396.1/1–351

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union to the Embassy of the United States 1

[Translation]

No. 79

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics confirms receipt of the note of the Government of the United States of America of December 22 which is in answer to the note of the Soviet Government of November 3 of this year on the question of calling a Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and on the instructions of the Soviet Government, has the honor to state the following.

1. The Soviet Government in its note of November 3 proposed calling a Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the United States of America, Great Britain, France and the USSR for consideration of the question of fulfillment of the decisions of the Potsdam Conference regarding demilitarization of Germany. Introducing such a proposal the Soviet Government proceeded, thus, from the necessity of holding not simply a meeting of the four ministers for the purpose only of [Page 1052]consultations on these or those questions, but from the necessity of calling an actual Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs for consideration of questions related to the competence of the Council of Ministers as constituted. In this connection the Soviet Government considered it necessary to discuss first of all the question of the demilitarization of Germany as the most acute question for Europe. Continuing to consider that the question of demilitarization of Germany is most important in the cause of insuring international peace and security and touches upon the basic interests of the peoples of Europe and, primarily, of the peoples who have suffered from Hitlerite aggression, the Soviet Government expresses its agreement to the discussion also of other questions regarding Germany, which corresponds to the position of the Soviet Government set forth in its note of November 3 and to the Prague Declaration of eight countries.2

The Soviet Government does not object to the proposal for calling a preliminary meeting of representatives of the USA, Great Britain, France and the USSR with the purpose that the meeting work out the agenda for a session of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. It goes without saying that in the tasks of such a preliminary discussion the consideration of questions which should be considered at the meeting itself of the four Ministers of Foreign Affairs will not be included.

As for the place of calling the preliminary meeting, the Soviet Government proposes that such meeting be called not in New York but in Moscow, Paris or London in view of the fact that the holding of such a meeting in one of the capitals mentioned presents undoubted practical conveniences for the majority of its participants.

2. The assertion of the Government of the United States that the proposals set forth in the Prague Declaration cannot serve as a basis for a favorable solution of the German problem calls forth legitimate doubt, since this assertion was made before the proposals mentioned were subjected to consideration of the four powers. The assertions also of the American note that these proposals were allegedly rejected by the majority of the German people are at least baseless and do Hot at all conform to the real situation. In any event, it is not difficult to be convinced that in broad circles of the German population, including the population of West Germany as well, the proposals of the Prague meeting have met with great interest.

As far as the remarks contained in the note of the Government of the United States of America with respect to the letters of the High Commissioners to the President of the Soviet Control Commission on the question of conducting all German elections,3 which are simply an evasion of a question having great significance for the German people, are concerned, this question was the subject of repeated discussion among the Governments of the four powers and the position of the Soviet Union on this question is well known.

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3. From published data it is seen that the Governments of the United States of America, Great Britain and France are creating in Western Germany a regular German army, forming not just some police detachments, as has been officially stated by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the three Western powers, but whole divisions. It is known also that recently representatives of the Governments of the USA, Great Britain and France have been carrying on negotiations with the government of Adenauer concerning the number of German divisions being formed and their armament even with tanks and heavy artillery and concerning inclusion of these divisions in the so-called “united armed forces”.4 attempts to camouflage these measures with references to the necessity of strengthening the security of the USA, Great Britain, France and other states of Europe are clearly untenable since no one has threatened or is threatening these states. All the more untenable are the attempts in the note of the Government of the USA to justify plans for the remilitarization of Western Germany by reference to the rearmament allegedly taking place in Eastern Germany. Everything said in the note of the Government of the USA on this matter is fabricated from beginning to end and does not conform to reality in the slightest degree. In the note of the Soviet Government of October 19, it was already pointed out that such assertions of the governments of the three powers were without any foundation.5

4. The note of the Government of the USA of December 22, furnishes a basis for considering that it is agreeable to the proposal of the Soviet Government with respect to the joint consideration by the four powers of the question of demilitarization of Germany. The Soviet Government attaches important significance to this since the realization of the demilitarization of Germany is not only provided for by the Potsdam Agreement between the USA, the USSR, Great Britain and France, but remains a most important condition for securing peace and security in Europe, corresponding also to the national interest of the German people itself.

Furthermore it is known to the whole world that it is in fact the Governments of the USA, Great Britain and France which have recently been taking every kind of measure for the revival of a regular German army and for the restoration of war industry in Western Germany and are already carrying on official negotiations on these questions with the government of Adenauer, which is an expression of the desire of certain aggressive circles to confront the peoples of Europe with accomplished facts. There is no necessity to prove that such actions by the Governments of the USA, Great Britain and France clearly contravene the obligations undertaken by these governments concerning the necessity for carrying out the demilitarization of Germany and also that they cannot but create serious difficulties in the solution of those questions which should be considered by the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the calling of which is being delayed further and further for some reason or other.

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Similar notes are being sent by the Soviet Government simultaneously to the governments of France and Great Britain.

  1. The source text and a copy of the Russian text of this note were transmitted as enclosures to despatch 341 from Moscow, January 3 (396.1/1–351). The note was delivered to the U.S. Embassy at 11:50 p. m. Moscow time on December 31.
  2. For the text of the Prague Declaration, issued by the Foreign Ministers of the Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria and the Albanian Minister in Moscow on October 21, 1950, see Ruhm von Oppen, Documents on Germany, pp. 522–527, or Documents on German Unity, vol. i, pp. 158–161.
  3. For documentation on the question of all-German elections, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iv, pp. 590 ff.
  4. For documentation on the talks at Bonn concerning a German contribution to Western defense, see pp. 990 ff.
  5. For the text of the Soviet note of October 19, 1950, concerning the remilitarization of the Eastern Zone of Germany, see Ruhm von Oppen, Documents on Germany, pp. 520–521; for further documentation on the question, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iv, pp. 942 ff.