Editorial Note

Following five exchanges of notes from July 15 to December 26, 1953, a conference of the Foreign Ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union was held at Berlin, January 25 to February 18, 1954. At the second session of the conference the three Western powers accepted an agenda, proposed by the Soviet Union, consisting of the following three points:

  • “1. Measures for reducing tension in international relations and the convening of a meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of France, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, the United States, and the Chinese People’s Republic.
  • “2. The German question and the problem of ensuring European security.
  • “3. The Austrian State Treaty.” (Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 196)

Discussion of the first item resulted in agreement to hold a conference at Geneva in April to consider Korea and Indochina. Discussion on items two and three proved fruitless, showing that major differences still existed between the three Western powers and the Soviet Union over the peace settlements with Germany and Austria.

Documentation on the Berlin Conference and on the exchanges of notes between the Soviet Union and the United States, the United Kingdom, and France is presented in volume VII; documentation on the Geneva Conference, April 26 to July 21, 1954, is presented in volume XVI.