CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 142: United States Delegation Minutes

United States Delegation Minutes of the 13th (3rd Restricted) Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, Paris, June 6, 1949, 3:30 p.m.




M. Schuman (Chairman)

M. Parodi

M. François-Poncet

M. Couve de Murville

United States United Kingdom
Mr. Acheson Mr. Bevin
Mr. Jessup Sir I. Kirkpatrick
Mr. Dulles General Robertson
Mr. Murphy Lord Henderson
Mr. Bohlen


Mr. Vishinsky

General Chuikov

Mr. Semenov

Mr. Smirnov

M. Schuman (Chairman) opened the meeting at 3:30 by calling on Mr. Acheson for the submission of his proposal.

Mr. Acheson said that in submitting his paper he wanted to point out that it was his belief that the procedure whereby an inter-Allied body operated was in itself not a matter of principle. The Four Powers must reach agreement on a question of procedure, and agreements in the CFM must have unanimous approval; but once the agreement was reached the procedure itself was merely a matter of convenience. It was further the U.S. position that the mechanism of the Allied Control Council was not well adapted to Greater Berlin. He believed that the Austrian Control Agreement offered greater possibilities, and that the method of control established for the city of Berlin might well differ from the method applied to Germany as a whole. In submitting this proposal he was suggesting a control system applicable for the city, but was not putting it foward as a precedent for a control mechanism which might be applied to the country as a whole. With reference to this proposal, he had two comments to make: (1) The proposal was designed to be illustrative and was not a final U.S. position; (2) his proposal did not deal with the question of a currency for Berlin, on which he would subsequently submit proposals. Mr. Acheson then read the preliminary statement [CFM/P/49/191] and the text of the U.S. proposal [CFM/P/49/182]

[Page 958]

Mr. Vishinsky said that both the US and the USSR had previously submitted proposals dealing with the question of Berlin and that today he had another proposal to present to the CFM. Before going into this question, however, he would like to raise a question about paragraph 1 of the U.S. paper of June 2 [CFM/P/49/103] dealing with the question of elections in Berlin. Did the U.S. intend that the four-power control mentioned in that paragraph would be exercised in the same manner as it was at the time of the 1946 election?

M. Schuman inquired whether the Ministers wished to answer the question now or at a later time, and Mr. Bevin said that he would like to see both the U.S. and Soviet papers and determine exactly where the Ministers stood and the possible significance of the question before answering it.

Mr. Vyshinsky said that his question was very simple. He had previously made an objection to the wording of paragraph one with reference to the phrase “four-power control”. He merely wanted to know what kind of control was envisaged in this proposal before determining whether or not to withdraw his objection. He did not believe that his question had any other significance, but he was prepared to withdraw the question and to continue with his document.

Mr. Bevin said that he was just an innocent juryman, so he wanted to be careful. Mr. Vishinsky replied that he felt like the accused man, so he wanted to be even more careful. M. Schuman said that as a jurist, he resented the suspicion cast upon the profession. Mr. Bevin said he was sure that it was a good international union.

In answer to the question, Mr. Acheson pointed out that on June 3 he had made certain proposals in elaboration of his June 2 paper on Berlin.4 At that time he stated that the law of 1946 must be amended to provide for a temporary body to establish the electoral machinery. The Allied body designed to supervise the elections would be quadripartite in character and would operate in all four sectors of Berlin. Each commander would appoint representatives to serve on this body for the purpose of supervising the elections with a view to checking on possible intimidation, fraud, etc. In 1946 there had not been entirely free access to all four sectors. His proposal was that in this election there should be free access. If the CFM agreed on the principle, the military commandants in Berlin could work out the details.

[Page 959]

M. Schuman inquired whether Mr. Vishinsky wished to make an oral explanation of his paper or whether he would be content to circulate it and to suspend discussion until a later time.

Mr. Vishinsky said that he would like to make some explanation and would attempt to present the paper as briefly as possible. Over the weekend the Soviet Delegation had attempted to review all the proposals submitted to the CFM, both written and oral, having in mind in particular the Soviet proposals of May 245 and June 46 and the U.S. proposals of June 2. The paper he wished to circulate today attempted to take into consideration all these various positions and to present in one document a statement of the Soviet views on this question. He then read the text of his paper [CFM/P/49/207] with brief statements relating the various paragraphs in his proposal to previous propositions discussed by the CFM.

Next Meeting

M. Schuman raised the question as to whether the Ministers were prepared to postpone discussion, and they all agreed. He then inquired as to whether the next meeting should be restricted or open. Mr. Acheson said he saw no reason for continuing further with restricted meetings. Mr. Vishinsky said he would be glad to accept the majority decision, and the Ministers agreed to adjourn until 3:30, June 7, when they would reconvene in plenary session.

[They agreed to release a communiqué simply stating that the Foreign Ministers, with M. Schuman as Chairman, continued their discussion of the US and USSR proposals on Berlin and that the next meeting would be a plenary meeting on June 7.]

Mr. Bevin said he wanted to be sure the text of the U.S. proposal was made available in Russian to the Soviet Delegation at this meeting so that it would be understood that it had been submitted to a restricted meeting. Mr. Acheson said he would be sure that the proposal reached the Soviet Delegation but he did not think the point made any difference. It was certainly agreed that no texts would be given out to the press this evening, but he felt they probably would be after the next open meeting.

[The meeting adjourned at 6:00 p. m.]

  1. Post, p. 1046. All the brackets in these minutes are in the source text.
  2. Post, p. 1044.
  3. Substance transmitted in Delsec 1839, June 2, from Paris, p. 943.
  4. The reference here is to USDel Working Paper/13 Revision 1, p. 1043.
  5. See CFM/P/49/2 (revised), p. 1040.
  6. For the text of the June 4 Soviet proposals, circulated as CFM/P/49/15, see the United States Delegation Minutes of the 12th (2nd restricted) meeting of the Council, supra.
  7. Post, p. 1048.