396.1 BE/2–1154

No. 459
United States Delegation Record of the Second Restricted Meeting of the Berlin Conference, February 11, 1954, 3–5:10 p.m.1

top secret
  • Participants: United States
    • Secretary Dulles
    • Mr. Bohlen
    • Mr. Merchant
    • Mr. MacArthur (Mr. Nash replaced Mr. MacArthur for the second half of the session.)
  • Soviet Union
    • Mr. Molotov
    • Mr. Gromyko
    • Mr. Malik
    • Mr. Troyanovsky (interpreter)
  • United Kingdom
    • Mr. Eden
    • Sir Frank Roberts
    • Mr. Denis Allen
    • Mr. Birsie (interpreter)
  • France
    • M. Bidault
    • M. Parodi
    • M. Roux
    • M. Andronikof (interpreter)
    • (Chairman of Meeting, Secretary Dulles)

First half of session:

Secretary Dulles opened the meeting by saying that at the last restricted meeting on Monday, February 8,2 of which today’s meeting was a continuance, the United States Delegation submitted a proposal3 which it understood was not acceptable to the Soviet Union. Mr. Dulles said he would be glad, however, to know whether the Soviet Foreign Minister had any further observations, suggestions, or counterproposals to submit.

Mr. Molotov said the Soviet Delegation was in a position to submit a proposal on the subject considered at the last meeting. On some points it came close to the United States proposal. On others it was different, and he would now submit this new Soviet proposal.4

Mr. Dulles asked whether Mr. Molotov had any explanatory comments he wished to make.

Mr. Molotov said he believed it was a clear proposal. If any explanations were required, he would be glad to give them.

(There was a delay in the proceedings of about five minutes while Secretary Dulles, Mr. Eden, and M. Bidault read the Soviet proposal.)

Mr. Dulles said he had a few questions to ask about the new Soviet proposal but would give M. Bidault the first opportunity to comment.

M. Bidault said, if Mr. Dulles wished.

Mr. Eden said he would be interested in hearing Mr. Dulles’ questions.

Mr. Dulles said he would be glad if Mr. Molotov would clarify the last paragraph of his proposal. Mr. Dulles quotes point one of the last paragraph (–6(1)–), referring to the items to be considered: “Statements by the delegations of the above-mentioned countries which would take part in the conference and an exchange of views on such statements.”

[Page 1038]

Mr. Molotov asked what was the question which arose?

Mr. Dulles asked if this statement in the Soviet proposal that “the statements by the delegations of the above-mentioned countries, etc. …”5 referred to the five powers mentioned above in paragraph 4 of the Soviet proposal?

Mr. Molotov said that the five powers mentioned could, of course, make statements. Naturally, other countries could be invited to the conference for consideration of specific subjects which concern them, and they, too, could make statements.

Mr. Dulles continued by asking if these statements would refer to any matters covered in the first paragraph? He asked whether the reference to “other urgent questions including” meant that any question on international affairs would be discussed at this conference.

Mr. Molotov asked if there were other questions, or whether he should reply now.

Mr. Dulles said these were his only questions for the moment.

Mr. Molotov asked if any of his other colleagues had questions.

M. Bidault said that at first sight he thought the new Soviet text contained elements which seemed close to the proposal submitted by Mr. Dulles last Monday which the French supported, but in examining the complete Soviet text, this did not appear to be so. What was proposed was a five-power conference—a conference with four countries inviting another country. These five countries would then invite other countries.

He said that furthermore, in the last paragraph of the Soviet proposal (paragraph 6 of the Soviet proposal), Korea was specifically mentioned, but Indochina was not. Indochina was presumably alluded to indirectly in the second paragraph of the Soviet proposal, by the reference therein to “other urgent problems, etc. …” Thus, Indochina was referred to only by implication. What had happened to the specific reference to Indochina contained in the proposal tabled last Monday?6

Furthermore, he continued, why did the Soviet proposal suggest such an agenda if a conference acceptable to all of us was desired? He had never seen an agenda formulated on as general a basis as a mere reference to statements by the participants; that this was too vague and did not indicate what the conference was supposed to deal with. What we wanted were results. General statements about general subjects would simply widen the debate and make more difficult the attainment of concrete results.

