135. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Germany1

1332. Paris for USRO,. Embassy and Thurston. It is important that Germany play constructive role at Heads of Government meeting.2 We have accordingly been considering approach to Adenauer by U.S., and separately by U.K. and possibly France, to urge upon him desirability his announcing at meeting expanded and/or accelerated German contributionto collective NATO defense. Material such announcement would appear lie in following three areas:


Support Costs—One of NATO’s major current problems would be at least temporarily met, and desirable example would be set, if Adenauer could announce at meeting Germany’s readiness to meet full Deutschemark costs of U.K. and French forces in Germany for 1958/59,—even though as far as we know French have not yet requested support for next year. Would be necessary that Adenauer state these costs would be met without impairment of German buildup plans set forth in German 1957 Annual Review submission. We recognize possibility Adenauer might require U.S. assurance we would not demand Deutschemark support for our own forces after current fiscal year. Desirable that UK and France suggest support costs announcement to Adenauer since if raised by US Adenauer likely counter with proposals about our own costs.

Such announcement would constitute important contribution to meeting, standing as practical example of mutual endeavor and rational division of effort within NATO. Must be recognized, however, that announcement would have little popular appeal or impact, being in public view no more than further temporary resolution of perennial internal NATO financial problem. Other announcements and actions thus necessary if Germany to play its required role.

German Missile Production—Second possibility is for Adenauer to announce Germany’s readiness, subject to approval of SACEUR and WEU partners, to throw its weight into missile race on side of West. Such announcement, considering Germany’s World War II missile achievements and present industrial and financial resources, would have both practical significance and popular impact. If this general idea has merit, would be necessary explore urgently in first instance with SACEUR, and with WEU members other than [Page 327] Germany, with view to France, preferably, taking it up with Adenauer. Extent of required revision of Brussels Protocol would be minimized by confining project at this point to missiles.
German Buildup—Third possibility would be for Adenauer effectively to lay to rest long-standing fears and suspicions Germany does not plan to achieve its full assigned NATO goals. While these goals will not be officially confirmed until Council approves NATO force requirements paper now under development, Adenauer could reaffirm Germany’s determination to complete its vital contribution to shield. Considerable reassurance, even if not new stimulation, would be derived from such reaffirmation, and from succinct statement of actions taken and in progress to overcome obstacles which have delayed German buildup.

Effort persuade Adenauer announce increase in planned level German defense expenditures at this time, in light low percentage of GNP going for defense, would probably be unavailing, because of likely German reaction increased expenditures would waste money without enhancing buildup of key elements of strength. Would be difficult refute argument buildup delay has not been primarily due to lack of funds, though budgetary factors can be expected become limiting factor on rate of buildup at later date.

We note Bonn’s impression (Bonn 1515, rptd London 164, Paris 254,3 to which we are replying separately) Germans anxious have our ideas on December meeting and to follow our lead. Accordingly sooner we can coordinate views on optimum German contribution at meeting with UK and France and communicate those views to Adenauer the better.

Request comments all addressees urgently. Paris comments should be coordinated among Embassy, USRO and Thurston.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–PA/11–1657. Secret; No Distribution Outside Department. Drafted in EUR, cleared by Reinstein, and approved by Elbrick who signed for Dulles. Also sent to London and Paris.
  2. For documentation on the NATO Heads of Government Meeting, held in Paris December 16–19, see vol. IV, pp. 218 ff.
  3. Telegram 1515 from Bonn reported the results of a meeting between Foreign and Defense Ministry officials which had been called to prepare proposals for the NATO meeting at Paris. (Department of State, Central Files, 740.5/11–1357)
  4. On November 28, Bruce reported that Erhard had stated that it would be important for the United States in the Paris meeting to reaffirm its support for the territorial integrity of its NATO partners against any type of attack. (Telegram 1567 from Bonn, November 18; ibid., 396.1–PA/11–1857)

    The Embassy in London and the U.S. Permanent Representative reported their agreement with the proposals outlined in this telegram. (Telegrams 3156 from London and Polto 1343 from Paris, both November 19; Ibid., 396.1–PA/11–1957)