740.5/2–552: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bruce) to the Department of State 1

confidential
priority

4740. Subj is Eur def forces.

1.
Alphand called us today in great alarm over report from Ger headlined throughout French press that Adenauer in speech to CDU Bundestag faction had stated that Ger cld not agree to EDC or contractual agrmts without prior settlement of Saar quest and Ger’s relations with NATO. While text of agency desps appears to indicate that Adenauer did not insist on a specific formula for either settlement, French press interprets his statements and subsequent CDU res as new demand for return of Saar to Ger and immediate Ger membership in NATO.
2.
Ger dels to EDC conf who returned from Bonn last night were also apparently taken aback at Adenauer’s alleged statement and alarmed by French reaction. After telephoning to Bonn they told Alphand that press reports were untrue and wld be denied by FedRep Govt. Alphand’s info from French reps at Bonn, however, indicated that Chancellor apparently did make substantially statement reported by press.
3.
Pertinax art in today’s France Soir claims that SHAPE has now abandoned idea of integrated corps and will insist at Lisbon on formation homogeneous Ger army corps of 80,000 to 90,000 men. Pertinax says he obtained this info from SHAPE last night. After consulting SHAPE Alphand intends issue denial, and says SHAPE will also.
4.
Alphand was deeply discouraged at these developments, which we thought wld seriously endanger support for EDC in next week’s [Page 609]Parliamentary debate. Despite denials he feels that incidents will complicate task of French Govt in getting Parliamentary vote for EDC without having its hands tied. Problem will, of course, be even more difficult if forthcoming debate in Bonn establishes any formal conditions on the Saar and NATO issues. French Assembly wld certainly impose rigid conditions on French side and make it difficult or impossible to pursue negotiations.
Bruce
  1. Repeated to London and Bonn.