Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 158

Wilson Minutes 1
top secret
MIN 4 (Draft)

[Here follows a list of subjects.]

Far East Communiqué

Secretary Dulles opened the meeting by suggesting that discussions be undertaken on that part of the draft communiqué2 having to do with the Far East with a view to publishing it separately Monday night. He suggested that if this could be done the Far East section of the communiqué, particularly with regard to Indochina, would attract more public attention than if it were merely part of the general communiqué where it would be overshadowed by the sections on Germany and the four-power meeting.

Lord Salisbury observed that this Far East communiqué contained far-reaching political statements and that it might be necessary for him to consult his Government before he could agree. He noted the statement concerning maintenance of common policies toward Communist China, pointing out that in the morning meeting3 he had expressed his view that there should be no automatic relaxation of controls against Communist China nor was there any immediate question of admittance of Communist China, to the United Nations. However, he believed that future policies in this regard should depend on the behavior of the Communists after a Korean armistice and that these policies might be reviewed after a few months. He believed that the phasing of this question in the communiqué freezes the action which might be taken by the three powers and said he found it too rigid to accept in its present form.

With regard to the statement of proposed action by the three Governments in the event the Communists renewed their aggression in Korea after an armistice, Lord Salisbury remarked that this was in effect a restatement of the “warning statement” and asked if it was considered an alternative or supplementary.

With regard to the statement that: “Any armistice in Korea accepted by the United Nations would only be concluded in the hope of [Page 1671] making a step forward in the cause of peace everywhere”, Lord Salisbury expressed the view that this statement did not exactly represent the position since an armistice was actually being concluded because both parties think the fighting should be stopped. He suggested that the phrase read: “Any armistice in Korea accepted by the United Nations should therefore constitute a step forward in the cause of peace everywhere”.

With regard to the statement “the French Union offers a flexible and harmonious framework” Lord Salisbury pointed out that this was particularly a French view and should be so indicated.

Mr. Bidault explained that he was satisfied with the general draft subject to certain small wording modifications but that he understood the position of the UK.

Secretary Dulles suggested that the three Foreign Ministers with one adviser retire in an attempt to reach agreement on wording of a draft.

Mr. Bidault and Lord Salisbury agreed, with the latter commenting that he might still have to refer an agreed text to his Government.

The Foreign Ministers retired for 20 minutes.

Secretary Dulles, on reconvening the meeting, stated that agreement had been reached on a satisfactory text but there would be no attempt to publish it Monday night. Rather, it was planned for Tuesday morning publication as a separate communiqué in order to obtain the benefit of the full impact of the section on Indochina.

The Foreign Ministers then took a recess for 15 minutes to consider the text of the communiqué on European unity.4

European Unity

Secretary Dulles, on resuming, said that this latest European unity statement represented an effort to reflect the views of the morning meeting on the earlier draft.5 While the US would prefer to see a stronger statement, the Secretary realized the difficulties existing in the French Parliament and recognized that US public and Congressional opinion may conflict with Mr. Bidault’s judgment as to the most effective case he could present before his Parliament. Therefore, the Secretary believed some compromise on both sides was necessary.

Lord Salisbury remarked he was quite satisfied with the draft and, while he would have to request the views of his Government, he had no further amendment to suggest.

[Page 1672]

Mr. Bidault said he wished to go as far as possible in affirmation of the EDC and of European organisation in general, commenting that while the French have perhaps not taken all steps which the US would desire, still they have made great concessions. He said he would cable his Prime Minister for authority to endorse the present text.

Secretary Dulles suggested that the phrase “will be pursued” in connection with the work of creating a European Political Community be changed to “is being pursued”. Subject to this change and to authorization from the French Government he said the text would now be considered agreed.

Lord Salisbury stated that he also would ask for authorization from his Government to approve the text.

Four-Power Conference

Secretary Dulles then turned to the draft tripartite note to the Soviet Government regarding Germany and a four-power conference,6 noting that he understood the Ministers would not wish to agree to this note without clearance from their Governments. He said the note should then be sent to Chancellor Adenauer to make certain that it would be helpful to him in his present political situation and that, therefore, it might take three or four days for the note to be agreed upon, delivered to the Soviets and published. In view of the time factor, therefore, the note could not be published while the Foreign Ministers were in Washington.

Mr. Bidault stated that if this document were reserved for examination by the Governments, then the Governments must examine all documents emerging from this meeting. He said he could not go back after these lengthy talks in Washington and present something to his Government and Parliament on European unity which represented only affirmation of a constant policy and not a declaration of something new and constructive. He said the French would be extremely disappointed and that EDC would face even greater difficulties in France if something new was not forthcoming from this meeting.

In clarification, Secretary Dulles explained that while the actual text of the note could not be finalized before the Ministers left Washington and before the communiqué had been published, it was still planned to include, as the central aspect of the communiqué, the substance of what the three Governments plan to do. He considered it indispensable that the communiqué contain a reference to the decision of the three Governments on a four-power meeting on Germany and Austria and commented that the only difficulty was that it could not [Page 1673] be dealt with as elaborately in the communiqué as it could if the text of the note were ready for publication.

Lord Salisbury said he would have to refer the text to his Government but promised a reply by Tuesday morning. The text could then be sent to Adenauer and he could be asked to agree by Tuesday night. He noted that he shared Mr. Bidault’s views on the question of any delay.

Secretary Dulles expressed US agreement, suggesting that if the text was substantially acceptable it might be sent to Bonn immediately, telling Adenauer that this is what had been proposed and that there might be slight changes depending on the views of the Governments which were being obtained.

Lord Salisbury remarked that since British High Commissioner Kirkpatrick was in the chair at Bonn for the month of July, the text might be sent to him with instructions that he not present it to Adenauer until it had been approved by the Governments.

