396.1/11–753: Telegram

No. 282
The Ambassador in France (Dillon) to the Department of State1
secret priority

1813. Reference immediately preceding telegram.2 Following is tripartite draft text:

  • “(1) In close consultation with governments of France and UK, US Government has carefully studied Soviet Government’s note of November 33 in reply to its note of October 184 in which it was proposed that four Foreign Ministers should meet at Lugano November 9. (Comment: French suggested omitting reference this time to consultation with Federal Government and German authorities Berlin since this note somewhat different from previous and perhaps preferable omit unless Adenauer has contrary views.)
  • (2) US Government noted that Soviet Government has for third time ignored invitation addressed to it which it was intended should lead to study of most urgent international problems. US Government is still of opinion that best way of reducing international tension is to persevere in constructive efforts to resolve existing problems step by step, starting with those which best lend themselves to an early solution. With this in mind, US Government proposed meeting of four Foreign Ministers about Germany and Austria and continues to pursue its efforts to enable political conference on Korea to take place. It remains of opinion that negotiations on these issues could clear ground, open way to broader agreement, and thus improve chances of reestablishing real peace in the world.
  • (3) To judge from its note of November 3, Soviet Government sees matter in different light. It prefers that Foreign Ministers should deal in first instance with international problems of so general a character that Ministers could not consider them with any chance of success in absence of real progress on the most urgent concrete questions.
  • (4) Although US Government laid down no conditions in its invitation and sought increasingly to take into account, insofar as possible, view of Soviet Government, latter has made a meeting of Foreign Ministers conditional upon acceptance of a number of demands. This would entail abandonment by US, UK and France of all their plans to safeguard their own security. A defenseless Western Europe appears to be price demanded by Soviet Government for participation in a conference. Soviet Government must be well aware that such demands are totally unacceptable.
  • (5) It therefore seems that Soviet Government does not wish, at least at present time, to open any negotiations which might lead to positive results. US Government is nevertheless determined to let no opportunity pass of contributing to lessening of international tension which remains essential objective of its policy. It intends to continue its efforts to achieve peaceful reunification of Germany. It would like the four Foreign Ministers or their deputies to conclude Austrian state treaty as rapidly as possible, and it hopes that note addressed separately to Soviet Government in reply to its communication of August 28 will help to achieve this.5 (Comment: French propose separate note to Soviets re Austria as indicated Embtel 1774 November 5.6) Invitation which it has already extended to Soviet Government, and which latter has so far felt unable to accept, therefore remains open.”7

  1. Repeated to Bonn, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, and London.
  2. Telegram 1812 reported that the tripartite working group began meeting at Paris on Nov. 7 and agreed on a tentative reply working from a French draft. (396.1/11–753)
  3. Document 280.
  4. Document 279.
  5. Regarding the Soviet note of Aug. 28, see Document 882.
  6. Telegram 1774 reported that Sauvagnargues had suggested replying to the Soviet note of Aug. 28 in a separate note from that on Germany. (396.1 PA/11–553)
  7. On Nov. 9 the Department of State commented on this draft, expressing its pleasure at the text, but suggesting the retention of consultation with the Germans in paragraph 1, adding minor changes in the remaining paragraphs, and specifically requesting the deletion of any mention of a separate note on Austria. (Telegram 1775 to Paris, Nov. 9, 396.1/11–953)