762.022/10–1452: Telegram

No. 629
The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in France1


2145. For Donnelly and Dunn. We are concerned by the course of recent Saar negots but are confident that Fr and Gers wld not permit breakdown at this time.2 There follows a full expression of our views on this question which you can use with Schuman and Adenauer respectively, on any appropriate occasion to urge them to reach agrmt. We leave to your discretion whether present time is appropriate in view Schuman’s letter (Bonn 1673 Oct 133). In view of the nature of our comments informal character of approach may be particularly important.

Any approach of this type will be in line with decision taken at London Ambassadors mtg4 to talk with Schuman and Adenauer[Page 1436]on personal basis, urging them to continue their excellent work for closer Eur union and not to permit difficulties to become magnified in public discussions which cld impede or even prevent attainment of their broad policy objectives for integration with which we are in such full agrmt.

Our disposition to endorse almost any mutually satis arrangement reached by Fr and Gers on Saar issue, our concern lest it interfere with ratification of EDC treaty and contractuals, and our request that negots shld in any event not be permitted to break down without giving us opportunity to offer assistance, have already been communicated to Fr and Ger Govts. We do not in any way wish to intervene in negots at this time and fol views are offered only in line with our interest in seeing broader Eur policies of both Govts succeed. Consequently, while we strongly hope that current negots result in agrmt, it is also our hope that if agrmt shld prove impossible at this time, negots will continue in any event until every resource of ingenuity has been exhausted and until present particularly critical pre-ratification period has been traversed, so that at least promise of future agrmt may not be destroyed.

1. Re question whether Saar solution wld be permanent or temp, we think idea proposed at end of Paris’ 2091 to Dept (rptd 441 London 294 Bonn)5 cld furnish basis for agrmt along these lines: (a) In order not to jeopardize our position re Oder-Neisse line, it wld be understood that agrmt wld be subj to confirmation in Ger peace treaty, with interested parties making formal commitment to support agreed solution at that time; and (b) provision wld be made to review details of agrmt periodically to see whether it can be improved in light of conditions later prevailing. There shld be no doubt that principle of Europeanization wld be definitive, but within that broad framework there wld be room for later adaptations as development of Eur community and of Saar may require.

We fail to see how definitiveness of Europeanization cld be publicly limited or questioned in agrmt reached by Fr and Ger Govts (except for peace treaty proviso) since both are committed to policy of progressively closer integration, and provision to call into question Eur solution at later time wld inevitably imply that two Govts have doubts that policies they publicly advocate will in the long run succeed.

2. Re admission of new polit parties, while we understand that Fr find it difficult to throw Saar open to free polit competition as [Page 1437]long as no agrmt reached on Europeanization, we fail to see how status quo in this respect can be long maintained. Our views on this subj have been detailed in previous tels dealing with Saar problem. We believe electoral freedom will have to be integral part of agrmt reached between Fr and Gers and feel that much wld be gained if Fr wld signify their willingness to see new parties authorized in event there is agrmt on other parts of Saar settlement and notably on definitiveness of Europeanization.

3. Re econ arrangements, we are disturbed by fact that actual negots have not yet started and hope experts might be able to meet soon to explore tech aspects of possible changes in Franco-Saar conventions (ourtel 1270 to London rptd Paris 1040 Bonn 858 Strasbourg 166). It was our impression from Paris 1000 to Dept (rptd London 193 Bonn 148 Strasbourg unn)7 that Fr were in principle prepared to see conventions modified to accord with new Eur status, and from Bonn’s 936 to Dept (rptd London 171 Paris 246 Strasbourg unn)8 that Gers were willing to have experts study “whether Europeanization can be brought about without prejudicing France’s gen econ requirements”. We believe this best possible basis for agrmt and wld hope that exploration of subj on working level cld be undertaken soon.

4. Aside from substantive differences re Saar settlement, there are obstacles to conduct of negots themselves, and among these we find most important the questions of: (a) election date, (b) manner in which decision on new parties is postponed, and (c) public statements which tend to exacerbate feelings on both sides and which result in increased intransigence.

