59. Memorandum of a Conversation Between Chancellor Adenauer and Secretary of State Dulles, Washington, June 14, 19561


  • Conversation between the Secretary and Chancellor Adenauer in the car going up to Walter Reed and back to Airport, June 14, 1956

The Chancellor opened the conversation by informing the Secretary that the Social Democratic Party of Germany seemed to have completed its draft of the major platform for this year’s party convention. It suggested the exodus of the Federal Republic from NATO, rapprochement with Pankow and an extension of the major reforms, carried out in the Soviet Zone under Soviet control, to the territory of the Federal Republic.

The Secretary remarked that this in effect would mean the Communization of all of Germany.

The Chancellor replied that this was exactly what it meant. But the platform, if maintained, would also have the effect of insuring the victory of the Government in the forthcoming elections.

[5 paragraphs (21 lines of source text) not declassified]

The Chancellor then referred to the forthcoming visit of French Foreign Minister Pineau. He expressed the view that M. Pineau was “a strange fellow”, most difficult to deal with; in fact, politically speaking, he was outright “bad”. The Chancellor also did not seem to be completely satisfied with the impending change of French Ambassadors.

On the way to the airport, after the visit with the President, the Chancellor said that he hoped the Secretary would not take any offense if he stated that yesterday he had been very happy with the conclusion of the discussions and the communiqué, but today he was happier still. He thought that the President’s quick recovery was truly miraculous; his total appearance had seemed much better than the preceding year when he had seen the President last.

The discussion turned to the successor of Lord Ismay and General Gruenther. The Chancellor paid a strong compliment to General Gruenther whom he considered to be a man of extraordinary brilliance. He wondered who would take now the place of Lord Ismay (see separate memorandum on the Chancellor’s suggestions).2

[Page 126]

Subsequently, the Chancellor inquired about Ambassador Luce’s state of health and was quite elaborate in his praise of Mrs. Luce, whom he described as “one of America’s best Ambassadors in Europe”.

The Secretary inquired jokingly whether the Chancellor was aware of certain press comments following his stay in Switzerland. The Swiss Government was reported to have viewed with some apprehension the fact that the Chancellor had used his vacation in Switzerland to conduct official business from neutral soil.

The Chancellor said that he had not been advised of these comments. He liked to spend his vacations in Switzerland but, in view of well known Swiss sensitiveness, he might in the future patronize Switzerland less frequently than heretofore.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 711. Secret. Drafted by Kellermann on June 25.
  2. Not printed. (Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers) Chancellor Adenauer suggested that Sir Frank Roberts, British Ambassador to Yugoslavia, would be an “excellent choice.”
  3. A handwritten note by Elbrick at the bottom of the source text reads: “Approved for distribution. CBE”.