762.022/4–2352: Telegram

No. 615
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Department of State1


2484. Chancellor raised Saar question privately with me and Ward after HICOM meeting yesterday. He reviewed his Saar conversations with Schuman and reiterated three fol points on which he stated that complete agreement had been reached: (1) In general, Schuman had agreed that the newly elected Saar Landtag shld have the last word and, in particular, shld decide whether the conventions with France shld be retained or wld vanish in some sort of “Europeanization”; (2) The “Europeanization” of Saar and maintenance of conventions wld only be possible if new Landtag shld so agree; (3) Schuman himself had desired that newly elected Landtag shld make decision on retention of conventions.

Subsequently, Adenauer claims, Schuman had declared in French Assembly that conventions would be maintained which is flatly contrary to his statement to Chancellor. Chancellor now faced with debate on Saar April 23 in Bundestag and may be forced to repudiate Schuman’s statement to Assembly.

Respecting agrmt that FedRep and Fr shld send dels to examine conditions for free elections in Saar together with Saar Govt reps, Chancellor has now learned that his proposal to name members of this comm has been rejected in sharp answer expected today. Law on polit parties in Saar compels all parties to observe Saar constitution whose preamble requires separation from Ger. Adenauer thought that he had agreement with Schuman that present preamble did not hinder formation of new parties as this was made clear in his 1tr to Schuman with which the latter agreed.2 Chancellor believes that Schuman statement is contrary to agrmt.

In the meantime, Chancellor stated the situation has been sharpened by action of Francois-Poncet in banning of Neue Saar Zeitung although he did not defend in any way tone of the articles. I strongly deplored the attack on Grandval which I thought was harmful to Franco-Ger relations and in bad taste, particularly from a paper that reportedly received a subsidy from the FedRep. Chancellor denied that any subsidy was granted.

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I expressed some surprise that Schuman had agreed to give Saar Landtag auth to annul econ conventions. Chancellor intervened to state that econ conventions contained clause stating they can be annulled if Saar obtains new status. Nonetheless, I said that the Fr FonOff had given the opposite impression and laid emphasis upon the “Europeanization” of the Saar and some type of polit autonomy. The Fr FonOff was talking vaguely about the polit freedom of the Saar but gave no intimation of abandoning econ conventions. I said we must keep after the problem and find some solution. At present the US Govt, and I believe this was the case with the UK, was not inclined to intervene in the hope that a Franco-Ger solution cld be worked out. Adenauer thought nothing much cld be done before the Bundestag debate, but believed that pressure from London and Wash wld become necessary eventually. In case some solution toward “Europeanization” were found, he thought that minor territorial concessions shld be made to the FedRep after a plebiscite and that Schuman had agreed to this. He also thought that small Fr territorial concessions such as Forbach shld be made in which this territory shld be included in the Saar. We expressed grave doubts of Fr agreeing to latter point and Chancellor admitted that it wld be difficult.

I agree with Paris Emb that Saar question shld not be used to complicate EDC negots, but it nonetheless remains an important factor in getting the eventual EDC agrmt thru both Parliaments. In this regard, it occurs to us that statements to the effect that negots are under way might well be used to answer questions that will probably arise in the Bundestag and in the Assembly.

With respect to the substance of the problem, I continue to hold the opinion that no final solution to the Saar problem will be found without pressure from the outside upon both France and Ger. This is already indicated by the difficulties that have arisen between Adenauer and Schuman, due possibly to difference of interpretation of agrmt of March 19, and the polit pressures both of them will be under not to recede from fixed positions. Only by removing this problem from arena of Franco-Ger acrimony and pushing for solution that corresponds to larger interests involved can we hope for satis settlement. This means in simplest terms Anglo-Amer intervention with some very plain speaking both in Bonn, where emphasis must be placed upon necessity of aiming at non-Ger solution, and in Paris, where the right to free elections must be recognized. Chancellor will prepare and give to us in near future his ideas on long-term solution of Saar problem which we will transmit with our comment.

  1. Repeated to Paris and London.
  2. Apparently a reference to a letter which Adenauer sent to Schuman on Mar. 19 outlining the points of agreement on the Saar that had been reached on Mar. 18. This letter is summarized in telegram 2162 from Bonn, Mar. 27. (762.022/3–2752)