Reinstein said that since that meeting, discussions had been held in an attempt to bridge the difference, taking into account the desire of the U.S. and U.K. Governments to have some certitude as to the extent of German obligations on the one hand, and the desire of the French Government on the other to avoid a direct link between German costs and the German EDC contribution. The language contained in the paper before the Ministers emerged as a proposed compromise. It establishes a procedure under which the European Defense Treaty Conference will assemble data relating to the cost of raising and equipping German forces in connection with a determination of the German contribution to the first common budget of the EDC. Mr. Reinstein suggested that perhaps M. Alphand would like to amplify his remarks.

Mr. Acheson said that his problem had to do with the language stating that it was necessary for the Federal Republic to be informed of the main lines of the first budget of the Community. He said he thought it might be difficult to obtain this information at an early date. It seemed to him that the Ministers were being asked to agree to a proposition which would give the German Government good excuse for delay, since they could justify their failure to take action on the grounds that they did not have information which the Foreign Ministers themselves said they needed.

Mr. Acheson said he thought it would be possible to present the facts to the German Government in such a way as to give them all the information they need without waiting for the common budget of the EDC to be worked out. He said that he thought that if you took the [Page 1683] global contribution of DM 13 billion and deducted from it the amounts which would probably be required for the allied forces, this would leave some DM 7 billion for the European Defense Force. Since the French do not wish to link this figure to actual cost of equipping German forces, it could nevertheless be explained that at least this amount would be required for the raising of troops, the construction of infrastructure, and the production of equipment which would be required as a consequence of adding German units to the EDF. The cost of these items is considerably in excess of DM 7 billion, and it would thus be apparent that at least this amount would be required as a German contribution to the EDC.

M. Schuman asked whether Mr. Acheson was suggesting any specific change in paragraph 4 of the paper which would express the ideas which he had put forward.

Mr. Acheson said that he was merely asking a question in order to understand the language of the paper.

M. Alphand said that paragraph 4 had in fact been drafted by the French Delegation in order to meet the wishes of the U.S. Delegation. He said that the U.S. Delegation had suggested that it would be desirable to present to the German Government a justification for the contribution which the Federal Republic would be asked to make to the EDC common budget in terms of how the money might actually be spent. M. Alphand said that he personally would be very happy to strike out the language in the paragraph and replace it with language conforming to the suggestion made by Mr. Acheson. It seemed to him that it would be quite difficult, given the present lack of information, to pull together the data contemplated. He thought it would be much simpler to develop the idea that a sum such as DM 7 billion would be clearly inadequate to meet the various requirements involved.

Mr. Eden said that he thought the language in paragraph 4 would in fact meet the point that M. Alphand had raised. However, he thought the language could be improved by changing the word “necessary” to “desirable”.

Mr. Acheson (turning to Mr. Reinstein) asked whether it would in fact be easy to develop a first budget for the EDC which the paper said would have to be explained to the Germans before December 31, 1951.

Mr. Reinstein said that it would not be easy to do so. He pointed out, however, that it was contemplated only that the “main lines” of the budget would be explained.

Mr. Acheson said that he thought the redrafting of the paragraph might be undertaken by others in the light of the remarks which M. Schuman, Mr. Eden, and he had made.

M. Schuman said he thought that the drafting change proposed by Mr. Eden was very helpful, since it removed the concept of necessity [Page 1684] which might, in fact, provide the Germans with an excuse for delay.

Mr. Eden said he did not think it was necessary to be unduly concerned with the phraseology of the paper. It was his understanding that it would serve as a basis for preparing instructions for the High Commission and would not in fact be discussed with the Germans in its present form.

Mr. Acheson proposed a redrafting of the opening sentence of paragraph 4 of the paper to read as follows:

“Discussions with the Federal Chancellor on the German financial contribution should begin at once and be concluded as rapidly as possible. In these discussions, it would be useful for the Federal Government to know the main lines of the first budget of the Community, regard being had to the German contribution established in accordance with paragraph 3 above.”

Mr. Acheson said that the proposed language incorporated the change suggested by Mr. Eden and also emphasized the desirability of getting discussions with the Germans going as soon as possible and finished without delay. The proposed change in language was agreed.

Mr. Acheson said that there still remained the logical difficulty created by the second sentence which said that the Germans should receive information by December 31 which they would need to use in completing another negotiation which also was to be completed on December 31. He said that this problem could perhaps be handled in the instructions to the High Commission.

M. Schuman said that there was another problem in the paper. The French Delegation proposed that paragraph 3 be changed to read as follows:

“The amounts to be paid by the Federal Republic during the German financial year 1952/53 for the support of forces of each of the Allied Powers, as thus established, will not be subject to reduction.”

M. Schuman said that M. Alphand would explain the purpose of the change.

M. Alphand said that the forces of the countries who were members of the EDC would be supported through the EDC common budget, and would no longer be paid out of the national budgets. It was contemplated that the cost for supporting the allied forces, whether the countries involved were members of the EDC or not, would be reduced. The French Delegation felt that it would be desirable to have the same principles apply in other respects as well to the forces of the different allied countries, whether they were members of the EDC or not. The fact that the forces would be paid through the EDC should not, in his opinion, operate so as to affect this result.

[Page 1685]

The change proposed by the French Delegation was agreed. The paper thus modified was then approved by the three Foreign Ministers.

[Here follows the section of these minutes in which German security controls were discussed, printed pages 17211728.]

  1. The Foreign Ministers and their advisers were in Rome for the Eighth Session of the NATO Council; for documentation on this session, see pp. 693 ff.
  2. So dated in the source text.
  3. For the text of PAR D–9, see PAR D–9a, infra, and footnotes thereto.
  4. For a report on this meeting, see PAR M–2, supra.