396.1/11–2950: Telegram

The United States High Commissioner for Germany ( McCloy ) to the Secretary of State

top secret

4499. Deptel 3835, November 24.1 Re proposed text of note in reply to Soviet note of November 3 and Paris comments in Paris 3002, November 27 to Department,2 I feel strongly, and assume Department agrees, that events in Korea of past 48 hours have changed whole aspect this question.3 If situation there is as reported, it seems completely [Page 913] unrealistic to reply to Soviet note mainly in terms of German question. In view reported full scale Chinese Communist intervention in North Korea, whole world including Germany recognizes danger of world-wide conflict with Soviets and fact that any meeting with Soviets at this time must deal with focal point of conflict.

In this situation, I do not believe we can afford to risk creating impression of rejecting any Soviet offer for high level discussions and I believe we should suggest that Soviet proposal for meeting be broadened to deal first with this most urgent question and then with limited number of other important issues including Germany. Since SC and Assembly are, however, handling the new aspect of Korean war, any direct talks with Soviets should not conflict with this UN procedure. To avoid this insofar as possible, we could suggest that they be of exploratory character under UN aegis and of nature suggested in last paragraph Deptel 3835.4

Our note should be brief and directed primarily to pointing out that any discussion at this time should deal with fundamentals and not the incidents of present world tension, as world peace is now seriously compromised by Communist action. With respect to specific Soviet proposal for CFM meeting limited to German rearmament, note might briefly express our concern over Soviet actions in Germany which contrary to Potsdam agreement have had effect of remilitarizing Soviet zone; our view that even with respect to Germany this problem is only one part of problem of securing satisfactory settlement; that while we have always been ready to meet with Soviets to discuss such outstanding issues, as record clearly shows, we feel that in light of far more serious situation that exists today in Korea, where Chinese Communist troops are engaged in full scale war with forces of the UN, it would be unrealistic to call together CFM solely for limited purpose suggested by Soviet Government.

Note could then propose procedure along lines of last paragraph of Department’s draft note revised to make clear what “certain outstanding issues” are envisaged. Reference to any Assembly resolution calling for discussion by “permanent members of SC” could be omitted as suggested by Paris telegram under reference.

In suggesting note of this nature I am, of course, mindful of what was always one of important purposes of any reply to Soviets, namely propaganda effect in Germany. I appreciate that drafters of note proposed by Department had this in mind in their careful and comprehensive draft. In light of new developments in Korea, I doubt, however, whether this type of note would have effect on German public opinion now that it might have had prior to these developments.

[Page 914]

As you know both Adenauer and Schumacher publicly on November 8, in Bundestag debate, have expressed hope any reply to Soviet note would be coordinated with Germans. Therefore, at some stage, I suggest authorization can be given to discuss German aspect with both Adenauer and Schumacher. I feel this is important in view of touchy political situation here.

Department pass Moscow. Repeated info priority Paris 428, London 357, Moscow 60.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed, but see footnote 2, supra.
  3. For documentation on the military actions by the Chinese Communists and the retreat of United Nations forces in Korea at the end of November, see vol. vii, pp. 1237 ff.
  4. It suggested that preliminary discussions take place at the United Nations through representatives of the four powers to see “whether there exists a mutually acceptable basis for reaching a settlement of certain outstanding issues.” (396.1/11–2450)