Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 158

Wilson Minutes 1
top secret
ST MIN 5 (Draft)

[Here follows a list of subjects.]

Secretary Dulles opened the meeting with an announcement that he had invited the Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg representatives to meet with the Foreign Ministers at 5:00 p.m. so that they might be informed of decisions which had been taken in the meeting affecting the Benelux countries. He then suggested that the Ministers consider the Far East Communiqué, issuance of which was still delayed by certain differences of opinion.

Far East Communiqué

Lord Salisbury commented that he was satisfied with the draft2 except for paragraph 4 which the British felt was too strong. He introduced a new paragraph 4 which they felt was more restrained which omitted the reference to the “interrelation of Communist aggressive moves in the Far East” and made other modifications.

Mr. Bidault said he could support the new UK paragraph although he considered it a weakening of the text. He suggested that this might be compensated for if the UK would reconsider its views on the statement regarding the French Union and would agree to the original “the French Union is a harmonious and flexible framework …” rather than “can be” as proposed by the UK.

Lord Salisbury commented that the two passages bore no relation to each other and that he could not bargain on this basis.

Mr. Bidault assured Lord Salisbury that he was not offering a bargain but was merely suggesting that the weakening of paragraph 4, which he had accepted, be compensated for by a strengthening elsewhere in the draft, namely in the wording of the French Union sentence.

Secretary Dulles suggested that the first sentence of paragraph 4, which had been omitted in the new British draft, be retained but that the adjective “aggressive” describing moves in the Far East be dropped so that the sentence would read: “The Foreign Ministers recognized the interrelation of Communist moves in the Far East.” He also suggested that the word “offers” be substituted for the words “can be” [Page 1690] in the French Union sentence so that the sentence would read: “They noted that the French Union offers a harmonious and flexible framework.” He explained that “can be” contained the implication that the French Union “can be” but is not a “harmonious and flexible framework” and that he was seeking words to avoid that implication.

After further discussion the three Ministers agreed to accept the UK wording of paragraph 4 and to accept the French Union phrase with the replacement of “can be” by “offers”.

Secretary Dulles explained that he was accepting the new UK paragraph 4 only in the interest of quick issuance of the Far East section of the communiqué but that the US strongly preferred the retention of the original first sentence in paragraph 4 with the dropping of the word “aggressive”. It was agreed that the Far East section of the communiqué could be released by 4: 00 p.m. Tuesday and on this condition the Secretary accepted the British paragraph.

European Unity

Secretary Dulles next asked for consideration of the European unity section of the communiqué.3 He suggested that the word “democratic” used in the last sentence to describe those European countries which might become members of the European Community, might be dropped since the word had been so abused in Communist parlance.

Mr. Bidault noted that it might be found advisable at some later time for certain non-democratic European countries, such as Poland, to enter the Community but it was finally agreed by the three Ministers that the word “free” would be substituted for “democratic”.

Four-Power Meeting

In connection with the draft note to the Soviet Government with regard to a four-power Foreign Ministers meeting,4 Lord Salisbury commented that his Foreign Office was concerned about items 2) and 3), listed as subjects for discussion in such a meeting, since they thought these items might raise questions as to the actual extent of freedom enjoyed by the German Government.

The three Ministers agreed to consolidate items 2 and 3 so that they would read: “2) Conditions for the establishment of a free all-German Government with freedom of action in internal and external affairs.”

Lord Salisbury then suggested certain changes in the immediately following sentence which described the topics to be discussed by the four Foreign Ministers as “essential steps which must precede the opening of discussions with the Soviet Government for a German peace treaty …”

[Page 1691]

Mr. Bidault countered with a slightly different French version of the sentence.

Secretary Dulles noted that the new language proposed by the British and French involves three choices: 1) that more discussions of free elections in Germany and the conditions for the establishment of an all German Government would be sufficient preliminaries to the discussions of a peace treaty and that it would not be necessary to reach agreement; 2) that there must be both discussion and agreement on these conditions before discussion of the peace treaty; and 3) that there should be discussion, agreement and consummation of these conditions before a peace treaty could be discussed.

He suggested that the sentence should read “At least agreement on these matters must precede the opening of talks with the Soviet Government for a German peace treaty …”

Mr. Bidault recalled the tripartite note of September 23, 19525 which made it clear that the US, UK and France could not accept a peace treaty without the participation in negotiations of a unified German Government and that a peace treaty could not be imposed on Germany. He stated that discussion was not a sufficient factor and that it would be necessary to have results on these preliminary conditions.

Lord Salisbury said in view of this discussion he would agree to go back to the original text to which Secretary Dulles and Mr. Bidault agreed.

Lord Salisbury then said that UK High Commissioner Kirkpatrick had informed Chancellor Adenauer unofficially of the terms of the proposed note and that in addition Mr. Blankenhorn had telephoned the Chancellor. He said Adenauer had made two points. First, for electoral reasons, he suggested that the communiqué make clear that the proposal has Adenauer’s support and that it, therefore, indicate that this decision had been taken “in consultation with the German Federal Government” rather than “after consultation”. Lord Salisbury said he realized that this would constitute a weakening of the formal position that the three powers rather than Adenauer would negotiate with Moscow on German matters and that he felt this position should be maintained in the note to the Soviets but that it might be relaxed in the communiqué.