Secretary Dulles asked if the approvals could be sent to Bonn directly from Paris and London to which Lord Salisbury and Mr. Bidault agreed.

Lord Salisbury then remarked that he had several small amendments. With regard to the phrase: “While recognizing the fact that enduring peace can only be so established when certain basic problems, such as controlled disarmament, can ultimately be settled …” he expressed the view that the Soviets might pick up this phrase and suggest that discussions on such questions as controlled disarmament be begun immediately if it is true that peace can be established only when such problems have been settled.

With regard to the phrase “no real progress can be made toward a general relaxation of tension so long as this problem [conditions for formation of a German Government]7 remains unsolved”, Lord Salisbury suggested that “in Europe” be added after “tension”. He also noted that the communiqué referred to a four-power meeting of “Foreign Ministers”, commenting that the original conception had been for a meeting on a higher level. While he had no doubt that any resulting meeting would in fact be a meeting of Foreign Ministers, he said he would prefer that the communiqué read “representatives of the French, United Kingdom, United States and the Soviet Union.”

Secretary Dulles stated that the US could not agree to extending an invitation for a four-power meeting except in the terms of a Foreign Ministers’ meeting. He commented that President Eisenhower will not attend a meeting to discuss such matters as Germany and Austria. He explained, however, that this would not exclude the [Page 1674] possibility of a meeting of heads of Governments, perhaps combined with or added to the Foreign Ministers, if the Foreign Ministers’ meeting appeared to be producing results which would justify a higher level meeting. He suggested that Lord Salisbury make clear to his Government that a Foreign Ministers’ meeting does not rule out a meeting of heads of Governments but reiterated that the only invitation in which the US would concur would be in terms of “Foreign Ministers” or “Foreign Ministers or their deputies”.

Lord Salisbury said, in view of this explanation, he would accept “Foreign Ministers”.

Mr. Bidault said he found no difficulties in the draft saying that he considered Lord Salisbury’s proposed amendment on the controlled disarmament phrase unnecessary but, since it contained no substantial difference, he would try to amend the French version to coincide with Lord Salisbury’s view. With regard to the level of the meeting, he said the French were agreeable to a Foreign Ministers’ meeting. He then questioned whether it was useful in the draft communiqué to mention Vienna as a possible site for the meeting, suggesting that such specific mention might entail the risk of encouraging certain tendencies on the part of the Austrian Chancellor and Foreign Minister to engage in negotiations with the Soviet Government looking toward a separate settlement on the Austrian question. He saw the possibility that the Soviets might point out that everything was going well in Austria and might suggest that the same solution be applied to the German problem.

Secretary Dulles noted that a specific site has been named in order to avoid the possibility that the Soviet Government might propose that the meeting be held in Moscow. He suggested, however, that the communiqué might read “at some convenient place to be mutually agreed” which Lord Salisbury and Mr. Bidault accepted.

Lord Salisbury then suggested that the communiqué read “the second half of September” rather than “September 15th” for the possible date of the meeting.

Secretary Dulles suggested “to begin about September 15” to which Lord Salisbury and Mr. Bidault agreed.

Secretary Dulles then returned to Lord Salisbury’s questions regarding the statement on controlled disarmament and, following some discussion on wording, it was agreed that the paragraph in question would read: “While recognizing the fact that enduring peace can only be ultimately assured when certain basic problems, such as controlled disarmament, can be dealt with, the United States Government desires to dispose now of those problems which are capable of early solution”.

[Page 1675]

Secretary Dulles then affirmed his understanding that the French and British representatives will transmit the draft text tonight to their Governments for approval. At the same time, the UK will transmit the draft to its High Commissioner at Bonn instructing him upon approval from Paris and London, to take up the note with Chancellor Adenauer emphasizing the necessity of prompt action and to report his conclusions immediately. Mr. Dulles also noted that the note was to be cleared with both Bonn and Berlin.

Lord Salisbury said this could be done through their High Commissioner at the same time and it was agreed that this would be the case.

Mr. Bidault then circulated a new French text of the section of the communiqué on Germany but it was agreed to wait until an English text was available before discussing the matter further.8 The Ministers agreed that the experts might consider the draft on Tuesday morning with the Ministers discussing it again in the Tuesday afternoon tripartite meeting.

In conclusion Secretary Dulles said he thought it might be useful to consider a preamble to the communiqué indicating the spirit of the suggestions which the three Foreign Ministers were making. He pointed out that all decisions which the Ministers were making were in the interests of peace and that this is the basic theme in all their efforts to reach settlement of such matters as Korea, Indochina, EDC, Germany and Austria. The Secretary said he would present a draft of such a preamble in the Tuesday afternoon tripartite meeting for comment from the Ministers.

  1. Attached to the source text was a cover sheet which stated that the minutes had been prepared by Florence Wilson of the Policy Reports Staff, but had not been cleared or approved. The Department of State transmitted to London a summary of this meeting in telegram 239, July 14. (396.1 WA/7–1453) This telegram was also sent to Paris, Bonn, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, The Hague, Brussels, and Rome.
  2. The draft communiqué under reference here has not been identified further. For the text of the final communiqué, see p. 1703.
  3. For a record of the third tripartite meeting, held at 10:30 a.m., July 13, see p. 1654.
  4. No record of the Foreign Ministers consideration of this part of the text of the communiqué has been found in the Department of State files.
  5. The draft statement on European unity under reference here has not been identified further. For the text of the statement on European unity, incorporated in the final communiqué as part III, see p. 1704.
  6. For the text of the tripartite note to the Soviet Union as agreed by the Foreign Ministers, see p. 1701.
  7. Brackets appear in the source text.
  8. No copy of the French text under reference here has been found in the Department of State files.