762.022/12–1554; Telegram

The United States High Commissioner for Germany (Conant) to the Embassy in France 1


407. For Secretary2 from Conant. Your message (Dept to Bonn 1643 rptd Paris 21953) transmitted to Chanc through Blankenhorn on receipt 11 pm last night. By this time Chanc had formulated his reply to opposition for today’s debate and met with Cabinet. It was clearly too late for him to make drastic change in his presentation. That he was correct in his premise as to opposition’s argument is clear from opposition speaker’s statement this morning in Bundestag at 9:00 a m, which pointed out serious discrepancy of justification for Saar Treaty presented officially by Ger Govt and presented officially by French Govt to members of French Assembly and published in morning papers. Chanc, in brief reply this morning in Bundestag debate committed himself to later discussion during debate of difference of opinion. Blankenhorn, in reporting Chanc’s reaction to your message and Brit proposals along similar lines, stated that it was impossible for Chanc to change his proposed declaration at this late hour and that most he could do to accommodate our viewpoint was to adopt Eden’s suggestion to effect that if exploratory talks with Mendes-France did not lead to agreement he would suggest to Mendes-France that approach be made to US and UK govts with view to obtaining their good offices (you will recall that in original text contained in our 17324 he had said that he would approach American and Brit govts directly.)

It is our view in Bonn that discrepancies between Ger and French published justifications are so serious that it would be impossible for Chanc to keep even his own party in line unless he undertakes some clarification of these basic differences with Mendes-France. Therefore, [Page 1502] I believe Chanc is not being stubborn or unreasonable in insisting that there must be clarification on a few vital points before he can proceed with comite discussion of Saar Treaty. We assume debate will be terminated tomorrow afternoon with treaties being sent to comite and matter will not be discussed again in Bundestag until sometime in January.

  1. Repeated to London as telegram 414 and to the Department of State as telegram 1749, which is the source text.
  2. Dulles was in Paris to attend the NAC Ministerial meeting scheduled for Dec. 17–18; for documentation, see pp. 549 ff.
  3. Not printed; it contained Dulles’ instruction that Adenauer be urgently informed that Dulles believed he should at all costs avoid creating a situation where further agreement must be reached on the interpretation of the Saar agreement prior to French and German ratification of the present text (762.022/12–1454).
  4. Not printed; it transmitted to the Department of State a translation of the text of Adenauer’s proposed statement to the Bundestag concerning the Saar Agreement (762.022/12–1454).