147. Paper Prepared in the British Foreign Office1

The unification of Germany under the conditions laid down at the Berlin Conference in the Eden Plan must continue to be the aim of the Western Powers. The main Russian objection is that to give a unified Germany freedom to associate with the West constitutes a threat to Russian security. Consequently, if the Geneva Conference is to make any significant progress and avoid serious damage to the Western cause in Germany, it is essential that the Western Powers should make a demonstrable effort to meet the Russian need for security.

It is not desirable that any cut and dried proposal should be tabled at Geneva. That should be left to the Conference of Foreign Ministers. But the Western Heads of States should inform the Russians that they understand the Russian desire for security, and that they are ready to take steps2 to ensure that the unification of Germany and her freedom to associate with partners of her choice shall not involve any threat to Russian security. In order to achieve this they would be prepared in principle to agree to a completely demilitarised strip of territory between East and West, accompanied by a security pact and, if the Russians desire it, an agreement as to the total and stationing of Russian and satellite forces and armaments on the one hand and of forces of NATO countries on the other, in Germany and the countries of Europe neighbouring Germany. Any proposals in this field would not exclude or delay the work of the United Nations Disarmament Commission on global disarmament.

They accordingly propose that the Foreign Ministers should be instructed when considering the problem of German unity to examine the proposals which the Western Powers will be ready to make in order to guarantee that sovereignty accorded to a unified Germany shall not constitute a military risk to Russia.3

It should be noted that the above formula excludes discussion of American bases, or the presence in Europe of Anglo-American forces. These exist already and, insofar as they constitute a threat, the position will remain the same whether or not Germany is united. What [Page 262]we must be concerned to demonstrate to Germany and the world is that we are ready to ensure that no military threat to Russia will arise from the circumstance that Germany is united and free; and this can effectively be done by the measures we intend to propose.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 640.0012/7–455. Top Secret. Attached to the source text was a memorandum by Galloway that indicated this paper was given to him by Adam Watson the morning of July 4 and that it was an official British Governmental position with Cabinet approval.
  2. On the source text the words “take steps” were in brackets and the words “consider measures” were written in above them.
  3. On the source text the last 16 words of this sentence were in brackets and the phrase “take into account legitimate Soviet interests and security” was written above them.