165. Telegram From the Delegation at the Tripartite Foreign Ministers Meeting to the Department of State1

Secto 11. Secretary asked Blankenhorn to call this morning.2 Merchant and MacArthur also present. Secretary said he had been studying Paris Working Group report3 and he did not like Section B. 1. f.11, which indicated three Western Ministers at Geneva would be ready to examine with Soviet Union supplementary measures which would apply in event of German reunification and would be compatible with security interests of all including “further concrete reciprocal safeguards which might become possible if the Eastern military organization were brought into line with the Western”. Secretary said he felt this formulation could result in West being placed in position of putting Warsaw Pact on same basis as NATO, which would be great error and would have adverse impact on satellite peoples. Also it might lead Soviets to suggest that in return for certain steps they would take in Eastern Germany and satellites with respect to demilitarization, West should take similar steps in territory they control. He said he favored more general formula.

Blankenhorn said he fully understood objections Secretary had to working group form of this paragraph, and agreed that it could be better formulated. He must emphasize however that Adenauer had real problem with German public opinion and felt three Ministers at Geneva should give some indications of what they had in mind to show particularly German opinion that West had constructive ideas to put forward with respect to collective security to obtain German reunification. Adenauer, he said, would be in difficult position vis-à-vis German public opinion when he visited Moscow unless he could refer to constructive ideas put forward by West. If he cannot, he may have difficulty in resisting unacceptable Soviet proposals. Adenauer believed some reference might be made to possibility of demilitarized zone and balance of forces on assumption WEU and NATO would remain intact. Blankenhorn also indicated there might be some sort of guarantees or assurances which could be exchanged which would in no way impair WEU and NATO which must be maintained.

Secretary indicated he had in mind for paragraph f.11 language which would be general enough to include possibility of different concepts but would not specifically mention them. Subsequently at [Page 323]tripartite ministerial meeting later in morning it was agreed to revise Paragraph f.11, as follows and to give Blankenhorn copy of revision:

“Further concrete safeguards relating to the armed forces appropriate to ensure the legitimate security interests of those concerned”.

Secretary wanted to know if Adenauer would get through his bill relating to military personnel, and Blankenhorn replied in affirmative.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–1555. Secret. Drafted by MacArthur. Repeated to Bonn.
  2. The meeting took place at the American Embassy residence at 9:50 a.m.
  3. Document 167.