740.5/7–1153: Telegram

No. 84
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (Conant) to the Department of State

top secret

196. Reference: Circular Airgram Control 3146 of June 26, 1953.1 Hallstein has informed us after conferring with Chancellor that Federal Republic would not be agreeable to formation, training and stationing in Germany of volunteer battalions on non-Germans from behind iron curtain.

Federal Republic Government thought Soviet Government would be bound to regard such action as provocative and as evidence of aggressive intentions against USSR. Such move would also arouse strong criticism of Adenauer Government and US within Germany, and probably in other European countries.

Queried as to government’s attitude toward recruitment such non-Germans within Germany for purpose indicated, Hallstein replied he thought there would be no objection and that matter could be worked out if such recruits were moved abroad for training and posting.

Our impression was that above reaction was not necessarily final and that Chancellor may be more receptive to idea at later date, say after successful elections.2

  1. See footnote 3, Document 81.
  2. In telegram 185 from London, July 10, Holmes replied to the Department’s query concerning the negotiations by stating that, despite Salisbury’s assurances (see footnote 3, Document 82), the British Government appeared to be concerned about the timing of the VFC, and cited the upcoming German elections in this connection. (740.5/7–1053)