762A.00/12–1952: Telegram

No. 165
The Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Bonn 1


3496. Eyes only Reber. Despite SPD protest reported urtel 3132,2 or perhaps to help counter it, you may in your discretion wish to follow up your previous discussion with SPD leader Ollenhauer (urtel 2873)3 by another.

Subj your concurrence, wld suggest you stress fol in particular:

Our very real appreciation of SPD’s interest in: Ger unity; maintenance of free Berlin until such time as Ger unity achieved; Ger democracy; and importance of Ger as equal sovereign partner in community of free nations.
US not “intervening in EDC” as implied SPD protest, and not trying bring undue pressure to bear on Fed Govt or its SPD opposition. At same time, we seriously concerned over situation which has been developing re future status FedRep, Eur integration and defense. Pres-elect’s messages to Ridgway and Adenauer 4 may be regarded as self-evident in this connection.5
Serious crisis which will confront Ger and West Eur if EDC fails resulting in inability to defend Ger under those circumstances. US cld not in long run support continued retention of thousands of US troops in Ger in absence of Ger def contribution. This consideration wld hold either in case of continued division of Ger without def contribution or in case of unified neutralized Ger of type re which SPD evidently thinking. You might well ask Ollenhauer whether his party really thinks latter solution wld achieve the objectives re Ger (see para 1) desired by SPD if US forces in Eur reduced or withdrawn.
We feel that even hint that US troops might or about to be withdrawn from Ger might provoke Sov-Commie action against Berlin.
Mil forces being rapidly created in GDR certainly add sense of urgency to problem of West Ger def contribution. Remind Ollenhauer that during course of last year, according to our intelligence, GDR mil forces were almost doubled (to present figure of close to 100,000) and we anticipated they may be further doubled during next 12 months.
Point out once more practical difficulties trying renegotiate EDC and contractuals, which represent compromise achieved through months of hard bargaining. It already fairly clear that new Fr Govt likely demand changes even less favorable to Ger than present treaties. If Ollenhauer argues that Fr and certain others already making it clear they will not ratify present treaties and hence useless even discuss them, you might pt out that we still believe only real question mark is in Fr, that this constitutes bridge which cannot be crossed until we come to it, that we still feel there is real chance of Fr ratification (subj perhaps further supplementary understandings on various pts not all of which even related Ger) if all others approve, and in any case we wld think FedRep wld be extremely well advised both for the record and its future relations with other Western Allies, to go ahead on assumption that Fr will actually follow suit.
Ollenhauer must be aware of impossibility of proposing Ger entry into NATO in present situation. With respect to Ger membership,6 we feel there can be no consideration of this question until the treaties are ratified and in effect, or as long as Fr do not definitely reject them.
In conclusion, our very serious concern re situation which has developed and fact that unfortunately we do not have any ready alternatives to pull out of bag inasmuch as all possibilities of which [Page 399] we can think are believed even less desirable from Ger pt of view. In fact we are convinced that SPD has number of basic and vital aims re future of Ger and Eur, but that only practical way to work towards these is by going forward on basis of treaties now drafted and we fear that if instead we shld be forced to renegotiate, such serious delays and problems wld arise that very possibility of attaining these goals might be seriously jeopardized.

  1. Drafted by Morris and Williamson and cleared by Perkins, Riddleberger, and Bonbright.
  2. Telegram 3132 reported that on Jan. 7 SPD headquarters had made available to the press a statement protesting against alleged American pressure on the Federal Republic to approve the EDC Treaty. (740.5/1–853)
  3. In telegram 2873 Reber reported that he had met with Ollenhauer on Dec. 19 to convey the concern of the United States with respect to the lagging European initiative on the EDC Treaty. Ollenhauer in response, had insisted that the treaty was unacceptable in its present form because a large segment of the German people opposed it. (762A.00/12–1952)
  4. Regarding President-elect Eisenhower’s message to Chancellor Adenauer, Jan. 6, 1953, see the editorial note, vol. v, Part 1, p. 700. For text of the message endorsing the EDC, see the New York Times, Jan. 7, 1953, p. 1. The message to General Ridgway, dated Dec. 29, 1952, reads as follows:

    “I send you and my former associates in NATO my best wishes for the New Year. We can hope that this year will mark decisive progress toward essential goals. Included in that progress will be, I hope, increasing economic, political and military unity in the Western and continental European nations. As their divided strength becomes combined its effectiveness will be multiplied so that Western Europe will become a strong and vigorous community for peace and freedom. My often expressed views on this matter are not only unchanged but reinforced as I more and more see the feebleness of alternatives.” (Telegram 3168 to Bonn, Dec. 29, 711.11 EI/12–2952)

  5. In place of the last eight words of this sentence, the source text had read as follows before transmission:

    “were in fact primarily prompted by signs increasing Fr hesitation re Ger and nationalism in Fr, ratification difficulties in both Fr and Ger, and Eisenhower’s desire make clear his position and thus refute rumors reportedly circulating Eur re his alleged loss of interest in EDC.”

  6. Before transmission the beginning of this sentence read “although US is anxious to bring Ger into NATO at earliest practicable time,”.