97. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, June 7, 19551


  • Discussion with Minister Erhard


  • Secretary Dulles
  • Dr. Ludwig Erhard, German Federal Minister of Economics
  • Mr. Thorsten V. Kalijarvi, E
  • Ambassador Krekeler, German Embassy
  • Miss Grosse-Schware, Interpreter

[Here follows discussion of German reunification.]

Secretary Dulles hoped the Federal Republic would not weaken its emphasis on the need for the unification of Europe. If that continent [Page 292] can attain unification, it can achieve a strength to balance the Soviet part of Europe. The US believes that the possibilities for Western European recovery and attainment of great strength are immense. Secretary Dulles feared that there may have been recently some decline of interest in this objective in Germany.

Minister Erhard countered that the Secretary took too pessimistic a view of the matter. He, Erhard, was a personal believer in a unified Europe. The doubts in Germany over unification were not political in nature but rather questioned the method that was followed in the Coal and Steel Community as being the appropriate one to follow in general. He observed that it was he who had been responsible for the conference at Messina. The German Government was anxious to attain the maximum degree of freedom in Europe, most notably freedom of movement by individuals and migration. On the basis of this type of freedom real freedom in Europe could be attained. Then unification could come. Moreover, the Coal and Steel Community had not been intended to stand alone but to be combined with European Defense Community and other combinations. Erhard pointed out that he had proposed a European capital fund to aid the weaker countries, notably southern Italy.

Secretary Dulles said that the people of the US and Congress believed firmly that the division of Europe was the cause of wars in the past. The Europeans have an obligation to tie themselves together and to attain strength in that way so that it will not be necessary to call upon the US again. Any weakening in the move towards unification would be disillusioning here. The reason Chancellor Adenauer has a strong following in the US is that the US thinks of him as a European.

  1. Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Kalijarvi.