Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 103

Memorandum of Conversation, by James K. Penfield

After a short discussion of the seating protocol at the Foreign Ministers’ discussions, it was decided that Ambassadors Gifford, McCloy and Bruce would sit at the table with Secretary Acheson.

The rest of the conversation was devoted to a discussion of guarantees of the integrity of the EDCNATO system. Mr. Bruce made the point, which he emphasized repeatedly throughout the conversation, that the most practicable way of guaranteeing the EDC was not through security controls but through the concept of military self-sufficiency. He said that no country could secede from the EDC unless it was or could become militarily self-sufficient, and that a country could be prevented from becoming militarily self-sufficient through provisions in the terms of reference of the Commissariat based on the principle of balanced effective forces and specifying that military procurement orders would be placed in such a way as to obtain the greatest and most economic production. Alternatively, military self-sufficiency could be prevented unidentifiably through US control of end-item allocations.

Mr. Bruce then outlined a possible statement by the President along the following lines:

We take note of the European association, we hope for further close association and have profound interest in its development. We would view with apprehension (or alarm) any breach of the agreements.

Mr. McCloy suggested a statement neither guaranteeing the EDC nor including the concept of military self-sufficiency but merely stating that we are interested in the European system of collective security [Page 54] and are prepared to consult when there is a threat to the integrity of the EDC.

Summing up the discussion, Secretary Acheson asked Mr. Nitze to work out a wording of a possible statement to be made by the President in his message transmitting the contractual arrangements treaty to the Senate. The Secretary outlined this statement along the following lines:

I am transmitting to the Senate a Treaty restoring Germany to membership in the family of nations. This Treaty is consistent with EDC and with NATO. We are deeply committed to these arrangements which are fully consistent with the intent of Congress as expressed on many occasions (this thought to be underlined and emphasized). Both Congress and the President have stated that American troops will remain in Europe as long as they are needed to maintain the defense of the West. The NATO idea has progressed through various stages and has developed an integrated force. Now within this integrated force there has been created a cohesive EDC force. Our policy is to maintain this balanced European force. Should a threat arise to the integrity of the EDCNATO system, it would be a matter of the gravest concern to us and a threat to the effectiveness of the defense arrangements of the West which we would consider a matter for consultation under Article IV of the North Atlantic Treaty.