740.00119 EW/10–1946

The French Premier and Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Bidault ) to the Secretary of State 7


Excellency: I enclose a copy of the answer I have just written to the memorandum sent to us by our colleague Mr. Wang Shih-chieh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, concerning the procedure to be adopted in drafting the peace treaty with Germany.8

As you will see, I believe that, since the members of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs have been unable to reach unanimous agreement on this matter, the question can be settled only by a decision of the Council made in due course. Moreover, that is what I told our colleagues, Messrs. Bevin and Molotov.

Accept [etc.]


The French Premier and Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Bidault ) to the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Wang )

Excellency: I have studied very carefully the memorandum you were good enough to send me on September 3 concerning the procedure that should be adopted in drafting the peace treaty with Germany.

The agreements signed in Moscow on December 24, 1945 by the Governments of the U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, to which France and China adhered, stipulated [Page 946] the procedure for concluding peace treaties with Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Finland. On the basis of these agreements, which confirm certain provisions of the Potsdam agreements, the preparation of drafts of the peace treaty was entrusted to the nations that signed the surrender terms imposed on the enemy state. The Moscow agreements specified that, upon completion of the drafts, a Conference charged with studying them would be called by the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

These agreements make no mention of drafting a peace treaty with Germany. In this regard, the only texts to which we can refer are the provisions of the Potsdam agreements concerning the establishment of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, provisions to which the Chinese Government, as well as the French Government, duly adhered. They do not provide for the convocation of a United Nation Conference to discuss the peace terms to be imposed on Germany. If the convocation of such a Conference is, as I think, deemed necessary, it will be up to the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs to discuss it in due time and to agree to the measures to be taken for organizing it. It is then that your question will have to be considered.

Accept [etc.]

  1. The original French language text of this communication and the enclosure thereto were transmitted to the Department of State as enclosures to despatch 6465, October 19, 1946, from Paris, not printed.

    In a letter of November 5, 1946, acknowledging receipt of this communication from Foreign Minister Bidault, the Secretary of State stated the following:

    “I agree with you that the question raised by Dr. Wang need not be decided at this time and I have therefore sent an interim reply to Dr. Wang, acknowledging his communication of September 3.” (740.00119 EW/10–1946)

    The Secretary’s letter to Foreign Minister Wang of November 5, 1946, is printed on p. 1014.

  2. For text of the Chinese memorandum, see p. 941.