740.5/12–2051: Telegram

The United States High Commissioner for Germany ( McCloy ) to the Secretary of State 1

secret   priority

829. Fol is report first mtg negots defense contribution. Comments will follow.2

Verbatim text Agreed tripartite report of first mtg of rapporteur group on Ger fin contribution to western def held Dec 19 at office of FinMin Schaeffer.

Schaeffer stated cabinet had appointed himself and Blank to act jointly as rapporteurs for Fed Rep. Ger position is as follows:

Ger is prepared to make a maximum contribution to western def in accordance with the same formula applicable to all other countries. The contribution shall be determined through EDC on a basis of complete equality with all other countries.
As a participant in EDC Gers obligation in respect to the def contribution is directly to EDC. Consequently Ger will negot in the framework of EDC on following matters:
Total Ger contribution.
Logistic support.
Gers relationship to non-EDC forces stationed in Ger will be through EDC. Ger reps explicitly stated that fin and logistic support for non-EDC forces stationed in Ger are responsibility of EDC and not a unilateral Ger responsibility. Thus Ger would make her total contribution to the common budget and all costs for defense including costs of non-EDC forces wld be contributed to and paid from the common budget.
Ger accession to EDC in itself fulfills Gers responsibilities for a defense contribution and there is no need for a separate convention as an integral part of the contractual agrmts. In Gers view this matter is already provided for in the gen agrmt.3 In the event the provisions of the gen agrmt are not deemed sufficient a simple statement affirming Gers accession to EDC and her responsibilities thereto will suffice.

In support of this position Schaeffer and Blank made the following argument:

Dual negots on the same range of topics in Paris and Bonn will be extremely confusing and unmanageable. If Ger is compelled to agree upon a maximum contribution in the EDC context and then an additional contribution for the support of allied troops she is in effect committed to contribute an excessive, inequitable amt beyond her capacity.
Alternatively if Ger is obligated to negot separately in Paris and Bonn she might be impelled to minimize her contribution to EDC below the amt which wld represent a contribution comparable to that of other countries in order to allow for allied costs.
It will be politically difficult to obtain ratification on two agrmts one of which (support of non-EDC forces) will appear to the Ger public to be a disguised form of continued occupation costs.
EDC provides the only mechanism whereby Ger can negot on her def contribution on the basis of equality. The Ger delegates to the Paris EDC conference had been advised that EDC is the proper forum to discuss the amt and conditions of Gers defense contribution.

In reply to Ger argument the allied rapporteur group said the following:

Gers defense contribution is but one aspect of her changed status resulting from the contractual negots (hence this is a matter for agreement between the occupying powers and Ger and must be covered by a convention).
Gers were informed that this was a contractual matter on several occasions beginning with the submission months ago of the list of conventions to be negotiated which included one on the defense contribution. The allied position was made clear to the Chancellor in the Paris conference of the foreign ministers and in the mtg with the High Commission on Dec 14. At no time was this concept challenged or objected to by the Ger Govt.
The HICOM has been instructed by the foreign min as a result of the decisions in Rome to negot a convention covering the amt and composition of Gers contribution.
We are aware of the mechanical difficulties resulting from the fact that a common budget, its magnitude and form have not as yet been established. We do not believe that this places Ger in double jeopardy and that its major consequence is to require coordination between the negots in Bonn and the negots in Paris. The negots in Paris include the fixing of Gers contribution to EDC. The negots in Bonn are to fix the total amt of the contribution, Gers continued obligation in respect to western def, and the specific composition of her contribution for the first year. We stated that we believed that the total contribution of 13 billion DM wld provide in the first year for Gers contribution to EDC, support of non-EDC forces stationed in Ger and for other costs recognized under NATO standards as legitimate def costs.

Blank at one point said negots in Bonn completely destroyed the basis for his negots in Paris and he saw no purpose in attending Dec 20 conference or in continuing negots to estab a common budget. We strongly urged Blank to attend the meeting and to continue negots for a common budget. We pointed out that in our opinion this matter was more one of coordination than conflict.

It was agreed to await the outcome of the EDC conf on the 27th and 28th of Dec but that we wld in the meantime discuss Gers capacity to pay.4

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Schaeffer agreed to meet Dec 21st and indicated his ideas on an equitable distribution of the defense burden. Using net social production at market prices per capita, Schaeffer determined that of a total bill of 100 percent for western def each country wld pay the following percentage;

UK 38. 1
France 26. 1
Germany 17. 3
Italy 7. 8
Belgium 6. 3
Netherlands 4. 2
Luxembourg 0. 2

  1. Repeated to Paris and London.
  2. Telegram 830. infra.
  3. For documentation on the negotiating of a general contractual agreement with the Federal Republic, see pp. 1446 ff.
  4. For documentation on the EDC Conference December 27–30 at Paris, see pp. 755 ff.