762.022/7–2652: Telegram

No. 621
The Acting United States High Commissioner for Germany (Reber) to the Department of State1

top secret

358. When I saw Chancellor this morning Hallstein, who had just returned from Paris, was also present and reported on his talk with Schuman.

The fact that these Saar negotiations had begun within the general framework of the Schuman Plan and the new Eur community gave the Chancellor grounds to hope that a definitive settlement might be achieved, which wld provide for the Europeanization of Saar. He was encouraged by interest taken by Pinay and Pleven2 in Europeanization of Saar. Both had been present at a luncheon when Saar was discussed and Adenauer believed their support wld insure acceptance by Fr Assembly of plan which wld be prepared by Schuman and Hallstein in series of mtgs which are to be resumed when Hallstein returns to Paris on Aug 1. Chancellor said both he and Schuman had given an undertaking to the other four members of the coal and steel community to work out prior to the next Council of Europe mtg a firmer basis for Fr-Ger understanding which wld require Saar settlement and without which the High Authority wld have little meaning and no strength.

In Chancellor’s opinion three preliminary questions must first be settled:

Postponement of Saar elections. This was necessary to give time to work out the settlement in an atmosphere freed from electoral pressures.
Admission of CDU, SPD and Saar Democratic parties. When I asked whether this issue wld continue to have same importance if elections were postponed, say, until next year. Adenauer replied it was essential to give proof in Ger that Europeanization was not merely maintenance of status quo under another name and that if this issue were settled it wld go further than any other to silence the criticism in Ger. Also, if it cld be settled, the complaint before the Council of Eur cld be dropped and this problem removed from its agenda. Also he felt that if as part of the Eur solution the new parties were to be admitted in Saar, they wld be in large measure committed to its support. He believed that majority of population favored Europeanization but if not allowed free expression of opinion they wld be driven into more extreme Ger nationalism. He was [Page 1423]also prepared to give commitment that Ger wld not attempt to influence elections and thought Fr Govt shld do same.
Abolition of econ pressure. This wld mean that expropriation of shares in Saar industrial companies shld be brought to end.

Hallstein then explained the basis of the settlement which he had discussed with Schuman yesterday.

The new Eur territory shld comprise Saarbrucken, much of the present Saar territory and an area now included in Lorraine, exact limits to be defined later. Chancellor suggested that Forbach salient shld be included. Hallstein commented on the art in Le Monde yesterday which had envisaged cession of Fr territory to give greater Eur character to new district.
The Eur territory shld be self-administered under the supervision of the six Schuman Plan member states and shld be the seat of the Eur coal and steel organizations.
Revision of Franco-Saar conventions. Chancellor said Schuman had promised at ministers mtg that these treaties wld be either radically revised to take care of new situation or terminated.
The one-sided econ link of Saar with Fr was in Ger view incompatible with Eur status. Hallstein said Fr were considering arrangement, paralleling special customs zones existing along the Fr-Swiss frontier in the Jura and Savoy, to which both sides wld have equal access. Germans also consider lease of Saar mines requires readjustment.
Franco-Ger commission shld be created to work out details once principles of settlement have been agreed.

The agreement shld take the form of treaty between France and Ger but because Saar question is one of problems of peace settlement it would require consent of US, UK and Benelux as well as of Italy.

Chancellor expressed gratitude for interest taken by US in settlement of Saar issue and promised to keep us fully informed of developments. He said if I had not asked to see him this morning he had planned to send Blankenhorn to give us a full report but was glad of the opportunity to transmit a personal message to assure you he wld do his utmost to see that these negotiations were rapidly and successfully concluded. He asked particularly that info on these negotiations be kept very secret as premature press discussions might be fatal.

  1. Repeated to Paris, London, and Strasbourg.
  2. Antoine Pinay, French Prime Minister, and René Pleven, French Minister of National Defense.