762.022/7–2552: Telegram

No. 620
The Acting United States High Commissioner for Germany (Reber) to the Department of State1


344. In a conversation with Grandval, who was in Bonn for a few hours today, he indicated that last night’s agreement to De Gasperi proposal calling for Franco-German negotiations for Saar settlement prior to final selection of permanent site of Schuman Plan authority wld create the necessary new factor justifying postponement of Saar elections.2Grandval said for the first time in a long while he was optimistic regarding possibility of finding solution of Saar problem and said he wld be prepared to urge Saar Govt to postpone elections until next year if inauguration of these negotiations gave hope that Ger wld not reject Eur solution. He was convinced this way offered only hope and said Saar population wld [Page 1421]welcome such a solution. He also felt that if Gers cld be persuaded not to make too many conditions France on its part wld be ready to make certain concessions including a possible token cession of area to the European territory.

As regards admission new parties, Grandval said Saar Govt was strongly opposed to their recognition at this time and he shared their concern that new parties wld only create an element working against Eur solution. He said postponement of elections might be facilitated if Gers wld agree not press for authorization of the new parties at least until negotiations are further advanced. I pointed out that definite exclusion of new parties during negotiation wld easily prove fatal to chances for success in Ger. Grandval thought some pretext cld be found for further delaying decision.

From Grandval report and information received from French here it appears that on their side French are now disposed to make a sincere effort to reach solution at this time. I have not yet seen the German representatives who are due to return from Paris tonight but hope to report their views further tomorrow when I may see Chancellor before he leaves for his 4-week vacation. If I do I shall endeavor to ascertain his views regarding selection of Saar as site of Eur institution and assume that I am authorized to indicate our support for this proposal particularly if, in his opinion, it will facilitate definitive settlement of problem. I shall also endeavor to ascertain whether elections were postponed Chancellor wld be prepared once more to put off FedRep’s complaint to Council of Eur, particularly if negotiations appear likely to have successful outcome.

I shld appreciate prompt indication whether Dept wishes this matter pursued here now that an opportunity seems to have been created for possible fruitful negotiations which may, however, need our support if Eur solution is to be found.

  1. Repeated to London, Paris, and Strasbourg.
  2. Reference is to the proposal made by Italian Foreign Minister de Gasperi at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Schuman Plan countries, July 23–24.