396.1–PA/3–2151: Telegram

The United States Representative at the Four-Power Exploratory Talks (Jessup) to the Secretary of State 1


5575. From Jessup. In fourteenth session quad talks today Sov del tabled new proposal contained in Embtel 5574 to Dept, rptd London 1359, Moscow 263, Frankfort 683, Vienna 170.2 Three powers took proposal under consideration. Initial reactions to Gromyko’s statements and new proposal best demonstration tripartite solidarity to date.

Gromyko led off with two-hour “balance sheet” on work to date which was essentially restatement Sov positions. ‘Stated agreement reached on agenda item re Ger unity and preparation Ger peace treaty altho Sov del still cld not understand how three powers cld object to original Sov proposal if they sincerely desired conclusion peace treaty and withdrawal occupation forces. Western objections “compelled” Sov del agree to less clear wording now contained in agenda, but agreed in hope FonMin consideration result in speedy conclusion peace treaty and withdrawal occupation forces.

Gromyko said Sov del advanced other proposals with clear purpose maintenance peace and improvement situation in Eur. However, failure [Page 1099] of three powers “pay attention” to these proposals indicates lack desire on their part find common solutions to agenda items. While this West attitude apparent from beginning talks, it became more evident after Sov del presented new proposals on Mar 14.3 He then analyzed these proposals in detail emphasizing (1) Ger demilit most important question; (2) Sov agenda includes main questions put forward by Sov del and by three powers. Felt Sov del had every grounds expect favorable West response to these proposals for above reasons and because they are logical and consistent. Claimed tripartite proposals illogical and inconsistent, and cannot be considered otherwise if assume three powers motivated by sincere desire discuss important issues in FonMin meeting.

Gromyko said Sov Mar 14 proposal aimed at providing framework within which each FonMin cld discuss questions he considered most important. Furthermore, Sov del cannot agree to replacing Sov wording re reduction armed forces of four powers by tripartite wording which full of double meanings. Claimed West assurances that differences in wording not great and that Sov FonMin cld express his views on Ger demilit designed mislead Sov since tripartite phrasing on “existing level of armaments” had nothing in common with Sov proposals on Ger demilit and reduction of armaments. Repeated charge that tripartite wording might mean a considerable increase of armaments and “be tantamount to increasing arms race” which not in interest maintenance peace. Said three powers insistence on their wording compels Sov del be more attentive to wording of this item.

Gromyko elaborated at some length on familiar Sov arguments that tripartite wording drowned significance of issues and that West guilty gross violations Potsdam. Stressed that Sov objections arise from fact tripartite wording “does not assure observation of obligations assumed by three powers under Potsdam” and wld leave West “free hand” to rearm Ger and increase pace of armaments race. Stressed that CFM to be convened for purpose discussing burning issues and maintenance peace andthis purpose incompatible with Ger remilit or further increase arms race.

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Gromyko said Sovs hold no convincing arguments can be advanced against acceptance Sov proposals Ger demilit and reduction armaments and in latter case three powers arguing against own item since Sov formulation merged with original tripartite item one.

Re tripartite objections to Sov failure mention fear of aggression and fulfillment present treaty obligations, Gromyko explained Sov del had considered it undesirable to have major questions covered up by secondary issues. Claimed that fear of aggression arose from present armaments race and demilit of Ger and since latter questions included in Sov proposals no need to mention former.

At this point Gromyko introduced Sov proposal contained in reftel, making fol observations:

Cannot isolate treaty obligations from those arising from agreements; therefore Sov proposal provides for able consideration both; and
Sov proposal takes into account four power desire for “control” over reduction armaments.

Parodi stated that Gromyko’s early remarks not conciliatory but he would consider new Sov proposal. Reviewed Gromyko’s remarks to point up fact Sov apparently desired him to accept agenda which wld condemn present def policies Fr Govt and inquired whether this Sov intention. After receiving an unintelligible reply from Gromyko, Parodi said Gromyko’s position still unclear but assumed from reply it was Sov intention to seek in Deps meeting agreement to agenda condemning Fr policies.

After reserving right to comment later, Jessup made initial comments new Sov proposal, refusing this connection to spend time necess deal with numerous false statements by Gromyko. Jessup stated that stripped of false and derogatory verbiage Gromyko has stated in effect that

US has certain policies, in particular its def policies, which Sovs do not like and desire to change,
Sov desire US sign this piece of paper, which Sovs present as agenda proposal but which constitutes agreement that US will change its policies. Jessup noted Gromyko had made this point very clear and was very explicit that his proposal was made not for the purpose of leaving US Govt free hand to carry out this policy. Said Gromyko had illustrated this point in negative way as well by objecting to tripartite proposals for very reason that it left three govts free between time of preliminary meeting and of FonMin meeting to carry out their policies. Stated that Gromyko in effect proposed that Deps negotiate some substantive agreements designed to bind govts at least until FonMin meeting. Contrasted this position with Sov note Feb 5 stating Deps meeting shld be confined to agenda and that substance of questions shld not enter into meeting.

