762.022/8–1452: Telegram

No. 624
The Chargé in France (Achilles) to the Department of State1


1000. Second mtg on Saar Aug 13 between Schuman and Hallstein brought some progress toward agrmnt on polit aspects of Eur solution but showed that considerable divergence still exists on econ aspects. As described to us by La Tournelle and De Beaumarchais, atmosphere of mtg was good. Hallstein made optimistic comment to press. Fr are particularly heartened by comment which Hallstein made at mtg that, “speaking only in personal capacity,” he foresaw no difficulty about agrmnt on polit aspects as outlined by Schuman.

Mtg was conducted on basis of memo submitted by Schuman as requested by Adenauer.2Schuman pointed out that memo so far represents only his personal views. (Translation of full text in separate tel.3 We understand memo is to be submitted to Cabinet for approval when it next meets probably Aug 19.) Its most novel polit provision is that after signature, but prior to its ratification by signatory nations, agrmnt on European status of Saar wld be submitted for approval directly to Saar population. Hallstein did not object to this, and there was no discussion at all of question of elections and new political parties.

Fr will undoubtedly consider German approval of referendum, in which agrmnt wld be accepted or rejected by Saar population, touchstone of German sincerity in these negotiations. This formula bypasses the question of new polit parties which wld have inevitably arisen under formula of “approval by freely elected Landtag.” Fr expect that after Europeanization is accepted by Saar, Germans eld hardly ask for approval of parties dedicated to overturn of European status, and Schuman memo in fact places specific responsibility upon European Commissioner to bring before Eur Council of Mins any attempt to “impair” or “threaten” European status of Saar in Fr view, which was explained to us by De Beaumarchais, Eur Commissioner wld also be bound to veto any action by Saar [Page 1428]Govt to allow parties seeking change in Eur status. If Germans accept idea of referendum and functions of Commissioner as outlined in Schuman’s memo, problem of new parties wld thus be solved, except for possible symbolic concession to Germans by admission of new parties that are not asking for change in status.

Schuman memo does not close door on question of modification in Saar frontiers (“speaks of Saar territory as it will be delimited”), but this aspect likewise not discussed at yesterday’s mtg.

As regards econ aspects of settlement, Schuman envisaged maintenance Econ Union between France and Saar and only “adaptation” for Franco-Saar conventions to European status, with Eur “organisms” charged with controlling the functioning of Franco-Saar Econ Union. (As La Tournelle expressed it to me, Fr consider econ privileges in Saar to be in nature of reparations, and he envisaged full internationalization of Saar econ only at time when Eur currency union exists and when Schuman Plan has been fol by further econ integration.) Fr agreed to work further on tech questions involved in giving some measure of access to Saar to other Eur countries, and Hallstein said Gers will submit memo containing their views on subj before next mtg.4

We have no explanation yet of sentence “property rights to coal mines will be conferred to Saar” in para 3 of Schuman memo, but it shld in any event be read in the light of Beaumarchais’ statement that there can be no question of Fr giving up their share in management of mines and railroads.5

Next mtg scheduled for Aug 29.

  1. Repeated to London, Bonn, and Strasbourg.
  2. Following the first meeting between Schuman and Hallstein (see telegram 742, supra ) Adenauer had written to Schuman requesting, inter alia, that the French position be put in writing. Schuman had replied briefly on Aug. 10. No copies of these letters have been found in Department of State files, but they are summarized in telegrams 524 from Bonn, Aug. 5, and 893 from Paris, Aug. 11. (762.022/8–552 and 8–1152)
  3. Telegram 1002 from Paris, Aug. 14. (762.022/8–1452)
  4. A translation of the German memorandum, dated Aug. 18, was transmitted in telegram 773 from Bonn, Aug. 21. (762.022/7–2152)
  5. On Aug. 15 Donnelly reported that he had discussed the second meeting with Hallstein that day. Hallstein indicated that real progress had been made on the political aspects, but not on the economic aspects, stated that the discussion had taken place in a friendly atmosphere, and concluded that U.S. and. U.K. intervention, in his view, would undoubtedly be necessary and probably at an early stage. (762.022/8–1552)