662A.00/5–152: Telegram

No. 24
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Department of State1

secret priority

2614. Inform Defense (AgSec from Slater). Fol is brief summary report HICOMers/Chancellor mtg held 1 May 1952. Report on war criminals, fin discussion and executive session fols separate cable.2

1. General points.

In opening remarks I pointed out that we were behind schedule with all conventions which were to have been completed by 1 May. In particular on acts and interests and rights and obligations conventions there were a number minor points required settlement. I urged that experts be directed to have these conventions finalized and ready for initialling within next two days with instrs to reps on both sides to facilitate agreement by compromise. Chancellor then introduced two major points on form and presentation of conventions. First, he repeated arguments about inability of Bundestag reps to see forest for trees (see Para 1 of Bonn sent Dept 2553 of 28 April and 2507 of 25 April3) and then proposed that certain provisions [Page 40] which he described as negative in tone be revised to bring out positive aspect first with negative exceptions to appear at end of provisions. Wherever poss, he added, details of provisions shld be extracted from conventions and incorporated in separate admin agreements. Second, he produced rather extensive list4 (copies being air-pouched Dept) of points in all conventions, except fin convention, affecting laender auth, agencies, procedures and revenues which wld require specific Bundesrat approval. Fed Govt’s difficulties were increased in this connection he said, by broad interpretation Bundesrat gives to Art 84 of basic law. His fear was that on ratification SPD might seize on any one of these points as device to block ratification in Bundesrat. He mentioned incidentally that there were at least two similar points involving Bundesrat approval in EDC convention which he wld ask the Ger Del in Paris to examine.

On these points mtg agreed:

That effort reach decision on outstanding points in convention shld proceed without delay and acts and interests and rights and obligations conventions be wound up as I proposed;
After decision on outstanding points had been made, effort at high level wld be made to meet Chancellor’s request for more positive expression certain provisions. Chancellor promised proposals on presentation by next Monday;
Points of poss diff with Bundesrat will be assigned appropriate rapporteur groups for study. However, after cursory study list we informed Chancellor that whereas we cld meet him without diff on some points there remained others, such as, equalization of burdens tax exemptions, custody of common criminals, clemency, restitution, extradition and expulsions on which we cld not agree to separation from related conventions or basic modification. Such changes wld only involve risk of refusal of allied parliaments to ratify agreements.

With ref reports coalition leaders wld require postponement signature conventions to permit them time make intensive study of provisions, Chancellor said emphatically that conventions cld be signed by 20 May even taking into account any action which might be required as result of his proposals reported above.

2. Application and revision of rights and obligations convention. Yesterday Gers circulated fol proposal:

  • “(1) This convention shall not apply to forces, either of three powers or of any other power, which form part of EDC.
  • “(2) Subj to provisions of Art X of gen convention this convention shall be reviewed.
    As soon as FedRep directly accedes to NATO.
    If development of EDC appears to furnish appropriate reasons for uniformization of legal status of all forces stationed in fed territory.”

With respect to Para 1, after considerable discussion between Berard and Adenauer, it was agreed Fr and Ger experts wld work out agreement covering provisions for Fr and Belg forces in transitional period between entry into force of contracts and full operation of EDC procedures. Adenauer was adamant that EDC convention shld confirm this agreement. Berard stated experts had agreed 30 June 1953 was reasonable expectation as to date of establishment EDC procedures.

With respect to Para 2, Chancellor finally agreed not to press for reference to FedRep membership of NATO. Mtg agreed to inclusion only of simple statement to effect that this convention shall be reviewed after two years.

3. Provision of information.

HICOMers agreed to drop specific requirement provision in rights and obligation convention for mutual exchange of info and statistics between Ger auths and forces relevant to performance and respective obligations under this convention.

[Here follows a discussion of transport services, hunting and fishing, customs exemptions, the preemergency clause, construction services, and the date of the next meeting.]

  1. Repeated to Paris for Draper and MacArthur, and to London and Heidelberg.
  2. See Part I of telegram 2658, Document 28.
  3. Telegram 2553 reported, inter alia, that the Federal Republic would submit a list of specific points in the related conventions which would require Bundesrat approval. Telegram 2507 reported that Adenauer had opened a meeting with the High Commissioners on Apr. 24 by commenting on the difficulties he was having in his Cabinet and coalition over the contractual conventions. (662A.00/4–2852 and 762A.0221/4–2552)
  4. Not found in Department of State files.