396.1–PA/4–1351: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Representative at the Four-Power Exploratory Talks (Jessup), at Paris1

top secret

5430. For Jessup from the Secretary. Following represents US position on the agenda points under discussion in Paris and unless further instructed, should serve as your basic guidance. Within the limits of the positions outlined below we will leave to your discretion the tactical handling of the discussion and timing in submission of new items, with, however, prior notification to the Department before adopting the new approach authorized in Section III of this message:

I. With reference to the three points in disagreement under Agenda item one, our position is (a) we are not prepared at this stage to accept the change in the position of the sub-item on German demilitarization, but as previously indicated (para 3 Deptel 53772) if this point is the only remaining obstacle to complete and satisfactory agenda, you would be authorized to accept; (b) we are not prepared to accept in any circumstances the mention of control and reduction of armaments and armed forces ahead of level of armaments and we understand this is an agreed position with other delegations; (c) we are not prepared to accept the limitation of control and reduction of armaments and armed forces of the Four Powers alone. We consider that such limitation might cause serious difficulties at actual CFM discussion and in any case it is misleading and dangerous to convey impression in agenda [Page 1125] item that control and reduction could be applicable only to the Four Powers. The arguments which you and the French and the British representatives have developed on this point seem to us entirely convincing and should be continued if the Soviets continue to stress it.

II. Other outstanding items on agenda.

We will not accept the inclusion on any agreed Four Power agenda of the North Atlantic Treaty and US bases items. We understand both British and French in agreement with us in this position. We will endeavor to obtain Defense concurrence in your use, in your discretion, of Soviet military alliances and stationing of Soviet troops abroad, as debating point.
Trieste–Balkan items. We consider, in following order of preference, positions which you might take on Trieste and Balkan items:
Drop Trieste and other items which specifically name existing treaties on ground that general treaty sub-head in item I affords complete opportunity for ministers to raise any treaty points.
Amend tripartite Balkan treaty item to include “Italy (including provisions on Trieste)”.
Include both Trieste and tripartite Balkan treaty item as separate items.
As final position, you are authorized to suggest acceptance of Soviet amended Italian-Balkan treaty item so long as no separate Trieste item appears on agenda.
We will leave to your discretion the tactical handling of these related subjects within the limits set forth above, but before submitting (4) make prior reference to Department.
We must insist upon inclusion of Austrian item.
No problem is presented by German unity and peace treaty item since this is an agreed item.

III. In the event that you come to the conclusion there is no possibility of obtaining an agreed agenda in accordance with the positions set forth in I and II above, you would be authorized, in agreement with British and French colleagues, to submit as one proposal the following three alternatives to the Soviet delegation (para 2 urtel 60483) as a means of breaking the impasse:

Resubmission of our April 2 complete agenda proposal4 as maximum to which West could go in attempting to list specific points in order to meet Soviet views.
Return to March 5 completely general and non-specific agenda.5
A split agenda on Parodi formula containing notification by Soviet and Western delegations of points they intend to raise in [Page 1126] discussions at CFM. We will furnish you with suggested points for inclusion and hope you will give us any points you wish to suggest.6

FYI you will note this message is not being sent to any other addressees for time being.

  1. This telegram was drafted by Bohlen, who had returned to Washington for consultations. Secretary Acheson had discussed it with President Truman at the Cabinet meeting on the morning of April 13, and the President had approved it. Memorandum by Battle, April 13, not printed (396.1-PA/4–1351).
  2. Not printed.
  3. Supra.
  4. For the text of this proposal, see telegram 5835, March 31, p. 1118, and footnote 5 thereto.
  5. For the text of this agenda, see footnote 2, p. 1088.
  6. The proposal for submitting these three alternatives to the Soviet Delegation became known as the “triple play.”