Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 359

Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs ( Merchant ) to the Secretary of State 1

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  • Alternative to EDC.

Attached at Tab A is a Memorandum for the President which he has already received outlining a program to meet the present European crisis.2 At Tab B is a paper which spells out this program in greater detail. At Tab C is a proposed NATO resolution to be approved by a special Council meeting in October.3 At Tab D is a proposal for restoring German sovereignty.

In connection with these papers, I should like to call your attention particularly to the following points:

The President should be aware that we have not attempted to deal with the problem of what happens in the event of the unification of Germany. We are continuing to consult the Legal Advisers’ Office on this point in an effort to develop a position.
In your absence, we have not submitted a copy of these papers to the Department of Defense, although we have kept them generally informed of our thinking. I believe we should transmit copies of the papers to Defense for their comments as soon as you have had a chance to review them. We should also transmit promptly copies to Ambassador Hughes and General Gruenther for their private comments.
From the tactical point of view, particularly in negotiating with Adenauer, we should not accept the position that the contractual agreements are dead. There are still some principles in these agreements which are important to us and our bargaining position will be better if we cling as long as possible to the view that they remain in effect.
In discussing our position with the British and French we should emphasize that we are not relying only on unilateral German commitments. Many of the provisions in our program which will limit German control over their military establishment are multilateral.
In negotiating with the Germans on the status of forces problem, we will probably be driven back on acceptance, at least publicly, of the NATO SOF formula. In order to improve our position vis-à-vis Defense and Congress, we should, however, attempt vigorously to negotiate additional concessions on treatment of troops in a supplementary arrangement such as we have recently reached with Italy.
We are agreed that for the practical purpose of putting pressure on the French we must have a veto-proof alternative for German rearmament such as that outlined in paragraph 4 of Tab B. I wish to emphasize, however, my conviction that any alternative requiring us to proceed without French cooperation does not conform to your basic principle that a strong Europe can be built only on Franco-German collaboration. Consequently, any such alternative is not an end itself [Page 1164] but only a bargaining device and we should not become over-committed to it, but should retain essential flexibility.
If an opportunity presents itself, I suggest you ask Secretary Wilson and Admiral Radford to pull together from the many studies now going on in the Pentagon the essential military comments on the British document outlining their program for German membership in NATO. I am convinced that at some point in our forthcoming negotiations we must have a position on this particular paper.

Tab B

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Paper Prepared by the Director of the Office of European Regional Affairs ( Moore )

U.S. Position on Alternative to EDC

The major objectives of US security policy toward Western Europe have been:

To associate Germany with the West.
To foster further progress toward European integration, particularly France-German reconciliation.
To obtain a German contribution to Western defense.
To restore sovereignty to Germany and end discrimination against her.

French rejection of EDC has blocked that road to attainment of these objectives. If the Europeans can lay out and follow an alternate route promptly and with determination, we should support them because of our vital interest in a strong Europe. The essential elements of an alternative program would be the following:

1. German Membership in NATO

Germany should be invited to accede to the North Atlantic Treaty by agreement among all the signatories in accordance with Article 10. In accepting this invitation, Germany would submit a formal reply emphasizing the defensive character of the forces she expects to contribute and undertaking to follow in her initial contribution the size and composition of forces specified in the EDC Special Military Agreement (this excludes submarines and strategic bombers). She would also undertake to produce equipment needed for the common defense. She would state, however, that she would not produce atomic and thermo-nuclear weapons, military aircraft, etc. (other items in Annex II of Article 107 of EDC Treaty) because of her exposed strategic position except as agreed by NATO.

Parallel with this step, NATO should reach agreement on a program for more effective military integration. In accepting membership in [Page 1165] NATO, Germany would, of course, be bound by these agreements. This program would have as its objective strengthening the military effectiveness of the forces committed to NATO. It would as a by-product limit autonomy of any forces committed to NATO in Europe which would include all German forces as provided below. It would thus have the advantages of being desirable in its own right and nondiscriminatory vis-à-vis Germany. The following points should be covered:

Further integration and internationalization of command.
Strengthening of SACEUR’s control over deployment of forces committed to him so that they will be deployed in accordance with NATO plans and can be moved within his area only as a result of his decision. SACEUR would be subject to appropriate political guidance in the exercise of these powers.
Strengthening of Annual Review including formal NAC agreement that changes in previously approved force goals and force commitments to NATO should be made only in accordance with the Annual Review process.
Agreement on integration of supply and logistics including proposal for international depots (Bogart Plan).
Invitation to all NATO members willing to participate but aimed primarily at the Six to form an “Arms Production Pool” going as far as possible in the direction of the EDC provisions. (The US should be ready to indicate a preference for channeling its aid to the Six through such a body rather than directly.)

