662a.00/9–254: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Bonn 1


623. For Conant—to be delivered urgently Thursday morning.2 We appreciate Chancellor’s reaction to protocols may well be that they [Page 1129] are inadequate and could not get Bundestag approval. You should say that proposal was worked out in anticipation of French rejection of EDC treaty with idea they would be helpful to him. While we recognize there are many provisions of contractuals which Germans would like to have changed and while we appreciate that there may be difficulty with Bundestag, we are inclined to feel that placing contractuals in effect now has advantage of enabling us to end the occupation and would avoid numerous problems in our mutual relations during difficult period ahead. What is more important in our view, it would facilitate more rapid solution of defense problem by giving Federal Republic status of equality as first step and by removing broad area of subjects from discussion and possible disagreement in immediate future. We think that protocols as drafted meet substance of German government declaration and trust that Chancellor will weigh carefully disadvantages of negotiating whole parcel of difficult points de novo compared with immediate advantages provided by contractuals.

It is possible, in light of Government declaration reported in your 643,3 that Chancellor may indicate Federal Republic is no longer willing to accept contractuals on any basis and that Federal Government now insists upon full sovereignty, i.e., without reserved powers. If he does so, you should point out that contractuals contain provisions to which Allies attach great importance and which they could consider relinquishing only if given equally adequate arrangements, e.g., for security of their forces. Reopening contractuals would certainly involve protracted negotiations and greatly complicate speedy settlement of defense problem.

You might point out, if he refers to reserved powers, that the positions regarding unification of Germany which we have taken vis-à-vis Soviets in full agreement with Federal Republic, including question of Allied agreement on free elections and their supervision, have been based on these powers. To abandon Allied position would risk giving Soviets real basis for asserting that unification can only be achieved by agreement between “sovereign” GDR and Federal Republic. Our [Page 1130] rights regarding Berlin are of course essential to maintenance of Western position there.4

  1. Drafted by Reinstein and cleared with Kidd, Lyon, and Merchant; repeated to Paris and London.
  2. Sept. 2.
  3. Not printed; it transmitted to the Department of State the text of a German communiqué issued after a meeting of the Cabinet with Adenauer on September 1. The communiqué included a statement concerning the following goals of the German Federal Republic:

    • “1. Continuation of the policy of European unification with all willing countries, in every field, to reach the goal. Consultation on further treatment of military integration with those countries who ratified EDC or were expected to ratify EDC.
    • “2. Restoration of sovereignty.
    • “3. Participation in the defense of Western Europe without discrimination.
    • “4. Juridical regulations, reached by agreement, concerning the stay in West Germany of troops from other countries.
    • “5. Opening of immediate negotiations with the US and Britain.” (762A.00/9–154)

  4. Documentation concerning all-German elections, the problem of German unification, and Allied rights in Berlin is presented in volume vii .