No. 259
The Soviet Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the Embassy of the United States 1

Number 26/OSA

1. July 15 Soviet Government received note of Government of United States of America2 and simultaneously notes of Governments of England and France from which it is apparent that at July conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of United States of America, England and France in Washington, it was decided to call a Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the three powers referred to above and of Soviet Union. Moreover, agenda proposed by three Ministers and time of convocation of Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of United States of America, England, France and Soviet Union were communicated in notes.

It follows from what has been said above that Ministers of Foreign Affairs of United States of America, England and France contrary to international customs, have taken upon themselves a preliminary examination of questions for Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of four powers without participation a representative of Soviet Union. Such a situation cannot be recognized as normal. Moreover, it is in obvious contradiction to existing agreements on Conferences of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. In addition the preliminary collusion of the three Ministers of Foreign Affairs could exercise a negative influence on entire course of Conference [Page 605] of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of four powers. Such a conclusion naturally flows from fact that three participants in this Conference have previously bound themselves by separate agreements, without even having attempted to bring about, as has frequently been done previously, a free discussion unhampered by any private obligations of ripe (nazrevshikh) international problems. Under present international conditions, conferences of the powers have great significance for regulation of international questions in dispute. It is precisely at this time when efforts of peace-loving governments have made it possible to put an end to war in Korea and conclude an armistice that favorable conditions have been created for achieving a lessening of tension in the international situation. It goes without saying that successful solution of this task depends primarily upon efforts of all peace-loving states, great and small. However, the responsibility for maintenance of peace and international security rests primarily as is evident from Charter of United Nations organization on five powers—United States, England, France, Soviet Union and the Chinese People’s Republic. It would not be in interests of maintenance and strengthening of peace and international security to ignore this circumstance. On other hand, to ascribe any special significance to such events as Fascist adventure of June 17 in Berlin—which was the handiwork of international hirelings and criminal elements—means to give one’s self up to illusions and to distract attention from facts which are really important and have a positive significance for easing of international relations.

In view of considerations adduced above, Soviet Government takes position that at a Conference of Foreign Ministers there should be considered the question of measures which promote a general lessening of tension in international relations, including questions of reduction of armaments and impermissibility of foreign military bases on territory of other states. Moreover, possibility should not be excluded of considering question of in just what composition (v kakom immeno sostave) these or other problems of international relations should be considered.

Necessity for an examination of questions referred to is dictated not only by state of affairs in Europe. It is known that situation of countries of Asia with its serious current problems is also attracting attention of international circles. From this it also follows that participation of Chinese People’s Republic is necessary in a discussion of questions concerning measures for lessening tension in international relations. The great Chinese People, united and unified by Chinese People’s Republic as never before, with full justification now demand restoration of their legitimate rights in all international affairs and to underestimate importance of urgent solution [Page 606] of this question would also not be in interests of strengthening peace and international security.

In connection with notes of Government of United States of America of July 15, Soviet Government expresses its agreement to examine German question at Conference of Ministers. However, in American note of July 15 as in published communiqué of Washington Conference of three Foreign Ministers,3 instead of an actual examination of German question entire matter in fact is reduced to repetition of proposal which was contained in American note of September 234 of last year, ignoring necessity of resolving the basic problems of Germany.

As is well known German people are interested first of all in solution of such questions as realization of national unification of Germany and conclusion of a peace treaty. But it is precisely solution of these basic problems of Germany which American note of July 15 of this year disregards, citing note of September 23, 1952, which also ignored necessity of solving these basic questions. Note of Government of United States of America of July 15 substitutes for solution of these basic problems of Germany a proposal for all-German elections, but very question of elections according to American note of September 23 of last year is in turn replaced by proposal to designate a so-called neutral commission made up of representatives of foreign states “for an investigation with the aim of creating conditions” for conducting these elections. From what has been said above it follows that United States note of July 15 not only does not have as its aim the promoting of a solution of the basic questions of Germany, but reduces matter to prolonged discussions—whether or not situation in Germany should be investigated by some foreign representatives or other, how and for what purpose to conduct all these “investigations” humiliating for German people et cetera. Apart from unnecessary and pointless negotiations on such questions, there is nothing to be expected from this sort of proposal.

All this determines attitude of Soviet Government to above mentioned proposal of Government of United States of America.

Soviet Government considers that such a proposal not only cannot contribute to unification of Germany and creation of an all-German democratic government or to conclusion of peace treaty with Germany, but will as consequence leave Germany split into Western and Eastern parts and as before delay conclusion of a peace treaty. Simultaneously measures for remilitarization of Western Germany are being carried on, a danger which peace loving [Page 607] peoples of Europe and in particular neighboring states cannot disregard. If all this is conducted in agreed consultation with Bonn Government of Adenauer as is stated in note of July 15, then this can only destroy completely confidence of German people in such a government to say nothing of other peoples of Europe.

In spite of considerations expressed above concerning note of Government of United States of America of July 15, Soviet Government attaches great importance to joint consideration of German question by the powers and moreover hopes that such a consideration will make it possible to examine thoroughly pertinent problems relating to restoration of German unity and, together with a decision of question of a peace treaty with Germany, will contribute to strengthening of peace in Europe.

Proceeding from above, Soviet Government proposes:

Taking into account the foregoing, to examine at a Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs measures for lessening of tension in international relations;
To consider at Conference, German question, including problem of restoration of German unity and the conclusion of a peace treaty.

As regards Austrian treaty, position of Soviet Government on this question is set forth in its notes of July 30 [29] sent to Governments of United States of America, England and France.5 It goes without saying that possible successes in settlement of German problem could also contribute to decision of Austrian treaty as well.

Soviet Government is sending similar notes to Governments of England, France.

  1. Transmitted to Washington in telegram 160. This translation should be compared for minor textual differences with the text in Department of State Bulletin, Sept. 14, 1953, pp. 352–353.
  2. Document 257.
  3. For text of the Foreign Ministers communiqué, see vol. v, Part 2 pp. 1703 ff.
  4. Document 138.
  5. Regarding the Soviet note of July 29 concerning the Austrian Treaty, see Document 872.