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Jessup stressed that Gromyko addressing himself not to framing agenda for Mins but to substance of questions. Cited as examples:

Gromyko’s criticism tripartite Mar 16 formulation of item 1a,4 as not assuring respect for obligations of three powers and wld permit them carry on their policies re Ger and engage in what Gromyko calls “arms race”. Jessup stressed that US policy perfectly open and clear since adopted by true democratic process. Emphasized US had nothing conceal re its policies or reasons for its policies.
Gromyko’s statement that three powers objected to words “acceleration of conclusion of Ger peace treaty”, whereas three powers did not discuss pro or con question of peace treaty, merely stating term “acceleration” was substantive conclusion to be left to Mins. Jessup noted Gromyko saw force our objection this instance.
While possible provide numerous other examples by reviewing Gromyko’s statements it wld be too repetitious and time consuming.

Jessup called attention to other Sov attitude which unacceptable to US; that is, Sovs decide what is most important question in world or most pressing problem in Eur and, having decided that this subj is matter of discussion, Sov word is final. Furthermore, when Gromyko considers some of West items he says Sov Govt did not consider it necessary to cover these. Jessup characterized this attitude as revealing arrogance not appropriate to negots with other three govts represented.

Jessup said Gromyko had not eliminated fear of Sov aggression, which is one of present causes of tension, merely by using false description policies of three powers. Expressed sincere hope US Govt that existing fear of aggression can be eliminated by concrete proposals and agreements arrived at by FonMins. Re Gromyko’s contention that items which Sovs considered important are “drowned” in tripartite formulation, Jessup inquired how Gromyko wld apply this analysis to new Sov proposal. If Gromyko does not believe these questions are “drowned” in Sov proposal, then he shld withdraw this objection to tripartite proposal.

Jessup concluded by requesting Gromyko to review again various tripartite agenda drafts in order realize three powers attempted draft these items in completely neutral fashion. Stated three powers wld consider seriously any points Gromyko might raise re failure tripartite proposals achieve objectivity and neutrality. Cited agenda item “Ger and Aust questions” for 1946 CFM in NY under which FonMins considered wide range subjs. Stated that shld be possible for Deps agree [Page 1102] on words having similar lack prejudicial quality and given cooperation Deps work cld be brought successful conclusion. He reminded Gromyko that he did not possess plenipotentiary auth and that three powers cld not use agenda, as Gromyko suggested, to reach substantive agreements.

Davies stressed that Gromyko’s long and contentious speech made clear differing approaches to drawing up agenda and had confirmed West conviction that Sovs attempting to commit FonMins to policies in advance their consideration. Stated this made clear in Gromyko’s objection to inclusion existing level of armaments in agenda for reason that no relationship exists between this subj and demilit of Ger or reduction of armaments. Inquired why Gromyko objected to including existing level of armament unless Sovs desire not to discuss this subj. Said Sov position this regard completely illogical.

Davies stated that exchange of notes made clear that West def policies dictated by disparity between West and Sov-satellite countries and certain policies Sovs have pursued. Expressed view Sovs objected to examination current situation because of fear what examination might reveal. Stressed that agenda shld neither “tie hands nor untie hands” but merely provide framework for FonMins discussion. Inquired whether Sov hands were tied concerning any policy or whether satellite hands were tied when they increased armaments beyond levels specified in peace treaties. Stated that Gromyko cld not use argument of peoples fear of arms race in support his proposals since people fear aggression more. Expressed view that if FonMins agreed reduce armaments without adequate security guarantees they wld be failing their duties. Concluded that while West will study new Sov proposals it will do so in light of Gromyko’s statements which are totally unacceptable and will take into account fundamental difference in approach to drafting agenda.

[ Jessup ]
  1. Repeated to London, Moscow, Vienna, and Frankfurt.
  2. Not printed; the text of the Soviet draft, presumably of Item I, read:

    “Examination of causes of present international tensions in Eur and of means necessary to secure a real and lasting improvement in relations between Sov Union, US, Britain, and France, including questions of reduction of armed forces of USA, USSR, US and France and of establishment of international control over implementation of reduction of armed forces, as well as of other measures for elimination of threat of war and fear of aggression, and question of fulfillment of present treaty obligations and agreement of four powers.” (396.1–PA/3–2051)

  3. The Soviet proposal for a draft agenda, presented at the ninth session on March 14. read:

    • “1. Regarding fulfillment by four powers of Potsdam Agreement on demilitarization of Germany.
    • 2. Problem relating to reestablishment of German unity and prepartion of treaty of peace.
    • 3. Examination of causes of present international tensions in Europe and of means to securing a real and lasting improvement in relations between the USSR, US, UK and France, including question of reduction of armed forces of four powers—USSR, US, UK, and France.” (Telegram 5389 from Paris, March 14, 396.1–PA/3–1451)

  4. The tripartite draft, introduced by Jessup at the 10th session, read:

    “Examination of the causes of present international tensions in Europe and of the means to secure a real and lasting improvement in the relations between the USSR, US, UK and France, such as: the existing level of armaments, its effect on the question of the demilitarization of Germany, and the means for the control and reduction of armaments; measures to eliminate the fear of aggression; fulfillment of present treaty obligations.” (Telegram 5420, from Paris, March 15, 396.1–PA/3–1551)