[Page 1039]

To sum up, five powers would talk, on the basis of four inviting powers and one power to be invited. These would in turn invite other powers on subjects which might concern them. There was no mention of Indochina. He was afraid there was not enough substance in the Soviet proposal to correspond with realities. That was all he had to comment on for the moment.

Mr. Eden said he had only one question for the moment. Regarding paragraph 5, which read “Agree further that the other countries concerned shall also be invited to take part in the said conference during consideration of appropriate matters thereat,” was it left to five powers to decide what other countries would be invited and what subjects would be discussed? Mr. Molotov said today that there were parts of his proposal similar to the United States resolution, and other parts that were not. It seemed to him, Mr. Eden, that there was a fundamental difference. The chief difference was that Mr. Molotov started on the basis of five powers and a wide agenda which would be fixed by the statements of the five powers themselves, and only subsequently did we turn to the immediate and urgent problem of Korea. He believed it would be better to begin with a conference on Korea, with the participation of all the interested parties including the four powers here, the “Chinese Peoples Republic”, and those countries which had contributed forces to the United Nations Command in Korea which wished to attend.

Mr. Dulles asked if Mr. Eden had purposely omitted Korea.

Mr. Eden said he had not. He had meant to include North and South Korea when he referred to “the interested parties”.

Mr. Molotov said he would give the reply to the questions in the order in which they were put. He wanted first to reply to Mr. Dulles’ question regarding the last paragraph (6) of the Soviet proposal. This paragraph was, of course, related to paragraph 2 of his proposal, but before they went further he believed they should decide how to number the paragraphs in his proposal. (The paragraphs were numbered 1 through 6, with 6 having a sub-paragraph (1) and a sub-paragraph (2).) When they spoke of paragraph 6, they should bear in mind that it was closely connected with paragraph 2. That meant that the questions which would be raised under paragraph 2 would relate to the discussion in paragraph 6.

Now, as for substance, the Soviet Delegation had tried to meet the views expressed in the United States proposal by limiting in its own proposal the questions which the conference should consider. In other words, they had proposed a more limited agenda than they really liked. In this connection, paragraph 2 of the Soviet proposal indicated the questions which should be discussed at the conference.

[Page 1040]

In both paragraph 2 and paragraph 6 specific reference was made to Korea. Furthermore, paragraph 2 spoke of other urgent problems in Asia including peace in Asia. Paragraph 2 also would cover Indochina. Therefore, in view of the relationship he had mentioned between paragraphs 2 and 6, Indochina was also covered in paragraph 6. In other words, in paragraph 5 of the United States proposal, specific mention was made of Indochina, whereas in paragraph 6 of the Soviet draft, no specific mention was made, but it was implied. If it was important to mention Indochina, he thought it could be arranged.

Mr. Molotov said he had answered Mr. Dulles and I had partly answered M. Bidault. Now he wanted to refer to another remark by M. Bidault. The Soviet Delegation had in mind that under paragraph 6 (1) questions raised by the discussion and statements in paragraph 2 could be considered by the conference. That would cover Indochina. They believed the formulation in paragraph 2 of their proposal was better, since it provided the different delegations to the conference the opportunity to talk about those matters which were of primary interest to them. Here at Berlin there were present only four of the participants in this future conference. There was a fifth participant—the “Chinese Peoples Republic”, which was not present at Berlin. As a courtesy, they wanted to give the fifth participant an opportunity at the future conference to make statements, because it had no opportunity to express its views at Berlin.

He wanted to say again that if it would be helpful specifically to mention Indochina, he saw no objection.

Now, to reply to Mr. Eden’s question as to who would decide on the invitations, the invitations would be left to the five Foreign Ministers as provided in the Soviet draft. In reply to Mr. Eden’s question as to what countries should be invited, he, Mr. Molotov, would say that paragraph 4 of their draft clearly provided that all interested countries should be invited, and he didn’t think there should be any limitations placed on that.

