762.022/8–2852: Telegram

No. 625
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (Donnelly) to the Department of State1


892. Hallstein called this morning to discuss tomorrow’s mtg with Schuman on Saar. He said that he was not at all optimistic about outcome of conversation. He feared that time for our intervention will have arrived tomorrow. Did we have any plans as to what action we might take and wld we be prepared to implement them in immed future?

I replied that our feeling was that time has not yet come for intervention and that I very much hoped that he and Schuman wld not permit negots to collapse. Hallstein assured me that on Ger side there was strong desire to prevent public breakdown.

In event of failure of talks tomorrow Saar issue will undoubtedly, in Hallstein’s opinion, come up at Sept mtg of Council of Eur. Hallstein said that Chancellor and he had no control over raising this issue as it will be discussed by FedRep parliamentary dels among whom are SPD members. He questioned whether even coalition members who are dels could be restrained from speaking during session.

Hallstein reiterated what we have been reporting that crucial sticking point is econ issue. He said that in last analysis he was prepared to go considerable way toward meeting Fr demands for privileged econ posit but that Schuman appeared to be unyielding on econ status quo in Saar. Gers have been attempting to discover full implications of Fr econ control in Saar but have not been able to get whole picture due, as Blankenhorn also told us, to lack of adequate data. What they have uncovered however, according to Hallstein, surprises them by extent of Fr absorption of Saar economy.

Hallstein also alluded to forthcoming elections. He felt that if Schuman could make some gesture on at least postponement that such a move wld alleviate tension. However he has no indication that Fr are prepared to make such gesture.

Surprise was expressed by Hallstein at Fr failure to face up to desirability of Europeanizing Saar. He observed that Fr did not appear to have anything to gain by delay. This gave me opportunity to re-emphasize to him our concern over possible Ger stalling. I [Page 1430]made this point emphatically and Hallstein quickly sought to reassure me that FedRep was most anxious to terminate Saar imbroglio as its continuance offered opportunities for opposition in FedRep to attack govt and was a generally worrisome factor for coalition in pre-election period. It is my impression that this is a valid case; problem is that polit realities in Ger impose very tight limits within which Adenauer and Hallstein can maneuver in negotiating with Fr.

I referred to article in Chronique Saaroise (see our press tel today2) and asked for his comment. He said undoubtedly it was inspired by Grandval and then went on to explain that he took no notice of Grandval’s disruptive maneuvering. He added Grandval’s views were in conflict with those of Schuman but that he has support among certain deputies and member FonOff.

In concluding conversation I stressed great importance, in event of stalemate tomorrow, of not letting impasse appear to be a breakdown. I said that we considered of upmost importance that impression should be given that negots wld continue even though no great progress was made on 29th.

  1. Repeated to London and Paris.
  2. Telegram 889 from Bonn. (762.022/8–2852)