Adenauer also believed that September 15 was too early for the four-power meeting since full election results would not be known until the second week of September and, since the formation of a Cabinet would take some time, no German Government could be in being by September 15. Adenauer had suggested October 1.

[Page 1692]

After some discussion it was agreed to use the phrase “the end of September” in the note and to leave the phrase “early autumn” in the communiqué.

After further discussion, the Ministers agreed to issue the communiqué Tuesday night, to deliver the note to the Soviet representatives in the three capitals on Wednesday noon Washington time and to release the note to the Thursday morning papers. (See Annex I for final text of note)

Final Communiqué

Secretary Dulles asked for comments on the draft preamble to the communiqué and it was agreed that certain minor drafting changes could be left to the drafting committee for resolution.

Mr. Bidault questioned the order in which the sections of the communiqué would fall and it was agreed that the communiqué would be presented in the following manner: 1) Preamble, 2) European Unity, 3) Four-Power Conference, and 4) Far East.

The drafting committee retired to finalize the text.

Preliminary Tripartite Meeting on Germany, Austria

Secretary Dulles then suggested that German and Austrian experts of the US, UK and France meet in early August, perhaps in Paris, to concert the tripartite position in detail. He said he understood that there was substantial agreement on Austria with the possible difference that the UK and France were prepared to accept the long draft treaty with Article 35 in its present form whereas the US was disposed to show some resistance. He commented that this might be a matter of tactics rather than substance and asked if such a meeting would be useful.

Lord Salisbury expressed the view that it would be valuable to have a meeting to consider the questions to be discussed in the proposed four-power meeting but that it would depend somewhat on the Soviet reply to the tripartite invitation.

Mr. Bidault accepted the Secretary’s suggestion for a meeting, saying he would prefer a meeting of experts rather than deputies to avoid giving any impression of a pre-conference prior to the four-power meeting.

Lord Salisbury agreed to a meeting on the expert level, saying we should not risk giving the impression that matters had been settled by the three powers and that the Soviet Union would be presented with a fait accompli.

Secretary Dulles expressed the view that such discussions would be useful even if the Soviets reject or evade the issue of a four-power meeting. He said the problem of Germany would still be acute and that our experts should be in close working accord since we will have to be making moves on the eve of the German elections. He suggested [Page 1693] that such a meeting should take place not later than August 10 or 15 because of the September 6 elections.

Lord Salisbury noted that even though these preliminary talks would have a minimum of publicity it might be better that they not take place during the period of the German elections since, in the event of a leak, the talks might give the impression in Germany of a change in three power policy toward that country. He wondered whether these talks could take place in the three week period after the German elections and before the proposed date for a four-power meeting.

Mr. Bidault commented that tripartite discussions on Germany might complicate the electoral situation with the result that Adenauer might try to intervene in the talks in a manner which would benefit him in electoral speeches. He suggested that these tripartite talks begin the day after the elections.

Secretary Dulles suggested that a fixed decision on the time, manner, and place of tripartite talks be postponed as long as it had been agreed that the experts should meet prior to a four-power meeting.

Lord Salisbury commented that if the Soviets should decline the invitation for a four-power meeting, such a tripartite meeting of experts might be reconsidered since it might give the impression of a change in policy toward Germany.

Site of Four-Power Meeting

Secretary Dulles stated that he was impressed by Mr. Bidault’s views on the advantages of holding a four-power meeting in Switzerland rather than in Vienna. He agreed that negotiations on Austria in Austria would risk maneuvers by the Austrian Government as regards the Soviet Union and the three powers.

Lord Salisbury agreed that Switzerland seemed less provocative but said that he would have to consult his Government.

Informing Benelux Representatives

It was agreed that when the Benelux representatives arrived, Secretary Dulles, as chairman of the meeting and in the name of the three Foreign Ministers, would give to the representatives the gist of the communiqué and the note to the Soviet Government.

Non-Military Aspects of NATO

Secretary Dulles referred then to the future of NATO, commenting that it may become necessary to place more emphasis on certain of that organization’s non-military aspects. He said he had been thinking tentatively of attempting to establish some sort of parliamentary structure built around the North Atlantic Council which would include Congressional representatives. He referred to the constructive influence on individual Congressmen who had attended sessions of the Inter-Parliamentary Union whose meetings, he said, have been both [Page 1694] useful and educational. In view of the necessity of putting the financial houses of the various member Governments in order and in the event of a decrease in the Soviet military threat, he foresaw a possible slowdown in the military aspects of NATO and a necessity for placing more emphasis on its non-military functions. He made clear that these comments constituted only tentative thinking and were not meant to be a definite proposal.

