No. 218
Editorial Note

At his press conference on September 3, Secretary Dulles made a statement concerning the partition of Germany and the Soviet note that had been received on August 15 dealing with proposed four-power talks on Germany. Following this statement the Secretary of State answered questions and, in reply to one, stated with regard to the upcoming Federal elections that failure to return the coalition government under Chancellor Adenauer would be disastrous to Germany and the possibilities for its unity. For text of the statement, see Department of State Bulletin, September 14, 1953, page 353. Regarding the statement on the elections, see the New York [Page 533] Times, September 4, 1953, page 1. For documentation on the exchanges of notes with the Soviet Union which led to the Berlin Conference in 1954, see Documents 257 ff.

The same day Conant reported that the Press Chief of the SPD interpreted Secretary Dulles’ remarks as direct interference in the electoral campaign and that the SPD was ordering the use of several hundered thousand anti-American posters designed to show Adenauer as nothing but an American puppet. (Telegram 916 from Bonn, 762A.00/9–353)

On September 5 Chancellor Adenauer sent a letter via Conant stating:

“I feel a strong desire, Mister Secretary, to thank you for your recent remarks in which you once again so impressively and understandingly stated your position concerning the German question. The vast majority of the German people agreed with your remarks. I am certain that in making the great political decision which they must make today the German people will be guided by the conviction that the longed for goal can be reached only if they in cooperation with the free nations of the Western world make every effort to serve peace.” (Telegram 947 from Bonn, 762A.00/9–553)