The Consul at Strasbourg (Andrews) to the Department of State1
48. From Tomlinson. Subj is Schuman–Adenauer talks on Saar. Schuman and Adenauer had hour-long talk on Saar yesterday morning in Lux with no one else present. Afterwards, Schuman reported to Counc of Mins that talk had been most satis and that he and Adenauer were confident that they would reach solution of Saar problem in near future. They were firmly agreed that the solution should be a European solution and they were sure on this basis all remaining problems could be worked out. Schuman paid homage to Adenauer’s courage and sincerity in terms so warm that observers felt he may have caused some difficulties for Adenauer.
Adenauer confirmed Schuman’s report. DeGasperi made short speech expressing his pleasure at success of Fr-Ger mtg and stressing importance of solution Saar problem to entire movement for Eur union. The other Mins seconded DeGasperi’s remarks.
Experts on both Fr and Ger side have been annoyed because they have not been able to find out what happened at Schuman–Adenauer meeting. Schuman remarked afterwards in informal conversation that it was difficult to explain how complete had been understanding between Adenauer and him and added that it was unfortunate that someone could not have an “indiscretion” and listened in.
Apparently because they have not yet had time to talk in detail with their Mins, Fr and Ger experts differ slightly on what was [Page 1433]agreed in Schuman–Adenauer talks. Focal point of talks was what to do about new parties and elections. In Fr experts understanding Adenauer and Schuman agreed new parties and elections. Fr experts understand Adenauer and Schuman agreed to make a joint Ger-Fr request to Saar govt to postpone elections while Franco-Ger talks continued; Saar govt itself would be left free to set the exact date, with understanding that if no solution had been reached by around first of year elections would proceed around Feb. This agreement, as Fr experts understand it, was accompanied by a promise from Chancellor not to press issue of parties, and a promise from Schuman to request Saar govt to avoid any action which might cause trouble.
One of Adenauer’s principal advisers on Saar, who told us he had not had a chance to discuss the matter at any length with Chancellor, gave slightly different version of agreement on elections and parties. His understanding apparently was that Chancellor would have someone talk privately to pro-Ger parties in Saar in order to obtain their agreement to base their action and program on Europeanization instead of on return to Ger; it would of course be made clear to them that Europeanization did not mean simply a new baptism for present status of Saar. If parties agreed to change their line to this effect, polit sting would be taken out of election and party questions and elections could then be postponed.
Discrepancy between above stories, in my opinion, arises less from any lack of understanding between Schuman and Adenauer than on fact that their advisers have not been informed in detail of what went on. Ger version in particular may reflect to some extent personal views of our informant, who may not have wished to admit that he was not completely up to date. Fr advisors are leaving Strasbourg this eve for Paris. I suggest Emb contact them to verify and complete this report. We may return to Lux this weekend and reach Paris only Monday.
In any case, a comite of experts will continue to meet on econ aspects of Eur solution to Saar problem. Experts on both sides have told us that they do not think these econ problems are in any way insoluble. Most difficult one, in both Fr and Ger opinion, is monetary problem. Some officials on both sides have commented that solution of Saar problem would be greatly facilitated if immed steps could be taken for creation of fed monetary union for six countries. Gers have apparently initiated studies within their own govt on way in which such a union could work, and they may well present these results to Schuman Plan Assembly when it begins to consider powers and responsibilities of Eur polit community. It thus seems possible that need for rapid solution of Saar problem may give even [Page 1434]greater impetus to Dutch move to assure that polit comm is given broad powers in econ field.3
- Repeated to London, Paris, Bonn, Rome, Brussels, The Hague, and Luxembourg.↩
- Further reports on the Adenauer–Schuman talks on the Saar were transmitted in telegrams 50 from Strasbourg, Sept. 11, and 1123 and 1177 from Bonn, Sept. 11 and 15. (762.022/9–1152 and 9–1552) They provided more details on the talks, but did not present an appreciation different from that reported in this telegram.↩