Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 165

No. 279
The Embassy of the United States to the Soviet Ministry for Foreign Affairs1
The US Government in its customary close consultation with the Government of the United Kingdom and France, has carefully studied the Soviet Government’s reply of September 282 to the proposals of the three Western powers for a four-power meeting at Lugano on October 15. The Government of the German Federal Republic and the German authorities in Berlin have also been consulted.
A satisfactory settlement of the problems relating to Germany and Austria is clearly essential for any real and lasting relaxation of international tension and is vital to the future of the people of those countries. The US Government recalling its earlier notes of July 15 and September 2,3 is firmly of the opinion that real progress towards a solution of major international questions, including the problem of European security, can be made by frank discussions on Germany and Austria at a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the US, USSR, UK and France and not by embarking upon a further exchange of notes. The US Government trusts that the Soviet note reflects a willingness promptly to discuss these subjects.
Such a meeting will enable the Soviet Government to state its views on any aspect of the German and Austrian questions which it may wish to present. For its part, the US Government welcomes the opportunity to put forward its views concerning questions dealt with in its previous notes.
As regards the Soviet proposal that the Austrian question be discussed in the ordinary diplomatic way, it is the view of the US [Page 657] Government that diplomatic channels are always available and this government will continue to give its most careful consideration to any Soviet proposal re the treaty which may be thus submitted. However, as no progress has been made through such channels during the past few years, the United States Government is of the opinion that discussion by the four Foreign Ministers themselves represent the most practicable way to end the present stalemate and reach agreement on a treaty.
A solution of the German and Austrian questions is long overdue. The Foreign Ministers of the United States, United Kingdom and France, conscious of the special responsibilities which their governments together with the Soviet Government share in regard to Germany and Austria, therefore, desire to consider these questions together with the Soviet Foreign Minister as soon as feasible. Since the date of October 15 originally suggested has now passed, the United States Government proposes that the Foreign Ministers should meet at Lugano on November 9. They sincerely hope that the Soviet Government will agree to participate.
The Soviet note also proposes an additional five power conference to consider measures to lessen tensions in international relations. The United States Government is always ready and willing to discuss the underlying causes of such tensions with a view to their removal. But it wishes to do so under conditions which offer reasonable prospects for positive results and assure that the views of the directly interested governments are properly represented. Accordingly, the United States Government has already agreed to the political conference on Korea in the form proposed by the Communist side in the Korean armistice negotiations and recommended in the armistice agreement and by the United Nations General Assembly. It has been proposed that discussions shall take place at Panmunjom on arrangements for the conference. All the five governments mentioned in the Soviet note could be represented at this conference which it is hoped will meet at an early date. Its object is precisely to remove one of the major sources of tension in the Far East, thus opening the way for an early peaceful settlement of other international problems now existing in this part of the world. Other matters mentioned in the Soviet note, such as the disarmament question, are under either current or projected discussion in the United Nations General Assembly. Indeed, several of the subjects mentioned in the Soviet note were recently inscribed on the agenda of the current General Assembly at the request of the Soviet Union. In addition, the United States Government remains ready to discuss through ordinary diplomatic channels any points which any government may wish to raise.
Thus, on these various questions, the way is open for progress. If in addition a fruitful discussion can now take place at Lugano, the way it would be paved for discussion of other major questions and for restoring the necessary conditions for peaceful and friendly relations among nations.
  1. Transmitted in Secto 15 from London, Oct. 17, which states that it had been approved by the Foreign Ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France after consultation with Chancellor Adenauer, Mayor Schreiber, and Foreign Minister Gruber.
  2. Document 271.
  3. Documents 257 and 268.