662A.00/5–2952: Telegram

No. 518
The Ambassador in France (Dunn) to the Department of State1


7432. From the Secretary. Secy called on Pres Auriol 7 p.m. May 28 remaining for half an hour. Accompanied by Amb Dunn and Knight who acted as interpreter.

Salient aspect was emphasis placed by Auriol on Fr fears, which he fully shares, of rebirth strong, aggressive and adventuresome Ger. Referring to Germany’s comeback in psychological as well as material fields during past 5 years, this compares favorably with her evolution in 12 years after First World War. Pres said his greatest fear was that FedRep wld withdraw from EDC when militarily strong enough to do so, unite her forces with those of East Ger and then seek to inveigle us into some adventure to recover her lost eastern provinces. He contrasted “moderate” Fr irredentism after 1870 which Fr never permitted to become casus belli with that which we can expect of Prussia. Prussia inflexible and will never forget; Prussia always has been and will be again soul and backbone of Ger.

Auriol expressed regret that Schuman had been unable to convince Secy in Bonn re reparations out of current production and in somewhat vague manner sought demonstrate inequitable econ burden thus placed on Fr shoulders.

Secy thanked Pres for his views and told him that he had given considerable thought to them as at last mtg Pres had expressed himself in similar vein. Secy outlined alternatives which faced US in connection with Ger none of which represented course of action which enthuses US. However, choice we made seemed to be wise one as other courses action definitely more dangerous. Secy assured Pres that we wld remain alert and fol evolution Ger with great care. Re SPD and Schumacher which worry Auriol greatly Secy told him that at some time we might be obliged to take joint action [Page 1207] with our Allies warning that party’s policies and actions transcended purely internal plane.

Pres ended conversation by stressing the dangers of seeming to grant a monopoly of negotiating initiatives to USSR especially now when West is in stronger position and shld therefore be more willing to talk. He made fuzzy suggestion that Ger be somehow internationalized under an internatl guarantee “mil or legal” to be worked out by all of Ger’s neighbors “probably through UN”. Secy agreed re his concern about public opinion being led to believe that Sovs be permitted appear as only party desiring to negot, but pointed out extreme practical difficulty internationalizing a country over long term when this country fundamentally opposed.

Pres Auriol sent warmest messages to Pres expressing again deep appreciation for welcome he had recd from US Pres and people last year.2

  1. Repeated to Bonn.
  2. For documentation concerning President Vincent Auriol’s visit to Washington, Mar. 28–Apr. 2, 1951, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. iv, Part 1, pp. 348 ff.