He continued by saying that as for the agenda, Mr. Eden had suggested that they were proposing a very wide agenda, but if he would examine the text of the Soviet proposal he would see that they had agreed not to have a wide agenda, but an agenda which would be limited to questions which would arise from the statements made in paragraph 2 of the proposal—i.e., “urgent problems including peace in other parts of Asia”. As for the order of the agenda set forth in paragraph 6, he believed the order suggested in the Soviet proposal would best conform to the interests of the conference.

Mr. Dulles asked M. Bidault if he had any observations.

[Page 1041]

M. Bidault said it was difficult for him to consider that paragraphs 2 and 6 of the Soviet proposal were identical. Insofar as Indochina was concerned, it was perhaps implicit only in paragraph 2, and not mentioned in paragraph 6. In paragraph 2, Indochina could only be inferred from the phrase “other urgent questions in Asia”, whereas Korea was specifically referred to as “Korea” in the Soviet proposal.

He said that Mr. Molotov also referred to the Soviet proposal as containing a limited agenda. This was true because paragraph 6 of the Soviet proposal terminated the agenda after Korea, but at the same time paragraph 6(1) was very wide and elastic because anyone could talk about anything.

M. Bidault said Mr. Molotov also mentioned that courtesy should be shown to the fifth member of the proposed conference. M. Bidault said he would be more inclined to talk about courtesy if the country referred to were not sending shells and bullets against them. The agenda was so wide that it would lead to a general discussion of broad considerations which would not advance the solution of specific questions.

In view of the ideological differences, specific questions would be subordinated to ideological discussions, which would make any real progress on specific subjects difficult. He wished to repeat that our objective was not a conference, whether it be of five, nineteen, two, or three, but to arrive at solutions of concrete problems. In Korea, there was an Armistice, while war was still going on in Indochina. One of the first objectives of such a conference should be the stopping of bloodshed where it was now taking place, in conformity with the principles of the United Nations.

Because the Soviet proposal started out at the end of the problem rather than at its beginning, and because implicit in it was the fact that the five inviting members might oppose an invitation to others such as Indochina, he could not take this text as a basis for discussion.

Mr. Dulles said the Soviet text seemed a very defective one if our purpose was to make any practical progress. The second paragraph, which Mr. Molotov pointed out controlled paragraph 6, was not limited. It included all urgent problems. While the third paragraph spoke of the difficulties encountered in convening a political conference on Korea, it did not lead to any concrete solution to the problem because it left very vague the countries which would be invited to participate in the conference, as Mr. Eden had pointed out. Mr. Dulles was aware that Mr. Molotov had said that all countries concerned should be invited to the conference. But did he really mean that? For example, Japan is very much concerned in the problems of Asia. Did Mr. Molotov envisage Japan would be invited? He [Page 1042] thought not. He took it that each of the five countries would have a veto power on the invitations. He also took it that the first task would be discussion envisaged in paragraph 1 and statements that would be made in connection therewith could cover all the agenda problems in this world. This might in itself take a month or two before the conference came to the question of invitations, on which point it could be deadlocked.

Therefore, Mr. Dulles did not see that the proposed text advanced in any appreciable fashion the holding of a political conference on Korea, and if the statements which would be made under paragraph 6(1) and the negotiations envisaged under paragraph 6(2) regarding the political conference all took place first, it would be a long, long time before we would get to grips with any problem on a concrete basis.

