University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Information bulletin
(June 1951)

German, US press look at Schuman plan,   pp. 53-54 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 53

German, US Press
-Loo at Schuman Plan
rp HE REACTION of the German
I press to the Federal Republic's
participation in the Schuman Plan*
was a mixed one, with the hopeful and
optimistic hailing the coal and steel
merger as the greatest step thus far
toward a united, federated Western
Europe. However, this optimism was
dampened by the condemnatory edi-
torial voices of a number of elements.
Bavaria's Passauer Neue Presse saw
the single market idea as the end of
the long standing animosity between
France and Germany, bringing the
European countries together in com-
mon destiny. In the opinion of the
East-West border city paper, the eco-
nomic union therefore is "a real peace
treaty which provides the prerequi-
sites for the unity of Europe and the
foundation for a Western defense
union against the East."
Frankfurt's Allgemeine Zeitung wrote
The parliaments 4
nations - France,
many, Italy, the N(
gium and Luxembou
called upon to ratil
Plan and thus mal
law. Since May 9,
Robert Schuman, the
minister, announce!
posals for pooling
steel industries of I
many, together wit}
interested Europea
- and April 18, 1
Schuman Plan Trei
by the foreign mini!
ticipating countries,
has taken varied sti
its. In these colun
section of press coI
ern Germany and th
that "the idea of
ci Unlite~d Europe had passed from a state of idealistic hope
to urgent necessity forced upon u~s by political and eco-
nomic developments. From this point of view," said the
paper, "the Schuman Plan must be considered the. first
practical step in the economic field to bring about union
and uniformity in Europe." The Allgemeine declared that
the time for narrow-minded interests had gone and no
single national state but the whole of Europe was at stake.
A NOTHER HESSIAN PAPER, the Frankfurter Rund-
L  schau, sanctioned the signing of the Plan by Chancel-
lor Adenauer only as an economic basils on which the
"European Counciil in Strasbourg can develop from  a
debating club into' an effective political instrument..
However, the paper warned that "whether April 18, 1951
(date of signature) will be celebrated in the future as the
birthday of the Uniteid States of Europe, will depend not
only on the Plan's ratification by the parliaments of the
member states in six months' time, but on the practical
economic operation of the steel and coal union." It will
be years, the paper said, before "the plan can be in full
operation. But, as Jetan Monnet said, 'to overcome the ob-
structing frontiers in Europe, it is necessary now to put
heart and mind to realization of this plan.'"
The Munich Sueddeutsche Zeitung emphasized that
German diplomats had exerted considerable influence on
the forging of European unity, indicating that Chanlcellor
Adenauer was now in a better position to deal with his
political opposition than was previously the case.
UJNE     1951
Df six European
Western Ger-
etherlands, Bel-
irg - are being
fy the Schuman
ke its concepts
1950 - when
e French foreign
d France's pro-
[ the coal and
France and Ger-
h those of other
Ln governments
1951, when the
aty was signed
sters of the par-
, the world press
ands on its mer-
ans is a cross-
mment in West-
Le United States.
The Offenbach Post declared Europe
will receive an entirely new face should
it succeed in fulfilling the political and
economic promises of the Plan.
The Bremen Weser-Kurier thought
Dr. Adenauer's optimism justified and
that the refusal of the member nations'
parliaments to ratify the Plan would
constitute a catastrophe.
whatever sacrifices and risks the
Plan may call for, the prospect of
strengthening Europe makes them well
worth accepting. However, two other
of the island city's papers. Der Tele-
graph antd Der Tagesspiegel, expressed
concern that the agreement on the
Schuman Plan may have been bought
with concessions affecting the Saar
and Eastern Germany.
The dissenters included Dortmund's
Westfaelische Rundschau, which blamed Dr. Adenauer for
having signed the agreement against the will of the ma-
jority of the West German population and with the inten-
tion of creating a fait accompli which it would be difficult
to change later by means of parliamentary procedure.
It was joined by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) ad-
vocate, Hannoversche Presse, which wrote that the "will
for political anck economic stabilization in Europe as in-
tended by the Schuman Plan depends in no small measure
on the moral capacity of France ... on the honesty of
France - and, foremost, on its willingness to abandon a
policy which is governed by the spirit of exaggerated fear."
Duesseldorf's Rhine Echo stressed the great responsi-
bility the Germans had taken on their shoulders by making
sacrifices for the conclusion of this union and expressed
the hope that the eventual peace treaty and the Schumarr
Plan will bring about social security for the working
people of the Rhine-Ruhr area, because "with social ten-
sion and unrest in this mining district, all fine European
planning will be worthless."
T HE EDITORIAL COLUMNS of America's leading news-
papers were outspoken in their approval of the Plan
and the action of the six member governments. Typical
of this trend of opinion was The New York Times, which
called the Schuman Plan "a functional approach to Euro-
pean unification on the economic level."
"This is a promising method," continued The Times,
"of overcoming the difficulties that have bogged down
*For a detailed review of the Schuman Plan, see Information Bulletin,
April 1951 issue.

Go up to Top of Page