740.5/12–2251: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Bonn 1

secret   priority

785. Ref Bonn’s 849 and 850 Dec 22 rptd Paris 276 and 277, London 222 and 223.2 We are not entirely clear as to nature of disagreements which have arisen re interpretation FonMins decision on Ger fin contribution to defense but hope fol will assist you.

Re tripartitely agreed msg contained ur 850, FonMins decisions Wash and Rome clearly specify contractual arrangements shld contain Ger obligation to make total defense contribution comparable to that of other principal Western countries. This undertaking wld be in gen terms. Same undertaking cld be given by Gers in EDC Treaty. Believe misunderstanding may have arisen on this point because it was originally contemplated by Fr (as reflected in Sept FM decision) that Ger EDC contribution wld be equivalent only to Fr expenditures for defense in Eur. More recently, Fr have apparently concluded EDC contribution by Fr and Gers shld comprise whole of their defense expenditures. However EDC Treaty is drafted, agreed Allied position is Ger obligation shld be included in contract.
It was contemplated in Rome discussions that gen undertaking shld be complemented by specific arrangements for first year, presumably to be incorporated in protocol, setting forth total contribution for year and distribution as between support of Allied forces and contribution to EDC.
There was discussion at Paris and Rome of possibility altering contribution in light more gen burden-sharing arrangements. This point was raised by Fr and was understood by us to relate to distribution Ger contribution rather than total amt. Possibility of adjustment was linked by Fr to common budget, which they envisaged wld be established in light of results of TCC exercise. It was agreed it wld be [Page 1701] undesirable include in contract any gen provision for revision Ger contribution on ground this might be seized upon by Gers as excuse for seeking downward revision of contribution. However, since it was recognized Ger contribution wld probably be minimum, provision for upward revision by mutual agreement was provided for in Rome decision.
Distribution of Ger contribution cld be altered by mutual agreement. It did not seem feasible to provide for this in contract. It was agreed at Rome any adjustments desired by any of the Allied parties wld have be raised in connection burden-sharing exercise.
Contract is also to contain Ger obligation bearing on distribution of contribution after first year. Primary purpose this clause (Para. 5, Rome Decision3) is to provide for Ger obligation to make some continuing contribution to support US and UK troops in Ger. Nature this undertaking is not specified. USDel TCC proposed in London writing into contract specific types of services to be provided by FedRep unconditionally, with others to be provided to extent feasible within total Ger contribution and other claims on it. This proposal unacceptable to Brit and Fr and was not pressed. While Rome decision requires reference to be made to continuing obligation to make contribution EDC, basic undertaking in this respect must be included in EDC Treaty. Terms of treaty and contract must of course be consistent.
Not clear to us what is meant by term “automatic revision” in ur 850, but assume it means providing same treatment for EDC and non-EDC forces. Difficult for us to see how this wld work in practice, and we question whether problem can be solved simply at this time by gen provision for automatic revision. We believe matter is one for future negot involving agreement of all interested parties, which we interpret to be sense US–UK statement quoted reftel.

Background memo on Rome decision prepared by Reinstein at Bonn and left with Forest for duplication provides additional material on negot which may be of assistance to you.5

  1. This telegram was drafted by Reinstein, cleared by Margolies, and repeated to Paris and London.
  2. Ante, p. 1695 and supra.
  3. For the text of the Rome Decision on a German Financial Contribution to Defense, see p. 1685.
  4. Source text contains no paragraph for no. 6.
  5. The memorandum under reference here has not been identified further.