The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Dwight D. Eisenhower
Special Message to the Senate Transmitting Protocols to Treaties Relating to the Federal Republic of Germany.
November 15, 1954

To the United States Senate:

I transmit herewith for the consideration of the Senate a certified copy of the Protocol on the Termination of the Occupation Regime in the Federal Republic of Germany, signed at Paris on October 23, 1954, to which are annexed five schedules, and a certified copy of the Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of the Federal Republic of Germany, also signed at Paris on October 23, 1954. I request the advice and consent of the Senate to the ratification of these two documents.

In addition, I transmit for the information of the Senate a number of related documents. These include a report made to me by the Secretary of State on the present agreements; the Final Act of the Nine Power Conference held at London, September 28-October 3, 1954, with annexes; three resolutions adopted by the North Atlantic Council on October 22, 1954; four protocols to the Brussels Treaty signed at Paris on October 23, 1954, together with the text of the Brussels Treaty signed on March 17, 1948; a declaration dated October 23, 1954, of the states signatory to the Brussels Treaty inviting Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany to accede to the Treaty; a resolution on the production and standardization of armaments adopted by the Nine Power Conference at Paris on October 21, 1954; the Convention on the Presence of Foreign Forces in the Federal Republic of Germany signed at Paris on October 23, 1954; the Tripartite Agreement on the Exercise of Retained Rights in Germany signed at Paris on October 23, 1954; certain letters relating to the Termination of the Occupation Regime in the Federal Republic of Germany, dated October 23, 1954, together with the texts of letters exchanged in 1952 referred to therein; and a statement on Berlin made by the Foreign Ministers of France, the United States, and the United Kingdom in Paris on October 23, 1954.

I know the Senate is aware of the very great importance of these agreements to the security of the United States and to the cause of peace and freedom in the world as a whole. The agreements represent the culmination of a joint effort, extending over several years, to promote closer cooperation in security matters among the nations of Western Europe and to find a way of associating the great potential strength of the Federal Republic of Germany with that of the free world in a manner which will ensure freedom and equality for the people of Germany and at the same time will avoid the danger of a revival of German militarism. The Congress of the United States has recognized on several occasions that the effectiveness of the entire Atlantic relationship depends to a very great extent upon the attainment of these objectives, and last summer the Senate adopted a resolution (S. Res. 295, July 30, 1954) expressing the sense of the Senate that steps should be taken to restore sovereignty to Germany and to enable her to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security.

It was hoped that these objectives would be accomplished through the Treaty constituting the European Defense Community, together with the Bonn conventions of May 26, 1952, which were designed to terminate the occupation regime in the Federal Republic. But the Treaty constituting the European Defense Community failed of ratification, and the conventions, being dependent on the Treaty, could not be brought into effect. Accordingly, it became necessary to devise a set of alternative arrangements by which the nations of the North Atlantic community might pursue their common security objectives, and these new arrangements are embodied in the present agreements.

In accordance with these arrangements, the Federal Republic will be invited to accede to the North Atlantic Treaty and, along with Italy, to the Brussels Treaty. Furthermore, important changes will be made in the military arrangements under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and in the basic nature of the Brussels Treaty to which Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom are already parties. These changes will have the effect, not only of placing certain agreed controls on European armaments, but also of strengthening and reinforcing both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the new Brussels Treaty Organization, the Western European Union.

In NATO, the powers of the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, will be strengthened in the fields of assignment and deployment of forces, inspection, and logistical organization. In addition, the principle of integration of units may be carried to lower echelons than is now the case. These measures are desirable in their own right because they increase the general effectiveness of NATO forces. At the same time, they create a degree of mutual inter-dependence among national forces assigned to NATO that will effectively limit the ability of any one nation to take independent military action within SACEUR's area of command.

