662A.00/3–3152: Telegram

No. 12
The Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Bonn1

secret

2420. For McCloy. We are increasingly concerned with slow progress Bonn contractual negots and Paris EDC negots since Lisbon mtg.2 Although difficult to judge such matters from here, prospects for completing both negots by end Apr seem dimmer. This impression has been confirmed by report of Adenauer announcement re mid-May Bonn mtg of FonMins (London’s 4354 Mar 31, rptd Paris 2028, Bonn 4503). Delays in both Paris and Bonn seem to certain extent to be interrelated and it is therefore difficult to judge how and where logjam cld best be broken. Wld appreciate your and Paris’ comments on this point.

Our concern with delay in completing both sets of agreements is deepened by cumulative effect of current exchange of notes with Sovs on Ger unity question.4 For this reason alone we must press forward. We have been considering ways in which we might be helpful in stimulating progress. One thought, prompted in part by Adenauer’s reported announcement re Bonn mtg, wld be to send a personal message from the Secy to Eden, Schuman and Adenauer, (and possibly Italian, Benelux FonMins) suggesting the public announcement of a specific time and place for signing of contractual conventions and EDC Treaty. We consider it essential to maintain interrelationship both sets of agreements and therefore wish to avoid being drawn in by Adenauer proposal for signing of contractuals only at Bonn. Our view continues to be that Strasbourg is logical and best site for signature of EDC and contractuals, chiefly because of its symbolic significance in move towards new Europe and appeal which holding of ceremony there wld have for European opinion generally. Strasbourg as site wld also be a convenient means for avoiding signature in one of capitals. Re last sentence London’s reftel, we had not heard Paris mentioned as possible site [Page 21]before and wld not favor it. Although not strongly opposed to Bonn, we believe signature of agreements there might later be exploited by opposition in Ger. Furthermore, EDC countries wld probably not favor Bonn for signing of EDC Treaty. For all these reasons Strasbourg seems ideal place. We realize Adenauer may be disappointed if his public proposal for Bonn is not accepted. If this is the case we could consider whether you might indicate to him that Secy will try to come to Bonn for a visit of one or two days immediately after signing at Strasbourg.

We note that Adenauer suggested mid-May for date of signature for contractuals. We wld hope that this cld be moved up to early May and, as stated above, consider it must be coupled with signature of EDC Treaty.

In addition to comments requested para 1, wld appreciate your views on timing and place of signature with particular respect to feasibility concluding both sets of negots by end of April, and also whether setting date now would serve as stimulus to conclusion of negotiations.

Acheson
  1. Drafted by Calhoun and cleared by Lewis, Perkins, and Matthews. Repeated to London and Paris.
  2. For documentation on the U.S. attitude toward the establishment of a European Defense Community (EDC), see vol. v, Part 1, pp. 571 ff.
  3. Telegram 4354 reported that Adenauer had discussed this question with Eden during the latter’s visit to Paris. Mar. 19–21, but that nothing had been said concerning an announcement. (662A.00/3–3152)
  4. For documentation on the exchanges of notes with the Soviet Union concerning all-German elections and German unity, see Documents 65 ff.