124. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State1

2105. Following is translation MID Note No. 50/OSA May 26 on four-power talks (see also Embtel 21042).

Begin translation.

Ministry Foreign Affairs USSR presents compliments to Embassy USA and in connection Embassy’s note May 103 on convening conference heads Government USA, France, England and Soviet Union has honor state following.

Soviet Government as is known, regards positively convening conference heads government aforementioned powers, having in view that such conference must facilitate reduction international tension and strengthening mutual confidence in relations between states. Soviet Government considers that meeting of leading state figures can contribute establishment conditions necessary for settling unresolved international problems, given genuine desire for this of all interested parties.

In this connection it is pertinent to recall that display of readiness by interested states contribute settlement such problems permitted bringing to end bloodshed in Korea and also stopping military action in Indo-China with recognition lawful rights peoples Indo-China for independent national development. By this, two dangerous hotbeds of war in area of Far East and Southeast Asia were successfully liquidated. Recently one of most aggravated questions in Europe also successfully resolved question of Austrian state treaty with recognition permanent neutrality Austria, which was important contribution to cause strengthening peace and lessening international tension.

Following its constant policy directed to securing peace, and striving for strengthening mutual confidence in relations between states and cessation “cold war”, Soviet Government May 10 specifically set forth its position on questions disarmament, banning atomic weapons, and elimination threats of new war. Achievement appropriate agreement these questions first of all among great powers would permit putting end to existing arms race, including field of [Page 200]atomic and hydrogen weapons, freeing peoples from ever growing burden military expenditures and creating conditions for peaceful and untroubled life of peoples.

In accordance with this, Soviet Government expresses its agreement to proposal of Government USA and also Governments France and Great Britain relative to carrying out in very near future meetings heads of governments four powers with participation Ministers Foreign Affairs. However, Soviet Government in this connection cannot but draw attention to certain statements of leaders of USA made after receipt by Soviet Government of aforementioned note Government USA. In these statements it is pointed out that Government USA while declaring for convening conference heads of governments four powers, approaches this conference “from position of strength” which indicates desire to exert inadmissible pressure on conference. This is done in spite of fact that fruitlessness similar attempts in negotiations with Soviet Union has been repeatedly demonstrated.

Aforementioned leaders US have even gone so far as to state necessity interference in internal affairs other states, making various thrusts and attacks in regard to countries of peoples democracy, who are defending freedom and independence their peoples. At same time it is completely evident that such attempts to interfere in internal affairs other states, which are incompatible with principles UN, must be rejected as expressions aggressive intentions certain circles, which have as their aim further intensification arms race, prolongation “cold war” and still further exacerbation international tension. Such statements cannot be evaluated as other than tendency to discredit very idea of convening conference four powers.

In this manner, US Government on one hand proposes organize meeting heads governments of four powers for consideration of unresolved international problems and on other hand is already proposing plans which deliberately doom conference to failure. This can be explained only by fact that Government USA, in spite of its statements, evidently does not in fact seek settlement aggravated international problems.

In such situation conference of four powers not only cannot give positive results on which peoples are naturally counting, but on contrary frustration of conference, which is already being prepared, would lead to further deepening of disagreements between powers and worsening of international situation.

Soviet Government as it has stated repeatedly in past considers task of conference heads of government of four powers to be reduction of international tension and strengthening of confidence between states. Such aim can be attained only in event all interested states strive for it. Only in this case can conference heads of governments [Page 201]give positive results. Regarding questions which should be subject of consideration at conference, taking foregoing into consideration, heads of governments could themselves determine range of questions and also determine ways of settling them and give appropriate instructions to Ministers Foreign Affairs.

Soviet Government considers most suitable place for convening conference heads of government to be Vienna, which corresponds also to invitation extended by Federal Chancellor Austria J. Raab.4

Soviet Government assumes that question of time of convening conference heads of government will be subject further agreement.

Analogous notes of Soviet Government are also being sent to Governments Great Britain and France.5

End translation.

Foreign Office is apparently calling press conference 1800 hours local time at which note will presumably be released.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1/5–2555. Official Use Only; Niact. This text should be compared for minor textual differences with that in Documents (R.I.I.A.) for 1955, pp. 3–5. The Russian text of the note is in Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/5–2655.
  2. Not printed.
  3. See Document 114.
  4. Not further identified.
  5. This note was discussed briefly at a meeting in Secretary Dulles’ office at 2:25 p.m. on May 26. In the course of the discussion Merchant, McCardle, and Dulles stated that the note seemed to offer little hope for any serious move by the Soviet Union and McCardle termed it “a very clever piece of propaganda”. (Memorandum of conversation (PMCG MC–2), May 27; Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/5–2355)