740.00119 Council/5–2249: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of State

top secret

1779. For the President and Acting Secretary. Copy has already been forwarded to you of paper based on agreements reached last week.1 I have had two discussions with Bevin and Schuman and we are in agreement on substantive points.2 High-lights of discussion were:

Bonn Constitution should be offered as program for all Germany as providing federal government system on which unity three Western zones is being successfully achieved.
Economic principles embodied in Western arrangements should be put forward as reflecting situation in fact which would have to be extended to Eastern zone if unity to be achieved. Soviets must cease [Page 893] reparations from current production in Eastern zone and relinquish ownership their state-owned enterprises in Germany.
Majority vote principle in application of controls must be maintained at least on those points on which it is applied in Washington agreements.3
Although French reluctant raise frontier questions as separate issue, it was recognized present Eastern boundary is an embarrassment to Soviet policy in Germany and that it might be useful again propose establishment boundary commissions to undertake studies as part preparations for a peace treaty.
Question Soviet participation Ruhr control should await Soviet proposals re Ruhr and no concessions this point will be considered until agreement all other matters affecting German unity had been reached.
All elections required in connection Soviet zone states adherence to Bonn Constitution should be under quadripartite supervision.
Possible Soviet proposal should be rejected looking toward “neutralization” Germany which would preclude latter’s association with West and might pave way for eventually linking Germany with Russia.
British and French extremely reluctant consider any immediate Western troop reduction or regrouping. I concurred but pointed out we cannot insist Germany remain under permanent occupation three-quarter million troops and that gradual reduction and regrouping would have to be eventually considered as an independent peaceful and disarmed Germany acquires stability. Therefore, we should not be timid about discussing this eventual fact and should see it boldly as an answer to any Russian proposals for immediate evacuation and we might further urge that the Soviet forces now be reduced in some more reasonable proportion to Allied forces.
Agreed that if no agreement or if partial agreement reached present CFM, Western governments should demonstrate willingness to proceed with German unification by stages. For this purpose modus vivendi re relations East and West Germany and re Berlin would be proposed under which some coordinating body could be set up to continue study of procedures for promoting German unity and undertaking preparatory work for a possible later CFM. Tripartite study being made of alternative currency solutions for Berlin under modus vivendi.
Agreed CFM should instruct Austrian deputies to submit report by June 1. Western deputies meantime would prepare for their minister’s joint proposals re terms substantive settlement.4

  1. Under reference here is the Report to the Foreign Ministers on the Tripartite Conversations Preliminary to the Sixth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, May 20, not printed. A copy of this report is in CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 140.
  2. The Foreign Ministers had met at the Quai d’Orsay on May 21 and 22. Full minutes of these discussions are in ibid.
  3. Under reference here are the agreements reached by the three Western Powers April 8, 1949, in Washington on the status of the three Western zones of Germany. For the texts of these agreements, see pp. 177 ff.
  4. On May 23 Webb left a copy of this telegram and the Report to the Foreign Ministers with President Truman and assured the President that the agreed position which they indicated was almost completely in accord with his instructions to Secretary Acheson. (Memorandum of a meeting with the President, May 23, not printed, 740.00119 Council/5–2249)