As he had made clear at this conference in earlier discussions on the Soviet proposal to convene a five-power conference, the United States Government would not sit down with the Chinese Communist government except in those instances where there was a concrete case where the Chinese Communists because of their actual position must be dealt with. Korea was such a case, as was Indochina. And, the United States would only sit down with the Chinese Communists on the basis of a clear understanding that such discussions did not constitute recognition of the Chinese Communist regime, as had been made very clear in paragraph 6 of the United States proposal. Mr. Dulles said he begged Mr. Molotov to believe that when he said this, he meant it. He interpreted the Soviet proposal of today as only a slight re-write of the Soviet original proposition which was rejected.7 Insofar as the United States was concerned, he found the present Soviet text basically unacceptable. This proposal would solve nothing which was now unsolved, and would require the United States to recognize the regime of the Chinese Communists as one of the five great powers of the world. This we were not prepared to do, and he could not but interpret the Soviet proposal as other than a waste of our time.

Mr. Eden said that all he could add was some explanation as to why the terms of the proposed agenda and the definition of the countries to attend were so unsatisfactory. As he had often said, we could only hope to make progress in solving the problems of Asia if we limited ourselves to definite and specific topics. There were two such topics—these were Korea and Indochina. Therefore, he would like to see the agenda limited to Korea and Indochina. This in itself, would help us to solve other problems connected with this [Page 1043] entire question, since it would clearly delineate who should attend such a conference. Under the Soviet proposal there was nothing to prevent any one of the five powers from vetoing an invitation to other interested participants. He couldn’t possibly agree to a situation where a five-power conference was accepted and then later one of the five made it impossible for an interested party to attend. That is why he strongly favored the United States proposal, which provided that the invitations would be issued from here by the four countries meeting at Berlin. We must hold to this unless we wished to see the question of who may come to such a conference revised by the five powers, and to this he could not agree.

Mr. Molotov said he would like to deal with the major differences which had been mentioned here. First of all, regarding paragraph 2 of the Soviet draft, it was true that it called for a wider agenda than that proposed by the United States draft. But, it was a narrower agenda than that originally proposed by the Soviet Delegation. He believed, however, that they could take the formula proposed by the United States. Accordingly, paragraph 6(1) could be revised so that it conformed with paragraph 2 of the United States proposal. Furthermore, we could change the order of the two subparagraphs of paragraph 6 of the Soviet proposal so that paragraph 6(2) became paragraph 6(1), and 6(1) became paragraph 6(2). This could be done by a change of wording. He had no new wording ready at hand at this time, but was sure they could develop it. This would mean that in paragraph 6, the first sub-paragraph would deal with the Korean matter and the second sub-paragraph would relate to other questions.

He continued by saying that Mr. Eden attached great importance to the question of invitations. The invitations were, of course, important, but in seeking solution to this question in Berlin we should bear in mind that if our invitations did not meet with favorable response we would not advance a solution to the problem which we were trying to achieve here. The Soviet Union could not speak for the “Chinese Peoples Republic” and could not estimate its reaction to any proposals which might be agreed at Berlin. It was desirable, therefore, to be sure that when we agreed to a proposal here it would be met with favorable response from others.

He wanted to say a few more words about the question of invitations. Regarding Korea, the United States draft mentioned precisely the countries which should take part. The Soviet Delegation had no objection to the substance of the United States draft. Each of the interested parties should be included if they so desired, but the conference should not be limited to Korea. There were other questions which should be discussed by the interested parties. His draft provided that other countries concerned could take part in a conference, [Page 1044] but he wanted to reply to Mr. Dulles that they did not have Japan in mind.

They also believed we should avoid a situation where there is a veto on invitations. Therefore, the formula which was agreed here should be such as to avoid any difficulty on problems such as the veto on invitations, etc.

Finally, he continued, paragraph 6 of the United States proposal stated that the convening of such a conference did not involve diplomatic recognition. They believed it would be better not to include this statement in any common proposal which the four made. The United States would, of course, be at liberty to make a separate statement on this, as would anyone else. But, if it was important to have this in the proposal, they might even be able to find a formula to deal with it.

