662.001/4–1252: Telegram

No. 87
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom1


5324. We agree to UK proposal that tri consideration of reply to last Sov note2 be coordinated in Lond. HICOMs shld continue with Ger discussions initiated by Kirkpatrick (Bonn 2368 Apr 123). Fol are Dept preliminary views for your guidance in Lond conversations pending receipt of fuller reports on Eur reactions importance of which we fully appreciate.

Reply shld contain strong reaffirmation of intention three Govts and Fed Rep to continue present policy designed in interests of Eur peace. On this point we suggest something along fol lines: [Page 211]

“US Govt observes with particular regret that Sov Govt does not accept view that an all-Ger Govt will be permitted to associate itself with other freedom-loving Govts in orgs which are compatible with principles and purposes of UN, which exist for purely defensive purposes and which shld not cause concern to any state which does not have aggressive aims. Likewise, the type of proposal for German nat’l armed forces which the Sov Govt now appears to be making wld repeat mistakes of past history in a way that wld be avoided by the forward looking proposal to allow Ger to make a contribution to a common European defense force in the service of a common European policy of peace. In its note of Mar 25, US Govt pointed out that it is giving full support to a policy which will bring into being a peaceful Eur community which will mark beginning of a new era in which international relations will be based on cooperation and not on rivalry and distrust. It was also pointed out that it remains conviction of US Govt that fulfillment of this program represents most constructive means to eliminate dangerous tensions in Eur. It is policy of US Govt to foster development of such a Eur community in which Ger will participate, and it cannot accept Sov Govt’s denial to Ger of this basic right of a free and equal nation to associate itself with other nations. US Govt repeats that this policy of Eur unity, which is supported by free nations of Eur, including Fed Rep of Ger, cannot threaten interests of Sov Union or of any country following true path to peace. US Govt will, therefore, not be deflected from its support of this policy.

Sov Govt’s attitude on this fundamental question and its insistence on isolating Ger from Western Europe does not augur well for future accord on status and rights of an all-Ger Govt and on terms of a peace treaty to be negotiated with a free, unified Ger.”

Note shld also contain brief restatement of our position that Sov contention that Ger frontiers were fixed by Potsdam is erroneous.

On question of UN Commission, we shld again reject specious Sov arguments based on Art 107 of Charter but cannot ignore Sov suggestion for 4-power action.

On this point we suggest note shld contain an argument along fol lines:

“We cannot make progress towards the attainment of our objective of Ger unification so long as the Sov Govt persists in barring the way to participation in genuinely free elections by the 17-million inhabitants of East Ger under conditions similar to those enjoyed by the 50-million citizens of the Fed Rep.

The US Govt has noted the Sov Govt’s suggestion that a Comm, formed by the four powers occupying Ger, cld undertake the investigation required to ascertain whether the essential conditions to free elections exist. It was precisely because of the difference of opinion between the US, the UK and Fr on the one hand, and the Sov Union on the other, as to the conditions obtaining in the various parts of Ger, that the establishment of an impartial UN Comm was proposed. Under these circumstances the US Govt cannot be sanguine that satisfactory results wld be reached solely thru the medium of four-power action.

[Page 212]

Nevertheless the US Govt is prepared to examine the possibility of reaching agrmt on a means for determining whether conditions of freedom exist throughout Ger which wld make possible the holdin of free elections. Such is indeed a primary purpose of the Comm recently established by the UN. The US Govt has noted with regret the attitude thus far taken by the Sov Govt toward the UN Comm whose establishment was supported by an overwhelming majority of the members of the UNGA. The members of the UNGA thus rejected the Sov Govt’s interpretation of Art 107 of the UN Charter as set forth in its note of Apr 9. Art 107 provides: ‘Nothing in the present Charter shall invalidate or preclude action, in relation to any state which during the Second World War has been an enemy of any signatory to the present Charter, taken or authorized as a result of that war by the govts having responsibility for such action’. This language clearly does not bar consideration by any UN organ of matters relating to states which during World War II were enemies of members of UN. It simply says that nothing in Charter shall preclude or invalidate certain actions by certain states. However even under erroneous Sov interpretation of the Charter there wld be no impediment to agrmt by the four powers to avail themselves of the assistance of the UN Comm which is now available in order to determine what conditions wld make it possible to hold genuinely free elections throughout Ger.”

Since our prime objective must continue to be to avoid any step which wld slow up signing of contractuals and EDC, reply shld avoid suggestion of willingness to participate in any gen four-power mtg such as CFM. You shld however discuss relative advantages and disadvantages of proposing possible mtg perhaps of reps of HICOMs to discuss use of UN Comm by four powers to determine existence of conditions permitting free elections. Such a proposal wld be tied in with line of argument given above relative to UN Comm. We can see some advantages in a mtg at that level which might expose Sov sham. Moreover, such a tri proposal wld take initiative from Sovs who might very well in a further note make specific proposal for type of mtg which wld not be satisfactory to us. We believe mtg at this level and on this restricted subj wld not appreciably diminish Ger willingness to conclude negots but this view shld be checked with opinions of HICOMs.

Believe no necessity for great haste in replying to Sov note but we shld avoid such delay as might be interpreted as reflecting indecision or split in Western front. Meanwhile, we must push ahead with conclusion of negots and arrangements for signature EDC and contractuals.

  1. Drafted by Jessup and Laukhuff; cleared by Barbour, Bonbright, Bohlen, and Matthews; and initialed by President Truman and Secretary Acheson. Repeated to Paris and Bonn.
  2. Document 82.
  3. Document 85.