740.5/7–2252: Airgram

No. 150
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1


A–341. For SRE.

This airgram contains summary US policy re Germany requested Polto 90, rptd Bonn Polto 512 as guidance for approaching NAC discussions. We have not attempted to define economic policies, since you are fully acquainted with this field. Much of material [Page 350] which follows is both general and familiar, but we cannot anticipate all specific questions that may arise. On such points believe Embassy can be helpful, particularly Wellington who has had extended experience in Germany. (Hillengrand will also provide SRE with wide background German matters when he arrives in September.) Department will be glad to furnish answers to further specific questions and also suggests it might possibly prove useful to consult HICOG for background information on specific problems.
Policy of US re Federal Republic is to bring Federal Republic into normal and mutually beneficial relationship with other countries of free world. This policy is also intended to serve ultimate objective of restoring free, united, and democratic Germany to community of nations. (See para 10 below on unification of Germany, which we assume will be major interest to other countries in NAC.)
This policy requires that the Federal Republic be given wholly different position in world from one it has now under occupation. That new position, basis of which is established in Convention on Relations between Three Powers and the Federal Republic, will become a reality after that Convention, related Conventions, and the EDC Treaty enter into effect. Occupation will then be terminated, occupation agencies abolished, and relations between the Federal Republic and other Powers (including US, UK, and France) conducted by usual methods of diplomacy. Of rights now held by three occupying powers, none will be retained except those specified in Article 2 of Convention on Relations. These rights are not being kept for reasons which have to do with the Federal Republic alone, but are made necessary by continued division of Germany and continued necessity for presence in Germany of troops to defend free world. When these conditions no longer exist, rights in question will be withdrawn.
Reserved powers will be qualification of sovereignty, but Conventions themselves will not be such a qualification. The Federal Republic’s new position will be one of substantial independence, and Germans will have freedom of action in both domestic and foreign affairs. Their policies and relations with other countries will be for themselves to decide, and will not be determined by former occupying powers. Essential condition of US policy is, however, that the Federal Republic will continue effectively bound to West by EDC, Coal and Steel Treaty, and any future arrangements of similar character. In this way purpose stated in preamble to Convention on Relations can be realized—“to integrate the Federal Republic on a basis of equality within the European Community itself included in a developing Atlantic Community”.
Paras 3 and 4 cover basic requirements of US policy re the Federal Republic. In lesser and more specific fields we should [Page 351] expect US policies to develop as circumstances require and generally in same manner as with other countries. This is essential to our intention that German freedom of action should be subject only to Allied reserved powers and to continued German association with West (which is policy freely adopted by the present Federal Government). The Federal Republic intends, according to Article 3 of Convention on Relations, to join international organizations contributing to common aims of the free world, and the Three Powers will support such applications for membership “at appropriate times”. We cannot make useful prediction re such times, except to point out that principal difficulty is likely to be opposition of USSR and satellites to Federal Republic membership in UN or other organizations which they participate in. Re possible German membership in NATO you are already familiar with background this question.
Balance of airgram concerns problem of German unification and Soviet intentions. We consider that immediate objectives of USSR in Germany are to consolidate its position in Soviet area of occupation and to prevent integration of the Federal Republic into the European Community. Its ultimate objective is control of all Germany.
Immediate tactical objective of USSR is to prevent ratification of Conventions and EDC Treaty. It is seeking to do this by mobilizing popular resistance in the Federal Republic to ratification, on the grounds that ratification will mean use of the Federal Republic as advanced base for imperialist war of aggression against Soviet bloc and will postpone indefinitely unification of Germany. Communists claim that the best way to bring about a peaceful solution of the German problem is for the Four Powers to meet, in order to draft a peace treaty which would be negotiated with an All-German Government. (Berlin’s Despatch 53, July 15, 1952, rptd London and Paris.3)
At the same time the Soviet Union is seeking to prevent achievement of our objectives in the Federal Republic, Communist regime in East Germany is undertaking to isolate the Soviet Zone and East Berlin from the Federal Republic and West Berlin and to strengthen its control over the population of East Germany. Implementation of this policy was begun through a series of measures taken after signature of Contractual Agreements and EDC Treaty, which were designed to isolate the Soviet area of occupation (Berlin Despatch 946, June 17, 1952, rptd London and Paris).4 Next step [Page 352] was taken at Socialist Unity (Communist) Party conference held in early July, when the Soviet Zone leaders announced extensive program for Sovietization of East Germany. (Berlin’s 88 to Bonn, rptd info Dept 78, London, Paris, Moscow, unn.)5 The Soviet Zone regime has also announced that it intends to organize “national army”. (Berlin Despatch 54, July 15, 1952, rptd London and Paris.)6
While the East German and Soviet authorities have thus taken certain actions affecting West Berlin, so far these have been either connected with their program for Sovietization of the Soviet Zone or have been of a harassing nature. Balance of evidence available would seem to indicate that they do not intend to undertake all out blockade in the immediate future, but rather seek to undermine our position in Berlin through slow process of strangulation. (Berlin unnumbered, July 15, pouched London and Paris.)7
US will continue to work toward ratification and implementation of Conventions and EDC Treaty. Whenever Soviet actions evidence an honest desire to permit reunification of Germany in freedom, we are prepared to talk with them. The primary purpose of recent notes to USSR has been to ascertain whether satisfactory basis for such talks can be found. Before there can be consideration of negotiating peace treaty with Germany, there must, of course, be a united Germany with which to negotiate. For that reason, we have rejected initial Soviet proposal to move immediately to drafting of treaty and have insisted that first order of business should be free elections leading to the formation of an All-German Government. Soviets have, in subsequent notes, declared their willingness to discuss formation All-German Government on basis of free elections and conducting of an investigation to determine whether such elections are possible, but have insisted on linking such discussion to talks on peace treaty. While continuing to decline to discuss peace treaty at this time, US, UK, and France have proposed that the Four Powers meet to arrange for an investigation of conditions throughout Germany as first essential step toward reunification of Germany. While we are thus making every effort to explore Soviet intentions, we believe it should be made clear to world that blatant contradiction exists between profession of USSR in its notes and actions Soviets and Communist regime are taking in East Germany.
Re Berlin we are also taking every possible step to make our position there more secure, including the development of an adequate [Page 353] stockpile. As Secretary Acheson said, recently in Berlin, “We have given notice, in plain and unmistakable language, we are in Berlin as a matter of right and duty, and we shall remain in Berlin until we are satisfied that the freedom of this city is secure. We have also indicated in unmistakable terms that we shall regard any attack on Berlin from whatever quarter as an attack against our forces and ourselves”.8 Harassing actions taken by the Communists in connection with their efforts to seal off Eastern Germany have been dealt with thus far either in Berlin or in HICOM. See Berlin’s unnumbered telegram of July 15 referred to above. These measures have had some success in protecting our and Berliners’ interests. We expect, however, that similar developments will continue to vex us.

Copies of this airgram are being sent to AmEmbassy, London and HICOG, Bonn.

  1. Drafted by Auchincloss and Ausland; cleared by Calhoun and Barnard; and initialed for Secretary Acheson by Laukhuff.
  2. Polto 90 requested a summary of U.S. policy with respect to Germany for an upcoming North Atlantic Council discussion. (740.5/7–2252)
  3. Not printed. (762B.00/7–1552)
  4. Document 701.
  5. Document 703.
  6. Not printed. (762B.5/7–1552)
  7. Not printed. (762B.00/7–1552)
  8. Regarding Secretary Acheson’s visit to Berlin, June 28–29, see Document 551.