662A.00/5–952: Telegram

No. 29
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Department of State1

secret priority

2749. At meeting High Commissioners/Chancellor on 8 May, revised German list points in conventions requiring Bundesrat approval (copy air pouched Department) was presented.2 List divided in two parts; first, provisions certainly requiring Bundesrat approval; second, provisions where need Bundesrat approval matter of interpretation. Lists included at least five items of major importance from Allied point of view: re constitution, exemption from Laender taxes, decartelization, use of Laender property and services, equalization of burdens.

After considerable discussion, Chancellor proposed that all provisions requiring Bundesrat approval should be separated from conventions and made subject of separate treaty which would be presented for ratification simultaneously with general agreement and [Page 54]related conventions. When pinned down, however, he would not agree to any provision whereby entry into effect of general agreement and related conventions would be dependent upon ratification of second treaty with items requiring Bundesrat approval.

We informed Chancellor that while we were prepared to accept minor changes in present texts conventions to meet possible difficulties with Bundesrat, we could not agree to separation of provisions on five major items referred to above and possibly others for independent or subsequent ratification. We pointed out: (a) undesirability on agreements of this importance of adopting any procedure aimed at circumventing Federal Republic constitutional arrangements; (b) that effect of isolating points requiring Bundesrat approval, which include many financial and other unpopular requirements in one treaty would be to enable opposition to concentrate fire on these items at time of ratification; (c) that it appeared tactically more advantageous to present agreements to Parliament in one package so that fact that positive features of settlement outweigh negative ones would be apparent. I pointed out that US Congress would never ratify in this session two independent treaties, leaving open possibility that later German Parliament might accept first treaty favorable to it and reject second.

Berard informed Chancellor that Schuman, while willing to make minor amendments in texts agreements to meet Chancellor, would not accept at this stage any major changes. Furthermore, procedure suggested by Chancellor would not be acceptable to French Parliament. UK member indicated he also had instructions not to accept any modification of substance on these points at this time although in meeting Chancellor asked High Commissioners to raise his proposal with their governments, later in private session he agreed to drop his proposal for the two treaty approach; however, he said he would submit proposals for dealing with the five major points cited above. I indicated that while Allies would insist that these points be contained in the conventions, we would give up points which are not important to us.

High Commissioners meeting Chancellor again 1430 hours 9 May.3

  1. Repeated to London and to Paris for Draper and MacArthur.
  2. This meeting took place at 11 a.m. No copy of the list has been found in Department of State files. In addition to the list the Chancellor and the High Commissioners discussed damage claims and a tripartite reply to the Soviet note on German unity of Apr. 9. McCloy reported on these discussions in telegrams 2744 and 2742 from Bonn, May 9 and 8. (740.5/5–952 and 662.00/5–852)
  3. For a report on this meeting, see telegram 2766, Document 33.