No. 42
Editorial Note

Secretary Acheson, accompanied inter alia by Battle, Jessup, and Perkins, left Washington on the Independence at 8 p.m. May 22, arriving in Bonn at 5 p.m. on May 23 where he was met by Lewis, Reinstein, and Calhoun who had preceded him. At 6 p.m. he was briefed on the Berlin situation by Lyon and General Mathewson after which there was an exchange of views with McCloy and his staff. Following dinner at McCloy’s home a general briefing was held at 9:30 during which Article 6 of the rights and obligations convention was discussed. At the same time the United States Delegation drew up a list of questions which would be raised with the British and French and subsequently with Adenauer, as well as a list of items which the Chancellor might wish to discuss. These lists were transmitted in Actel 2 from Bonn, May 24. (662A.00/5–2452)

The Foreign Ministers meetings began on May 24 as agreed. The first tripartite meeting began at 9:30 a.m. and lasted with interruptions [Page 88] until 2 a.m., May 25. The early part of this meeting, attended only by the Foreign Ministers and the High Commissioners, considered various changes in the Tripartite Declaration on the strength and integrity of the European Defense Community (EDC) which were proposed by the French. For documentation on the revisions proposed by the French to the Tripartite Declaration, see volume V, Part 1, pages 571 ff. Following a luncheon and a meeting between Secretary Acheson and Chancellor Adenauer on intelligence matters (reported on in telegram 3061, May 25, in file 662A.00/5–2552), the tripartite meeting resumed at 2:30 with a discussion on the contractual arrangements. For the minutes of this part of the meeting, see infra. The tripartite meeting recessed again at 4:15 for a quadripartite meeting with Chancellor Adenauer at 4:45, the minutes of which are printed as Document 45. After this meeting Secretary Acheson called on President Heuss (see the memorandum of conversation by Jessup, Document 45) before returning to the tripartite meeting at 10:30. For a report on the final part of the tripartite meeting, see telegram 3053, May 25, Document 46.

The proceedings on May 25 began with another meeting between Secretary Acheson and Chancellor Adenauer, this time to consider Israeli and Jewish claims for restitution. For a record of this meeting, see telegram 3059, Document 47. This meeting was followed by the second quadripartite session held at 10:30 a.m. For the minutes of this meeting, see Document 48. After a luncheon at McCloy’s home and a dinner given by Chancellor Adenauer for the Foreign Ministers at 10:30 p.m., Secretary Acheson met with members of the United States, the United Kingdom, and French Delegations to consider further changes proposed by the French in the Tripartite Declaration. A record of this meeting is in Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 108. Further documentation on French efforts to revise the Tripartite Declaration is printed in volume V, Part 1, pages 571 ff. At the end of all these meetings Secretary Acheson cabled President Truman giving his impressions briefly on the status of the contractuals and at length on the status of the European Defense Community. The text of this message is printed ibid., page 680.

On May 26 the contractual agreements were signed at 10 a.m. in the Bundesrat. Following their signature the Foreign Ministers and the Chancellor held a short press conference, had lunch, and then departed for Paris for the signing of the European Defense Community Treaty and related documents. For Secretary Acheson’s statement at the press conference, see Document 49. The texts of the statements by Adenauer and Eden and of Schuman at the press conference were transmitted in telegrams 3076 and 3081, respectively, from Bonn, May 26. (662A.00/5–2652) For text of the documents signed and the letters exchanged at Bonn on May 26 and [Page 89] Adenauer’s letter to Secretary Acheson on atomic energy, see Documents 50 ff.

In addition to the general documentation cited in Document 50, the following sources have been used in the preparation of the documentation on the Foreign Ministers meetings and the signing ceremonies at Bonn: CFM files, lot M–88, boxes 161–162 which contain minutes of the meetings, briefs for Secretary Acheson, various drafts of the several conventions and letters to be exchanged, and background papers prepared for the Ministerial meetings, indicated by their series designator SCEM. This documentation is largely duplicated in Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 108–110 which also have copies of the telegrams to and from Bonn concerning the meetings. The “McCloy Project”, lots 58 M 47 and 57 F 24, subsequently preserved as part of the Bonn Embassy files contains McCloy’s diary of the daily activities during the meetings and records of the meetings held at Bonn. The largest collection of documentation in the decimal files of Department of State, small by comparison to the lot files mentioned above, on these meetings is in file 662A.00. For two personal accounts of the meetings at Bonn, May 23–26, see Acheson, Present at the Creation, pages 643–647, and Adenauer, Memoirs, pages 413–427.