762A.0221/4–552: Telegram

No. 13
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Department of State

secret priority

2273. Dept pass Defense. Supplementing report of HICOM mtg with Chancellor,1 fol summarizes last night’s discussion of preemergency clause:

During Feb London Mtg Chancellor was given draft text of provision authorizing mil commanders to take such direct action for estab or removal of def installations and such measures prior to declaration of emergency required for effective mil operation and security of forces as commander determines to be essential for common def in fulfillment of SAC Eur directive.2 Dept will recall importance attached to such provision by EUCOM.

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Chancellor had on previous occasions expressed willingness to accept some such clause, stating he understood necessity therefor. Last night, however, he, Gen Heusinger and Grewe explained that in Ger opinion adequate protection was afforded mil commanders by emergency provisions of Art V of Gen Convention, particularly para 7. Furthermore, draft laws relating to provision of goods and services, protected areas and maneuvers now under consideration in Bundestag, wld assure Ger cooperation in fulfillment of allied mil requirements. Ger negotiators considered allied draft went considerably beyond emergency clause of Art V which called for consultation with FedRep and gave latter possibility of appeal and wld enable mil commanders to control civil administration. In addition, since action taken under it wld not be subj to arbitration, it wld mean a further reservation of allied rights. Gers further stated this provision wld give allied commanders more auth than wld be conferred upon EDC commander. Gen Heusinger pointed out that measures allied commanders wld wish to take wld require cooperation of civil auths and could not be carried out merely by mil order.

On allied side we explained way must be found to give mil commanders right to take precautionary def measures without necessity of invoking state of emergency and stressed necessity of giving mil commanders adequate auth to enable them to discharge their responsibility to provide for security of their troops and def of area. As Chancellor’s principal objection appeared to be that mil commanders wld have right to take such measures unilaterally without bringing in civilian auth we agreed to give further study to ways and means to assist fed auths in such measures. On US side it was suggested that language might be inserted so that commanders in all cases wld do their utmost to obtain consent of civil auths and wld act only in case of utmost urgency prior to obtaining cooperation of civil auths. Further discussion of clause will take place between Gens. Heusinger and Hays early next week. Brit and Fr are not fully in agreement as to necessity of such provision but are prepared to accept whatever agreement can be reached between Gers and ourselves.

  1. In telegram 2274 from Bonn, April 5, McCloy reported that at a special meeting with Adenauer on the preceding day, lasting from 3:30 to midnight, agreement in principle had been reached between the High Commissioners and the Federal Chancellor on 11 of the 16 points considered. (662A.00/4–552)
  2. The draft text under reference has not been identified further. The records of Chancellor Adenauer’s conversations with Foreign Ministers Acheson, Eden, and Schuman during the meetings at London, Feb. 13–19, are printed in vol. v, Part 1, pp. 59 ff.