249. Final Report on Trilateral Talks1

Representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States have now completed the task assigned to them and submit this report as a record of the results of the talks.


The three representatives held a total of six formal sessions on:

October 20–21, 1966; November 9–10, 1966; November 28–30, 1966; February 27 and March 3, 1967; March 20–21, 1967; and April 27–28, 1967.

They also consulted informally a number of times; and they were assisted by several Working Groups. The Secretary General of NATO or his representative attended all of the formal sessions. A representative of SACEUR attended some of the Working Groups.


In addition to the Working Group reports, the talks have resulted in the following agreed documents (attached hereto): [Page 563]

Agreed Minute on Strategy and Forces (9 November 1966).
Agreed Minute on UK–FRG financial arrangements and United Kingdom forces (21 March 1967).
United States aide-memoire on additional purchases from United Kingdom (21 March 1967).
Agreed Minute on US–FRG financial arrangements and United States forces (28 April 1967).
Agreed Minute on procedure in NATO and WEU (28 April 1967).


It is understood that the carrying out of the agreed financial arrangements will be handled through regular channels and that the further discussions of the issues relating to forces will be carried on through NATO procedures.


It is recognized that the balance of payments consequences resulting from the stationing of forces abroad for the common defense continue to pose a problem for joint attention.

  • Thomson
  • Duckwitz
  • McCloy 2

Attachment 1

Agreed Minute on Strategy and Forces3

In order to deter aggression, the Alliance needs a full spectrum of military capabilities ranging from conventional forces through tactical nuclear weapons to strategic nuclear forces.
The strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, with their ability to inflict catastrophic damage on Soviet society even after a surprise nuclear attack, constitute the backbone of NATO’s military capabilities.
The tactical nuclear capabilities of the Alliance constitute an additional necessary component of the deterrent.
The Alliance needs sufficient conventional forces to deter and counter a limited non-nuclear attack and to deter any larger non-nuclear attack by confronting the Soviets with the prospect of non-nuclear hostil-ities on such a scale as to involve for them a grave risk of escalation to nuclear war.
On the Central Front, the present level of NATO forces appears to be adequate for this purpose but the question of imbalances in these forces remains to be discussed.
The question of where these forces should be located remains to be discussed in the light of the prospect of political and military warning, ability to react, capacity and speed of reenforcement, economic considerations and the political impact of any new deployments on NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

Attachment 24


This minute applies only to year 1 April 1967 to 31 March 1968.

The German Government will make purchases in the defense sector from the UK of the value of DM 200 million in the financial year April 1, 1967 to March 31, 1968.

The German Government will endeavor within the limits of its possibilities to reach DM 250 million for public procurements in the civilian sector in the same period.

The British and German Governments will use their best endeavors to promote commercial purchases with a view to reaching accountable payments of up to DM 100 million in the same period. The remaining funds, not yet contractually committed in the DM 94 million account will be used for this purpose.

The undertakings in the three preceding paragraphs are based on the assumption that the principles of the agreement of 1964 as extended by the Protocol of 1965 and the decisions of the Anglo-German Joint Committee continue to apply.

The two Governments will now enter into a new agreement on the above basis.

Subject to the agreement of WEU, the British Government will withdraw one brigade group (about 5,000 men) from Germany to the United [Page 565] Kingdom during the first quarter of 1968. This brigade group will remain earmarked for assignment to NATO. Apart from the physical implications of its change of location, there will be no change in its relation to SACEUR. In addition, and on the same basis, the British Government would propose to transfer to the UK two squadrons of the 2nd Tactical Air Force.

When the British Government make the necessary application to WEU, the German Government, taking account of the balance of payments arguments advanced, will use its best endeavors to ensure the success of the application as being the only solution which has been found in the tripartite talks.

The US and German Governments will similarly support the agreed position in NATO.

These understandings are contingent on the completion of satisfactory financial and force level arrangements between the United States and the FRG and UK in the Trilateral Talks and will become effective only in conjunction with such related arrangements.

Attachment 35


The Department of State confirms the statement made by Mr. McCloy to Minister Thomson on March 20, 1967, to the effect that the United States Government is prepared—as a contribution to the satisfactory conclusion of the Trilateral Talks on force levels and balance of payments effects—to increase its military orders and payments to the United Kingdom by the amount of 7 million pounds in the period April 1, 1967 to March 31, 1968. The orders and payments would be additional to those undertaken under the $325 million arrangement, and additional to those undertaken under the special $35 million arrangement agreed in December 1966. They would be subject to the same terms as transactions under the $325 million and $35 million arrangements. United States experts are prepared to discuss the modalities of these new transactions with their British counterparts in the immediate future.

[Page 566]

This offer is predicated on the assumption that the three governments can reach a satisfactory agreement on the level of forces in Germany.

