138. Telegram From the Office of the Permanent Representative on the North Atlantic Council to the Department of State1

Polto 1775. From USDel. Secretary Dulles’ meeting with Chancellor Adenauer, Saturday, December 14.

Secretary Dulles had one and a half hour discussion with Chancellor Adenauer at latter’s suite in Hotel Bristol. First half was private conversation.2 This report covers second half.

The question of how to focus the heads of government meeting on important questions was canvassed. Secretary said it seemed impossible to have really frank exchange on important questions before 300 people. Ideally it would be well for heads of governments [Page 343] to speak very frankly to each other, but probabilities were that each head of government, for domestic political reasons, would have to make a speech for home consumption. Chancellor agreed, citing Dutch need to speak on Indonesia, German need to speak on reunification and Berlin, possible Greek and Turkish desire to speak on Cyprus. Secretary thought much of real business would have to be done in private talks and in follow-up by NAC. He went on, however, to say that dramatic effects of heads of government meeting should not be minimized. Its impact had already been demonstrated by Soviet reaction in sending Bulganin letters.3 Secretary gave Chancellor outline of President’s speech,4 which Chancellor thought excellent. Secretary hoped that this would set pace, and perhaps limit wide-ranging speech-making which would consume too much time. At best, it was thought that general speeches would probably not be completed on Monday but would extend until Tuesday’s session. Germans thought it would be well to state at outset that heads of government meetings would be completed on Wednesday, thus putting premium on brevity and focusing attention on business at hand. Secretary remarked that British would like to extend meetings through Thursday, perhaps because of fact that Parliament adjourns on week-end. There was agreement that effort should be made to keep meeting concentrated on business at hand, with Wednesday as free as possible for very important business of considering and agreeing upon final communiqué.
Secretary then brought up other matters:
Support costs. Secretary asked Chancellor how FedRep was getting along on support costs question. Chancellor replied that question is now before NATO, and that FedRep did not want to discuss question at these meetings. Secretary stated importance we attach to a settlement, especially to enable U.K. forces to remain on Continent, which is very important for NATO. Hallstein gave resume of discussions with British, saying that FedRep had had to state bluntly that support costs cannot continue in view increased German outlays for defense build-up. Said FedRep had offered British relief on foreign exchange problem in form advance payments on debts and on armaments purchases; but that British had then shifted ground and now based case on budgetary problem, which FedRep not in position to meet. Added that foreign exchange position is only criterion on which NATO asked to render opinion and “that we have already offered to meet”. Secretary then said (and Hallstein in an aside told [Page 344] translator to get this clearly across to Chancellor) that, while he did not want to take sides in this matter, if British forces have to leave Germany it will be difficult to convince U.S. public and Congress that U.S. forces should remain. Chancellor made no reply.
Secretary Dulles asked what can be done further to stimulate development in under-developed areas and how Germany can help with this problem, particularly with Indian trade deficit in order to prevent failure India’s five-year plan. Hallstein said Germany could help, it has entree in certain areas—and Secretary added “you also have money”. Hallstein expressed view that there should be coordination of efforts in this field, but agreed with U.S. that no new NATO machinery should be developed. Secretary added on broader economic matters it would be well if German Economics Minister could have talk with Secretary Anderson and Dillon, instancing balance of payments problem in Europe.
Secretary then brought up question of France, saying that he thought France is weakest point in NATO. While richly endowed in material and human resources, France is politically sick. Its governments must be truculent in international relations because of political weakness. Germans agreed on this diagnosis, and on this point conversation ended.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.62A/12–1757. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Bonn.
  2. See supra.
  3. Reference is presumably to a December 10 letter from Bulganin to Eisenhower concerning disarmament. For text, see Department of State Bulletin, January 27, 1958, pp. 127–130.
  4. For text of the President’s opening address, see ibid., January 6, 1958, pp. 3–6.