dated October 23, 1953: Adenauer's balancing act

In presenting his new Cabinet, German Chancellor Dr. Adenauer decided at the last minute to award to the Free Democratic Party two of the three ministries which had been in the doubtful list. The two were the Justice Ministry, and a Ministry without portfolio. Leading figures in the new Cabinet were: Chancellor and Foreign Minister — Dr. Konrad Adenauer (Christian Democrat); Vice-Chancellor and Minister for European Economic Co-operation — Franz Bluecher (Free Democrat); Interior — Gerhard Schroeder (Christian Democrat); Finance — Fritz Schaeffer (Christian Democrat); Economics — Professor Ludwig Erhard (Christian Democrat); Justice — Fritz Neumaver (Free Democrat).

The two most important omissions were: Heinrich von Brentano (Christian Democrat) and Dr. Thomas Dehler (Free Democrat). Herr Brentano had been considered a certainty for the post of Deputy Foreign Minister but refused the office, to remain floor leader of his Party, the largest Parliamentary Party in the history of the German Parliament. It was expected that he would become Foreign Minister after the Allied West German treaties were ratified. Dr. Dehler, who had been Justice Minister in the earlier Cabinet was known to be uncongenial to Dr. Adenauer because of his independent temperament.

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