137. Memorandum of a Conversation Between Secretary of State Dulles and Chancellor Adenauer, Bristol Hotel, Paris, December 14, 1957, 5 p.m.1

The Chancellor said that he was confident that his Parliament would approve of the storage of nuclear weapons and the establishment of nuclear sites in the Federal Republic but that it would be necessary to go through the process of parliamentary debate.

I spoke of the Soviet proposal and of Macmillan’s idea that perhaps it would be a good thing to agree that there should not be missile sites in the Federal Republic, East Germany, Poland or Czechoslovakia. I said that while as a military matter it might not be desirable or important to have such sites east of the Rhine, I had some question as to whether or not it would be good to give all of the Federal Republic a special status in this regard. It might be a move toward neutralization. The Chancellor said that he agreed with that point of view and that the Federal Republic would not be equated with East Germany.

The Chancellor expressed the fear that there might be a change of US sentiment due to the fact that it would come under fire from Soviet ICBMs. He feared also that this might lead to the US exercising its right to withdraw from NATO. I said I did not think that there was any cause for concern on these points. I said that we had already assumed that Soviet bombers with megaton weapons would be able to inflict massive destruction on the US even though many of them were shot down and that whether or not this destruction was [Page 342] caused by the bombers that got through or by missiles did not particularly alter the situation.

[2 paragraphs (22 lines of source text) not declassified]

The Chancellor expressed the hope that we could in our speeches, particularly the public speech of the President, emphasize the importance of peace. I said that this was in the President’s mind but that I would carry to the President the Chancellor’s exhortation in this respect.

The Chancellor said that he felt chagrined that although the US and indeed German military people really had knowledge of the Soviet advances in the way of missiles they had not adequately reacted. I said perhaps this was because the information went primarily to the Air Force and the Air Force tended to depreciate developments that might end up by putting them out of business.

The Chancellor said that General Heusinger had felt that the command structure of NATO was so complicated that it would never work. He suggested that I should ask General Norstad to talk to the Chancellor and General Heusinger about this if there was an opportunity. I said I would try to communicate that thought to General Norstad this evening.

John Foster Dulles
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Memoranda of Conversation. Top Secret; Personal and Private. Drafted by Dulles. The source text indicates that Weber was present as an interpreter. Secretary Dulles was in Paris for the meeting of the North Atlantic Council.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.