740.5/12–2251: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1

secret   priority

3646. Brit Emb approached Dept Dec 212 with request we join UK in representations to Fr Govt urging Fr to stand by Rome decision on Ger fin contribution to defense and to resist Ger position set forth in Bonn’s 829 Dec 20 rptd Paris 272 London 214.3 While we do not favor any formal approach or representations to Fr, believe you shld make clear to them we support position taken by Allied rapporteurs in Bonn on basis Rome decision and expect them to do same.

We believe principles set forth in Bonn’s 830 Dec 20 rptd Paris 273 London 2154 are correct and consistent with position taken by US in earlier discussions. Re point (1), three powers are acting for NATO in working out basis for Ger participation in defence. Furthermore, since [Page 1695] three powers are providing for defence of Fed Rep entirely appropriate that Fed Rep shld promise them to make equivalent defence effort and to assist West defence forces in Ger while Ger contribution to EDC being developed.

In dealing with Gers, care must be taken not to give impression we are opposed to common budget for EDC based on principle of econ capability. However, it is clear that, if Gers insist on making such an arrangement effective at outset and bringing support of non-EDC forces into common budget, grave danger exists to conclusion of arrangements at any early date. We see no possibility of reaching agt which does not provide for transitional period during which support for non-EDC forces is continued on reduced basis. Without such arrangement, Brit agt cannot be obtained and compromise reached at Rome wld be jeopardized. On other hand, we do not believe that EDC countries other than Ger wld agree to make support of non-EDC forces in Ger responsibility of Community and hence theirs.

Ger proposal to make support of non-EDC forces responsibility of EDC to be handled in common budget wld, in our view, substantially protract and complicate current negots and indefinitely delay agt on both contract and EDC. Question of longer-term relations between EDC and non-EDC countries must, for most part, be left to later negots. You will recall that Secy objected at Rome to tying contract provisions on fin contrib to common budget on grounds this wld delay entire project (ref Secto 99 from Rome Nov 28 rptd Bonn 15 Paris 331 London 2435).

Re point (4) of principles in reftel, we agree we must be prepared to consider payment through EDC as matter of mechanics. Acceptability of any such arrangement, either to EDC countries or to US and UK, will depend on how arrangement in gen is worked out. Doubt that we shld commit ourselves at this time further than to indicate willingness to consider such arrangement in context generally satis settlement.

  1. This telegram was drafted by Reinstein, cleared with Byroade and Martin, and repeated to Bonn and London.
  2. A memorandum of Porter’s conversation with Reinstein is in file 740.5/12–2151.
  3. Ante, p. 1691.
  4. Supra.
  5. Not printed; for a record of the discussion under reference here, see PAR M–3, November 26, p. 1681.