740.5/9–354: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Butterworth) to the Department of State 1


1153. Frank Roberts called Chipman to Foreign Office this afternoon to give Embassy outline of British HICOMer’s conversation with Adenauer although he assumed that British Missions in Bonn and Washington would give us full account.2 Briefly, he stressed point that while Adenauer was in less angry mood than was case when he [Page 1142] saw Conant,3 Chancellor made it clear that events had overtaken protocols and that he would have to have more than they offered. British HICOMer replied, said Roberts, that protocols had been designed to help him and asked what Chancellor had in mind. Chancellor responded that he would have something definite to say next week. Roberts thought that it would be only realistic for UK and US now to regard protocols as inadequate to meet new situation.

In touching on German rearmament, Roberts said British HICOMer made it clear to Adenauer he was speaking only for British Government and outlined in general British preference for some form German participation in NATO to any other solution. Adenauer seemed to understand British position but vaguely suggested that possibly German troops could be placed under SACEUR apparently in order, British assume, to avoid French veto.

Roberts then took up British suggestion of eight-power conference defending it on grounds that Germans would be admitted thereto while in NAC conference, Germans would be excluded or if somehow admitted conference could not risk failure to admit Germans in NATO. Roberts insisted that British consider an eight-power conference as necessary step toward NAC conference and thought that arrangement might be made for Canadian participation.

In conclusion, Roberts touched on matter for which he obviously had called Chipman to Foreign Office, namely, when British could expect to obtain American reaction to document 6 of paper on Anglo-American discussion in London. He felt that UK and US should be prepared by next week to have joint position thereon. In this connection he stressed point that document in question had been approved in two latest British Cabinet meetings. Roberts added that Prime Minister is most restless and “burning to take action on German rearmament” which, however, is reluctant to do prior to reaching agreement with Washington.

Roberts explained that Spaak had sent special message on occasion latest British Cabinet meeting expressing opposition to “small European army” solution and in favor of NATO membership. While British, he continued, were not endeavoring to line up governments in favor of NATO solution, Italian, Norwegian, Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg Ambassadors had expressed to him during past few days during general conversations, preference for German rearmament under NATO to any other solution, now that EDC was dead.

  1. Repeated to Bonn and to Paris for Bruce and USRO.
  2. A summary of the British High Commissioner’s meeting with Adenauer in Bonn on Sept. 2 was provided by British Embassy officials during a call at the Department of State on Sept. 3 (memoranda of conversation, Sept. 3; 740.5/9–354). For Adenauer’s summary of this meeting, see his Erinnerungen 1953–1955, pp. 305–306.
  3. For a report on Conant’s meeting with Adenauer, see telegram 663 from Bonn, Sept. 2, p. 1138.