033.4111/6–3053: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Bonn 1

top secret

5673. Bonn personal for Conant.

Although Bermuda postponed, Lord Salisbury and Bidault are expected in Washington on July 10, which will give opportunity for bilateral and trilateral talks at Foreign Minister level on subjects previously scheduled for Bermuda. Germany certain to be important subject for discussion, both within context of possible quadripartite talks with Soviets and in view recent developments in Germany which may decisively affect Adenauer’s position (urtels 5485 and 54862).
In talks with Salisbury and Bidault, Department will take position that it is out of question to plan for quadripartite talks with Soviets unless firm tripartite agreement reached in advance re (a) scope of conference, (b) substantive positions to be taken by three West powers in such conference, and (c) timing calculated to minimize risks connected with Ger elections and legislative action on EDC during September–October period.
Re scope of quadripartite conference, we should propose to restrict agenda to European questions and endeavor obtain acceptance our view that Far Eastern issues and disarmament better handled through other available diplomatic mechanisms. In conference with Soviets on European issues we would take position that first question for discussion and prompt settlement is Austria, after which other matters, such as Germany, might be discussed. Desirable also to include in agenda, possibly in relation to proposals free elections in unified Germany, question of free elections and independent governments in Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe.
Re substantive position on Germany, we have under consideration proposing to British and French desirability of three powers reaching agreement on Declaration of Intent respecting Germany, which could be used in connection with subsequent four-power talks [Page 1586]and would embody West principles for German settlement and peace treaty contrasting favorably with Soviet draft of March 1952.3 Although unlikely reach tripartite agreement in limited time of Washington talks, it may lay groundwork on which to work during succeeding weeks. We would not of course anticipate any announcement on this prior to further consultations with Federal Republic.
We would like you to consult informally with Adenauer to obtain his views. Foregoing summary of tentative US position should be put forward as your own personal thoughts as may be required to develop Adenauer’s comments on following points:
In view of election, possible effects on EDC ratifications, and in light of recent events in Germany, is it in Chancellor’s opinion desirable from Ger point of view to undertake quadripartite discussions with Soviets? If so, what would be best date, and at what level?
If Chancellor recommends quadripartite talks, or if force of British and French desire for talks and support of world opinion make it questionable whether four-power meeting can be avoided, is it desirable for West to take initiative first in proposing meeting with Soviets, and secondly in raising Ger question before or at such meeting?
In Chancellor’s opinion what should any Allied proposal on Ger attempt to cover? Should it be limited to five points Bundestag resolution, eight points Chancellor’s letter to President,4 or cover complete Ger peace settlement and unification, which would necessarily include additional points such as termination occupation, economic provisions, return of PW’s, membership in UN. In this connection, has Adenauer made eight points known to British and French? If so, what was their reaction?
Developments in Ger arising out of events June 17 introduce new factor of which we wish to take due account. In light urtel 5485, Chancellor’s views should be supplemented by your independent judgment re adequacy of his estimate of situation. Specifically from point of view of German attitudes, do you believe it will be necessary, desirable, or important for us to initiate or accept four-power meeting in near future, and if so should we make every effort to do so this summer or wait until after Bundestag elections? Would another tripartite note restricted like September 23, 1952 note5 to free elections theme be feasible substitute for Conference? Meanwhile do you believe interim tactics outlined Deptel 5625 [5626]6 will be sufficient to meet Ger requirements, particularly in view Bermuda postponement?
In connection with para 5(b), if firm tripartite agreement could be reached on subject of Ger, West could state their position either in note to Sovs or in four-power talks. As an alternative method of raising Ger question, we have also considered possibility of Chancellor’s addressing identical notes to four powers stating conditions of feasibile Ger settlement which three West powers could endorse, and which likely to expose insincerity of Sov proposals for unification and peace treaty. In order to stand up to possible Sov proposals like those of March 1952, Ger points would need a little more flesh than five points of Bundestag resolution, while sufficiently pliable to permit development of tripartite accord. If Gers rather than Big Three put forward proposals which West could endorse, we could not be primarily blamed for blocking reunification if Sovs refuse them. We do not wish you to discuss this Point 7 with Adenauer, but desire your comments.
  1. This telegram, which was drafted by Kidd (GPA) and cleared by Secretary Dulles, MacArthur, Bowie, and Merchant, was repeated to London and Paris, personal for the Ambassadors, and to Moscow, eyes only for Bohlen.
  2. Telegram 5485, not printed, transmitted extracts from various German papers concerning the question of German reunification. (762A.00/6–2653) Telegram 5486 transmitted the text of telegram 1881 from Berlin, which reported on events in the Soviet Zone of Germany, June 16–18; telegram 1881 is printed in volume vii .
  3. Documentation relating to the Soviet note, dated Mar. 10, 1952, which enclosed a draft peace treaty with Germany, is presented in volume vii .
  4. Documentation relating to the five point resolution adopted unanimously by the Bundestag on June 10 and Chancellor Adenauer’s eight point memorandum to President Eisenhower, dated May 29, both dealing with the question of the reunification of Germany, is presented ibid .
  5. Documentation on the tripartite note, Sept. 23, 1952, in which the Western Powers stated that free elections were the prerequisite for the formation of an all-German Government and the negotiation of a peace treaty with Germany, is presented ibid .
  6. This telegram, dated June 25, is printed ibid , chapter III.