Mr. Dulles said he was sure they all appreciated the explanation which Mr. Molotov had given them. It had cleared up many of the questions which were raised. He still had to ask himself, however, whether Mr. Molotov’s proposal, if adopted, would solve any of the problems which were now unsolved. Or, did it merely mean that all the present unsolved problems remained, with the hope that with the presence of Communist China they would all be solved? If he understood the statement of Mr. Molotov clearly, he, Molotov, found acceptable the language of paragraph 4 of the United States proposal dealing with the countries to be invited to the political conference. If this was a fact, it was encouraging and would seem to mark some progress. His satisfaction was somewhat mitigated, however, by the fact that as he understood Mr. Molotov the Chinese Communists would have also to pass judgment on this question, and Mr. Molotov could not speak for it. Since the United States, on behalf of the United Nations Command in Korea, had been debating the question of a political conference, and who should attend, with the Chinese Communist regime for the last six months, and given the differences which had developed in these discussions, there would seem to be some difficulties. What he wanted from Mr. Molotov was clarification as to whether the four Ministers could invite Communist China to the conference which they had envisaged. Would Mr. Molotov care to enlighten them on this?

Mr. Molotov, in replying, said that as for the question of China, he could only repeat what he said at the first restricted meeting last Monday, which was that the Soviet Delegation was not authorized to speak for the “Chinese Peoples Republic”, and if the Ministers want their views they must get in touch with them and ask them. As for the other point, the Soviet Union voted against the [Page 1045] United Nations resolution of August 288 and it had not changed its position. The “Chinese Peoples Republic” also objected to this resolution, and insofar as he knew it had not changed its attitude. On the other hand, the Soviet proposal for the convening of a five-power conference was supported and approved by the government of the “Chinese Peoples Republic”, as was made clear by the January 29 statement of Chou En-lai.

It remained for him only to say a few words regarding the question of invitations. He said Mr. Dulles should bear in mind that the Soviet Delegation raised no objection in substance to the United States proposal in its paragraph 3, but the formulation of this question would have to be agreed. The Soviet Delegation considered that not only Korea but other problems including Indochina should be discussed. Therefore, you could not reduce the number of countries to attend the conference to just those interested in Korea.

As for the repeated derogatory remarks regarding the “Chinese Peoples Republic”, its government, and its policies, he did not consider these remarks wise. Nor did he believe they would advance our work, but he did not intend to reply to them.

Mr. Dulles asked if it were clear that so far as the Korean question was concerned the Soviet Delegation accepted the formula set forth in paragraph 4 of the United States proposal.

Mr. Molotov said he had already replied to that. Instead of paragraph 4 of the United States draft, they were proposing that paragraphs 4 and 5 of their draft be combined to replace paragraph 4 of the United States draft.

Mr. Eden said he did not believe that five countries had the right to sit down and settle the fate of the world, but they did have the right to sit down with other interested countries to discuss certain specific problems which concerned them and other specific countries. In connection with this entire matter of a future conference, he had only one other observation for the moment. If there were to be such a conference, we must get the matter entirely straight here. We could not repeat the Panmunjom exercise, which has involved arguing for months and months regarding invitations and participants.

(As it was 5:15, Mr. Dulles suggested a recess.)

The Restricted Meeting reassembled from recess at 5:35 (Nash replaced MacArthur at this point).

The Secretary having ascertained that the other Ministers were ready to resume turned to M. Bidault.

[Page 1046]

M. Bidault stated that the French Delegation had a proposal to submit and that before tabling it he would like to make a few explanatory remarks. He said that he would not stress the place assigned to Indochina in paragraph 6 of the Soviet proposal. He would merely content himself with remarking that the place assigned was extraordinary considering that Indochina was the only area in which open warfare was being conducted at the present time. He went on to say that the central point of the Soviet proposal seemed to be paragraphs 4 and 5 and that according to paragraph 4, it was contemplated that the Four Ministers should agree here at Berlin on only one invitation, i.e., to Communist China. This, he added, had the effect of disinviting all the other participants provided for by the United Nations. The U.S. text, on the other hand, took account of this difficulty, as well as of the factual situation. He went on to say that it was no doubt important, as Mr. Molotov had suggested, that the attitude of Communist China toward the acceptance of an invitation was important. He said, however, that he understood Mr. Molotov as saying that we were agreed on the substance of this and that therefore Communist China could accept the invitation without great difficulty. However, he said that Mr. Molotov had said nothing concerning the participants in a conference of problems other than Korea and that the Soviet proposal had made no suggestions in this connection.

