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Three Telegrams from U.S. High Commissioner John McCloy to Secretary of State Dean Acheson regarding the "Stalin Note" (1952)

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(2) Allied reply to Soviet note should pose series questions such as “what rights do Soviets contemplate new government would possess?” and “what rights would new government have in respect of Schuman Plan, EDC, etc.?” Allied note should also include general statement of Allied objectives and reasons for them to be contrasted with Soviet proposal for German National Army.

Chancellor believes (1) above would be very good way to stress Allied interest in free elections and in Bundestag conditions for them. If Chuikov’s answer should come in before dispatch of Allied reply to Soviet note, it could be dealt with in that reply and if not (repeat not) as seems more likely, failure to answer could be referred to. Adenauer believes this would be sufficient to satisfy German public opinion and would avoid heavy risks of delaying signature of agreements which is now (repeat now) entailed in proposal for early meeting.

My own view is that his suggestion of a series of questions would appear too much like fencing and thus lose public support. Can see no (repeat no) harm in HICOM prodding Chuikov but I do not (repeat not) believe it would carry much weight with German public opinion.

As radio reports from Paris today disclosed existence of US proposal, I felt free to mention it to [Ernst] Reuter who after weighing disadvantages and possible benefits said that on balance he would favor meeting but full exploration of the hazards of such action was not (repeat not) made with him.

In telephone conversation with London this afternoon, we understand US proposal has been modified in tripartite discussions and substitute is being offered on which we will comment as soon as received.

Source: Telegram from John McCloy to Dean Acheson (March 12, 1952), Telegram from John McCloy to Dean Acheson (March 29, 1952), and Telegram from John McCloy to Dean Acheson (May 3, 1952); reprinted in Rolf Steininger, The German Question. The Stalin Note of 1952 and the Problem of Reunification, New York: Columbia University Press, 1990, pp. 125-27, 151-55, and 157-58.

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