158. Telegram From the Delegation at the Paris Working Group to the Department of State 1

125. Department pass Defense. From Beam. At restricted working group meeting July 9 on European security Blankenhorn made following points, emphasizing he had no instructions.2

West must be prepared to advance concrete ideas on German reunification and security system because of public opinion factor. German press last two days stressed West had no constructive security proposals to make. His points were that we must appeal to public opinion and must permit Chancellor at time his Moscow visit to deal with any Soviet proposal in light of positions and decisions for handling question of European security taken at Geneva. Therefore, he urged that if Soviets proposed any European security formula at [Page 310] Geneva, the West should be prepared to make immediate counterproposal. Also urged West must make clear that reunification is not solely bilateral German-Soviet matter as Soviets would probably urge, since Chancellor must be in position in Moscow to refer to matter as recognized Four-Power problem. Therefore, West should at Geneva insist on linking reunification to security system, announce guiding principles, and obtain agreement on working group of Foreign Ministers’ representatives to analyze and report to Foreign Ministers. He then referred to London Times July 8 article as evidencing general European public opinion with which majority Germans agree. Article proposed demilitarization East Zone, controls on forces and armaments similar to W.E.U. He said if these formulae completed within plan of limitation for armaments for all Europe, public opinion requirements would be met.

He therefore felt West should propose principles for European security plan on vague and general basis. However, he said demilitarization should include not only East Zone but broader zone extending from Baltic to Italian Alps, for military reasons. Also said should not bring W.E.U. and Warsaw Group under single treaty replacing NATO and W.E.U., but could have pact of all Western and Eastern countries supplemental to those treaties.

He stressed we should be ready to present formula along indicated lines very early in summit conference, as he anticipated Russians would in conference propose some European security formula to which West should respond.

General agreement between all delegations on following points of principle:

German reunification is four-power problem.
Reunification will not increase threat to Russian security.
Western security system offers guarantees to all.

Possible fourth point on demilitarization and balance of forces brought out difference of views. Germans said should not suggest demilitarizing zone yet but could suggest balance of forces in Europe as first step to general disarmament. British reaction to eliminating demilitarized zone markedly cool, though point not urged by them.

British also suggested possible approach in political area of guarantees on non-aggression and withdrawal of support to aggressor nation.

United States emphasized difficulties presented in proposed fourth point. Said London paper3 had listed possibilities we were ready to consider at proper time, but United States does not believe West should refer to such possibilities specifically at Geneva. Pointed [Page 311] out strategy implications and necessity obtaining support NATO allies on any proposal by three Western powers at Geneva, as well as need obtain SACEUR views. Sullivan emphasized Russian desire obtain withdrawal United States and United Kingdom forces and disrupt NATO strategy. Stressed technical military difficulties connected with inspection and control procedure in any arms limitation plan, using Korea example.

Germans in general agreement but said that while we probably would not come to agreement with Soviets on balance of forces, this subject is most important from public opinion point of view. United States stressed need more time for study before agreement on principles. Wolf emphasized NATO nations must be consulted and would probably request views SACEUR and Standing Group; pointed out agreement on principles could be dangerous, particularly on subjects such as balance of forces which are open to interpretation; noted problem of European security arrangement affecting global power struggle situation.

French then proposed that West should agree to definition of its concept of security as distinguished from agreeing principles. After lengthy discussion, following French draft accepted for further consideration Monday morning:

Begin (rough translation):

“The Western powers could present the following in opposition to the Soviet thesis of making the reunification and the organization of a security system dependent upon the dismantling of the Western defence organization:

  • “(1) Reunification is one of the essential elements of security: the responsibility of the four powers for reunification cannot be evaded.
  • “(2) Reunification must be achieved under conditions compatible with the security of all.
  • “(3) Security requires that Germany not be isolated.
  • “(4) Security of course requires the continuation of existing organizations.
  • “(5) The security of the West will allow the Western powers to take into consideration the legitimate needs of Soviet security on a basis compatible with the interests of all countries concerned.
  • “(6) The security of the West hence would permit giving the USSR complementary guarantees, if Germany is reunified:
    • “(A) The security of the Soviets is already guaranteed by the dispositions taken under the Paris Accords with respect to matters concerning the non-recourse to force, troop levels, and armaments.
    • “(B) Juridical guarantees could be given with respect to non-recourse to force and withdrawal of assistance to an aggressor.
    • “(C) If the Eastern military organization could be placed in harmony with the Western organization, certain more precise reciprocal guarantees could be considered”. End text.

Urgently request Department’s comments on French draft before Monday meeting if possible.

USDel comment is that French proposal, with some editorial changes, appears to be best acceptable insurance policy against possible United Kingdom, German, or even French pressure for going even further in presenting security proposal to Soviets at Geneva.

Working group proposes following changes French text:

Introductory clause should be redrafted to indicate West could volunteer these definitions even if Soviets did not take line indicated therein.
Point (4) should be clarified by reference to “continuation” of present alliances and collective security arrangements, particularly NATO and W.E.U.
Add to 6(A): “and other collective security arrangements”.
Reverse order of 6(B) and 6(C).
In 6(B) change “given” to “exchanged”, and add after “guarantees” “confirming those of United Nations Charter”.
Change 6(C) to read: “If the Eastern military organization would adopt practices and arrangements providing security to members and non-members alike, as does the Western organization, it could create an atmosphere conducive to further exploration of additional complementary arrangements”.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–955. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Wolf and cleared by Beam. Repeated to London and Bonn. In accordance with the instructions of their Foreign Ministers, delegations from the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, headed respectively by Beam, Harrison, and Crouy-Chanel, met at Paris July 8–14 to consider the substance of questions which might be raised at the Geneva Conference. They were assisted by Blankenhorn and Grewe on questions affecting Germany.
  2. At the first plenary meeting on July 8 Grewe gave a detailed explanation of the Bonn Working Group Report (see footnote 2, Document 149); the rest of the meeting was devoted to procedural questions. (Telegram 120 from Paris, July 8; Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/7–855) Regarding other topics discussed on July 9, see infra .
  3. Presumably a reference to Document 102.