M. Bidault then made some remarks to the effect that obviously a Five Power Conference could have no fewer participants than five. He then went on to read in French the text of the French proposal. The informal English translation of the French text follows:

“The Foreign Ministers of France, the United Kingdom, the USSR and the United States, meeting in Berlin,

Considering that the establishment, by peaceful means, of a united and independent Korea would be an important factor in reducing international tensions and in restoring peace in other parts of Asia,

Agree to invite representatives of the Chinese People’s Republic, of the Republic of Korea, of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea and of any of those countries which contributed forces to the United Nations Command in Korea which may desire to participate, to meet with the representatives of the Four Powers in a Conference to be held in Geneva on April 15th for the purpose of reaching a peaceful settlement of the Korea question.

Agree, further, that, if and when the discussions of the above-mentioned Conference and the situation in South East Asia show that favorable prospects for peace exist, the representatives of the Four Ministers will jointly agree on the conditions for calling another conference for the restoration of peace in Indochina.

It is understood that neither the invitation to, nor the holding of, the above-mentioned political conference shall be deemed to imply [Page 1047] diplomatic recognition in any case where it has not already been accorded.”

After reading the text, M. Bidault said that he believed it took account of much that had been said at the table during the two restricted meetings and that in large measure it reflected the discussion of February 8 of the U.S. proposal which had been supported by France and the U.K. He pointed out, however, that it did not contain the accusations against Communist China which had appeared in the U.S. text and to which Mr. Molotov had objected. Nevertheless, he said that these accusations had not been withdrawn, M. Bidault concluded by saying that he believed his text should meet the Soviet objections and that the language could not offend anyone, however bad their conscience.

The Secretary then turned to Mr. Eden for comment.

Mr. Eden said simply that he agreed with the text of the French proposal and felt that it represented a good compromise.

Mr. Molotov said that he had only had a very brief look at the French proposal, which was not yet available in the Russian language, but as a preliminary comment, it appeared to him the question of Indochina would be left for the very distant future. First, he said, apparently would come the Korean Political Conference, then its success and only thereafter would Indochina be raised. In general, he said, M. Bidault’s draft seemed to him similar to the U.S. text but more complicated. Moreover, Mr. Molotov said, paragraph 3 of the French text was worth serious attention because the Soviet Delegation had previously objected to this point. It maintained its objections to the paragraph in its present form. Mr. Molotov said that naturally the Soviet Delegation would study this French proposal more carefully and would express its views in more specific form later. He then suggested it might perhaps be best to revert to the Soviet text. He added that he had certain amendments to propose to it.

The Secretary opened by noting that the French proposal seemed to eliminate paragraph 3 of the U.S. text which dealt with the UNGA resolution to which the Soviet Delegation had objected.

The Secretary said that paragraph 3 of the French text corresponded to paragraph 4 of the U.S. text to which he had understood Mr. Molotov had said that he had no objection. Mr. Molotov’s discussion at this point, however, had been obscure and consequently the Secretary felt he could speak with little confidence on this point. The Secretary said that this paragraph contained a date and place acceptable to the U.S.

The Secretary added that paragraph 4 of the French proposal naturally modified paragraph 5 of the U.S. text in that it eliminated [Page 1048] any specific testing of the Chinese Communists spirit of peace. He said that he felt bound to state that the U.S. preferred its text in this matter. He added that in all frankness he should also say that there seemed little use in thinking of a conference for peace in Indochina unless, in fact, the Chinese Communists gave proof of their spirit of peace both in the Korean Political Conference and in their conduct in promoting the war in Indochina. However, the U.S. in a spirit of conciliation, and in order to attempt to meet the views expressed on February 8 by Mr. Molotov would be willing to accept the French text which lacked any specific expression of the need for proofs from the Chinese Communists. Consequently, if the French proposal commended itself to the other three Ministers, the U.S. was prepared to accept it.

