No. 50
Editorial Note

The contractual agreements signed at Bonn on May 26, 1952, comprise four major conventions with annexes, one agreement, and a score of letters exchanged between the Chancellor of the Federal Republic and either the High Commissioners for Germany or the Foreign Ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Of these documents three of the conventions and several of the letters are printed here either in part or in toto. In addition three more letters were exchanged with the Chancellor at Paris on May 27. One of these is printed here. The editors have been unable to find any single source which has the text of all the documents comprising the complex of the contractual agreements, however, Cmd. 8571 and Senate Q and R have a large majority of them, albeit not the same ones. Additionally the complex of these agreements is summarized in Department of State Bulletin, June 9, 1952, pages 888–895. On June 5, 1952, the Allied General Secretariat of the Allied High Commission for Germany prepared a list of documents comprising the complex of contractual agreements (AGSEC/MEMO (52) 8). This list includes some items comprising the conventions, annexes, agreements, letters, and acknowledgments signed at Bonn (including the three signed at Paris). A copy is in Bonn Embassy files, lot 58 M 27, D (52) 1317/A.

The contractual agreements were submitted to the United States Senate on June 2 and ratified on July 1. In the United Kingdom a similar speedy ratification was accomplished by August 1. The Federal [Page 112] Republic of Germany ratified the agreement on March 19, 1953, thus leaving French ratification as only impediment to the entering into force of the agreements. The French National Assembly was however so concerned with the European Defense Community Treaty, which was presented to it with the contractuals, that when it finally voted against the EDC in September 1954, the contractuals were rejected as well and never went into effect.

The question of contractual relations then became part of the general problem of the restoration of German sovereignty which was discussed, inter alia, at the Nine-Power Conference at London in September and October of 1954. For documentation on the proceedings of this conference including the Paris Agreements which outlined the manner in which the Federal Republic would achieve sovereignty and join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, see volume V, Part 2, pages 1294 ff.