  • (a). Re election date which we now understand may be announced Oct 20 (Strasbourg’s 150 to Dept rptd Paris 120 Bonn 118 London 1159), we share concern of Brit FonOff (London’s 2072 to Dept rptd Paris 563, Bonn 340, Strasbourg 1310) and hope Emb Paris will continue its efforts to convince Fr informally of great importance that election campaign shld not take place while negots in progress. If need be, suggest Paris Emb recall agrmt at London [Page 1438]mtg three western FonMins11 to avoid any new steps re Saar which might jeopardize ratification basic Ger agrmts. On other hand, it wld be most helpful if Adenauer were brought to join in statement with Schuman as requested by latter, but perhaps endorsing principle of Europeanization while noting that negots re vital details still going on.
  • (b). Re deferment of decision on new parties, we hope any further actions that may be necessary under Saar constitution may be taken in manner to indicate clearly that Saar govt withholding final decision in order avoid impairing Paris negots.
  • (c). Re public statements, we trust Paris will continue as appropriate to express our keen disappointment to Fr at Grandval’s rptd and ill-considered declaration to press. Under this same heading wld come Bundestag Saar debate scheduled for Oct 23 (Bonn’s 1635 to Dept rptd Paris 439 Strasbourg unn Oct 1012) from which little good can come for negots, and we trust HICOG can still discourage any such debate prior to French EDC ratification.

Because we consider informal nature in which above observations are made to Fr and Gers to be of great importance, and because we do not believe time has come for outright US–UK intervention in negots, we are not asking Brit to associate themselves with our approach. However, we are showing this tel to Brit Emb here and wld expect you if approach made to inform your Brit colleagues of Fr and Ger reactions so that they might be guided by them in any similar approaches they may be authorized to make. We leave timing and coordination of approach to Schuman and Adenauer to you. Feel in any event if approach made however that there shld not be too much interval between approaches in Paris and Bonn because you shld be able to say to each that we are at approx same time also talking to other negotiating partner.

If overall approach in next few days proves undesirable, you are authorized to discuss postponement of election date and Bundestag Saar debate separately with Schuman and Adenauer as per para (a) above if it seems necessary. This might be done on joint US–UK basis if Brit Emb Paris has not yet carried out instrs reported London’s 2072.13

  1. Drafted by Herz, McBride, Morris, and Kidd and cleared by Matthews, Williamson, Bonbright, and Perkins. Also sent to Bonn for Donnelly, and repeated to London and Strasbourg.
  2. In an exchange of letters in the first 2 weeks of October Schuman and Adenauer had clarified their positions on the Saar, but had not narrowed the issues which separated them. Texts of the letters from Schuman to Adenauer, Oct. 6 and 11, and from Adenauer to Schuman, Oct. 3, are in telegrams 2108 from Paris, 1673 and 1496 from Bonn, dated Oct. 13, 6, and 3, respectively. (762.022/10–1352, 10–652, and 10–352)
  3. See footnote 2 above.
  4. Documentation on the Chiefs of Mission meeting at London, Sept. 24–26, is scheduled for publication in volume vi.
  5. Telegram 2091 suggested that the European solution would be permanent in principle subject to periodic review of the details or in light of developments in the progress of European unity. (762.022/10–652)
  6. Telegram 1270 reported that the Department of State believed it was still premature for the United States and the United Kingdom to intervene on the Saar and stressed that the economic arrangements seemed to be the main problem. (762.022/8–2252)
  7. Document 624.
  8. See footnote 3, Document 626.
  9. Telegram 150 reported that unless Schuman and Adenauer announced agreement on Europeanization of the Saar by Oct. 20, the Landtag elections would probably take place on Nov. 30. (762.022/10–952)
  10. Not printed; it reported that Kirkpatrick had advised the Foreign Office of his belief that failure to postpone the Landtag elections was the greatest and most immediate danger to a Saar settlement. (762.022/10–952)
  11. Regarding the Foreign Ministers meeting at London in June, see Secto 2, Document 619.
  12. Not printed. (762.022/10–1052)
  13. The instructions in telegram 2072 told the British Ambassador to make immediate efforts to head off the announcement of the Saar elections. (762.022/10–952)