762A.0221/8–2852: Telegram

No. 152
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (Donnelly) to the Department of State1


887. I agree heartily with desirability proposed conf.2 Aside from giving more emphasis to Berlin my comment on agenda is that it does not appear to provide for specific consideration of resurgence of Ger productivity and vitality as one of, if not the, most significant factors in West Eur scene. It is in our minds an original cause of many of problems now troubling us in West Eur and is likely to make difficulties for us in East Eur.

In West this dynamism of Ger will and production is creating an ever greater imbalance in power relationship between Ger and Fr. Resurgence of Ger vitality is undoing narrowly calculated balance between Fr and Ger on which much American-Fr thinking regarding Eur integration was predicated.

Let us illustrate what we mean. Saar issue is clear and crucial symptom. Our understanding is that Fr considered alienation of Saar from Ger and its incorporation in Fr econ complex as essential to even approx Fr parity with Ger. Remarkable Ger postwar revival has made denial of Saar to Ger and its retention by Fr even more important than it seemed in 1945. “Europeanization” of Saar on basis of local Franco-Ger equality without integration of Fr and Ger wld mean a sharp absolute decline of Fr strength in relation to Ger.

In Ger saar is a measure, albeit an exaggerated one, of rapidly reviving Ger natl consciousness and self-assertiveness. Ger demands regarding Saar are not static; they have been steadily expanding. And there is slight reason to believe that they will not continue to grow. What Bonn wld have settled for on Saar last winter was not what it wld accept in spring. Terms negotiable now may well be rejected by autumn.

Reason is simple—Gers are confident of their superiority over Fr. They know it is growing. They calculate they can afford to wait. We shall not be surprised if by Sept their position is that they wish to see Saar “Europeanized” in a total integration of Fr and Ger within EDC, but if Fr will not buy that, then Saar must be returned [Page 356] to Ger lock, stock and barrel. This is a strong position for them and one regarding which it will be difficult for us to reproach them, for they will have ranged themselves, not insincerely, on side of integration angels.

Burgeoning Ger dynamism is also having its effect with regard to East. Fact that West Gers feel deeply frustrated about recovery of Eastern territories does not mean, so far as we can see, any diminution of desires for reunification. While hopes may fade on this score, growth of confidence and pride tend to make denial of Eastern territories even more intolerable. This is a more slowly working fermentation than Saar. But we must not think that because it is not an immed and critical issue it will not plague us in future.

We wld also observe that unity issue in Ger involves lost Eastern territories, which involve territories ceded to Poland, which involve question of Soviet satellite. Our policy of favoring Ger unification logically leads therefore step by step to question: What is our position re ultimate disposition of satellites? Thus far we have been spared close questioning on this score. But we believe it wld be useful, with eye to future, to have our minds clarified regarding our long term objectives on satellites. With peaceful, we hope, rollback of Soviet power do we think of Eur community, complete with Schuman Plan and EDF, stopping at Oder-Neisse, at old Polish border or at prewar Soviet frontiers? In other words, is this new center of power which we are trying to create in Western Eur eventually to include all or part of any of present Soviet satellites?

It seems to us that these are several practical questions. Gers are now beginning to see beyond their noses. Satellite problem, which may sometimes seem remote to us, is of intimate concern to potentially strongest of our West Eur Allies. I hope that Secretary and Kennan can give us benefit of their thinking on this subject.

  1. Repeated to Moscow, London, Paris, and Rome.
  2. On Aug. 28, in a telegram to Moscow, Bonn, Paris, London, and Rome, Bruce had proposed holding another in the series of European Chiefs of Mission Conferences to examine the situation in Europe. (Telegram 855 to Bonn, 120.4341/8–2252)