740.00119 Council/5–3149: Telegram

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

confidential   priority

Delsec 1827. For President and Acting Secretary. 8th meeting CFM, Acheson in chair, largely occupied with long elaboration by Vishinsky of previous Soviet arguments against Western proposals,1 condemning legitimacy of tripartite actions since London CFM, and rejecting principle majority vote. Austrian deputies reported inability complete report in allotted time and Ministers agreed grant requested 24–hour extension, Schuman observing that Ministers themselves seemed to be even farther behind schedule. Ministers failed reach any agreement on request for hearing received from Third Congress of German People.

Vishinsky opened discussion by repeating objections to Western Occupation Statute.2 He said he could not accept Acheson statement that Western proposals correspond with interests of German people, illustrating this with claim Occupation Statute conflicts with German desire for peace treaty, end of occupation and conclusion general European settlement. He expanded previous criticism of Statute for (1) implication of indefinite occupation and (2) wide powers reserved to Allied Governments. He said aim of Occupation Statute is to perpetuate split in Germany and in answer to Bevin request for substitute proposal, Vishinsky suggested that Occupation Statute would be unnecessary if Allies moved toward completion of German peace treaty.

Vishinsky then attacked Schuman statement that what Western Powers had done in past 18 months was consistent with Potsdam, citing various US–UK and US–UK–French agreements of this period as being direct violation Potsdam Agreement. He said formation Bizonia started ACC difficulties and refusal of West to submit information on London discussions3 caused ACC collapse. Vishinsky concluded by restating Soviet position on unanimity rule. He said Western proposal of majority vote “must be rejected” and very fact of its submission demonstrates effort impose will on fourth party and complete split of Germany. He said whole Western position logical [Page 939] completion of various Western violations of Potsdam and asserted USSR cannot accept this position and must reaffirm Soviet proposals.

Schuman reminded Vishinsky it had proved impossible carry out Potsdam on quadripartite basis with unanimity principle and therefore it had been necessary divide community and move forward in fulfillment Potsdam and interests German people. All subsequent Western acts had continued in effort serve Potsdam and German interests. He said he not prepared accept Soviet proposals but at same time wanted make it clear there was not desire impose West proposals on USSR.

Vishinsky then raised question telegram received by CFM Secretary General from Third Congress of German People requesting hearing for their delegate. Schuman urged consideration this be put off till third point on agenda since Congress requested hearing on question German peace settlement. Bevin stated flat opposition until such time as CFM able reach some agreement itself. He quoted British position at London to effect UK willing consider question hearing Germans when CFM came to question of peace treaty. Vishinsky argued that this was time for CFM break precedent and hear German opinion. He called this fairly representative group and urged that delegation be called Paris. Acheson said he believed delegation should not be heard. When German peace treaty considered, it would be appropriate consider question and when time comes for hearing German opinion, CFM should receive only duly elected representatives. He said he could not consider this group in least representative of Germany but only of Eastern zone and USSR, adding that he would rather look to Vishinsky for official expression Soviet views.

Next meeting 3:30 Wednesday.

Sent Department Delsec 1827; London 349, Berlin 208, Heidelberg 8, Moscow 111.

  1. Circulated at the Sixth Session of the Council, May 28, as CFM/P/49/3. The text of the proposals is printed on p. 1041.
  2. Vyshinsky was referring to the Occupation Statute agreed to by the three Western Ministers in Washington, April 8, 1949, for their zones of Germany. For the text of the Statute and documentation relating to its negotiation, see pp. 156 ff.
  3. The reference here is to the London Conference on Germany, February 23–March ‘6 and April 20–June 7, 1948. For documentation relating to this Conference, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. ii, chapter i .