740.00119 Council/5–2349: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Council of Foreign Ministers to President Truman and the Acting Secretary of State 1


Delsec 1781. For the President and Acting Secretary. First meeting 1949 Paris session CFM opened by Schuman as host at 4 p. m. today [Page 916] in Palais de Marbre Rose. Ministers agreed rotate chairmanship daily commencing with Schuman today and following in order around table with Bevin, Vishinsky and Acheson. On procedure Ministers accepted Bevin proposal that schedule be kept completely flexible and decision reached on subsequent meetings on day to day basis.

On press relations Ministers agreed to Bevin proposal that: (1) all meetings of deputies would be secret with no communiqué issued and no information given to press by any delegation; (2) following any informal or private meetings of Ministers an agreed communiqué might be issued but no other information given to press; (3) regular meetings of CFM would be closed to press but as in past each Minister would be free handle express [press] in own way.

Schuman pointed out before turning to agenda that condition which made possible this session of CFM was New York agreement relative to Berlin2 and that none of Western Powers particularly pleased with way things going in Berlin.3 He did not wish press this point but he did want to make it clear that if things did not work out in Berlin this question should be considered at subsequent meeting.

Before discussion of agenda actually undertaken Vishinsky proposed that question of Four-Power control of all of Germany be considered as primary issue before CFM. Ministers subsequently accepted, after further discussion of counterproposals by Vishinsky following agenda proposed by Schuman and supported by Bevin and Acheson:

Problems of German unity including economic and political principles and Allied controls.
Berlin including monetary question.
Preparation of German treaty.
Discussion of Austrian treaty.

Vishinsky in finally accepting this statement of agenda reserved right to submit proposal later under (2) requesting that consideration be given to question of currency for all of Germany. Ministers generally supported Acheson statement that it was not our intention to exclude any appropriate aspect of problem from consideration and agreed to his interpretation that it was not necessary to complete discussion on one topic of agenda before moving on to next point.

Ministers accepted Acheson proposal that Austrian deputies be instructed report to CFM on agreed and disagreed articles of Austrian treaty by June 1 and that if unable agree on report each file separate report with his Minister by that date. In response to question by Bevin, [Page 917] Vishinsky confirmed that he was willing discuss Austrian question after each German question had been “considered” not after each had been “settled”. “But then,” he added “after we have considered those questions they will undoubtedly be settled”.

Quipped Bevin “that depends largely on you”.

Vishinsky then said he had one further question to raise. The CFM was considering German and Austrian treaties. He also wanted to raise problem of treaty with Japan. He did not press this matter but indicated he merely wished raise for possible consideration question of when CFM should meet again, with China attending as provided in Potsdam Agreement and what further business it might undertake. Acheson pointed out that CFM now had full schedule, that there was no obligation on it to handle Japanese question, and that other mechanisms existed but that he would be glad to consider question at later time. Bevin pointed out UK obligations to Commonwealth on Japanese treaty but also indicated willingness discuss question sometime. Schuman adjourned meeting with comment that Vishinsky had not insisted on answer but had merely raised point for consideration which Vishinsky confirmed.

Next meeting scheduled 3:30 Tuesday.

Sent Department Delsec 1781; repeated London 323, Berlin 190, Vienna 23, Moscow 99.

  1. The United States Delegation prepared both verbatim and summary minutes of each meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers at Paris. Complete sets of these minutes are in the CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 142. The Delegation also prepared a brief telegraphic summary of each Council meeting for transmission to Washington via the Embassy in Paris. The telegraphic summaries of every regular session of the Council are printed in the present collection of documents while the summary minutes are printed for the secret sessions.
  2. The text of the Four-Power communiqué May 5, 1949, announcing the mutual lifting of restrictions on trade and communications to Berlin, is printed on p. 751.
  3. Schuman was referring to the negotiations in Berlin among the four Military Governors to regularize trade and communications with that city. For documentation relating to these negotiations, see pp. 751 ff.