Attachment 46


I. US Rotation Plans

The United States proposes to redeploy from the FRG to the US up to 35,000 military personnel. The ground and air units affected, whether at their US or FRG bases, will remain fully committed to NATO.
Army. The plan for the Army is as follows:
The US Army division involved will be the 24th Infantry Division.
At least one brigade of that division will be in Germany at all times, at the current location of the division. Consideration will be given at a later date to restationing the units, if the availability of facilities permits, to place them closer to their assigned emergency defense positions.
The other two brigades and an appropriate share of divisional and non-divisional support units—totalling approximately 28,000 (i.e., slightly less than two-thirds of a US division force)—will be removed from Germany to the United States. Precisely which support units will be redeployed has not been decided. US military experts are ready to work with German military experts to find ways to avoid weakening combat support units.
Once a year, all three brigades will be in Germany for exercises involving the entire division.
The rotation plan provides that the three brigades would succeed each other in the FRG, each brigade in turn remaining in the FRG on TDY for a period of six months.
Forces redeployed to the US will be maintained in a high degree of readiness, and equipment will be maintained in the FRG in sufficient quantity and readiness to ensure that the forces can be redeployed to Germany within 30 days. The US Government will strive to shorten the time requirements for the deployment of ground forces as much as possible below 30 days.
Air Force. The plan for the Air Force is as follows:
The three tactical fighter wings, totaling 216 aircraft, now based in Germany are involved in the plan.
120 of the 216 aircraft will be in Germany at all times. They will be located on two or three bases, with the remainder of the four bases maintained as DOB(S).
96 of the aircraft (and up to 6500 men) will be redeployed to the US.
All 216 of the aircraft will be together in Germany once a year for exercises.
Under the rotation plan, 120 aircraft (five squadrons of 24 each) would be permanently stationed in Germany, and the remaining 96 dual-based aircraft would rotate to Germany for exercises once a year.
The aircraft in the US will be at a high degree of readiness to assure their deployment to Europe within 10 days. The US Government will strive to shorten the time requirements for the deployment of air forces to 5 days.
First movements under both plans will not take place before January 1, 1968, and the plans may be in operation as soon as June 30, 1968, but in no event before the US is ready to meet the criteria described above.
The United States will return its rotating forces to Europe whenever the situation requires. In addition, the US Government is ready to negotiate a plan under which NATO countries, including Germany and others as well as the US, furnish the assurance that comparable actions will be taken, including, for the part of the US, redeployment to Europe of its rotating forces during a period of political tension and no later than at the time of the announcement of the alert phase “military vigilance” for the Central Region by SACEUR.
The US does not consider that the international situation justifies any further redeployments. The US believes that significant reductions of allied military strength should be part of a balanced plan for reducing military strength in both East and West or as a consequence of other major shifts in the security situation and should be made only after full consultation among the allies. The US is prepared to participate in a multilateral determination of what the NATO force levels should be.
The two governments agree that the DPC is the best forum to consider:
How agreed redeployment of US and UK forces should be handled for the purpose of inducing possible Soviet responses and,
On what basis the NATO Allies should be prepared to consider reciprocal reductions of NATO and Warsaw Pact forces.

II. Financial Arrangements

Financial arrangements to deal with the balance of payments effects of US military expenditures in Germany have been developed between the US and German Governments and between the German Bundesbank and the US Treasury.

[Page 568]

Principles Governing the Period, July 1, 1967–June 30, 1968

Germany decides what levels of procurement of military goods and services in the US it wishes to undertake.
It is recognized that the total of the prospective German military purchases does not match the US foreign exchange expenditures in Germany for military purposes.
As to the remaining balance of payments consequences of the US troops stationed in Germany, other means, including cooperation in the management of monetary reserves, have been agreed.

German Military Purchases in the US, July 1, 1967–June 30, 1968

The German Government intends to continue procurement of military goods and services in the United States on a scale significant in relation to the German defense effort. Such procurement will be made in the light of German military requirements and budget capabilities, given the availability and economic advantage of procurement items in the US.
The two governments will continue the regular military and financial consultations between their appropriate ministries, which in the past have served as a means for determining potential German military procurement in the United States.

Central Bank Arrangements, July 1, 1967–June 30, 1968

The two governments noted that the Bundesbank will invest during the period July, 1967, through June, 1968, a sum of $500 million in special, medium-term US Government securities, which will be a real import of capital into the US.

Other Central Bank Arrangements

The two governments noted that in a recent letter addressed to the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, accompanied by a letter of approval by the German Government, the Bundesbank explained its continuing practice in recent years of not converting dollars into gold from the US Treasury. The Bank stated its intention also in the future to continue this policy and to play its full part in contributing to international monetary cooperation.

Future Procedures

It is understood that there is no need to describe these specific financial arrangements in NATO. However, it is recognized that it will be necessary for the parties to describe these arrangements as questions are posed in other existing international forums where subjects of monetary cooperation arise.
Specific publicity will be coordinated between the US and the Bundesbank with respect to the Central Bank arrangements.
[Page 569]

Attachment 57


The three governments have agreed on the following procedure for putting to NATO and WEU their proposals arising out of the Tripartite Talks:


The British Permanent Representative in the Defence Planning Committee will, within the framework of the Tripartite Agreed Minute of 21 March, outline in general terms the financial arrangements made between the German and British Governments and put forward a British proposal, subject to the agreement of WEU, to transfer to the UK one brigade group and one helicopter squadron in the first quarter of 1968, emphasizing that these forces would remain committed to NATO.

The US Permanent Representative will outline in general terms the financial arrangements agreed between the German and US Governments and will describe the US proposals for redeploying certain of its forces committed to NATO.

The two Permanent Representatives will offer to provide such further information on their force proposals as their allies may request and will say that their governments will be explaining these proposals in greater detail in the course of the NATO Defense Planning review. The German Permanent Representative, in his statement, will confirm his government’s concurrence with these proposals.

The US and British Governments will make available detailed information as required to SACEUR through the appropriate channels.

The three Permanent Representatives will propose that the DPC should discuss how these proposals could best be exploited to promote reductions of Soviet or Warsaw Pact Forces in Eastern Europe.

Public announcement of the proposed moves should follow as soon as possible on the communication to NATO.


At the same time as the communication to the DPC, the UK Permanent Representative will inform the WEU Council of the arrangements made and the proposed move of forces.

The German Permanent Representative will support his British colleague.

[Page 570]

The formal agreement of the WEU Council will be sought as soon as possible thereafter, in time to enable moves to begin on the 1st January 1968.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, Papers of Francis M. Bator, Trilats, April–May 1967. Confidential.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears these typed signatures.
  3. Secret.
  4. Confidential.
  5. Confidential.
  6. Secret.
  7. Confidential.