CFM Files

United States Delegation Minutes



[Page 857]
Mr. Bevin (Chairman)
Mr. Dixon
France U.S.S.R.
M. Bidault M. Molotov
M. Couve de Murville M. Vyshinsky
M. Seydoux M. Pavlov
Mr. Byrnes
Senator Connally
Senator Vandenberg
Mr. Bohlen

Date of Meeting in New York

Mr. Bevin who was presiding said that the meeting had been called at Mr. Byrnes’ request. He would, therefore, ask him to explain what he had in mind.

The Secretary replied that he thought it would be wise to consider the procedure that would be followed in discussing the peace treaties in New York and to fix a date as early as possible for the first meeting of the Council. He said he thought that the Deputies could continue with their work here in Paris and proceed to New York arriving there by the third or fourth of November or perhaps a day or so earlier. He thought, therefore, that it might be possible to set the first meeting of the Council on the second, third, or fourth of November. He emphasized that the earliest possible meeting would be desirable in view of the fact that it probably would not be possible because of the General Assembly to hold meetings every day in New York.

M. Bidault said he had already made it clear to his colleagues that the date of the General Assembly created difficulties for the French Government for reasons that they all knew. It was, therefore, difficult if not impossible for him to make any definite commitment as to when he or any other French Foreign Minister could get to New York, but he would agree to have France represented at the Council by M. Couve de Murville until he could arrive in New York.

M. Molotov said he agreed that the Council should meet as soon as possible in New York.

Mr. Bevin suggested that Monday, November 4, be set as the date which was agreed to by the Council.

Discussion of Germany

M. Molotov then said he wished to raise the question of the German discussions. He felt that it would be better to hold the German discussions in Europe since they would have to draw on their respective officials in Germany and it would be difficult if the meeting were held in the U.S. He said he realized they must consider the position of the U.S. representative in this matter but he thought that Mr. Byrnes also would need direct contact during the German discussions with his representatives in Germany.

[Page 858]

The Secretary said he merely wished to say that although he had traveled to Yalta, then to Potsdam, to London twice, and had since spring virtually lived in Paris, he did not mind the inconvenience. He agreed that it was necessary to have constant reference to our representatives on the Allied Control Council in Germany. He pointed out, however, that at the July discussion of Germany it had been agreed that they would discuss the German problem in November. He, therefore, felt that the German question should at least be started in New York. He said if as a result of the discussion in New York it appeared that all four countries were ready to undertake a serious and thorough discussion of Germany, he would then yield to the wishes of his colleagues if they desired to meet in Europe, but he did not wish to come all the way to Europe for a general and preliminary discussion such as was held last July.

M. Molotov said he dished to emphasize that his remarks did not contemplate any delay in the German question.

The Secretary said that he thought for example if we should finish the work on the treaties by November 20 then the Council could discuss Germany in order to ascertain whether they were all prepared to go into a thorough consideration of the German problem. In other words, we should start the discussions in New York and then consider whether it was desirable to continue them elsewhere in Europe.

Mr. Bevin agreed with this proposal.

M. Molotov said he felt that we should finish work on the peace treaties first but he had no objection to Mr. Byrnes suggestion.

M. Bidault stated that the French Government did not want to discuss the substance of the German question in the absence of a responsible representative of France. He suggested that the discussion in New York should be of a preliminary nature for the purpose of drawing up an agenda for a future substantive discussion.

Mr. Bevin replied that M. Molotov’s remark meant that they could not take up the German question until the peace treaties were finished.

The Secretary inquired whether M. Bidault could not get to New York by the middle of November.

M. Bidault replied that he was no prophet and that it naturally depended on the outcome of the elections which were on November 10. In any event some time would be required to form a new Government and he could therefore make no promises. He said, however, that if the conversations were to be of a preliminary nature then M. Couve de Murville could represent France, but if discussion was to go into the heart of the question then a responsible representative of France would have to be present.

Mr. Bevin then inquired whether it would not be possible to agree that irrespective of the status of the work on the peace treaties the [Page 859] German question would be discussed if only for one day at New York in order to fix the time and place of the real discussion on Germany. He said he did not like making a discussion of the German question conditional on the completion of the work of the peace treaties.

M. Molotov said that from a practical point of view it would be better to finish the treaties first but he would have no objection to an agreement to take up the German question in a preliminary fashion while they were in New York.

Mr. Bevin said they would of course make every effort to finish the peace treaties before leaving New York, but if for one reason or another this was not done they should in any case have a preliminary German discussion before leaving New York.

Mr. Bevin’s suggestion was accepted by the Council, namely, that irrespective of the status of the peace treaties there would be a preliminary discussion of the German problem.