149. Telegram From the Embassy in Germany to the Department of State1

37. Eden Plan group message.2

There follow several general comments on work of group as whole:
Nature of German performance showed they had devoted most of their preliminary work to special studies rather than over-all considerations and premises of plan. They are prepared, for example, under certain circumstances, with detailed proposal that there be two or three rather than five Laender reconstituted in Sov Zone. If their initial position that there should be only a single constituency not accepted, they had worked out as a fall-back position details of a multi-constituencies system with details of how they can be gerrymandered to include areas both of West and Sov Zone in one district. However, they do not seem to have thought out carefully any clear-cut sequence of events under the plan. At this time, they seem primarily interested in maintaining flexibility which will give National Assembly freedom to meet problems as they arise. After some indecision, Gerdel advocated strongly Four-Power representation on local as well as intermediate and central organs of supervisory commission. Despite cumbersome nature of machinery involving 790 local teams with representatives of Four Powers, their ultimate position on this, [Page 267] based on psychological considerations necessity Western representative appearing in Sov Zone, was so strong we did not feel it appropriate to press the idea umbrella supervision with local teams made up of Germans alone (FP(WG)D–4(A)).3 Similarly, the group, following German views, left the detailed study of how part of the supervisory machinery would continue to operate after elections to Four-Power working groups set up in (2) of the plan rather than to spell it out in the plan itself or leave it to the commission as envisaged in Dept working paper.
The French, under chairmanship Jurgensen, and after his departure, Leduc,4 showed great flexibility and cooperativeness throughout entire exercise. They frequently emphasized their desire that peace treaty negotiations begin as soon as possible. This view is reflected in strengthening of language on the provisional all-German authority in Stage III. They advocated para on relationship between plan and security systems but yielded to Brit position their instructions did not permit this. French proposal stated: “It is appropriate that Western powers state very clearly that carrying out of Eden Plan for solution of German problem may not become tied up with, or conditioned upon, security arrangements with respect to Germany. There can be question of envisaging for Germany special or discriminatory status. It appears that problems of European security and security in general cannot find their solution solely within framework of German question, but rather within much more comprehensive framework.”
British held firmly to their instructions. They should consider only revision of plan with as few changes as possible. In view of this, it was impossible to include in report discussion of any special solutions of problems arising presence Soviet troops such as that all-German government should come into existence only after arrangements made for withdrawal Soviet forces and in connection signature peace treaty (Deptel 36565). However, if Department has decided to push idea at Paris, we have laid basis. Report in various places points to problems involved in continued presence Soviet forces and at other points such as paras 25 and 26B (see ourtel 276), possible relationship troop withdrawal to a security system is indicated. In reference paras 25 and 26B we proposed originally to use language [Page 268] “unless some security plan, or agreed provision of a peace treaty providing for troop withdrawal at a definite time provides otherwise,” but the Brits claimed their instructions would not permit them to discuss references to peace treaty provisions. We felt we could not press this point until final US position clear. Possibility consideration peace treaty at earlier stage of plan (Stage III) is found in strengthened language re provisional all-German authority and is likely to meet French support. In general, however, group, including Germans, felt plan as now worked out provided safeguards sufficient to protect against most foreseeable risks. German emphasis on flexibility in plan seemed to reflect their belief momentum engendered by plan once put in effect would assist National Assembly to improvise solutions that would make it difficult for Soviets effectively to sabotage later stages of plan.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/7–555. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Paris and London.
  2. The Bonn Quadripartite Working Group On the Eden Plan met at the American Embassy, June 24–July 5, to revise the plan in light of developments since its introduction at the Berlin Conference in January 1954. Summary reports of the nine working sessions are ibid., 762.00/6–1655 through 7–555. A copy of the final 15-page report, approved on July 4 and transmitted to the Foreign Ministers of the three Western Powers, is ibid., 762.00/7–455.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 94.
  4. François Leduc, French Minister-Counselor at Bonn.
  5. Telegram 3656 asked the U.S. Delegation to explore the idea that Soviet troops might impede the implementation of all-German elections and the authority of an all-German government if they were not removed from East Germany. (Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/6–2455)
  6. Telegram 27 transmitted a summary of paragraphs 15–26 of the working group report. (Ibid., 762.00/7–455)