The Brussels Treaty is modified so as to establish a new Council for Western European Union, and promotion of European integration becomes a new purpose of the Treaty. The Council is given important powers in the fields of controlling forces and armaments. The continental forces of the Brussels Treaty countries are set at specified limits, conforming, for those countries which would have been members of the European Defense Community, to the limits set by the EDC Treaty. These limits cannot be changed except by the unanimous consent of the Council. In addition, the United Kingdom has agreed that it will continue to maintain on the mainland of Europe forces of the level presently committed there. Further safeguards are provided in the armaments field. The Federal Republic has renounced the right to manufacture atomic and certain other weapons. Major types of conventional weapons will be subject to control. An Agency for Control of Armaments is to be set up for the purpose of enforcing these arms limitations.

It has also been agreed that the occupation regime must be brought to an end and the Federal Republic will assume the full authority of a sovereign state in its external and internal affairs. This will be accomplished by the Protocol on the Termination of the Occupation Regime in the Federal Republic of Germany, which amends the conventions which were placed before the Senate in 1952 and brings them into effect as amended. The amendments are designed principally to bring the Bonn Conventions into harmony with the new arrangements for a German defense contribution and with German membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The greater part of the Conventions has been left unchanged. They will provide, as before, for the revocation of the Occupation Statute, the abolition of the Allied High Commission, and the settlement of numerous problems arising out of the war and the occupation. The convention regulating the status of Allied forces in Germany will continue until it is replaced by new arrangements based on the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, supplemented by such provisions as are necessary in view of the special conditions with regard to forces stationed in the Federal Republic. New arrangements will also eventually have to be concluded on the support of foreign forces in the Federal Republic. Of the special rights retained by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France in the original conventions, those relating to Berlin and to Germany as a whole will be kept on the same terms as before, and the right to station forces in Germany will, after German admission to NATO, be exercised with the consent of the Federal Government insofar as the Federal territory is concerned.

Of the four conventions which are to be amended by the protocol and placed in effect as amended, only one (the Convention on Relations between the Three Powers and the Federal Republic of Germany) was submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification. The other conventions were in the nature of implementing administrative agreements, for which the Senate recognized that formal approval was unnecessary and, furthermore, was undesirable, inasmuch as they might require technical revision from time to time to meet changing conditions. Approval of the Protocol on the Termination of the Occupation Regime in the Federal Republic of Germany will not change the nature of those related conventions.

While the arrangements embodied in these agreements are complex, their purposes are simple. The Federal Republic is placed on a basis of full equality with other states. The military strength of the Federal Republic will be combined with that of the other countries in the Atlantic community in such a way that the development and use of the German military contribution will be in accordance with the common need. The Federal Republic will be fully associated with the Atlantic community through membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and with the European community through membership in the Western European Union established under the Brussels Treaty. Both of these organizations will be strengthened internally. The procedures and institutions which are the subject of these agreements make it inevitable that the states involved will act closely together in the matters most important to their security. This concert of action will, I am convinced, foster the spirit of cooperation and desire for continuing association which have been evident in the free nations and which are essential for their future safety and welfare.

One of the principal specific consequences of the new arrangements will be the addition of a substantial increment of German resources to the Atlantic defense system. At the same time, I want to emphasize the fact that these agreements are founded upon the profound yearning for peace which is shared by all the Atlantic peoples. The agreements endanger no nation. On the contrary, they represent one of history's first great practical experiments in the international control of armaments. Moreover, their fundamental significance goes far beyond the combining of strength to deter aggression. Ultimately, we hope that they will produce a new understanding among the free peoples of Europe and a new spirit of friendship which will inspire greater cooperation in many fields of human activity.

I urge the Senate to signify its approval of this great endeavor by giving its advice and consent to ratification of the protocols on the admission of the Federal Republic to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and on the termination of the occupation regime. I hope these instruments may be studied with a view to enabling the Senate to act promptly on these matters when it meets for its new session in January.


Citation: Dwight D. Eisenhower: "Special Message to the Senate Transmitting Protocols to Treaties Relating to the Federal Republic of Germany.", November 15, 1954. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
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