Mr. Bidault noted that the French have always desired that more emphasis be placed on NATO’s non-military aspects, and particularly believe that Article 26 should be given more importance. He said he had not thought of the possibility of a parliamentary structure, commenting that NATO military meetings seemed to have already too many parliamentary aspects. He noted the work of certain distinguished parliamentarians in the Ad Hoc Assembly working on the European Political Community but described the EPC document, which had resulted from their deliberations, as a maximum but not a optimum document and one that would be difficult for the participating Governments to adopt in full. He noted the discrepancy between the views of these parliamentarians and the views of their respective Governments who must bear the responsibility of implementation of their ideas. He thought some association of parliamentarians with the European Political Community might be more appropriate than with NATO, but if the latter were attempted, emphasized that a way must be found of so doing which would not result in interference of these parliamentarians in matters belonging in the Governmental sphere.

Informing NATO of Ministers’ Decisions

Lord Salisbury then referred to the manner in which the NATO Council would be informed of the results of the Foreign Ministers’ meeting.

After some discussion, it was agreed that instructions will be sent to Ambassador Hughes who will work out with his French and British colleagues a procedure for advising the Council.

Joint NATOCSC Meeting

Lord Salisbury then referred to Italian Prime Minister De Gasperi’s proposal for a joint meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the NATO and Coal-Steel Community countries in August which would include Germany and which he had put forward with the thought of helping Chancellor Adenauer in his electoral situation. He commented that no one apparently thinks De Gasperi’s idea is a good one and suggested that no formal reply be made, noting that too obvious attempts to help Adenauer might do more harm than good.

[Page 1695]

Secretary Dulles suggested that the Italian Ambassador in Washington be informed on Wednesday of the decisions reached by the three Ministers with some additional background information. Lord Salisbury and Mr. Bidault agreed. The Ministers then recessed to meet the Benelux representatives.7 Secretary Dulles, on reconvening the meeting, said that radio and television representatives were anxious that the three Ministers appear immediately following conclusion of the meeting to make brief statements which would be held until the communiqué had been released.8 He recommended that this be done and Lord Salisbury and Mr. Bidault agreed.

Indochina and the Saar

Mr. Bidault then circulated the French text of a memorandum which he said contained some “reflections” on Indochina. He emphasized this was not a formal document and he was not asking for an immediate reply. (See Annex II for translation of French note.9) He also noted that while he was aware of the general desire not to complicate the German situation, in any further discussion on Germany it should be remembered that the Saar was still an outstanding question. Mr. Bidault said he merely wished to mention this.


The final draft of the general communiqué was then distributed and, following some discussion and minor corrections and a rearrangement of paragraphs, was approved by the three Ministers. (See Annex III for final communiqué.)

Secretary Dulles then called for any other business which either of the Ministers desired to discuss.

Mr. Bidault expressed deep appreciation on behalf of himself and Lord Salisbury for the courtesy, patience and will to reach agreement which had marked Secretary Dulles’ chairmanship of the meetings and expressed the view that the success of these meetings was largely due to Mr. Dulles’ personal action.

Lord Salisbury echoed Mr. Bidault’s sentiments, saying the British and French representatives owed Mr. Dulles a debt of gratitude for his patience and wisdom.

[Page 1696]

Secretary Dulles expressed his thanks for Mr. Bidault and Lord Salisbury’s words, saying he considered the meeting to have been very successful and that, although there had appeared to be passing differences of opinion, the atmosphere of friendliness in which problems of the moment had been dealt with had made it apparent that the positions of the three Governments were really close together. He said he considered the results of the meeting a definite contribution to peace, welfare and justice.

  1. Attached to the source text was a cover sheet which stated that these minutes had been prepared by Florence Wilson of the Policy Reports Staff, but that they had not been cleared or approved. The Department of State transmitted to London a summary of this meeting in telegram 264, July 15. (396.1 WA/7–1553) This telegram was repeated to Paris, Moscow, Bonn, Brussels, The Hague, Rome, Luxembourg, and Saigon.
  2. The draft communiqué under reference here has not been identified further; for the text of the final communiqué, see p. 1703.
  3. The draft communiqué under reference here has not been identified further; for the text of the final communiqué, see p. 1703.
  4. For the final text of the tripartite note to the Soviet Government, see p. 1701.
  5. Documentation relating to the tripartite note of Sept. 23, 1952 is presented in volume vii .
  6. For the text of the North Atlantic Treaty, signed Apr. 4, 1949 at Washington, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. iv, p. 281.
  7. No minutes for the Foreign Ministers meeting with the Benelux representatives have been found in the Department of State files; however, in telegram 57 to The Hague (repeated to Brussels and Luxembourg), July 14, the Department of State reported that Secretary Dulles had informed them of the major conference developments. (396.1 WA/7–1453)
  8. For the texts of the Foreign Ministers concluding statements, see Department of State Bulletin, July 27, 1953, p. 106.
  9. Not printed; in it the French expressed their feeling that the hostilities in Indochina and Korea were connected and that Communist China might be prevailed upon in a political conference on Korea to adopt a conciliatory attitude toward events in Indochina as well as in Korea. The memorandum concluded by asking for the views of the United States and the United Kingdom on this subject.