396.1 LO/10–154

Telegraphic Summary by the United States Delegation 1

Ministers devoted two sessions today to question of German sovereignty and related issues raised by list of questions submitted by HICOMers for guidance of working party.2 Good atmosphere and constructive discussion. Immediately apparent that only flat issue was between Germans and French with UK and US endeavoring steer toward compromise.

Germans preferred question of sovereignty to be settled independently of question defense contribution, i.e., “before or at same time” rather than “only simultaneously”. Preferred tripartite declaration or declaration plus German undertaking instead of convention on [Page 1319] relations. Preferred such declaration take effect when Bundestag had taken necessary action. If occupation terminated before entry into force of German defense arrangements, preferred demilitarization controls to be sustained by unilateral declaration of Federal Republic or contractual agreement rather than by reserved power of Allies. Asked that controls be applied in such way as to permit German preparatory measures in interim period and applied by Four-Power Commission acting by majority vote.

French explained impossibility committing themselves before Parliament had opportunity pass on all questions. Therefore preferred restoration of sovereignty simultaneously with entry into effect of defense contribution. Preferred implementation of all Bonn conventions as amended by protocol deleting or amending out of date provisions. Preferred declaration on sovereignty or implementation conventions come into effect when all four governments had ratified, not merely Bundestag. Preferred maintenance demilitarization controls as reserved power, with no interim measures, but agreeable to have controls applied by joint Four-Power Commission.

UK and US stressed necessity giving Adenauer something solid that he could take home from conference while not spoiling atmosphere for parliamentary action in UK, France, possibly US. Therefore proposed declaration intent (text given immediately following telegram3). Asked Adenauer whether he could meet French on implementation contractuals and maintenance demilitarization controls as reserved power, if declaration intent sufficiently positive and satisfactory. Adenauer very pleased with declaration intent and indicated conciliatory attitude on French points provided working party reached agreement by tomorrow on provisions to be deleted or amended in conventions. Secretary stressed that our agreement to declaration intent dependent upon clarification by Germans on how much of Bonn conventions they desired to alter.

US (followed by UK) made important reservation that if nothing accomplished by January 1, might need re-examine position with view proceeding unilaterally so far as US HICOMer and US Zone concerned. Mendes-France hoped for Assembly action by then but could not realistically expect completion Council action before March 15. US and UK qualified reservation to mean that if necessary action proceeding favorably at first of year, that would suffice. Had not intended date as hard and fast time-limit. Question of maintenance [Page 1320] demilitarization controls as reserved power and question re interim measures likewise decided in this sense.

Agreed that restoration sovereignty could take place “before or at same time” as entry into force of defense arrangement. Agreed that timing question re restoration sovereignty upon completion Bundestag action or Four-Power action dependent upon question of form, i.e., whether French proposal accepted for implementation of contractuals, which will be decided after report of working party tomorrow. Agreed that demilitarization controls will be applied by joint Four-Power Commission acting by majority vote.4

  1. Transmitted to the Department of State in telegram Secto 18, Oct. 1, and repeated to Bonn, Rome, Berlin, Ottawa, Luxembourg, The Hague, Brussels, and Paris for USRO, CINCEUR, and Reinhardt. The source text also summarizes the proceedings of the third meeting of the Four-Power Conference which took place on Oct. 1. A 23-page verbatim record of the second meeting is in the Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 367. The list of principal participants, not provided in the source text, is taken from the verbatim record.
  2. The questions from the Working Group on German Sovereignty were circulated in document NPC (54) 15 of Sept. 29, a copy of which is in the Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 364. For information concerning the Working Group, see footnote 7, p. 1302.
  3. Not printed; it transmitted to the Department of State the draft declaration of intent which was subsequently approved and incorporated into the Final Act of the Nine-Power Conference. (396.1 LO/10–154) For the text of the declaration of intent, see Part I of the Final Act, p. 1345. The draft declaration, which was circulated as document NPC (54) 31, is also in the Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 365.
  4. Extracts from various statements made during this discussion by Dulles, Mendès-France, and two by Eden, were circulated as documents NPC (54) 40, NPC(54)41, and NPC(54)37 and NPC(54)42, respectively, and are in the Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 365.