The United States High Commissioner
for Germany (McCloy) to the Department of
1437. Dept pls pass Defense. Fol is brief summary report discussion concerning security safeguards between HICOMers and Adenauer held 5 February. Summary cable other matters discussed follows next consecutively numbered cable.2[Page 10]
1. French Proposal
At preliminary allied mtg, Poncet said he was under instructions to seek Fed Govt approval to a protocol (along lines quoted in para 2 of Paris sent Dept 4699, Bonn 368, London 1281 of 3 Feb3) which cld be annexed to contractual conventions. Kirkpatrick maintained (a) matter was still at govt level and therefore HICOM had no authority to take action this time, and (b) he did not have instructions on matter in any event. I said, however, that in view of desirability resolving question before London or Lisbon mtgs,4 I wld be willing, as chairman, to sound Adenauer out employing such approach. Accordingly, I handed Adenauer memorandum based on Fr proposal without list of items and with para relating to police so defined so as not to tie our hands on training of border police.5 I carefully explained to Adenauer that although text might serve as useful basis exchange of ideas, it had not been approved by allied govt and therefore was only tentative.
2. Adenauer Reply
Adenauer responded immed and with great vigor to effect that he could not agree to any further commitment than one already given in EDC convention and which had been agreed by all EDC nations including France. He did not understand why Quai d’Orsay position was in constant conflict with that taken by Fr rep at EDC discussion. He repeated arguments employed in 22 Jan (see para 4 of Bonn sent Dept 1224, rptd info Paris 368, Berlin 167, London 3086) and in previous mtgs and reviewed fol difficulties facing him in Bundestag debate set for Thursday, 7 Feb e.g. negative SPD attitude, dissension these issues within coalition, Niemoller–Heinemann and Communist activities, opposition West Ger mothers “who did not want to see sons in uniform again,” etc. In addition to these considerations, and in answer to statements of Poncet referred to below, he gave fol reasons, among others, for rejection proposal outlined above:
- It was impossible to proceed with establishment EDC in atmosphere of such distrust of FedRep as witnessed by ref to past Ger behaviour and fear of resurgence Ger militarism. Best possible assurance against such resurgence wld be participation 400,000 Ger youth in EDF under over-all SHAPE command. Such action rather than any paper guarantees. Further, it was nonsense to talk about [Page 11] threat to Fr security as long as there were half a million US UK troops in Ger.
- Attempts shld not be made by allies to set ban in advance specific prohibitions, as EDC Commissariat may, at some future time, ask FedRep to produce such war materials.
- Talk in foreign press, particularly in France, of so-called Ger attempt to employ Saar and NATO issues as blackmail media greatly disturbed him. On the contrary, his instructions to Hallstein on NATO agenda item reflected what he considered to be Fed Govt moral responsibility to ensure that there wld be some FedRep link with NATO, even in interim period. This was necessary as SHAPE wld be making decisions which wld involve deployment of Ger contingent.
- Ref in section 3 to use of police was introduction of a new and equally unacceptable element. If there were to be any restrictions re police or border guards, they must be incorporated in EDC conventions and applied equally to other five signatory powers thereto.
- He had hoped to get Bundestag adoption after full debate which starts on Thurs of resolution “which even SPD wld find difficult to reject.” Resolution wld ask identification FedRep interests with western community and wld permit him to continue his negots to that end. He was so shaken by attitude taken at current mtg he was now at loss to know what approach to adopt Thurs debate. Either western community must place confidence in Ger and move forward in positive and vigorous manner, or, alternatively, must scrap EDC concept for present and merely sit back to await events. Forthcoming period wld be most decisive and unless proper attitude adopted all parties concerned, “work of past year wld come to nothing.”
3. Poncet’s Remarks
- Allies had full confidence in Adenauer but required some assurance with respect to continuation these policies by any successor govt, allies were only asking in writing what Chancellor had frequently stated verbally.
- Schuman’s difficulties with Fr Parliament were just as great if not greater than those of Adenauer. Schuman wld have to give assurances Fr Parliament that FedRep wld not use rights in this field which had been given her as part of “non-discrimination policy” incorporated in EDC convention. Allies deplored “all or nothing” attitude displayed in Gers in current negots.
- However one may try, it was impossible, particularly for Fr public, to formulate policy without taking into account past experiences with Ger.
4. US and UK Statements
Kirkpatrick, while expressing greatest sympathy for Chancellor’s position, stated that confidence on part of various allied countries toward Ger cld not be created by wishful thinking or instantaneously. Confidence wld however certainly be enhanced by such gesture on FedRep’s part, i.e. making declaration on lines outlined [Page 12] above. He pointed out that UK, in order to gain confidence in certain areas, had on several instances given unilateral guarantees, that she wld not maintain armed forces in particular regions.
In an attempt to bring consideration this issue into proper perspective, I said I thought we were momentarily, but only momentarily, in a valley. In view of the enormous task ahead of us and the stakes involved, we must let nothing stand in way of successful conclusion of our experiment. One of the best ways to build confidence was for youth of western nations to “rub shoulders” in NATO–EDC endeavors. When this process took place, problems which now loom so large wld disappear. History wld never excuse us if we allowed such problems as we have been discussing to block such action. We can not afford to be discouraged or less than ingenious in our attempt to find a solution. I did point out, however, that one of the factors which gave great momentum to our efforts in the past year was statements which Adenauer and Blank had made to the effect that FedRep did not desire to see such armaments produced in Ger. It was important not only to meet Fr but also US and UK sensibilities on this matter.
5. Another Possibility
During course above discussion, Adenauer indicated he considered he was already affording an adequate security guarantee to France and that he was not prepared nor was it necessary to repeat the same guarantee to France within any other framework. He might, however, be ready to make some form of declaration to satisfy US and UK. Perhaps this cld be done by means exchange of ltrs in which he cld draw attention to FedRep’s commitments in EDC convention and reaffirm that these safeguards had general application. I believe there may be some way out of our difficulties through employment some such device as this. Yet—in spite nature Adenauer remarks, at end and after mtg, he appeared to be in good and reasonably hopeful spirits.
- Repeated to Paris and London.↩
- Telegram 1438 from Bonn, Feb. 6, reported the High Commissioners discussion with Adenauer on delays in the contractual negotiations, equalization of burdens taxation, compensation to German nationals, exemption of Allied forces from taxation, Soviet military missions, the Supreme Restitution Court, the upcoming London Foreign Ministers meeting, and war criminals. (662A.00/2–652)↩
- For documentation on the London Foreign Ministers meeting and the Ninth Session of the North Atlantic Council at Lisbon, Feb. 20–26, see vol. v, Part 1, pp. 36 ff. and 107 ff.↩
- Not found in Department of State files.↩
- See footnote 3, supra.↩