740.5/1–552: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy (Dunn) to the Department of State 1

top secret
priority

3032. Eyes only distribution Secretary’s office. Prime Min2 was unable to see me until this afternoon. He in most confident mood re outcome current developments on EDF. Re Deptel 3006, Jan 2.3 He said felt certain constitutional difficulty cld be overcome. Real difficulty is in financial field both because smaller countries best able to make a sizeable contribution to common defense and at same time most unwilling to do so, and because of difficulty of finding formula for German contribution to common fund in first years while avoiding setting up of any German defense Ministry of mil bureau. Latter difficulty he thought was greatest practical obstacle at present time as Fr were absolutely insistent on having no German ministerial establishment created for mil purposes and difficulty was where to find the form by which Ger contribution wld be made during first and possibly second year when Ger wld have no adequate force in being. Ger was insisting occupation costs shld be considered as part of her [Page 579]contribution to common defense and shld be deducted from any contribution she assumed. Mr. De Gasperi said he is having his own financial and technical experts study these fin questions in order that he might be prepared to offer solutions as he felt Fr and Germans were looking too closely their own positions and interests to be able to see ways around these difficulties. He did not seem to feel that Belgian and Dutch were holding back in their efforts to reach agreement now, with the exception of the matter of finances which, he said, was not a difficulty in the first period but is a difficulty for later period, when common budget is fully established.

He believes firmly that agreement can be arrived at but said that no time shld be lost as the longer the question is discussed the more difficult it will become. He regrets that the Fr legal experts wish to have a detailed document for final signature, whereas he wld prefer to have a binding agreement and commitment signed in a simpler form, setting forth the principles upon which agreement is reached providing for the pre-confederation period and leaving to later development, agreement on details.

There seems to be no arrangement existing between Schumacher [ Schuman ?], Adenauer and De Gasperi as to what the three as a group wld do to meet the Benelux position. I gathered from the Prime Min that it was his feeling that all concerned were now doing everything they cld to find a solution of the existing difficulties and that he feels that with goodwill these solutions can be found.

Regarding the matter of postponement, he said he understood that Schuman had asked for a week at first and then, later, two weeks delay in the Lisbon meeting. He said he thought one week was surely reasonable and that if necessary two weeks wld be granted, but that in any event it wld be well for the US to make clear to all concerned that while we had no idea of pressing the govts in this matter, then, the timing of the results of the six Ministers’ work combined with the Lisbon mtg of the NATO wld have a very important effect on the American presentation and consideration of aid to these countries for the next fiscal year.

Dunn
  1. This telegram was repeated to Bonn eyes only for McCloy and to Paris eyes only for Bruce and MacArthur.
  2. Alcide De Gasperi.
  3. Same as telegram 3784, Jan. 2, to Paris, p. 571.