762A 00/5–952 Telegram

No. 30
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Department of State 1

secret priority

2760. Last night I met with some of those influential coalition leaders who have been mostly concerned with contractual agreements and who are known to be rather critical of certain provisions contained in contracts.2 Mtg was arranged at request of Gerstenmaier and attended on German side by Brentano, Gerstenmaier, Strauss, CDU/CSU, Schaeffer and Preusker, FDP, Muehlenfeld and Merkatz, DP.

General treaty. Germans voiced unanimous and strong misgivings with respect to Article V, paras 2 and 3.3 Though they fully recognized necessity of protecting security of Allied troops stationed in FedRep, they felt present formulation violated principle of equality and was incompatible with idea of true partnership. Germany urged reformulation of entire article for purpose of completely separating what they called external and internal emergencies. With respect to former, i.e., emergencies caused by open aggression, Germans agreed to accept present formula. As regards internal emergencies caused by disorder, strikes, etc., they insisted that govt shld be given veto right which wld limit Allied powers to protection of security of their own forces alone. Germans also recommended in case of such veto that govt be given right immediately to file appeal with NATO which wld promptly render final decision together with EDC commissioner. Proposal to include EDC commissioner in NATO arbitration body motivated primarily by desire to give Germans indirect voice on arbitration board.

Re Article VII, para 2,4 Germans fully agreed in principle but considered it politically unwise to attempt to commit possible future all-German Govt to accept general contract prior to formation of such a govt. They expressed anxiety that opposition wld severely attack this provision and claimed that it wld impede German unity and encourage Soviets to conclude similar restrictive treaty with GDR. Though Germans realized that this article had been included in contracts at Chancellor’s request, they felt it was [Page 56] completely superfluous and shld either be deleted or drastically revised.

FDP leaders strongly urged that term “Allied powers” shld be replaced throughout contracts by “signatory states” or by name of govt concerned if necessary, and all signatories be named in the text as equal and individual entities freely negotiating with one another rather than on three to one basis. They pointed out that this wld in no way limit right of Ambassadors to consult jointly but wld greatly improve outward appearance of treaties. CDU and DP leaders urged acceptance of this proposal.

Provisions on war criminals were criticized primarily by DP and FDP. CDU dels seemed to have no major reservations and gave only weak support to their colleagues. DP leaders recommended inter alia early release of war criminals of type of Manstein and Kesselring as gesture of good will. However, I gained impression that DP and FDP objections to war criminal provisions were not really fundamental and that review board procedure, if instituted at an early date, wld placate them.

Economic restrictions, particularly on DKV, deconcentration, distribution of shares in newly reorganized companies, etc., encountered some opposition from FDP and DP leaders. They recommended that these provisions shld be included in transitional agreement but not in general contract and repealed as soon as Schuman Plan authority starts to function.

Discussion broke up at 1:30 p.m. [a.m.?] and Germans undoubtedly had other reservations with respect to subsidiary convention, especially as regards troop treaty, financial contribution, and several provisions which they claimed belonged in final peace treaty rather than in contracts. There was no time to discuss these in detail. I told Germans that I wld consider their objections where possible but made it very clear at same time that I cld make no commitment of any kind to them because of delicate balance of interests necessary for ratification of treaties as contribution to long-term international objectives and as proof of permanence of US interests in Europe. I underlined latter point by explaining vital importance of early Senate ratification. I left mtg with feeling that opposition to treaties had been considerably diminished through this first opportunity to discuss matter personally with us.

  1. Repeated to Paris and London.
  2. The meeting was held at 10:30 at Reber’s house.
  3. Article V of the general convention dealt with the rights of the Allies to protect the security of their armed forces in the Federal Republic.
  4. Article VII dealt with the final peace settlement and German unity.