662A.00/2–653: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Department of State 1


1045. In conversation with Chancellor Adenauer Thursday afternoon,2 which followed informal discussions and my talk with Ollenhauer, I gave him substance of my talk with SPD leaders, which seemed to please him greatly.3

Adenauer expressed his confidence that German ratification of contractuals and EDC would be forthcoming without great delay. In case Constitutional Court decides against admissibility of declaratory judgment, third reading will be pushed through end of February or beginning of March. In case court rules favorably on admissibility of coalition suit, third reading will also be pushed through, though possibly a few days later than in foregoing case. At third reading majority would be larger than at second reading because Bavarian Party has meanwhile promised Chancellor its support. Chancellor conceded that SPD would request injunction from Constitutional Court after third reading but he did not think that too great a time delay would be caused.

Although Chancellor said he had no detailed information re French protocols, he felt they might be of a nature to require renegotiation or a new process of ratification by all signatories, which could only create further delays.

As far as substantive aspect of German defense contribution is concerned, Chancellor maintained all preparations on paper which are within German power to make at this stage have already been made. A start would be made with 50,000 to 100,000 volunteers around which cadres of future army would be built. Turning to Saar problem, [Page 1570] Chancellor expressed strong hopes that French would not make settlement of this issue a condition of ratification. He recalled his previous negotiations with Schuman on this subject and said that whereas agreement had been reached on political side, economic aspects of Saar solution still remained open for settlement. He had been prepared to accept a joint solution which would take into consideration special interests of French in Saar, special relations between Germany and Saar, and interest of Saarlanders themselves, but French had insisted upon only modifying present Franco-Saar economic conventions.4 Chancellor said this was where matter stood at present but he was prepared at any time to engage in further discussions.

He then turned to serious problem presented by influx of refugees in Berlin and said that in addition to recent emergency, refugee problem of West Germany had assumed such proportions that it could not be settled by German efforts alone. For example, even before present influx of farmers from East Zone there were still 250,000 refugee farmers who had not yet been absorbed by West German economy. He cited Sonne report which had proposed annual expenditure of approximately 3.6 billion marks on refugee problem and had pointed out maximum German effort possible would fall short of this figure by approximately 1 billion marks.5

Chancellor said he was not asking for continued American subsidies but for removal of remaining barriers to private American investment in Germany. He expressed hope that, with expected winding up of debt negotiations in near future, German credit standing would be restored and private American capital facilitated by United States Government would flow into Germany.

Chancellor gave assurances that despite Arab objections Jewish restitution agreement would be submitted for ratification to Bundestag next week and was confident treaty would be approved by overwhelming majority.

In conclusion Adenauer remarked that after Kirkpatrick had explained situation, he had approved British arrest two Nazis and felt this action, to be supplemented by somewhat smaller but similar action on part of Federal Government in Bremen, would eliminate all danger of any incorrigible Nazi resurgence.

In reply to Chancellor I said I was pleased by optimistic time table on ratification which he had outlined and I stressed importance of going ahead with ratification as speedily as possible. As long as none of EDC states had ratified, pressure was not on French or any other signatory, but as soon as ratifications began to come, momentum would be created which could push matter through to successful conclusion. I [Page 1571] pointed out that French had insisted protocols involved no change of treaty texts. I also pointed out United States was under time pressure since it was important at next NATO Council meeting April 23 that United States representatives submit fairly concrete figures on future United States contributions. In order to enable United States to present such figures congressional leaders would have to be convinced that concrete progress in bringing EDC into being had been achieved.

With reference to Saar, I agreed with Chancellor that every effort should be made by France and Germany to remove this source of friction and added I hoped French would not get impression Chancellor was holding back on Saar negotiations until after ratification.

Stassen and I took occasion to point out to Chancellor and to repeat to Finance Minister Schaeffer and Economic Minister Erhard that it was important that no internal commitments in Germany either of a political or budgetary nature should be made which would prevent Germany from making its defense contribution on a basis comparable to contributions of others such as France and the UK.

Finally, I told Chancellor President would be pleased if Adenauer found it possible to visit United States sometime this spring. As Chancellor has to be back for CDU congress middle of April, we tentatively agreed to a date during first half of April.6

Brief conversation was held with Ministers of Finance and Economy, Blank and Vice Chancellor. Latter expressed concern over discernible trend toward bilateral and partial solutions of currency convertibility problem and stated German view was that convertibility should include not only Europe but United States, Canada and British Commonwealth as well. Bluecher promised to present in near future concrete German proposals respecting convertibility, Berlin and refugees. Immediately following cable contains summary Dulles’ meeting with Ollenhauer.

[ Dulles ]
  1. Repeated to Bonn, Paris, and London.
  2. An informal memorandum of this conversation, based on the recollection of several of the participants, as well as another unsigned, undated record of the same meeting, are in the Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 137.
  3. For a record of Dulles’ meeting with SPD leaders, see telegram 1046 from The Hague, Feb. 6, supra.
  4. For documentation concerning the Convention between France and the Saar signed on Mar. 3, 1950, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iv, pp. 927 ff.
  5. Documentation concerning Berlin is presented in volume vii.
  6. Documentation concerning Adenauer’s visit to Washington in April 1953 is presented in volume vii.