740.00119 Control (Germany)/3–1549

Memorandum of Conversation, by the United States Ambassador at Large (Jessup)

top secret

Participants: Sir Alexander Cadogan (U.K.)
Ambassador Chauvel (France)
Philip C. Jessup

By appointment Sir Alexander Cadogan and M. Chauvel called on me at the USUN office this morning. I informed them concerning my talk with Malik on Sunday, April 10th. I then gave them copies of a “Draft of Possible Statement to be Cleared with the British and French and then Read to Malik.”1 I explained the general reasoning behind our drafting of this paper and told them that it had been drafted in consultation with the Secretary.

The only substantive point raised by either of them was Chauvel’s question about paragraph seven. He was somewhat troubled by the reference to the date of July 1. He suggested that it might be phrased as follows: “.… but preparations for such establishment could scarcely be completed for some time to come and scarcely before July 1, 1949.” He thought in its present form it might seem to be something of a promise which we did not want to make.

Both Cadogan and Chauvel were particularly interested to discuss further procedural steps, particularly those needed to reach the “prior Agreements” referred to in paragraph eight of the Draft Statement. Chauvel at first thought it would be necessary to have a preliminary meeting of deputies to reach these agreements. I said we had no fixed view on this procedural point, but that I thought one possibility would be for me in a continuation of these informal conversations with Malik to press forward to the point where it was understood informally on both sides that we were agreed on the basic points listed in our proposed statement and possibly moving on to agreeing informally with him on the dates for the lifting of the blockade and for the holding of the CFM. With regard to the agenda I said one possibility would be to leave it very broad as in our statement of April 5th which referred to “matters arising out of the situation in Berlin and matters affecting Germany as a whole.” I said we would need to consider further whether it was desirable to spell out the agenda in more detail before the CFM met. I suggested that another possibility would be for me to continue the informal conversations with Malik merely to the point of agreement on the basic points covered in our Draft Statement and [Page 723] then to suggest that Malik and I meet with Cadogan and Chauvel to reach agreement on the four points.

This led to a consideration of the manner in which the whole subject might be broached to the public. I recalled the feeling of Mr. Bevin and M. Schuman that it would be preferable to let the Russians take the formal initiative. I said that this seemed to us to be a question on which there were arguments on both sides. The Russians might make propaganda capital out of taking the initiative. All things considered, we felt this was a matter of minor importance. I recalled the discussion with Bevin and Schuman of a possible announcement through the stimulated initiative of the President of the Security Council and noted that we had given up this suggestion in the face of French and British feeling that it was not a desirable procedure. I then suggested our alternative plan of a Four-Power communiqué to the President of the Security Council merely informing him that the Four. Governments had agreed to lift the blockade and have a CFM. I said that, at the same time, we might agree privately with the Russians that after the blockade was actually lifted we would ask the Security Council to take the Berlin question off its agenda. Both Chauvel and Cadogan reacted favorably to this plan and both came around to stating their personal view that they did not think it important to force the Russians to take the initiative.

I also called their attention to the discussion between the Secretary and Mr. Bevin and M. Schuman on an “Agreed Minute of Conversation”2 relative to our common determination to continue with plans for the Western German Government even during a CFM. I recalled that neither Mr. Bevin nor M. Schuman saw any objection to this and that it accurately reflected the conversations which took place; however, no formal action was taken to initial such a Minute. I noted that the substance of it was actually included in the draft of our statement to Malik; and that if the three of us were agreed on some such statement, this merely confirmed the views which all three Ministers had expressed when they met.

Cadogan and Chauvel both said they would inform their Ministers. Cadogan pointed out that Mr. Bevin would not be landing until the end of the week and that the Easter weekend was a hard one on which [Page 724] to get action especially since Monday was a holiday in England. He doubted if he would get any word before Tuesday or Wednesday. Chauvel said that M. Schuman had sailed last night on one of the Queens and would also be getting to Paris about the end of the week so that he would similarly have no response before Tuesday or Wednesday. He said he would discuss the matter with M. Couve de Murville, who had followed the conversations in Washington.3 I pointed out that hitherto I had been staying in Washington and had therefore had no chance encounters between the dates when I wanted to talk with Malik. I said that, since I would now be here for several days, I might encounter him casually and I asked them whether they thought it would be useful for me to just say to him that Bevin and Schuman were on the ocean and that I would hope to make an appointment to see him next week. Both thought this would be desirable. I pointed out that as a matter of timing, while we thought it very desirable not to have the matter concluded and announced during this week which was an especially critical one in Western Germany,4 it was desirable to move forward with some celerity so that the CFM could be arranged for about May 15, and the blockade could be lifted perhaps about May 1. They shared my view that it was desirable to take the next steps as soon as possible.

Philip C. Jessup
  1. Supra.
  2. Under reference here is a minute prepared by Jessup following the tripartite meeting April 1, copies of which were given to Franks and Couve de Murville on April 4. It read as follows:

    “With regard to the question of the Western German Government to which Mr. Malik said Mr. Vishinsky also referred, it is a well-known fact that the three governments are proceeding with preparations for the establishment of such a government. These preparations will continue. However, the question of the establishment of a West German Government does not arise in the consideration of arranging a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers in the reasonably near future.” (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 140: JessupMalik Conversations)

  3. Later in the day Jessup talked to Couve de Murville, who expressed his general agreement with the plans elaborated by the three Western officials at this meeting. (Memorandum of Conversation, by Jessup, April 13, not printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/3–1549)
  4. Under reference here are the consideration by the Bonn Parliamentary Council of the Occupation Statute, which had been agreed by the Three Ministers in Washington on April 8, and the Council’s drafting of the Western German Basic Law for presentation to the Military Governors. For documentation relating to the Basic Law, see pp. 187 ff.