47. Telegram From the Embassy in Germany to the Department of State0

2670. Embtel 2667.1 When I saw Carstens this morning, I asked for clarification of Chancellor’s Berlin press conference statements, saying I was dismayed, as I was sure that President and the Secretary had been. Carstens indicated Schroeder and he were equally mystified, and even unhappier.

Carstens went on to say he was confident Adenauer had not meant to convey dissatisfaction with US policy, or to imply any basic disagreement [Page 141] between US and FedRep. He said Foreign Office was already endeavoring to interpret to German press Chancellor’s remarks—which had been made in response to queries—in this sense. In response to my request, he promised to try to get unofficial transcript for me by end of day.

After some further discussion, Carstens and I agreed he should first have talk with Chancellor, after which I would see him for general discussion his current views. At my prompting, Carstens said he would ask Adenauer to send “explanation” to the President. I hope to see Chancellor first of next week.

At luncheon today, I asked von Eckardt to attempt at his scheduled press conference this afternoon to make it clear that Chancellor had not meant to indicate any basic disagreement with US policy. He said he would try to do so.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/5–962. Confidential; Niact; Limit Distribution.
  2. Telegram 2667, May 9, reported that the Chancellor’s May 7 press conference was an inept performance and that Dowling would see Carstens to ask for clarification. (Ibid., 762.00/5–962) Extracts from the press conference are in American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1962, pp. 698–700 and Dokumente zur Deutschlandpolitik, 1962, pp. 486–488. The “uncorrected text” was transmitted in telegram 2675 from Bonn, May 9. (Department of State, Central Files, 762A.13/5–962) On May 8 the Department of State issued a statement giving its views on the access authority in response to the Chancellor’s remarks. For text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1962, pp. 700–701. Further remarks on the problem were made by the Chancellor at a second press conference on May 8 and by President Kennedy at his press conference on May 9. For extracts from the former, see Dokumente zur Deutschlandpolitik, 1962, pp. 488–489; for a transcript of the latter, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, pp. 375–383.