Eisenhower Library, C.D. Jackson papers, 1931–67
C. D. Jackson to the Special
Assistant to the President (Cutler)
Dear Bobby: Isn’t this just about the right moment to revive the Volunteer Freedom Corps?[Page 237]
The idea, originally the President’s own, was ably developed by General Crittenberger and his Committee. I am sure I don’t have to remind you of the many vicissitudes this project lived through during its period of development. But finally, it emerged as a fully developed, workable project.
Then came the “we must wait until” period. The only thing we have not had to wait for was the Second Coming. However, I am sure that that is being held in reserve in some Foggy Bottom tepee.
Of course, the French vote on EDC was a perfectly valid “until”. But now that, along with Bermuda, Berlin, Geneva, London, and goodness knows what else, is history, and to that history has been added the recent Nine Power Conference,1 which seems on a fair way to being reasonably successful.
I therefore strongly urge that VFC be taken out of the ice box, unfrozen, and put on the front burner.
There are a lot of obvious reasons for this suggestion, There is one, somewhat less obvious, that may not have occurred to you. It has to do with the satellite countries.
They—particularly Poland and Czechoslovakia—have always been scared of any kind of German rearmament, even the EDC integrated-European-army formula. This fear has been skillfully used by the Communist regimes in those countries in an attempt to persuade the Poles and the Czechs and the Slovaks that despite the West’s brave words regarding their future in peace and freedom, all we really cared about was a rearmed Germany, and they had been through that experience.
I imagine that the Communist propaganda and their reaction to this new kind of German rearmament will be even more violent.
The one antidote would be Poles, and Czechs, and Hungarians, etc., in a Volunteer Freedom Corps, part of the armed forces of the West, integrated into the U.S. Army. This would be convincing proof to them that this was not a sell-out to some new Wermacht.
You will know better than I what the proper timing should be—whether to go ahead immediately with getting Adenauer’s approval, which is the key approval since Germany is the host country, or whether to wait for the further ratification of the Nine Power Conference plan, on which I understand the key ratification will be the French one, presumably sometime in November.
You will recall that Critt made his swing through Europe last spring, and the result was that our Ambassadors in London, Paris, and Bonn, plus our military leaders in Europe, finally understand what this is all about.[Page 238]
Critt himself will do anything the President wants him to do, and naturally I think he would be a superb organizing leader for this project.2
All the best,
- For documentation concerning the Nine-Power Conference at London, Sept. 28–Oct. 3, 1954, see vol. v, Part 2, pp. 1294 ff.↩
- In a reply addressed to Jackson in New York, Oct. 13, Cutler assured him that the subject of the VFC had been broached at the OCB meeting of that date and that a report on that subject would be sent through the OCB to the NSC. (Eisenhower Library, C.D. Jackson papers, 1931–67) No evidence that the issue reached the NSC level during the remainder of 1954 has been found in Department of State files.↩