Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 200

No. 511
Position Paper Agreed by the Delegations of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France 1

[BER D–4/4c]

Declaration of Intent Regarding German Peace Treaty

four-power meeting in berlin, january 1954

On January 29, 1954 the United Kingdom Delegation tabled proposals for free elections to be held throughout Germany at the earliest possible date with a view to forming a National Assembly and an all-German government which would proceed to negotiate with the four occupying powers a peace treaty for Germany.2 The Delegation therefore recommends that the four occupying powers should hold themselves ready to open negotiations for a German peace treaty as soon as representatives of a reunited Germany have been appointed in the manner envisaged in the proposal of the United Kingdom Delegation.
The Delegation considers that such a peace treaty should embody the following principles:
Germany shall be recognized as a sovereign State.
Germany shall apply for membership in the United Nations. The other Powers signatory to the peace treaty will undertake to support this application.
Pending admission to the United Nations, Germany shall declare her intention of conforming to the principles of the Charter and shall undertake to conduct her foreign relations in accordance therewith. Germany shall also be authorized to assure her defense as provided by Article 51 of the Charter. Germany shall accept the obligations set forth in Article 2 of the Charter, in particular:
to settle her international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered;
to refrain in her international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations;

to give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the Charter and to refrain from giving assistance to any State against which the United Nations may take preventive or enforcement action;

For their part, the Signatory Powers would be guided by the principles of Article 2 of the United Nations Charter in their relations with Germany.

The question of frontiers shall be settled by the peace treaty as a result of free negotiations between the interested powers, including the government of a unified Germany, in the spirit of points 1 and 2 of the Atlantic Charter and Article 1 of the UN Charter.
The return of all remaining German prisoners of war and civilian internees should be carried out within the shortest possible time and shall be completed without exception not later than 90 days after the coming into force of the peace treaty.
The all-German Government, subject to the provisions of the peace treaty, shall determine whether to put into force, with respect to unified Germany, international agreements concluded after May 8, 1945, and before its assumption of office, with the consent of the other parties to those agreements.

The peace treaty should contain no provisions which might prevent the people of unified Germany from building and maintaining a sound economy. The treaty should ensure to Germany, subject to its international obligations, the unfettered freedom to regulate its own economy, which is the normal prerogative of every sovereign State.

The treaty should dispose finally of all claims arising out of the war and occupation. Any industrial enterprises in Germany whose ownership or control was acquired after May 8, 1945, by or on behalf of any foreign government, should be surrendered and disposed of in accordance with appropriate German legislation unless [Page 1182] such acquisition has quadripartite approval and the interest so approved is subject to German law.

The signatory powers to the peace treaty should include all States, or the successors thereof, which were at war with Germany.
  1. Attached to the source text was a cover sheet which indicates that it was circulated in the records of the U.S. Delegation as BER D–4/4c and that it represented a slightly revised version of BER D–4/4b, a copy of which has not been found in Department of State files. The cover sheet indicates further that it had not been shown to the Federal Government and that it had not been decided whether or when to use the declaration. The text was agreed at a meeting of the Tripartite Working Group on Feb. 1 (see BER MIN–8, Document 397), but there is no indication in the records of the conference that it was ever introduced.
  2. FPM(54)17, supra.