The Secretary went on to say that the French text had the great virtue of settling certain matters, whereas as he read it, the Soviet proposal settled nothing. Mr. Molotov had indicated that he did not believe that the French text advanced the holding of a conference on Indochina but to him the fact seemed to be exactly the contrary. The Secretary pointed out that the French proposal provided for the settlement of the question of composition, date and place for the Korean Political Conference which had been left unsettled in the Soviet text. The Secretary further pointed out that the French text did not require that the Korean Political Conference be concluded as Mr. Molotov had suggested before the conference on Indochina could be considered. It merely said or implied that if the conduct of the parties at the Korean Political Conference made it seem desirable to have another conference and that if the conduct of those who were influencing events in Southeast Asia was inspired by peace, then it would be possible to have a conference on Indochina.

The Secretary concluded by saying that the pessimistic view expressed by Mr. Molotov could only be justified if Mr. Molotov assumed that the Chinese Communists would be obstructive at the Korean Political Conference and continued their aggressive actions in Southeast Asia. He said he hoped that it would not be necessary to accept this assumption. The Secretary then turned to M. Bidault.

M. Bidault said that he had little more to say at this point. He referred to Mr. Molotov’s suggestion that Indochina was distant in the French draft and said that it seemed to him that Indochina was out of sight in the Soviet text. He pointed out that it was perfectly reasonable to demand that the Korean Political Conference, which had been promised for months, should in fact be held. He said that the French text in paragraph 3 retained the essence of the U.S. comparable stipulation for this obvious reason.

[Page 1049]

M. Bidault went on to say that quite clearly a conference on Indochina should not have the same composition as one for Korea. He said that an Indochinese conference depended on a Korean Political Conference and on the attitude of China. He concluded by expressing his conviction that the French proposal merited the most serious attention and that it took account of the prolonged discussion and the realities of the situation.

Mr. Eden, who spoke next, said that on rereading the French draft, it seemed to him that it met those points which had been of concern to him, as well as quite a number of those points raised by Mr. Molotov. He said that he hoped that with the help of the French proposal the Ministers could make progress on this topic.

Mr. Molotov said that he recognized certain positive aspects of the French proposal which, he agreed with the Secretary, contained a number of advantages and made some points more precise. He agreed that this made a contribution to the proposal.

Mr. Molotov noted that a time was named for the conference and said he believed that agreement could be reached on this point. He also thought agreement could be reached on the place.

With respect to paragraph 3 of the French proposal, it seemed to him that the composition remained as before and that this provoked doubts in the mind of the Soviet Delegation. He would, therefore, suggest another version.

Mr. Molotov then suggested approximately the following (which was read from a heavily marked up hand written text) as a substitute for paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Soviet draft:

“4. Agree to call a conference of the Foreign Ministers of the countries concerned, and also

Agree that in addition to France, the U.K., U.S. and USSR and the Chinese People’s Republic, who would take part in the consideration of the questions to be discussed at this conference regarding Korea, the Republic of Korea, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, and other countries directly concerned in the Korean question would be invited to take part in the conference. Also, in connection with the consideration of matters relating to the restoration of peace in other parts of Asia (Indochina) the representatives of the appropriate areas of Asia be invited.”

The Secretary asked Mr. Molotov how this proposal differed from the U.S. and French proposals insofar as Korea was concerned. He said that both the U.S. and French texts referred to “countries who contributed forces to the UN Command”. Mr. Molotov had referred to “nations directly concerned”. The Secretary asked whether there was any difference.

Mr. Molotov replied that the sense of the Soviet proposal was that the Foreign Ministers of the Five Powers would take part in [Page 1050] the conference. When Korean problems were considered the two Korean Republics and other countries directly concerned would be invited. When matters regarding other parts of Asia were under consideration, representatives from other appropriate areas of Asia would be invited.

