396.1–PA/5–451: Telegram

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


6733. From Jessup. In 43rd session Gromyko said SovDel prepared to agree to alternative A1 on condition that West accept Sov “amendment” on armaments sub-item, which consisted of acceptance Sov [Page 1135] wording of Apr 4 on this sub-item.2 Despite repeated questions,. Gromyko merely restated terms of his offer. He made no mention of his NAT and bases item.

Gromyko as chairman led off with statement that SovDel wld agree to adopt alternate A of tri proposal on condition that fol amendment be made. (At this point Gromyko read present tri item on armaments in item one which was to be replaced by Sov wording of Apr 4 on armaments. Gromyko said full agreement now depends on position of 3 powers reduction of armaments and armed forces of 4 powers. Re order of items on agenda, said he already pointed out that deps cld return this question after agreements had been reached on individual items. He suggested that West take 5 minutes recess study Sov proposal.)

Parodi asked Gromyko to explain difference between Sov proposed “amendment” of today and the main Sov proposal of Apr 4. Gromyko replied that this was reason he had suggested deps take 5 minutes to peruse text of Sov proposal.

Davies said that SovDel proposal was same as Sov proposal of Apr 4, which West had already said was unacceptable since it prejudged the question in advance of FonMins mtg. Davies pointed out that major difference among deps re item one of alternative A was over the formulation of armaments sub-item and that new Sov proposal did not facilitate deps work. Gromyko restated Sov proposal, commenting that it is impossible to consider this amendment out of context of Sov acceptance of other items contained in alternative A. Furthermore, tabling of Sov amendment was new factor and shld be considered in connection with all of alternative A.

Jessup said sitn was different from that stated by Gromyko. Sitn actually is that in May 2 proposal, 3 powers indicated they were prepared to accept Sov proposal on position of Ger demil providing SovDel wld agree to Western wording on armaments sub-item. Whereas SovDel suggested that full agreement depends on position of 3 powers re Sov “amendment”, agreement on alternative A actually depends on SovDel agreement to wording on armaments acceptable to West. Noted that position of Ger demil was step by 3 powers to meet Sov viewpoint and that SovDel response does not meet Western position [Page 1136] re unacceptability Sov formula on armaments, since Sov amendment exactly same as their Apr 4 proposal. Therefore position of SovDel is that it accepts Western moves re Ger demil and Trieste, but agreement not reached on armaments item.

Parodi said he was tempted after Gromyko’s explanation to agree that new Sov proposal is not likely to advance deps work. Noted that it was clear from previous meetings that West cld not accept Sov wording on armaments item. However, certain measure of agreement outside item one had been reached which deps shld preserve. Said deps cld assume that agreement had been reached on all items other than item one and that place of Ger demil and formulation of armaments were still unagreed. Recommended that deps note their agreement on items 2 thru 5 than concentrate efforts on item one.

Gromyko repeated that agreement depends on position of 3 reps re reduction of armaments and armed forces of 4 powers. Pointed out that SovDel as well as Western delegations had made positions clear on armaments question. Davies observed that it wld be helpful if Gromyko wld state whether agreement reached on all items other than item one; then deps cld turn full attention to item one. Gromyko replied that Davies question was unclear and that SovDel had made it clear that it was prepared to accept alternative A on condition that West adopt Sov amendment. Davies restated same question. Gromyko gave same reply, observing that question of order of items on agenda was separate question which cld be established by deps after agreement reached on individual items.

Davies restated his question, commenting in passing on Western concessions to Sov viewpoint and expressing surprise at Gromyko failure to answer his questions. Gromyko made same reply. Davies rephrased his question with greater emphasis this time on extent of Western concessions to Sov viewpoint. Gromyko observed that Davies was repeating the same question to which answers had already been given. Davies rephrased question in terms of specific questions as to whether SovDel agreed to item 2, item 3, etc. Gromyko replied that answers had already been given to these questions and that it was clear that “the matter did not stand on the wording” of these items.

Jessup summarized sitn as fols: SovDel had not accepted any of three alternate proposals introduced on May 2. In effect Gromyko, under guise of an amendment, says that if West accepts Sov proposal on item one agreement cld be reached on alternative A. Since SovDel knows West cannot accept Sov wording on armaments item, matter stands exactly as it did before introduction of amendment. Jessup suggested that if his analysis of sitn were correct, and if no dep desired to comment further, meeting might be adjourned until tomorrow.

[Page 1137]

Gromyko noted that SovDel replies to Davies question had been given and adjourned meeting until 1100 Saturday.3

[ Jessup ]
  1. Presumably a reference to Alternative A in the Revised Draft Agenda, supra.
  2. The proposal under reference, SUP/P/51D/16, read:

    “Examination of the causes and effects of the present international tensions in Europe and of the means necessary to secure a real and lasting improvement in the relations between the Soviet Union and the United States, United Kingdom and France, including the following questions relating to: the demilitarization of Germany; measures for the reduction of armaments and armed forces of the USSR, United Kingdom, United States and France, the existing level of armaments and armed forces and the establishment of an appropriate international control; the fulfillment of present treaty obligations and agreements; the elimination of the threat of war and fear of aggression.” (CFM files, lot M-88, box 157, Paris—official Secretariat documents)

  3. At the 44th session on May 5 the Western Deputies emphasized that the Soviet amendment was unacceptable since it merely restated a previous position, reiterated that the three Western alternatives were still open, and stated that Gromyko was attempting to obtain substantive decisions from the Deputies for the reduction of armaments of the Four Powers. Gromyko took the position that the Soviet view on the Western proposals had been fully stated on May 4 and that agreement now depended on the Western position on the reduction of armaments. Telegram 6744, from Paris, May 5 (396.1–PA/5–551). Gromyko continued these tactics at the 45th session on May 7. (Telegram 6765, from Paris, May 7, 396.1–PA/5–751)