762.022/6–2152: Telegram

No. 618
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom1

secret

6834. At official level talks yesterday reps Dept and Brit Emb reached substantial agreement regarding basis for Saar settlement. It was determined govts already in agreement on fol points:

1.
Any arrangements shld be without prejudice final determination Ger frontiers in peace settlement.
2.
Saar shld become so far as possible seat of various projected Eur auths especially those of Schuman Plan.
3.
Saar shld be placed under appropriate Eur org, probably Comite of Mins Council of Eur.
4.
Fifty-year lease of Saar mines by France and joint Franco-Saar operation of Saar railways shld continue. For purposes Schuman Plan output of Saar mines and iron and steel industries to be included in figures for France.
5.
Agreement of Saar population to projected settlement shld be given by new freely-elected Landtag. (Details re elections were also tentatively agreed.)

[Page 1419]

Re points previously disagreed fol adjustments made subj approval by Govts:

1.
US and UK shld advance their proposals on basis for Saar settlement at appropriate time. Fr and Gers shld then be allowed proceed bilaterally with understanding that any agreement reached subj to US–UK concurrence and that if insuperable obstacles encountered US–UK wld be consulted before negots permitted to break down.
2.
Re econ arrangements other than for mines and railways Fr shld review remaining conventions with new Saar govt. Saar wld also be free to negot econ agreements with countries other than France so long as they not inconsistent with Franco-Saar arrangements.
3.
New Saar govt or Landtag shld be able propose amendments to agreement on gen settlement. Saar elections to be held within 4 months of initialing of agreement in order avoid protracted delay prior to sig and ratification.
4.
Consideration to be given in subsequent Wash talks to whether any proposals concerning Saar frontiers shld be made.
5.
Idea of plebiscite to be dropped. Contemplated settlement shld stand until peace treaty except as revised by agreement among signatory powers with concurrence of US–UK. These powers shld review situation 5 years after gen settlement, in consultation with US–UK.

Negotiating paper prepared for Secy’s talks with Eden proposes Secy take position we move ahead as quickly as possible with completion agreed paper through medium US–UK official-level talks in Wash.2 If any questions of substance raised by Eden we shld seek agreement to positions as formulated above.3

Acheson
  1. Drafted by Hillenbrand and cleared in substance with McBride. Repeated to Bonn, Paris, and Strasbourg.
  2. For a record of Acheson’s discussion of the Saar with Eden on June 24, see Secto 2, infra .
  3. The bilateral talks in Washington concerning the Saar continued sporadically throughout 1952 and 1953. An agreed position paper was drafted in June 1952 and subsequently revised in light of Foreign Office comments. (762.022/6–3052) A revised paper, dated July 22, 1952, is in file 762.022/7–2352. It presents the position substantially as outlined in this telegram. The position paper was continually updated and revised in light of developments concerning the Saar. The revisions that have been identified are in file 762.022.