323. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, October 25, 1957, 10:30 a.m.1



  • UK Force Reductions and German Support Costs


  • American
    • The Secretary
    • The Under Secretary
    • Mr. Murphy
    • Mr. Dillon
    • Ambassador Whitney
    • Ambassador Merchant
    • Mr. Smith
    • Mr. Berding
    • Mr. J. W. Jones
    • Mr. Parsons
    • Mr. Isaiah Frank
    • Mr. Dale
  • British
    • Foreign Secretary Lloyd
    • Sir Norman Brook
    • Sir William Hayter
    • Sir Patrick Dean
    • Ambassador Caccia
    • Lord Hood
    • Mr. Jackling
    • Mr. Morris
    • Mr. Laskey
    • Mr. Leishman
    • Mr. Roper

Mr. Lloyd brought up the subject of German support costs stating the British feel that, if their position is handled as a balance of payments problem, there exists a good prospect for favorable settlement. He feared, however, that this prospect would be considerably dimmed if the U.S. now requests $77 million additional from the Germans for this fiscal year. Mr. Lloyd said that the British expect to work out their approach with Spaak as soon as possible because their request for next year must be settled within the next four to five weeks. He requested that we postpone our approach to the Germans until after that time.

Mr. Jones said that the British request for postponement would create a problem. Now that Adenauer has won the election,2 we think the proper time to approach the Germans has come and there is urgency in the matter because the money we are asking for relates to this fiscal year, while the money the British want relates to next year.

The Foreign Secretary said the question is simply this: Does the United States want to see Britain keep troops in Germany? They will not stay there unless their local costs are paid and a U.S. demand now for additional money would diminish this possibility. Mr. Jones affirmed that we are most anxious that the UK should keep its troops in [Page 825] Europe and expressed hope that the British will raise the question of support costs with the Germans as soon as possible. However, he added, we do not feel that this should prevent us from going to the Germans with our case. Mr. Lloyd admitted that the U.S. has a technical priority in this matter but went on to say that in strict logic neither country would expect the debt to be paid. He added that he hoped the U.S. would lag in its approach.

Secretary Dulles said he doubted whether dragging our feet would work since the Germans would probably raise the question themselves. He believed, however, that we could wait for a couple of weeks before making our approach. Mr. Jones said that it was desirable for the U.S. and U.K. to keep each other informed in this matter and to coordinate our approaches. Mr. Lloyd agreed that this would be most helpful.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 926. Secret. Drafted by Dale, approved by Dulles and Greene, and circulated to appropriate U.S. officials on October 25. This memorandum is the first of ten covering this meeting; eight are printed below; one [1 page of source text] was not declassified.
  2. The West German general election, held on September 15, resulted in a victory for Adenauer’s Christian Democratic Union.