762.022/7–2652: Telegram

No. 622
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France1


543. Bonn’s 358 to Dept, rptd Paris 91, London 70, Strasbourg 4, and Paris’ 592 rptd London 106, Bonn 83, Strasbourg 6.2 Dept is naturally gratified at news of Fr-Ger decision to seek solution of Saar problem based on Europeanization of area. While sufficient details still lacking on which to estimate chances of success, we agree Paris’ view that negots at least getting off to better start than last Mar. Also glad note that Fr realize this may be “last and best” chance to achieve settlement of issue, and trust Gers approaching negots in same frame of mind.

Request that our present thinking re Saar, as outlined below, be conveyed to Ger and Fr FonOffs in good time before Paris negots begin Aug 1, subj of course to any modifications which may be required as result of Dunn’s expected mtg with Schuman meanwhile:

Dept extremely anxious to have negots result in mutually acceptable solution and ready to do anything it can to assist in attaining same. In particular, suggest that we and Brit shld be consulted on urgent and confidential basis if negots threaten to break down and in any case before letting them do so. For info of HICOG and Paris Emb, it shld be noted, as stated above, that current Ger thinking re basis of agreement (as given Bonn’s 358) is so sparse in detail with info re any corresponding Fr views as yet completely unavailable here, that prospects for successful outcome are still quite uncertain. Dept will discuss with Brit what to do re confidential US–Brit draft solution3 on which we have been working in recent weeks, but believes it can best be kept on ice for time being, especially as so little is known re acceptability of its details to either Gers or Fr. Neither Gers nor Fr have as yet been advised of this project.

Pending outcome of HallsteinSchuman negots re internationalization of Saar, Dept feels it most desirable that Fr, Saar and Ger auths avoid any new action or development (including public statements) [Page 1425]re Saar which might adversely affect prospects of these negots. We are glad to note that both Gers and Fr evidently agree that Saar elections wld be case in point, though not clear whether Fr planning have elections deferred and announcement made now re same, or just what. Question of new parties is clearly much more controversial, and as emphasized by recent Bonn tels, contains far more polit dynamite in terms of FedRep reactions. We feel strongly that Fr and Saar auths shld at least agree to defer definite decision on parties, inter alia because as indicated in Deptel 352, rptd Bonn 297, London 423, Strasbourg 5,4 Saar-Fr position on issue wld be difficult to defend. In order that there shld be no misunderstanding re this, suggest you point out to Fr that while their policy of separation (of Saar from Ger) and our commitment re same is one thing, question of forbidding Saar inhabitants right to discuss their own future is certainly another, and one which we feel can hardly be defended or in long run maintained. Fact that present Saar govt has taken on itself right to authorize or ban all new, i.e. rival, polit parties does not help as far as “demo” character of Saar regime is concerned. Most important consideration remains that applications of political parties in Saar not be rejected. We do not consider however arrangement on this subj preliminary to negots as Germans suggest but rather as integral part Franco-German Saar settlement.

Dept wld naturally like to see FedRep remove complaint from Council of Eur, but as this is so obviously based on controversy re parties, difficult see how this can be accomplished until latter is resolved. Suggest nonetheless that HICOG sound out Gers re possibility of their announcing that complaint being withdrawn pending outcome of negots re Saar. In any case, as we understand it, HallsteinSchuman negots shld be over prior next Council of Eur mtg, or at least their eventual outcome shld be much clearer by that time.

Dept not sure just what Adenauer meant by reference to third prelim question which must be solved, i.e. alleged expropriation of shares, and Dept wld appreciate further explanation from Bonn.

  1. Drafted by Morris and cleared with Bonbright, Lewis, Perkins, and McBride. Also sent to Bonn and repeated to London and Strasbourg.
  2. Telegram 358, supra . Telegram 592 reported that the negotiations on the Saar were off to a better start than the ones in March, reviewed the prospects for settlement, outlined the schedule for the talks, and reported that Ambassador Dunn expected to see Schuman on July 28 or 29 to give him appropriate encouragement. (762.022/7–2652)
  3. Regarding the draft U.S.–U.K. position on the Saar, see footnote 2, Document 617.
  4. Not printed. (762.022/7–1652)