762A.00/1–1563: Telegram

No. 166
The Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Bonn 1


3605. Eyes only Reber. Though Dept of course entirely willing defer your judgment on matter, suggest you review conclusion last para urtel 33552 on basis fol considerations:

We did not recommend you meet Ollenhauer with any hope of materially changing SPD’s position at this critical juncture, but rather for two reasons: (a) emphasize our growing concern latest developments re FedRep’s basic relations with Western Allies and try and make clear US Govt does not have practical alternatives to present contractual and EDC solutions (i.e. contrary reports spread by Baade, Brunning, etc.); and (b) make these pts by way of frank, friendly discussion of type we believe top HICOG reps shld have with SPD leaders as frequently as possible. Now that new US Admin in office, your arguments shld carry even greater weight.
Despite your view SPD leadership now allegedly more than ever convinced present treaties dead, we felt both recent SPD protest (urtel 31323) and Ollenhauer’s subsequent statement (urtel 32974) suggested SPD leaders not entirely happy about present situation and probably trying hard convince themselves that new US [Page 400] Admin must have other and more attractive alternatives. Admit this only our guess and we may be wrong.
We wld still favor your having discussion with Ollenhauer along lines indicated Deptel 34965 before Secy arrives.6 Latter will have neither time nor desire, purpose his trip being mainly one of info gathering, to become involved in detailed, substantive discussion of treaties. And new US HICOMer will also hardly be in a position engage such discussions immed upon arrival.7

  1. Drafted by Morris and cleared by Riddleberger.
  2. Telegram 3355 reported that the SPD seemed more convinced than ever that the new Eisenhower administration would take a more flexible approach to European problems, and because of this Reber believed it would not be effective to talk to Ollenhauer at this time. (762A.00/1–2153)
  3. See footnote 2, supra.
  4. Telegram 3297 reported that at a press conference on Jan. 16 Ollenhauer had rejected the contention that ratification of the EDC Treaty or an end to U.S. interest in Europe were the only two possibilities for Germany. (762A.00/1–1653)
  5. Supra.
  6. Secretary Dulles traveled to Europe with Mutual Security Director Stassen, Jan. 31–Feb. 8.
  7. On Jan. 29 Reber reported that he had seen Ollenhauer that day and had made clear the U.S. position along the lines presented in this telegram and telegram 3496, supra. Reber indicated further that Ollenhauer took a more positive attitude toward the question of German participation in Western defense than he had displayed in any other recent conversation. (762A.00/1–2953)