396.1–PA/4–951: Telegram

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


6048. From Jessup. At tripartite meeting today Davies said he believed West had very largely achieved its objective and that deps were relatively near agreement. He argued strongly for submission his compromise on agenda (ourtel 59542). He said that unless West made further attempt to meet Sov we wld be in danger of losing propaganda battle with public losing interest or becoming pessimistic about our reaching agreemnt. His second fear was that Gromyko wld get fed up and Sov wld break conference after saying we not seriously interested in agreeing on agenda or on holding FonMins conference. When [Page 1123] I pointed out danger of ending up here with Soviet-slanted agenda, Davies contended that bargain he proposed wld make possible mins meeting without danger to West. He said greater damage to West wld come from break here over agenda than from having less satisfactory agenda for mins.

I suggested we might give Gromyko choice of (1) continuing discussions on basis our April 2 draft (ourtel 58513); (2) confining item one to fol agreed wording based on Mar 5 draft as amended: “examination of causes and effects of present international tensions in Eur and of means to secure real and lasting improvement in relations between USSR, US, UK and Fr” (ourtel 5851); (3) splitting agenda along lines Parodi formula (second Fr proposal given ourtel 55464) as amended to take account of extent of present agreement on treaty fulfillment and fear of aggression points.

Parodi supported split as last resort if Sov remained adamant but Davies strongly opposed adding that his latest instructions London supported his belief that tripartite discussion of split agenda was premature. Davies said that agreement here on split agenda wld be admission of political failure. I disagreed with him and with Mallet who said that among ourselves we cld admit Sov thesis that our original agenda item one was not a neutral statement but West’s analysis of present situation. I pointed out that UK apparently wanted to give in to Gromyko here even if result was acceptance of heavily Sovslanted agenda. I said US favored standing firm here even if agreement cld be reached only on basis of split agenda with result that FonMins wld have to deal with remaining agenda differences when they met. I noted final agreement cld not be limited to item one but must also cover Sov Trieste and NAT items.

Parodi restated his belief that West shld find minor concession to include in revised Western agenda proposal to be tabled shortly before resorting to split agenda. He proposed fol revision arms sub-item: “Existing level of armaments and armed forces; reduction and control of armaments and armed forces of US, UK, USSR and Fr.”

Parodi called attention to fol concessions included in revision. (1) Phrase “existing level of armaments and armed forces” is separated from remainder of armaments sub-item in order to answer Gromyko’s criticism that West is trying to “drown” Sov arms reduction proposal in words. (2) Specific reference to armaments of four powers. Davies reported he cld support (1) and eventually (2) but for time being he wanted to continue to press Sov to yield on limiting armaments subitem to four powers. I said I was unable to accept any changes this sub-item without specific approval Wash.

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Parodi and Davies disliked Dept revised phrasing armaments sub-item (Deptel 52925) reading “existing level of armaments and armed forces and measures for establishment of international control over limitation and reduction of armaments and armed forces including those of USSR, UK, US and Fr.” Both said it wld be considered backward step by Gromyko since it included new word “limitation.” Both were prepared to accept “control over reduction” but only as part of Fr revision. Item wld read “existing level of armaments and armed forces; reduction and control over armaments and armed forces of US, UK, USSR and Fr.”

It was agreed to continue general debate today to give Gromyko full opportunity to present any new concessions.

[ Jessup ]
  1. Repeated to London, Moscow, Frankfurt, and Bonn.
  2. Not printed; it reported on the tripartite meeting on April 5 during which Davies had indicated that he would be prepared (a) to accept German demilitarization at the first agenda subitem; (b) to accept level, reduction, and control as the order of phrases dealing with armaments; and (c) to accept a separate item on Trieste in return for dropping the NATO and Balkan treaty items; and that he could make no commitment to break off the talks over accepting NATO and bases as an agenda item. (396.1–PA/4–551)
  3. Not printed, but see footnote 5, p. 1119.
  4. Not printed. Regarding the “Parodi formula,” see footnote 3, p. 1113.
  5. Not printed.