This program could be agreed and implemented without any modification of the Treaty. It would not, however, be effective unless supplemented by agreement on a new protocol committing signatories not to maintain forces other than those committed to NATO Commanders except for certain specified purposes. Since these would include the right to maintain forces needed to fulfill defense responsibilities in areas other than Europe or outside the NATO area, it should be possible to obtain Senate approval. At the same time this protocol should improve the chances of French and British approval by limiting German forces to those assigned to NATO.

Every effort should be made to reach agreement on this program first with the British and Germans and then with the other EDC countries and Canada in time for a meeting of the North Atlantic Council prior to October 15. At this meeting the Council would approve in principle German membership in NATO. It would also approve a resolution covering very broadly the program outlined above and instruct the Permanent Representatives, working with the military bodies, to draw up detailed documents carrying out the program for approval by the Council at its December meeting. The objective would be to agree in December on a complete program, made as impressive and attractive as possible, for use in securing parliamentary approval of those portions of it for which this is necessary.

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2. Restoration of German Sovereignty

See attached Tab B [D].

3. European Integration

Every effort should be made to restore impetus to the movement for European unity. We should continue to support the European Coal and Steel Community and to encourage any other practical steps for economic integration. An effort should be made to move toward a European political community either by reviving the Charter drawn up by the Schuman Plan Assembly last year, or by calling a directly elected European Assembly, in accordance with the Declaration of May 1954, and assigning it the responsibility for drawing up a Charter. France, of course, would be expected to participate in these endeavors. At the NATO Council meeting in early October a strong resolution along these lines should be approved by the Ministers. We should also support a European solution for the Saar along the lines agreed between Adenauer and the preceding French Government.4

4. German Rearmament outside NATO

If the above fails to obtain French concurrence in German membership in NATO, and in the German defense contribution, we should be prepared to adopt a new position, the essential feature of which should be that it would make it possible to circumvent a French veto. We should work out the substance of this position in advance with the British, but should not discuss it with the French or other powers unless it becomes necessary because of French obstructionism on NATO membership and the defense problem. The French should be informed that the door is always open to French concurrence in the German NATO membership solution or to a revival of EDC. However, it is necessary in the meantime to work out a program for dealing urgently, although less satisfactorily, with the German problem.

The first step in this program would be a joint US-UK request to their respective Joint Chiefs of Staff to review together the strategy for Western defense on the assumption that French cooperation will not be forthcoming. Although a final US position should await the results of this study, we should indicate to the British that we are thinking along the lines of two main steps:

Draw up a defense pact among the US, UK and Germany on a basis analogous to the Greek-Turkish-Yugoslav pact. This pact would be valid only until a change of circumstances makes possible German admission to NATO or a revival of EDC.
Prompt institution of the “interim measures” program for actually getting under way the preliminary training of German forces.

[Page 1167]

This program should be implemented with the primary objective of putting political pressure on the French since it is highly unsatisfactory from the standpoint of obtaining the objectives listed at the beginning of this paper.

Tab D


Paper Prepared by the Officer in Charge of German Political Affairs ( Kidd )

German Sovereignty

A. German Position

With the rejection of the EDC by the French Assembly, Chancellor Adenauer has given notice that the Germans are no longer interested in the qualified sovereignty they were to have obtained through the Contractual Agreements. In a statement issued on September 1st the Federal Government declared its goal to be “Restoration of sovereignty.” The Government gave point to this by adding “Participation in the defense of Western Europe without discrimination” and “juridical regulations, reached by agreement, concerning the stay in West Germany of troops from other countries.” Amplifying these points in a radio statement on September 4th, the Chancellor said:

“I want to emphasize this: It goes without saying that in the negotiations on the Federal Republic’s sovereignty the obligation of the three Occupation Powers, laid down in the Bonn Conventions, must be maintained to bring about, jointly with the Federal Republic, the reunification of Germany in peace and her integration in the west.…5 I should like to stress the sentence in the statement made by Secretary of State Dulles in which he said that it was impossible in the long run to withhold from the Federal Republic the right to individual and collective defence. It appears to me that this sentence correctly expresses the cardinal issue of the whole matter.”6

In conversation with Ambassador Conant on September 8th [7th], the Chancellor stated that he believed sovereignty could be restored by declaration of the Three Powers lifting the occupation powers. Berlin would remain an exception. He envisaged something like the NATO status of forces agreement instead of the Forces Convention. The latter was the only thing that would require Bundestag action.7

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What the Germans find most unacceptable in the Contractuals are:

Stationing of troops as a reserved (occupation) power rather than on the basis of agreement (Article 2, Convention on Relations).
The reserved power to protect the security of our troops (Article 2) coupled with the emergency clause (Article 5) of the Convention on Relations. Few legal questions were more heatedly discussed in the Weimar and Hitler periods than the emergency clause, Article 48, of the Weimar Constitution, and the thesis of a Nazi jurist that “sovereignty lies in the power to declare an emergency.”
Perhaps the “Except by common consent” clause of Article 7 of the Convention on Relations, limiting the Federal Republic’s treaty-making powers.
Much of the Settlement Convention, as an extension of occupation requirements in another form.
The Forces Convention, as discriminating in comparison with the NATO status of forces agreements.
The Finance Convention, depending upon the modification of the Forces Convention and the form which the German defense contribution will now take.8

B. U.S. Position

By the Senate resolution of July 28th [30th] we have declared ourselves in favor of restoring German sovereignty.9 In his statement of August 31st the Secretary said:

“Germany cannot be subjected indefinitely to neutrality or otherwise be discriminated against in terms of her sovereignty including the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense. Limitations on German sovereignty to be permanently acceptable must be shared by others as part of a collective international order.”10

There is thus no policy obstacle to recognition of German sovereignty, by agreement or by executive declaration. To be entirely effective, however, and to avoid abrogation of the Occupation Statute by unilateral action, the Federal Republic’s sovereign status should be recognized in conjunction with the British and French. There are also certain important collateral agreements with the Germans which should be made firm, and accordingly the timing of any formal act of recognition should be made dependent upon mutually satisfactory conclusion of these agreements. These include, in addition to arrangements for the German defense contributions:

Preservation of our rights relating to Berlin (no difficulty anticipated);
Preservation of our rights relating to unification and Germany as a whole (no difficulty anticipated);
Satisfactory agreement on stationing of troops (recasting a reserved right into the form of an agreement);
Provision for security emergencies if not as a reserved right, at least as a practical arrangement.
Parts of the Settlement Convention which have not been overtaken by time (e.g. deconcentration) but in fact needed to be “settled” (e.g. restitution).
The substance of the Forces and Finance Conventions, modified to provide for the French in addition to the US and UK. In answer to a German request for a NATO status of forces agreement, a distinction may be made between the type of situation for which this was primarily designed (bases) and the situation in Germany, where sizeable armies in the field are maintained.

C. Recommended Course of Action

German sovereignty should be recognized by the US as soon as the form of the German defense contribution and necessary collateral agreements have been worked out,
So far as the Germans are concerned, if the NAC invites the Federal Republic to become in due course a member of NATO (or invites the NATO members to agree to German membership within a specified time), this will in itself amount to recognition of Germany’s right to military sovereignty (Wehrhoheit), which will be a great satisfaction to them. At the same time the Occupation Statute will remain on the books until the Three Powers take some further, formal action. The NAC should accordingly invite the Occupying Powers, or the latter should state their intention, to recognize the Federal Republic’s sovereignty as soon as suitable arrangements have been made for German defense participation.
With regard to timing, if a period (e.g. 60 days) is allowed for working out NATO controls, conclusion of necessary collateral agreements by the Occupying Powers, and completion of governmental action by the respective NATO states to agree to German membership, the US, UK, and France might time their formal recognition of sovereignty to coincide with their deposit of ratifications. The Department has been informed that French recognition of German sovereignty will probably require Assembly action, and some of the NATO members, including the US, have reserved the right to obtain parliamentary approval of new members in NATO.
With regard to the form, recognition of sovereignty could be accomplished by either a treaty or executive agreement, or by declaration of the respective states. It is believed that there is some advantage in using declarations, so as to avoid the possibility of further delays through negotiations and ratifications. Although tripartite agreement is required for abrogation of the Occupation Statute, the US and UK might be able to hasten French action if they should announce that so far as their respective Governments were concerned, recognition [Page 1170] of the Federal Republic’s sovereignty would accompany their formal agreement to German membership in NATO. The French can of course withhold either consent to NATO membership or recognition of German sovereignty, but this cuts both ways, since the US and UK can render the Occupation Statute inoperative in their zones by recognition of sovereignty.
  1. Drafted by Ben T. Moore.
  2. For text of Tab A, see Acting Secretary of State Smith’s unnumbered telegram to President Eisenhower of Sept. 10, p. 1160.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Documentation concerning European integration, including U.S. policy toward the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Political Community, is presented in volume vi .
  5. Ellipsis in the source text.
  6. The text of Adenauer’s radio statement was transmitted to the Department of State in telegram 692 from Bonn, Sept. 7 (662A.00/9–754).
  7. For a summary of Conant’s meeting with Adenauer on Sept. 7, see telegram 698 from Bonn, Sept. 7, p. 1152.
  8. Documentation concerning contractual relations with the Federal Republic of Germany, including negotiations over the various conventions, is presented in volume vii .
  9. For the text of Senate Resolution 295 approved on July 30, 1954, see the Department of State Bulletin, Aug. 23, 1954, p. 284.
  10. For the complete text of Dulles’ statement of Aug. 31, see p. 1120.