108. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State1

Dulte 4. Eyes only Acting Secretary from Secretary. Following is U.S.–U.K. draft referred Dulte 2 [3].

“We believe that the time has now come for a new effort to resolve the great problems which beset Europe and the world. We, therefore, invite the Soviet Government to join with us in an effort to remove sources of conflict between us.

“We recognize that the solution of these problems will take time and patience. They will not be solved at a single meeting nor in a hasty manner. Indeed, any effort to do so could set back real progress toward their settlement. Accordingly, we think it would be helpful to try a new procedure for dealing with these problems.

“In view of their complexity and importance, our suggestion is that these problems be approached in two stages. We think it would be fruitful to begin with a meeting of the Heads of Government, accompanied by their Foreign Ministers. In the limited time for which the Heads of Government could meet, they should not undertake to agree upon substantive answers to the major difficulties facing the world. Such a meeting could, however, provide a new impetus by establishing the basis for the detailed work which will be required. For this purpose the Heads of Government could devote themselves to [Page 172]identifying the issues to be worked on and to agreeing on methods to be followed in their solution.2

“This would lay the foundation for the second stage in which the problems would be examined in detail by Foreign Ministers or their deputies. This would facilitate the essential preparation and orderly negotiation most likely to bring about agreements by progressive stages. The important thing is to begin the process promptly and to pursue it with patience and determination. This work should be started as soon as practicable after the meeting of the Heads of Government and carried on thereafter by such methods, organs, and participants as it appears will be most fruitful according to the nature of the issues.

“We hope that this proposal will commend itself to the Soviet Union as a useful basis for progress toward better relations between us. If the Soviet Union agrees that an early meeting of Heads of Government to explore such a program would be useful, we suggest that our Foreign Ministers settle through diplomatic channels or otherwise upon a time and place for such a meeting.”

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1/5–855. Top Secret; Niact; Absolutely No Distribution.
  2. Later in the day Secretary Dulles suggested that the following be added to the end of this paragraph:

    “The Foreign Ministers, to assist the Heads of Governments in their task, might come together shortly in advance of the meeting of the Heads of Government and at the same place.” (Dulte 10 from Paris, May 8; ibid.)