Joint Statement by the President and Chancellor Adenauer.
During this morning's conversations we took an opportunity to renew the spirit of friendship and confidence which has marked our relationship in the past, especially in our efforts to overcome the very serious situation which faced us during the past few months. We reviewed the decisions taken at London and Paris and we are convinced that with the coming into effect of the Agreements signed this past weekend, the road towards a strong and united Europe will have been paved. We view the understanding reached between the Governments of France and the Federal Republic of Germany as an especially encouraging step towards lasting peace in Continental Europe. This understanding was greatly furthered by the commitment on the part of the United Kingdom to maintain forces on the Continent. The basis for a European community has thus been established.
The continued interest in and support of this community by the United States was reiterated. Together with the strengthened North Atlantic Treaty Organization, now to include the Federal Republic of Germany, these new agreements will, we are convinced, serve to reinforce the defense system of the free world.
We particularly addressed ourselves to the question of German reunification. The demand for a reunited Germany in freedom is viewed by us as the legitimate demand of the German people. We are agreed that this aim shall be achieved only by peaceful means. We are convinced of the necessity of continued efforts towards this goal and are agreed that such efforts will be made by the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany together with the Governments of the United Kingdom and France.
In this connection, we exchanged views on the latest Soviet note. It is our initial view that this does not seem to offer any new proposal on the part of the Soviet Union; it appears essentially as a reiteration of the positions taken by Mr. Molotov at the Conference in Berlin regarding Germany and European security.
We have no doubt that the strengthening of free Europe which will result from the recent London and Paris Agreements, will aid our efforts to bring freedom and unity to all of the German people.
We discussed the unfortunate fact that large numbers of German prisoners of war and civilian deportees are still held in custody in areas behind the Iron Curtain, mainly the Soviet Union. The Chancellor requested the continued assistance of the United States in obtaining the release of these prisoners. This question has for some time been the subject of investigation by a United Nations Commission. The Chancellor was assured that the United States stands ready, now as in the past, to offer every support and assistance considered useful in accomplishing this end.
We also discussed the question of German assets in the United States. The President expressed sympathy for the problem raised by the Chancellor in his letter of July 17, 1954, to him on this subject and again expressed his willingness to explore such problems along with the question of American war claims. We were agreed that conversations between representatives of our two Governments will soon begin.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Joint Statement by the President and Chancellor Adenauer. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233104