762.022/3–2654: Telegram

No. 677
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom1


4985. To ensure necessary coordination and full agreement with UK on Saar problem (Deptel 4898 to London sent Paris 3271 Bonn 26532) Embassy London discuss following with Foreign Office.

[Page 1510]

1. You should inform Foreign Office of instructions to Conant in para 3 Deptel 4899 to London (rptd Bonn 2655 Paris 3272)3 and seek Foreign Office instructions to UK HICOMer to join urging early BidaultAdenauer meeting to last as long as necessary to reach agreement. Embassy should also seek Foreign Office instructions to UK Ambassador Paris to coordinate with Dillon re such approaches as should be made Bidault to get agreement such meeting. Believe our representatives should, as appropriate, express willingness US/UK extend good offices should they be needed during course of meeting.

We believe once date of meeting set, approach should be timed and French and Germans informed of joint US/UK on substance, as agreed. We agree with British views on timing but wish to ensure that any approach not too late to have effect. Therefore, believe approach should if possible be made at least two days before next meeting. Approach could be based, at least to French, on basis request for “guarantee” (para 6 Coled 2024), and on Maurice Schumann memorandum as suggested para 13 [5E] Paris 3512 (rptd Bonn 732).5

Embassy London should also seek firm up agreement US/UK views on other points as follows.

2. On British suggestion re joint statement, we agree to all recommendations. However, we suggest that last two sentences, which British want deleted, be considered as reserve for possible use should French want some statement re action we are willing to take in event settlement threatened. Congressional consultations successfully completed Mar 26 were conducted this basis. UK Embassy here vague re our view that any reference to US/UK statement of support be deleted from Franco-German agreement. Embassy London should further seek UK concurrence our position on this. Failing deletion, we hope agreement would be worded so as to take into account limits our possible commitment.

3. We agree to British proposals that we inform French and Germans our view on major points, i.e. that they should accept Van Naters report as basis for agreement unless there is cogent reason for deviation and that we should particularly emphasize desirability of accepting economic provisions. We fail to see need for stress on Saar as seat of European bodies since both French and Germans [Page 1511] agreed. However, at time of joint approach, suitable allusion can be made to utility of European solution of Saar question in this respect.

Since French and Germans have failed to reach agreement so far on remaining points, as outlined Deptel 4771 to London (rptd Paris 3193 Bonn 2576),6 believe that we and British must be prepared to express views on these points if necessary. Therefore we should reach agreement between ourselves on points 5 and 7 below. We should also state our views, if necessary, on point 4 below since this is deviation from Van Naters plan.

4. Agree that Germans can be asked to uphold settlement pending a peace treaty and that there should be no requirement of German assent to any Allied commitment concerning support at the peace conference.

5. On question of political parties, we accept subcommittee’s report, if, as understood from London’s 4091 (rptd Bonn 250 Paris 554),7 it recommends that licensing of political parties be abolished before referendum and for subsequent elections. Believe attempt prohibit activities of parties which may not support statute highly undesirable. We still believe, if French maintain position, matter could be handled as suggested last sentence para 7 Coled 179,8 i.e. once statute adopted, cannot be modified unilaterally by Saar regardless outcome any particular election. FYI, British Embassy indicates Foreign Office probably will agree.

6. On issue of making settlement conditional upon EDC, we agree with British that such condition need not be incorporated in settlement. However, we do believe there must be some formal agreement on this point and do not believe French suggestion of unilateral Adenauer statement to Bundestag suffices. French have linked Saar with EDC and we think they cannot avoid German demand to condition settlement upon EDC. Unilateral German statement does not cover Germans on this point.

7. On issue of EPC or Council of Europe as supervisory organ, while we sympathetic with British position, believe we should keep to Van Naters recommendations. Use of British position would make agreement most difficult for Adenauer since essence of Europeanization concept is role of European community in Saar settlement. Use of CE would destroy psychological and political appeal of Europeanization in Germany and might be subject to interpretation [Page 1512] by Germans that it is merely affirmation of status quo under new name.

8. Understand from UK Embassy, that British agree our views re coal mines and sequestrated industries (para 9 Deptel 4771). Please confirm with Foreign Office.

9. It should be made clear to British, while we believe we should urge keeping to Van Naters resolution, we reserving our position on question of US participation 7 or 9 power conference. Continue believe details should be worked out bi-laterally and conference convened only at request of principals concerned.

10. Will advise Embassy here of foregoing. While further UK views may be transmitted via that channel, desire Embassy London report fully and urgently particularly Paris and Bonn in order facilitate joint approaches. Conant and Dillon should inform British colleagues status US/UK consultations with view to early coordination action in Bonn and Paris.

11. Proposal contained Paris Embtel 35559 just received appears entirely consistent with approach on economic problem agreed between US and UK (reftels) and should be presented at most appropriate time directly to Bidault as part of démarche based on Schumann invitation. Re Coled 21210 just received here cancelled personal message to Adenauer. Dillon should immediately follow up Adenauer’s initiative with Bidault to get him to set early date for meeting.11

  1. Drafted in WE and GER; cleared in draft with Murphy, Lyon, BNA, RA, and WE; approved for transmission by Bonbright; and initialed for the Secretary of State by Merchant. Also sent to Paris and Bonn.
  2. See footnote 2, supra.
  3. Telegram 4899 reported general British agreement with the U.S. position on the Saar and stated that a report on the joint position would follow. (740.5/3–2254)
  4. Coled 202 reported on the prospects for EDC ratification in France including the French desire for a guarantee for a Saar settlement. (740.5/3–2154)
  5. In the paragraph under reference Dillon suggested the United States and the United Kingdom take the initiative and express their dissatisfaction with the French position in the Saar negotiations. (740.5/3–2454)
  6. Document 671.
  7. Telegram 4091 reported on the work of the General Affairs Subcommittee at London, Mar. 19–21. (762.022/3–2354)
  8. Document 669.
  9. Telegram 3555 proposed that the following three proposals should be made to Bidault: (a) maintenance of the Franco-Saar monetary and economic union would be recognized, (b) German economic equality in Saar markets would be accepted, and (c) appropriate controls on transshipment of goods would be established on the German-Saar border. (762.022/3–2654)
  10. Coled 212 reported that a message from Adenauer to Bidault had been delivered to the Quai d’Orsay suggesting a meeting on the Saar. (740.5/3–2654)
  11. On Mar. 27 the Embassy in London reported that the Foreign Office was in general agreement with the points raised in this telegram and that Ambassador Harvey in Paris had been instructed accordingly. (Telegram 4195 from London, 762.022/3–2754)