396.1/10–1253: Telegram

No. 278
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom1

1973. We naturally concerned over prospect (Bonn’s 1361 and 1364 rptd London 182, 184 Paris 237, 239 Berlin 270, 272 Moscow 83, 852) that we may again have argument with Adenauer over text our new note to Soviets and presume that in presenting it, British HICOMer (acting on behalf all three Governments) will therefore endeavor explain our aims and considerations which have produced present text. We also hope Conant will use any informal opportunities do likewise.

Re German agenda proposals (first two sentences of para 3 London’s 1563 rptd Bonn 105 Paris 230 Moscow 71 Berlin 253) our aim has of course been to do precisely what Adenauer urged, i.e. produce short and nonargumentative formulation. Were we to restrict agenda, as Chancellor evidently still has in mind, we would facilitate another evasive argumentative Soviet reply. By indicating [Page 655] that Soviets may state their views on any aspect German problem they wish to present, we merely state the obvious and do not in any way agree to engage in “substantive discussion of peace treaty”. This should be made clear to Chancellor. Our latest Tactics paper (D–1/4c, copy of which pouched Conant October 54) makes this plain and we believe British and French thinking is similar re manner in which we would handle any peace treaty mention at Lugano. Chancellor should agree that second sentence para 3 of draft note suggests no departure on our part from established positions.

If Adenauer opposes proposed mention of possible exchange of views on relation of German and Austrian problems to European security (i.e. third sentence para 3) on grounds that subject cannot be broached until EDC ratified, we wonder why he has himself raised subject publicly? We would not have favored inclusion of sentence in note had we feared it might permit Soviets to drive wedge between us or further to delay French ratification. We think mere mention of this point adds considerably to note, by indicating attitude of reasonableness on Allied side and constituting further bait to Soviets to come to Lugano and moderate their present opposition to German unification. We presume these have been very same considerations which led Adenauer to public mention of subject. Moreover, strong attack which Pravda has just made on security proposal possibilities suggests that West can afford to mention them without fear that Soviets likely to take them up.

We fear in fact Adenauer’s latest remarks to Conant indicate he still basically afraid of Four Power conference in which (if there should be one) we would hope to defeat Soviets and which we believe, especially after last Soviet note, they most anxious to avoid.

Adenauer also seems to be forgetting that one of main reasons we have embarked on this note series is belief we must make it unmistakably clear to French political and public opinion that we have made real effort5 to bring Soviets to Conference table. We convinced that proposed note will be even more effective in “clinching” this matter than September 2 note,6 and that its revision in line of Adenauer’s apparent thinking would only detract from this effect.

[Page 656]

Hope therefore that real effort will be made to persuade Adenauer to accept text, especially as election campaign now over and he should be in much more reasonable mood than end of August.

  1. Drafted by Morris and cleared by Knight, Barbour, Merchant, and MacArthur. Also sent to Bonn and repeated to Paris, Moscow, and Berlin.
  2. Telegram 1361, Document 276. Telegram 1364 reported that from a conversation with Blankenhorn it appeared that Adenauer’s principal objections to the reply were (1) apparent willingness of Western powers to discuss a German peace treaty, and (2) their willingness to discuss security arrangements before the EDC was ratified. (396.1/10–1253)
  3. Telegram 1563 transmitted the Oct. 12 draft reply. (396.1/10–1253)
  4. A copy of this paper, dated Oct. 2, is in CFM files, lot M 88, box 165, “Proposed Talks with the Soviets”.
  5. The end of this sentence read as follows before transmission: “for German settlement on reasonable terms, and that until this accomplished ratification opponents in Paris will continue to urge delays.”
  6. Document 268.