No. 268
The Embassy of the United States to the Soviet Ministry for Foreign Affairs 1
US Government, in its customary close consultation with Governments of UK and France, has carefully studied the Soviet Government’s notes of August 4 and 15, 1953,2 which were in reply to proposals presented on July 15 by three Western powers.3 Government of German Federal Republic and the German authorities in Berlin have also been consulted.
US Government has no intention once again to refute Soviet Government’s criticisms of policy followed by three powers, nor of thus prolonging a sterile discussion which can only be harmful to the cause of peace.
US Government therefore fully reserves its position in regard to the various allegations in Soviet notes of August 4 and 15, and will confine its comments to the problems of an urgent nature which arise in connection with meeting of Foreign Ministers proposed in its note of July 15.
Real progress toward peace and toward a lessening of international tension would be achieved were it possible to find an early solution of some of existing problems concerning Germany and to conclude the Austrian state treaty. It therefore appears desirable that meeting of Foreign Ministers should devote itself to these problems; whereas to inject into the discussion a series of other complex questions, as proposed by Soviet Government, could only delay and prejudice success of talks. A solution of the German and Austrian problems could be expected to pave way for fruitful discussion of other major questions. US Government also wishes to point out that the study of some of these other questions has already been entrusted to such international organizations as the United Nations or to international bodies such as political conference on Korea where Chinese People’s Republic will be represented. Latter’s participation in proposed meeting of Foreign Ministers of four powers could not therefore be justified.
Soviet Government has suggested a procedure for dealing with German problem which appears complicated, and work on such a basis could, at best, only be long drawn out. Soviet Government’s note of August 15 envisages, in effect, a series of devices which could result in postponing to some indeterminate date the holding of free elections in Federal Republic, in East Zone of Germany, and in Berlin. An all-German Government which is not based on will of people as expressed in free elections would not be qualified to take decisions affecting the future of United Germany. Problem of free elections is thus key to any all-German settlement. US Government therefore considers that meeting of Foreign Ministers should devote itself to German problem, the solution of which is an essential part of a world settlement, and concentrate in first instance on question of free elections and the status of the future German Government.
Furthermore, it must be pointed out that when US Government proposed, in its note of July 15, that problem of free elections be considered first, it did not make any prior condition that an investigating commission be established. It seems, therefore, that on [Page 632] this point Soviet Government has misinterpreted terms of this note.
US Government has never considered that re-establishment of freedom and independence of Austria, which by terms of Moscow declaration of November 1943 must be considered as a liberated country, should be dependent upon progress toward a solution of German problem. It considers that these two problems are quite distinct. In its view nothing should now prevent the conclusion of an Austrian treaty. It therefore regrets failure of Soviet Government to accept its proposal that Austrian treaty deputies should meet on August 31.4 It nevertheless remains hope of US Government that Foreign Ministers will be able to agree on the Austrian state treaty when they themselves meet.
US Government is convinced that progress is more likely to be made by discussion of these problems than by a further exchange of notes. Consequently, it renews its invitation to Soviet Government to participate in a meeting of the four Foreign Ministers which could take place on October 15 at Lugano. It understands that this would be agreeable to Swiss Government.
  1. Transmitted from Paris on Sept. 1 in telegram 844 in response to a request for a clean text of the note. The note was delivered to the Foreign Ministry at 1 p.m. Moscow time on Sept. 2.
  2. Documents 259 and 264.
  3. Document 257.
  4. In a note dated Aug. 17, the United States had suggested a meeting of the Austrian Treaty Deputies to be held in London on Aug. 31; see Document 882.