No. 275
Editorial Note

On October 7 the tripartite working group, this time meeting in London, began consideration of the Western reply to the Soviet note of September 28, using the United States draft (telegram 1743, supra) as a basis for discussion. The Embassy in London commented that at the first two meetings there were very few differences between the positions of the United States and France, but that the British were still caught up in the spirit of Prime Minister Churchill’s proposal for a four-power meeting, made in his speech to the House of Commons on May 11, 1953. (Telegram 1505, October 8, [Page 652] 396.1/10–853) On October 9 the working group approved ad referendum the text of a reply (telegram 1519 from London, October 9, 396.1/10–953) which seemed to gain general approval, but on October 12 the French presented a completely new draft prepared largely by Bidault. (Telegram 1564 from London, October 12, 396.1/10–1253) In the interim between these two drafts, the Western reply had been discussed with Chancellor Adenauer. (See telegrams 1361 and 1360, infra, and Document 277.) The working group produced yet another draft on October 12, working from the new French draft, and this was accepted, mutatis mutandis, by the three Western governments, presented to Adenauer, who objected to two parts of it, and finally discussed by the Foreign Ministers of the three Western countries at their meetings in London, where an agreed text was drafted which was acceptable to the Chancellor. For the final text as delivered to the Soviet Foreign Ministry on October 18, see Document 279. Regarding the Foreign Ministers discussion of the draft, see Secto 5, October 16, Document 296.