762A.00/11–1552: Telegram

No. 160
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (Donnelly) to the Department of State 1


2230. This tel examines chances for continuation of present Ger foreign policy on eve of EDC ratification proceedings in FedRep and in light of coming Bundestag elections (now tentatively sched for June 1953; they must take place by Sept at latest).

Main substance of contemporary Ger internal polits is drawn from relations of W Germany with USSR and France; with the exception of the possibility of econ depression, there is probably no domestic issue at this time which cld bring about decisive change in Ger politics or foreign policy. On one hand, policy of France-Ger rapprochement is keystone of Eur integration both in fact and in public imagination in Ger; on other hand, USSR holds East Zone, Oder-Neisse territories and has threat of war, prospect of trade to use in relations with Ger. (Relations with US do not have same internal polit connotations for FedRep, even in view of impending change in admin, since most Gers, while conscious of its importance, tend to take continued US support for granted, at least, in foreseeable future.) Chancellor as symbol for policy of friendship with France and of complete distrust of intetions of Sov Union; SPD has not committed self finally; on surface at least it is wavering between direct espousal of some form of US-Ger mil connection and some type of neutrality for United Ger. In reality, given its desire to “be different” and oppose Chancellor, SPD is stymied by his monopolistic control of constructive, workable foreign policy, which leave party to play with theoretical policies for future and its hopes that Chancellor will fail or that Sov Union will have miraculous change of heart in Ger unity issue.

In these circumstances, continuation of present Ger foreign policy hinges on two specific possibilities: (1) Fr ratification of EDC or failure to do so and (2) possibility of sensational Sov unity offer. Latter appears increasingly unlikely; Ger distrust of USSR remains strong and constant, and Kremlin wld have to make important concrete concession of some sort before its offers recd general Ger credence.

Fr cooperation with Ger, specifically in EDC, CSC, EPC, is therefore decisive factor in Ger internal polits at this juncture. If Fr [Page 389] ratify EDC, it wld mean great victory for Chancellor and FedRep coalition and shld assure their victory in coming elections and thus continuation of Eur integration. Fr ratification thus obviously key to continuation of present Ger foreign policy. (Saar problem while important, may be regarded as a symptom, not as basic cause of Franco-Ger distrust, and probably cld not of self cause major change in Ger policy.)

If Fr fail to ratify EDC, and therefore equally important gen contract,2 irreparable damage will have been dealt to idea of Eur community and strong nationalist reaction will set in in all Ger polit parties. There is even possibility that nationalist SPD, cool to West, might win Ger elections on platform of unity and neutrality.

In event of Fr refusal to ratify EDC, Chancellor wld have no alternative than quickly to shift emphasis from policy of Franco-Ger rapproachement in framework of “six” to broader concept of Ger participation in Atlantic community, and press for new deal from W allies replacing contractuals to restore Ger sovereignty (Ger insistence on removal of remaining controls wld probably be much stronger than in contractual negots). SPD which is already showing signs of concern lest Chancellor steal march on party by quick change of policy, wld then have two choices: (1) To claim Atlantic idea as own and join in non-partisan foreign policy, though this might not be done until after election; (2) to maintain “unity first” position while exploiting popular hostility and disappointment caused by Fr failure to ratify. Unless Ger resentment is very high and Moscow helps SPD to make up its mind to choose second course, party might ultimately support NATO membership or direct alliance with US as way out of its own foreign policy dilemma. Even if SPD opposes Chancellor’s revised foreign policy, he cld still win next elections using it as platform, but only if all Western allies supported renegot of FedRep sovereignty question and some form of mil alliance with West. Otherwise, if Ger sovereignty and def issues are not on way to solution before FedRep election, West may be confronted with hostile, disgruntled Ger with all opportunities this wld present for Kremlin’s strategy of dividing West.3

  1. Repeated to London and Paris.
  2. For text of the Convention on Relations between the Three Powers and the Federal Republic of Germany, signed at Bonn, May 26, 1952, see Document 51.
  3. On Nov. 24 the Embassy in London added its comments on the future of Anglo-German relations, stating that if the EDC failed Britain would still keep troops in Germany, and probably in the long run, agree to the inclusion of the Federal Republic in NATO. The Embassy warned however, that the British would seek to maintain a balance between France and the Federal Republic in their foreign relations. (Telegram 2945, 762A.00/11–2452) On Nov. 26 Bonn reported its agreement with this analysis. (Telegram 2438, 762A.00/11–2652)