West Germany: divided on Grenada

Some West German government spokesmen are weakening - some repeating - Bonn's initial misgivings about US military intervention in Grenada. Right after the invasion the West German Cabinet position - and Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher's comments in parliament - noted that Bonn had not been consulted beforehand but would have counseled against the action if it had been. Christian Social Union leader Franz Josef Strauss attacked this position as not giving sufficient support to West Germany's American ally.

On Monday, government spokesman Jurgen Sudhoff did retreat a bit, telling a press conference that the initial Cabinet reaction had been a spur-of-the-moment assessment and hinting that it might now be softened.

The Foreign Ministry quickly bore in with a corrective, however. State minister Jurgen Mollemann took pains to repeat the original reservations in a radio interview Tuesday. He noted pointedly that friends should be able to speak openly with each other - and added that since Bonn is against any form of foreign intervention, it expects that all foreign troops will soon leave Grenada and that self-determination will prevail. Mollemann, like Genscher, is a member of the junior party in the ruling coalition, the Liberals.

Christian Democratic Chancellor Helmut Kohl was relieved of direct comment because he is visiting Japan. (There he did express ''understanding'' for the background to the intervention, though not approval of the action.)

His political colleague Werner Marx, chairman of the Bundestag foreign affairs committee, however, took up the controversy in an interview with Die Welt Wednesday. In it he declared that the US had acted in accordance with international law in response to the ''urgent wish of allies and neighbors.''

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