762.022/10–1454: Telegram

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


1578. As follow-up Ambassador’s talk with Mendes-France (Embtel 15582) Emb officer visited FonOff for discussion details French position Saar. Following was substance FonOff remarks:

PriMin is now for first time addressing himself to Saar problem and he has not got into technicalities. However, he is firm on general principles: a) maintenance Franco-Saar economic union; b) political attachment Saar in some form to Brussels Organization; and c) any settlement be given greatest possible air of permanence.
Present talks with Hoffman and Saarlanders in Paris primarily devoted to “internal” Franco-Saar economic problems but political questions also being discussed and full agreement expected tonight on position to be presented to Germans.
General outlines Van Naters plan3 as amended in TeitgenAdenauer agreement4 still valid insofar as French concerned.
Modifications required in earlier understanding caused primarily by disappearance EDC. French now would have Council of Ministers of Brussels Treaty Organization employ an administrator for the Saar. Representatives of these seven nations in Assembly of Council of Europe at Strasbourg would be “democratically chosen [Page 1390] assembly” to which Council of Ministers Brussels Organization would be responsible. This is French negotiating position which we gathered was subject modification depending German views which French believe may favor attachment Saar to CSC.
French believe Saarlanders will agree to formula which will be presented Germans permitting increased German imports into Saar without destroying French market or permitting re-export German goods from Saar into France.
It is recognized Saar settlement cannot be binding on Germans beyond peace treaty, but it should be possible for French to present it as virtually definitive to Assembly.
French expect US to guarantee settlement from time its conclusion to time of German Peace Treaty and to promise our support at peace treaty as previously worked out. UK position now somewhat different because UK member Brussels Organization. Accordingly UK guarantee would cover merely promise of support at time of peace treaty.

  1. Repeated to Bonn, London, and Strasbourg.
  2. Supra.
  3. For information concerning the Van der Goes van Naters report, see the editorial note, p. 803.
  4. For information concerning the TeitgenAdenauer Agreement signed in Strasbourg on May 22, see the editorial note, p. 967.