No. 608
The Secretary of State to Foreign Minister Schuman1


Dear Mr. Schuman: [Here follows the first part of this letter in which Secretary Acheson discussed the forthcoming Lisbon meeting of the North Atlantic Council, German agreement on support for Allied troops, and security controls. For text of this letter, see volume V, Part 1, page 19.]

Third. The Saar. This matter bids fair to upset great and far-reaching plans. No one is more aware than I of the forces which produce this sort of a problem at the worst possible time. The response is not to complain but to surmount the difficulty. In my judgment the problem created is serious. It relates to what is said in your debate and in Adenauer’s. This can make or break decisions of vast importance. Because of the timing of the debates it seems imperative that some action be taken now which will remove the question from current discussion or at least lessen present tensions. You and Adenauer are in a much better position than I to determine what can and should be done before the debate starts in the Bundestag. We have given much thought and offer these suggestions for your most earnest consideration:

That you should again make a declaration concerning the intention of your Government not to prejudice the ultimate decision about the Saar.
That France, the UK, the Federal Republic and the US issue without delay a joint declaration of their determination to initiate discussions, at an early date to bring about a satisfactory and final solution of the Saar problem. Mr. Bruce is available to help draft the joint declaration.

[Here follows the fourth part of this letter which discussed Germany and NATO.]

Dean Acheson
  1. Transmitted as an enclosure to despatch 2078 from Paris, Feb. 6, which merely explained that this was the final text of the letter handed by Ambassador Bruce to Foreign Minister Schuman on the evening of Feb. 4. The original draft of this letter was transmitted in telegram 4527 to Paris, Feb. 2 (repeated to London and Bonn). Telegram 4527 lists Acheson as the drafter but is signed by Bonbright. In his telegram 4698 from Paris, Feb. 3, Bruce recommended certain revisions in the draft letter, and telegram 4537, Feb. 3, to Paris, drafted and signed by Bonbright and cleared by Acheson, refined and approved the revisions.