No. 215
The Secretary of State to the Secretary of Defense (Wilson)1

top secret

My Dear Mr. Secretary: You will recall, in approving NSC 1602 regarding Germany, the Council decided to insert at the end of paragraph 11b the provision that “if developments should so indicate, it may be desirable to take bilaterally with the West German government certain initial steps in the actual creation of arming German units, if this can be done without serious repercussions on our relations with France”.

My understanding is that no action of any kind will be taken by your Department pursuant to this provision unless the Department of State concurs that this can be safely done without injuring our relations with France.

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I must stress my conviction that under present conditions any discussions with the Germans along these lines could have very serious adverse effects in France and in Germany. Furthermore, we must carefully guard against any chance of a “leak” or unauthorized action by representatives of the State and Defense Departments abroad.

The review of the German policy at the first meeting in October, to which we also agreed, will provide an occasion for further discussion of this question.

Sincerely yours,

John Foster Dulles
  1. Drafted by Bowie and concurred in by Bonbright and Lewis.
  2. Not printed, but see NSC 160/1, supra.