Mr. Wilbur Brucker, the American Secretary for the Army, who is at present visiting the?
Mr. Wilbur Brucker, the American Secretary for the Army, who is at present visiting the Federal Republic of Germany, called on Herr Josef Strauss for talks at the West German Defence Ministry in Bonn, July 5. He was received by the Inspector-General of the German armed forces, General Heusinger.
The meeting followed a statement made by Brucker at a Bonn press conference, the previous day, that Herr Strauss had expressed interest in the Polaris medium-range missile for the Bundeswehr during his recent American visit, and that he had come to Bonn to discuss the Polaris with the German Minister. Brucker also said that the United States would support any NATO proposals that the operational control of nuclear weapons, at present exclusively American, should be further delegated to members of NATO. The United States had no objections to the Bundeswehr's being equipped with strategic and offensive missiles.
A West German Defence Ministry official said later that Mr. Brucker's statement came as a complete surprise, and was "incomprehensible". The West German Government would not take steps by itself to get the Polaris for the German armed forces. It was the affair of NATO to consider the American offer to deliver Polaris missiles to its members and to advise its members accordingly.
After the meeting, July 5, the Bonn Defence Ministry made known that there were no differences of opinion over the arming of NATO forces with medium-range missiles.