762.022/12–1354: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


3194. Re Bonn’s 1713 (rptd Paris 396 London 406)2 and telephone conversation Dillon to effect French have already distributed explanation [Page 1495] Saar Treaty I believe we should reply to Adenauer’s question along following lines:

“Questions have recently arisen regarding the position which the United States would take at a German peace conference with reference to the status of the Saar. The United States has long had a deep and abiding interest in a just and permanent settlement of the Saar problem. Such a settlement, in its view, should rest upon willing acceptance by the people of the Saar and of the Governments concerned. In 1947, and again in 1950, the United States Government indicated the position which, in the light of the then circumstances, it would be prepared to take at the peace conference. Since that time, the situation has materially altered, notably by the opening of direct negotiations on this subject by France and Germany. In June 1954, in relation to a prospective Franco-German agreement of a permanent character, the United States indicated that, on the assumption that such an agreement was concluded and commended itself to the people of the Saar, the United States would support that agreed settlement in the Peace Conference. That agreement failed of conclusion. On October 23, 1954, the Governments of France and Germany finally reached an agreement with reference to the Saar, which the United States understands is designed to endure ‘until the conclusion of peace treaty’. It further appears that the provisions of the peace treaty affecting the Saar will require the approval of the Saar population by a referendum. The Government of the United States does not feel that in the absence of agreement by the parties on the permanence of this agreement, it can consider giving a commitment running beyond that contemplated in Article 8 of that agreement. It does, however, believe that it can reasonably be assumed that when the question of the Saar is raised at a Peace Conference, the United States will be disposed to support a permanent solution of this matter which rests upon the willing acceptance of the people of the Saar and the Governments concerned.”

London should urgently seek UK views on foregoing and intentions regarding British issuance similar statement. Hope US statement can be given Adenauer by close of business Dec. 14, i.e. prior Bundestag debate. Upon receipt UK views and on assumption they agree with us, we intend instruct Conant inform Adenauer and Dillon inform Mendes-France.

  1. Drafted by Merchant and Dulles, cleared with Phleger. Lvon, and John W. Jones, and repeated for action to Paris as niact telegram 2190 and to Bonn as niact telegram 1638.
  2. Dated Dec. 13, p. 1492.