762.022/10–1552: Telegram

No. 630
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (Donnelly) to the Department of State1


1716. Since Adenauer is leaving on Oct 17 for Berlin to be gone for the balance of the week I decided to see him today about the Saar problem (ref Deptel Bonn 1750 Paris 2145 rptd London 2645 Strasbourg 35 Oct 142). I explained at the outset and repeated at the conclusion of the conversation that I had been instructed to talk to him personally and informally about the Saar ques and that the info I was giving him shld in no way be interpreted as US intervention.

Adenauer was impressed with the points raised in the Dept’s tel and upon the conclusion of my remarks said he wished to make a few comments. He referred to his speech in Dortmund last Sunday when he declared that negots on the Saar had not been interrupted and wld continue. He said he had been in touch with the Saar polit leaders who also expressed the desire that conversations be continued and indicated that in this event the Saar Govt was prepared to introduce a motion in the Landtag postponing elections. The Chancellor said a definitive Saar agreement was impossible because it wld prejudice Ger’s rights with regard to the territory beyond the Oder-Neisse line. In reply to my request for clarification of this point the Chancellor said that the Oder-Neisse line is covered by the Potsdam treaty and that when the Sovs announced that the Oder-Neisse was the eastern boundary the three western powers had protested and refused to recognize any frontier settlement before the peace treaty. Thus, in his opinion, while the Saar is in no way subordinated or covered by the Potsdam treaty nevertheless any agrmnt among the three powers to change the frontiers of Ger or even to finalize a Eur settlement of the Saar pending a peace treaty for Ger wld be seized upon by the Sovs as a violation of the Potsdam agrmnt and justification for their action in fixing the Oder-Neisse as the eastern boundary for Ger.

Adenauer said that in reply to Schuman’s 1tr3 he wld ask latter to make counter-proposal to suggestion for a five year provisional agrmnt. We then discussed the pros and cons of ques and I suggested that an agrmnt might be reached in principle on Europeanization [Page 1440]of the Saar provided it did not become finalized until signature of the peace treaty.

Adenauer indicated that as long as the settlement was not definitive he wld be prepared to accept a period to last even to the peace treaty.

He said that agrmnt had been reached on polit aspects in the region. I expressed the hope that discussion of the problem in the Bundestag cld be avoided but that if it cld not the debate wld be moderate. Adenauer made no comment on this suggestion.

According to AdenauerGrandval is the most important obstacle to the settlement of the Saar problem. He explained in detail Grandval’s polit influence in France and pointed out that while in Switz he recd a visit from a Swiss newspaper owner who had just returned from France where he met Bilotte, a member of the dissident Gaullist group, who told him the 30 dissident Gaullists were firmly opposed to any settlement of the Saar problem on other than existing terms. Adenauer said that Grandval, who was also a member of this group, was probably responsible for this development and that through them he cld exercise enough influence to prevent settlement.

As regards the econ arrangements Adenauer repeated the statement he made to us some time ago that he foresaw no difficulties in this respect because Schuman had told him that France’s econ interest in the Saar was to obtain coal for her requirements and to sell French goods in the Saar both transactions to be in French francs. Adenauer said this cld be arranged without difficulty. I then raised question about econ conventions and Adenauer said that Schuman wished to modify the existing conventions but his point was that they shld be replaced by new agrmnts. He did not indicate when econ experts wld meet but he gave the impression that they cld at any time once an agrmnt was reached in principle on the future status of the Saar.

Adenauer said that he was sending Schuman two 1trs. He hoped to despatch them tonight so as to have them in Schuman’s hands tomorrow but not later than Friday. The first will deal with the substance of the problem, the second will relate to Saar elections. In the second Adenauer will agree to a joint public statement with Schuman to effect that an agrmnt has been reached in principle on Europeanization of the Saar and that negots will continue. He promised to send us copies of the letters after they have been delivered in Paris.4Adenauer hopes to reach agrmnt on statement [Page 1441]prior to Oct 20 so that the Saar Landtag will agree on that date to postpone elections. Reason for the two 1trs was that it might be desired later to publish the text of the 1tr relating to election and statement which wld be very difficult if the election issue were included in the same letter which dealt with the other substantive issues.5

  1. Repeated to Paris, London, and Strasbourg.
  2. Supra .
  3. Presumably a reference to the letter of Oct. 11, cited in footnote 2, supra .
  4. Copies of the letters, which were delivered to Schuman on Oct. 16, were transmitted to HICOG by the Federal Government on Oct. 17. These were in turn transmitted to Washington in telegrams 1742 (draft of statement) and 1753 (essential portions of interpretive letter) from Bonn, Oct. 17. (762.022/10–1752)
  5. On Oct. 15, Ambassador Dunn reported that he had contacted Donnelly who told him that he was seeing Adenauer that afternoon. In agreement with Bonn, Dunn decided to postpone his representations until the two letters had been delivered to Schuman. (Telegram 2338 from Paris, 762.022/10–1662)