The Secretary at this point rejoined that it might be better to withhold further discussion until all the Ministers had the text of the Soviet proposal before them. Meanwhile he wished to bring up another matter unless his colleagues had anything further to say at this time. M. Bidault said he had a great deal to say but not today.

Mr. Eden indicated that he would wait happily for a future time to express himself.

The Secretary then said that he desired to ask his colleagues to consider the program for the next few days. He said that his own time was not unlimited. The Secretary noted that the three Western Powers had proposed an earlier date in January for a Berlin conference but had acquiesced to the Soviet suggestion that it open on January 25. He went on to say that as was well known, there was a quadriennial meeting of the American States in Caracas on March 1, which meant that he would have to leave Washington for that conference before the end of February.

Meanwhile the Secretary said it would be necessary for him to be in Washington to report to the President and to Congress, among other things, and to make plans in connection with the Caracas conference. The Secretary then inserted the suggestion that he imagined Mr. Molotov would be the last to desire that he neglect his duties in America, as the representative of an American country. He hoped that the Four Ministers could shortly agree on a date for the adjournment of the Berlin Conference and that he hoped they could do so sufficiently in advance as to enable them best to organize the remaining time. The Secretary noted that they had still to dispose finally of the Five Power Conference matter, as well as Disarmament. He went on to say that there was also the question of Security in Europe where there may be more to be said, though insofar as the U.S. was concerned, there was little to be said, given the framework in which the matter had been raised.

The Secretary went on to note that the discussion of Austria would begin the following day. He said that he was anxious that his other responsibilities should not interfere with any possible success of the Berlin Conference and that it was for this reason that he lay before his colleagues the problem of rationing the remaining time.

When called on for comment, M. Bidault said that he agreed entirely on the importance of organizing their time, that the Ministers [Page 1051] must find means to examine all the principal problems remaining before them.

Mr. Eden contributed the thought that it might be well to drive ahead on Austria once started and to resolve it if possible.

At this point the Secretary said that he would be glad to consider a Sunday meeting if it would help.

Mr. Molotov (who gave the impression of having been taken aback by the Secretary’s opening of this subject) said that he had no objection to organizing the Ministers work in the best possible manner and that likewise he had no objection to “making use of Sundays”.

The Secretary then suggested that each Minister appoint a representative to attempt to work out a program to allocate the future time available to the conference.

Mr. Molotov replied “No objection”.

The Secretary then suggested that each Minister designate by name a representative to meet tomorrow to consider the problem of rationing the time.

The Secretary suggested, and his colleagues agreed, that a Restricted Meeting should be called for Friday morning, February 12, at 11:30 to run until 1 o’clock to continue the discussion of Item 1 of the Agenda. He suggested (and Mr. Molotov agreed) that it would be of assistance if the text of the Soviet amendment were available in advance.

The Secretary (as Chairman) then proposed that the communiqué be confined to stating simply that the Four Ministers had met in Restricted Session in the Allied Control Authority Building at 3 p.m.; that they had continued their discussion on Item 1 of the agenda and that the meeting had concluded at 7:15 p.m. The Ministers agreed to the issuance of this communiqué which was immediately thereafter handed to the Executive Secretary.10

  1. A summary of this meeting was transmitted to Washington in Dulte 65 from Berlin, Feb. 12. (396.1 BE/2–1254)
  2. For text of the U.S. Delegation record of the first restricted meeting, see Document 442.
  3. Transmitted in Dulte 44, Document 436.
  4. For the Soviet proposal, see Document 518.
  5. All ellipses in this document are in the source text.
  6. A reference to the U.S. Delegation proposal; see footnote 3 above.
  7. For the original Soviet proposal for a five-power conference, submitted at the second plenary on Jan. 26, see Secto 29, Document 359.
  8. Under the terms of the 15-power resolution, passed by the U.N. General Assembly on Aug. 28, 1953, all states which had fought on the U.N. side in Korea should be represented at the Korean Political Conference.
  9. A copy of the final communiqué, circulated as FPM(54)50 in the records of the conference and which was substantially along the lines suggested by Dulles, is in Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 197.