Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 192

No. 382
Minutes of a Meeting of the Tripartite Working Group, Berlin, January 29, 1954, 10:30 a.m.

  • Present
    • united states
      • Mr. MacArthur
    • france
      • M. Seydoux
    • united kingdom
      • Sir Frank Roberts
      • Sir Derek Hoyer Millar

1. Group to Prepare Tripartite Positions on Five-Power Conference.

Sir Frank suggested that Mr. Allen, M. Roux, and Mr. McConaughy commence work on the tripartite position to be taken next Wednesday on the subject of a Five-Power Conference. Mr. MacArthur said that the United States might not be ready to start work today but in any event Mr. McConaughy would get in touch with Mr. Allen to set a time for the meeting of this group.

2. Group to Consider Soviet Disarmament Proposal.

At Sir Frank’s suggestion that a group be set up on this subject, Mr. MacArthur said that the United States was not as yet sure who our representatives would be but that the Ministers would probably talk about this subject at our meeting at 2:30 this [Page 870] afternoon.1 Mr. Williams and M. Broustra will be the representatives from the U.K. And French delegations.

3. Agreement on No Conference Session for Sunday.

Since this matter had been agreed with the Russians, it was decided that M. Bidault would mention the point at tomorrow’s meeting.

4. Today’s Tactics.

United States Position. Secretary Dulles on opening the meeting will turn to M. Bidault to commence the discussion on Item 2 of the agenda.2 Final decision had not been made regarding Mr. Dulles’ moves if he is interrupted by Mr. Molotov on a point of order. This was a matter that would probably be discussed by the Ministers at 2:30.
French Position. Mr. Dulles will open the discussion on disarmament and turn to M. Bidault who will make a speech on this subject and present a resolution to the conference.
United Kingdom position. Same as U.S. with the exception that if Molotov raises a point of order it would be preferable to listen to a day’s discussion on disarmament or at least one speech from Mr. Molotov than to get into an endless harangue on a procedural point. The U.K. are always willing to have Mr. Eden speak first on Germany so that the UK proposal would be tabled immediately. Mr. Eden has prepared a half-hour speech. If it becomes so late that it would be difficult for Mr. Eden to make his speech he would merely table the UK proposal and speak to it on Saturday.

5. GDR Federal Representative Participation.

If Mr. Molotov raises this point, Mr. Eden would be prepared to say that the UK had always maintained the Germans should participate in discussion of the settlement of this problem. That is why they have held that there should be freely elected representatives of the German people to make such participation possible. If the East Germans were as well represented by their government as the West Germans were by theirs, there would be no problems.

6. Consultation with Representatives of the Federal Republic on the U.K. Proposal.

The Working Group agreed that five of the eight points made by the Germans could be met and would be reflected in the final version of the proposal.3 The three points that could not be met were:

To state that there should be a six-month period between the promulgation of the Electoral Law and the elections;
To state that the plan would involve termination of the East German regime; and
To set forth bargaining points which could be given up in favor of the present draft as the irreducible minimum (see BER MIN–54).

Sir Derek will tell Mr. Blankenhorn of the agreement reached in the tripartite Working Group and will explain that the UK must have full liberty to take over. In the event that it is not possible to table the proposal this afternoon, there will be no opportunity for further consultation with the Germans.

  1. No record of the Foreign Ministers meeting at 2:30 has been found in Department of State files.
  2. Germany.
  3. For the final text of this proposal, see FPM(54)17, Document 510.
  4. Document 372.