No. 19
Foreign Minister Schuman to the Secretary of State1


Dear Mr. Acheson: Thank you for calling my attention to the problems raised, from point of view of ratifying contractual agreements, by the ending of the present session of American Congress around July 3.

I am in complete agreement with you as to necessity making maximum haste in concluding negotiations now in progress and I am instructing our Reps accordingly.

We must however have due regard for facts of situation. There are still important questions to be settled and the desire to finish must not lead us to be satisfied with inadequate solutions. Moreover although Chancellor himself has given evidence during his recent conversations with High Commissioner of a relatively conciliatory attitude, I am bound to state that the German experts both in Paris and Bonn is probably that factor more than any other that is likely to prolong discussions.

However from info at my disposal it wld appear that by putting forth a still greater effort it wld be possible to arrive at final result around May 20 I feel that there wld be no advantage in publicly setting a date for conclusion of agreements. We wld in fact run risks of encouraging German del to hold to their positions and of placing ourselves in a delicate situation if date set cld not be complied with.

As regards question of signature, it seems to be preferable that European Defense Community which was proposed by French Govt should come into being in Paris. Likewise I believe that from point of view of German public opinion it wld be of greatest value if charter which is going to define new status of Federal Republic were signed at Bonn. Doubtless signature of two series of agreement [Page 33]in different places will involve certain amount of inconvenience from a practical point of view; but this seems to me amply compensated for by the significance inherent in signature of European Army Treaty and contractual agreements at Paris and Bonn respectively.2

I am transmitting copies of this letter to Mr. Eden, De Gasperi as well as to our Benelux colleagues and am asking Mr. Francois-Poncet to forward a copy to Chancellor Adenauer.

  1. Transmitted in telegram 6451 from Paris, Apr. 21, with the information that it was a translation of Schuman’s reply to Secretary Acheson’s message transmitted in telegram 2523, Document 16.
  2. Following further discussions the several parties involved agreed that the contractuals should be signed at Bonn and the EDC and related documents should be signed at Paris. The date of the signing was not fixed pending further developments in the negotiations at Bonn and Paris. Documentation on these discussions is in files 662A.00 and 740.5.