The Secretary of State to the Department of State 1
1046. At Chancellor’s suggestion it had been arranged that I should see Ollenhauer and other members of SPD during my visit to Bonn. Accordingly latter called in company with Carlo Schmid and Wehner.2
Ollenhauer outlined in some detail objections of his party to present form of Contractuals and EDC,3 stressing, however, that SPD recognized Germany had positive contribution to make to common defense and to integration of west. SPD objection to present system was not therefore based on principle but on form of agreements which contained too many remnants of occupation spirit and did not give Germany equality. He went on to say that German defense contribution to be effective must be based on genuine support great majority German people which could only be effected if there were feeling that agreements would not widen gulf between Federal Republic and East Germany thus making hope of German unification more remote. Only when German people could be convinced, according to Ollenhauer, that all possibilities of reaching agreement with Soviets had been exhausted would they be prepared for full integration with West. Ollenhauer, however, offered no alternative to EDC except to repeat previous SPD arguments favoring vague form of coalition army.
In reply I made it quite clear that new American administration, which was in process of reviewing foreign policy of previous administration, had given most careful study to EDC concept. It had come to conclusion that there was no alternative possible which would bring [Page 1569]about effective contribution to common defense and at same time create foundations for genuine Franco–German understanding through elimination of national jealousies and rivalries. Past experience has shown these led to conflict.
As to reunification of Germany and any hesitancy to do the right thing because it might endanger this, I pointed out that if Soviets felt that their control over East Germany could be used to prevent West Germany from associating itself with West, they would surely hold on to East Germany. Best hope was to demonstrate that East Germany was not a means of blackmailing the West.
- Repeated to Bonn, Paris, and London.↩
- An undated, unsigned memorandum of this meeting is in the Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 137.↩
- Documentation concerning contractual relations is presented in
vii; for documentation concerning the attitude of the United States toward the establishment of a European Defense Community, see pp. 571 ff.↩