396.1 LO/10–1653: Telegram

No. 296
The United States Delegation at the Tripartite Foreign Ministers Conference to the Department of State 1

Secto 5. Tripartite, morning October 16, section two of two2—draft note to Soviets.3 Bidault opened discussion by stating that although Adenauer’s comments re last sentence paragraph 3 very pertinent, it would be mistake to delete sentence now, after Chancellor’s request had been leaked to press.4 It was German idea originally.

Eden wondered whether idea might be worked in elsewhere in note, since it would be awkward to delete it altogether. Felt that explanation of deletion would be embarrassing to Adenauer as well.

Secretary stated he would have liked to hear better reasons for keeping sentence in than mere fact that Adenauer wanted it out. Emphasized that regardless of legal situation in Germany, practical [Page 695] situation such that we must take reasonable account of wishes of Federal Republic. Pointed out difficulties we had encountered in Korea by taking Korean views for granted. Hoped phraseology could be found which would avoid elimination of idea, but meet legitimate concern of Adenauer that we might embark upon discussion such things as neutralism of Germany without his knowing what was in our minds. We would wish to avoid any suggestion that decision re bases, NATO, EDC could be suspended pending finish of conference with Soviets.

Eden and Bidault agreeable to examining possibility of revising sentence. Eden very pleased with note in its present form and mentioned favorable reception reference to European security had received in NATO meeting.5 Bidault proposed return to French formula disconnecting reference to security from German and Austrian problems.

Secretary stated this would indicate invitation to conference on two subjects, one, Germany, and the other, security arrangements for all Europe. We would be guided to some extent by Bidault’s views re implications such a conference for ratification of EDC.

Bidault said he had changed ground. Since chances for Lugano so slender, he felt offer to Soviets should be as broad and generous as possible and include those guarantees to Soviets which they were not interested in anyway. Re ratification, it was important to show French public that Soviets had not refused a narrow conference but one with broad agenda. Whole question aroused passionate interest in France.

Foreign Ministers confirmed insertion of sentence in paragraph 6 reading: “It has been proposed that discussions shall take place at Panmunjom on arrangements for the conference” (Embtel 16116). Revised phrase in third sentence paragraph 5 to read: “has now passed” instead of “is now impracticable”.

After further discussion of possible revision of last sentence paragraph 3, matter was referred to drafting group.7

  1. Repeated to Paris, Vienna, Moscow, Berlin, and Bonn.
  2. For section one, see Secto 4, supra.
  3. Regarding the draft reply under reference, see telegram 1743 and the editorial note, Documents 274 and 275.
  4. On Oct. 14 the Allied High Commissioners for Germany had given a copy of the latest draft reply to Adenauer who had objected to paragraph 3, especially to the reference in it to European security guarantees. (Telegram 1392 from Bonn, Oct. 14, 396.1/10–1453 and despatch 1255 from Bonn, Oct. 15, 396.1/10–1553)
  5. The text of the draft reply had been disclosed to the North Atlantic Council on Oct. 15. (Polto 586 from Paris, Oct. 15, 396.1/10–1553)
  6. Telegram 1611 reported British agreement with various minor changes in the draft reply to the Soviet Union. (396.1/10–1453)
  7. During the afternoon of Oct. 16 the drafting party agreed to drop the offending sentence in paragraph 3 and revised paragraph 2 to incorporate a reference to European security. This new draft reply was approved by the Foreign Ministers at 4:15 p.m.; shown to Adenauer, Mayor Schreiber, and Foreign Minister Gruber the following day; and delivered to the Soviet Foreign Ministry on Oct. 18. The U.S. Delegation reported on the work of the drafting group and the Foreign Ministers meeting in Secto 6 from London, Oct. 16. (396.1 LO/10–1653) For text of the note as delivered on Oct. 18, see Document 279.