241. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State 0

1653. Paris for USRO. I believe Embassy Bonn’s 1650 and 1756 to Department1 place Adenauer-Erhard proposals re possibility of using trade with Soviets to obtain political concessions in proper perspective. While there is a significant degree of Soviet dependence on trade with [Page 634] West which can be exploited by purposeful use of trade to obtain indirect political benefits, I feel that idea of utilizing trade deals to wrest political concessions of major importance from Soviets is entirely false concept. We would delude ourselves if we expected that Soviets would sacrifice what they regard as vital political or security considerations for economic aid, regardless of how difficult their economic situation may appear to be.

While thus disagreeing with underlying concept, I believe it might well be useful to encourage Germans to consult in NATO regarding their proposals. If this is done, it would be essential in my view to attempt to concentrate discussions on credit problem, which is becoming increasingly serious and urgent (cf Embassy telegram 1652).2

I was glad to note from Bonn’s 17833 that Erhard highlighted credit problem in his meeting with Under Secretary and apparently backed away from his concept of using trade to obtain political concessions from Soviets.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 66 D 110, CF 2339. Secret; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Bonn and Paris.
  2. Dated November 2 and 9 respectively, both telegrams developed the theme that the Soviet Union was dependent on the West for various goods and also needed Western financing to develop key areas of its economy. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 1652, November 14, outlined the credits that had been extended to the Soviet Union, breaking them down country by country. (Ibid., FN 11–1 USSR)
  4. Document 240.