740.5/8–3154: Telegram

The United States Observer to the Interim Committee of the European Defense Community ( Bruce ) to the Department of State


Coled 32. For Secretary. Re Deptel 757.1 Have following comments to make on text proposed statement.

Paragraph 4, 5th sentence. Suggest elimination portion of sentence following word “rule.” Comment. It is better to represent yesterday’s Parliamentary action as having been caused by Communist deputies and not involve ex-Gaullists or others in it. Also, there are many who would question whether the majority of votes from those sources other than Communists who opposed EDC were dictated by “national patriotism.” Having made this elimination, would replace language starting “not even” and ending “armies.”

Paragraph 7. Would eliminate entire paragraph. Comment. In my opinion, this vitiates much of the force of the statement, since it might be seized upon as indicating that our reappraisal would result in no major disturbance of our previously expressed policy in regard to NAT commitments. We may wish to make this statement later, but I think it especially inapposite to do it in this context.

In paragraph 8 eliminate word “full.” Its retention might limit our freedom of manoeuver.

These are the only textual changes I would advocate in this excellent and strong paper. However, it seems to me that something else must be added to it in the way of a program of action. Otherwise it will be regarded as merely a reaffirmation of principles already and frequently pronounced by us. Since we have no certitude the Germans will accept a return of sovereignty with the limitations imposed by the Bonn contractual and by the protocols now under discussion in London, and since the question of German sovereignty and German rearmament are almost inextricably intertwined, I strongly advocate the Secretary’s statement conclude with a demand for the convocation of an emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Council not later than October 1 to review the situation created by yesterday’s French parliamentary action, and further to deliberate upon the German problem.

This leaves unsolved the method by which consultation may be had with the Chancellor. Some appropriate means must be found to do so. In this connection, it is all-important that Mendes not be allowed to talk with us, the British and Germans to the exclusion of our other partners in NATO about this situation. This is what Mendes will undoubtedly count upon in order to fortify himself against the bitter criticism which is now pouring in against him from all parts of Europe. Also, this would be considered by the Benelux countries as a betrayal of them. They are likely to feel that, although we have a [Page 1119] right, as occupying powers, to exclude them from such conversations, their interest is as great as that of France in spite of the differences of population, in assuring the security of Western Europe.

They will undoubtedly think that the French should be faced with all their partners in NATO before any action or program is adopted by the U.S., U.K. and France in regard to the German problem.

Have discussed this with Ambassadors Hughes and Dillon who agree with suggested program for positive action. Hughes asked me to say he concurs in suggestions regarding paragraph 4 and 7, and also would prefer, as I would, a restatement of paragraph 2a. See immediately preceding cable for Spaak’s views re NATO meeting.2

  1. Dated Aug. 30, p. 1114.
  2. In telegram Coled 31 from Paris, Aug. 31, Bruce informed the Secretary of State that Spaak came to Paris for an hour that day to request that Bruce urgently send Dulles Spaak’s comments that the French Government had “committed an indecency in democratic parliamentary procedures in shutting off debate,” that this was due to Mendès-France “who has deliberately falsified what took place in Brussels in his determined efforts to kill EDC” and that Spaak had dropped any idea of calling a four-, six-, or seven-nation conference in advance of an emergency NATO meeting. (740.5/8–3154)