662.0029/12–2150: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Mission at the United Nations

top secret

605. Confirming Bloomfield–Winslow telecon,1 fol for ur background info is agreed text of note replying to Sov note of Nov 3 proposing CFM on the militarization of Germany. It is planned to deliver note in Moscow by reps Fr, Brit and US Govs on Fri Dec 22 approx 5 pm Moscow time. Text of our note will be released to press in Washington approx 12 hours after delivery, i.e., around 10 pm Washington time. Until release to press contents note shld be kept strictly secret. FYI contents of note have been communicated on confidential basis to all NATO Govs, Germany, Austria and Canada.

Begin text.2 1. The Emb of the USA has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note of Nov 3, 1950 of the Sov Min of Foreign Affairs. This note enclosed the text of a declaration published in Prague Oct 22, 1950 and proposed a meeting of the Council of Foreign Mins of the US, UK, France and the USSR to consider the question of the fulfillment of the clauses of the Potsdam Agreement regarding the demilitarization of Germany.

2. The US Gov has consistently abided by the principle set forth in the Charter of the UN that internatl problems shld be settled by peaceful negotiations. The US Gov takes this occasion to reaffirm its adherence to this principle. This is in full accord with the spirit of the recent GA resolution supported by the US Gov which calls attention to the desirability of consultations which wld help to allay existing internatl tensions. Far from having any aggressive intentions towards the Sov Union, it is inspired by a genuine desire to put an end to the exising internatl tension and will spare no effort to achieve so highly desirable an end. It is prepared on the basis and in the manner set forth below to explore with the Sov, Brit, and French Govs the possibility of finding a mutually acceptable basis for a meeting of the Fon Mins of the four countries.

3. The Gov of the US has studied with care the note of the Sov Gov of Nov 3, 1950. It has been obliged to note with regret that the basis proposed in this note is not such as to afford any prospect of a genuine settlement. The Sov proposal to examine the question of the demilitarization of Ger will not suffice to remove the causes of the present tension. The only Ger military force which exists at present is that which for many months in the Sov Zone has been trained on military lines with artillery and tanks. If the participation of Ger units in the defense of western Ger is being discussed, it is solely because Sov policy and actions have compelled the other nations to examine all means of improving their security. Contrary to the entirely false allegations contained in the Prague communiqué, the US [Page 921] Gov in common with the govs of France and the UK is determined never to permit at any time or in any circumstance western Germany to be used as a base for aggression. The US Gov has no feeling of confidence that the same is true of that part of Ger under Sov occupation, in view of the rearmament taking place in eastern Ger referred to above.

4. It is furthermore impossible to envisage a just settlement of Ger problems on the basis of the Praha communiqué. This communiqué contains no new or constructive feature and the solution proposed therein has been rejected by the majority of Ger opinion. It does little more than reiterate in substance previous propositions which proved after exhaustive examination to afford no basis for a constructive solution of the Ger problem. For the purpose of ending the present division of Ger, the US Gov in conjunction with the French and Brit Govs has for its part more than once made proposals for restoring Ger unity by means of free elections held under internatl supervision. These proposals were sent by letter by the three High Commissioners to the head of the Sov Control Commission on May 1950 and Oct 9, 1950.3 No reply has been made to these letters.

5. The serious tension which exists at present springs neither from the question of the demilitarization of Ger nor even from the Ger problem as a whole. It arises in the first instance from the general attitude adopted by the Gov of the USSR since the end of the war and from the consequent internatl developments of recent months. The govs of the four powers wld be failing in their full responsibility if they were to confine their discussion to the narrow basis proposed by the Sov Gov. Questions related to Ger and Austria wld obviously be subjects for discussions. But the US Gov believes that any discussions shld include equally the principal problems whose solution wld permit a real and lasting improvement in the relations between the Sov Union and the US, Gr Brit and France and the elimination of the causes of present internatl tensions throughout the world.

6. The US Gov is prepared to designate a rep who, together with reps of the Sov, Brit and French Govs wld examine the problems referred to in the preceding para with a view to finding a mutually acceptable basis for a meeting of the fon mins of the four countries and recommend to their govs a suitable agenda. It wld appear that the presence of reps of the above-named govs at the seat of the UN in New York presents the most convenient opportunity to conduct such exploratory discussions.

7. The US Gov wld appreciate receiving the views of the Sov Gov concerning the proposals set forth in the present note. End text.4

  1. No record of this telecon has been found in the Department of State files.
  2. The text printed here was agreed to by the Foreign Ministers on December 19 at their meeting in Brussels and was transmitted to Moscow on the following day. For the minutes of the Foreign Ministers discussion of the note, see p. 803.
  3. For the text of the May 25 letter to General Chuikov. see telegram 121. May 25, p. 641; regarding the October 9 letter, see telegram 2791, October 3, p. 663.
  4. In telegram 1233, December 22, from Moscow, not printed. Kirk reported that the identical notes had been delivered to Gromyko by the respective Chargés at the time requested. (396.1/12–2250)