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

Secto 13. Re Embtel Secto 6, July 15.2 In tripartite discussion this morning3 of Working Group Report4 some difference emerged as to how far Western countries should go in presenting elements security ideas at Geneva and nature of examples they would employ. Main discussion over whether demilitarized zone should be mentioned as an illustration with UK favoring and US and France opposing.

Discussion started on report sections dealing with Germany and European security. Secretary requested confirmation that revised Eden plan would not be tabled at Geneva. He said discussion there should indicate kind of things Foreign Minister should later deal with but undesirable to table papers which would commit us to precise formulations, particularly since Western countries not yet agreed on details. Also if we tabled papers it would be invitation for Soviets to do same.

Macmillan said British would not table Eden plan but would simply refer to it at Geneva as starting point after 1954 Berlin Conference. Purpose Geneva exchange of views would be to clarify and define perspectives and objectives. We will succeed with public opinion if we can get Four Power agreement that German reunification and European security be referred to Foreign Ministers in acceptable terms. In doing so, we can perhaps outline certain interesting ideas. Only formal paper we should aim at would be instructions to Foreign Ministers re future methods to deal with problems.

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Secretary said it would be impossible compete with Soviets in making proposals. We should state our goals in general terms and concentrate on terms of reference for future activities of Foreign Ministers.

Secretary objected to formulation in Working Group Report (para B, I, f.ii) (reserved by U.S.) favoring harmonization East and West military arrangements (Embtel 1545). This would elevate Warsaw Pact to equal status with NATO and might commit us to establish demilitarized zone from Western area of depth equal to that in East.

Discussion ensued on amended language in course of which Pinay asked whether demilitarized zone excluded from possible formula. Secretary replied U.S. does not favor such zone. Pinay strongly criticized disadvantages of referring to demilitarized zone on grounds it would promote neutralization by leading Soviets to suggest demilitarization of West Germany, would undermine NATO stance and would present internal security problems. Macmillan said hardly reasonable expect Russians give up Eastern Germany, withdraw 22 divisions, abolish Communist govt if they knew Western influence and institutions were to move in and take over area. He said Pinay asking us to hold on to something we hadn’t got. Would be advantageous voluntarily renounce right to fill area with NATO forces.

Secretary again stressed risks of referring to demilitarized strip comprising for example East Germany, parts Poland, Czechoslovakia. Soviets could demand withdrawals from West Germany as compensation. Also raised questions re internal security, recruitment, extension of controls and might open door to demilitarization all of Germany. Formula must not require balancing NATO against Warsaw Pact which would legitimize Warsaw Pact.

As formula sufficiently broad to include security arrangements which might be later found desirable, following text adopted to envisage examination “further concrete reciprocal safeguards relating to the armed forces appropriate to assuring the legitimate security interests of those concerned.”

Next important point was extent of illustrative examples heads of govt would use in discussing security arrangements. Macmillan said sure Eden intends develop examples with a view to give broad outline of ideas altho they would not be precise proposals. In reply Secretary’s question whether Eden would still desire offer suggestion of demilitarized zone, Macmillan replied in affirmative, saying Eden wished to use this as example. It was agreed this would have to be discussed by heads of govt Sunday morning. While Pinay non-commital regarding French intention to mention arms control as element [Page 325]security plan, he said Faure would desire to speak as positively and concretely as possible regarding Germany, security and disarmament. According to Pinay, French rejected overall security organization such as in Molotov plan6 but wished outline ideas on collective security so details could be discussed by Foreign Ministers.

Arrangement made for Tripartite discussion with Faure at 4:30 this afternoon.7 Secretary emphasized need keeping divergent views from press.8

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 530. Top Secret. Drafted by Beam and cleared with Merchant and MacArthur.
  2. Document 164.
  3. The meeting took place at the Quai d’Orsay at 10:30; for another brief report, see Merchant, Recollections, pp. 17–18.
  4. Infra .
  5. See footnote 4, Document 161.
  6. Presumably a reference to FPM(54)47, February 10, 1954, a proposed general European treaty for collective security in Europe which was tabled by Molotov during the Berlin Conference. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. vii, Part 1, p. 1190.
  7. See Document 169.
  8. Two other telegrams reported further on the morning meeting. In Dulte 2, Secretary Dulles reported that just before the session Pinay drew him aside to say that President Eisenhower should take the lead for the West since it was the United States and the Soviet Union which counted most. (Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–1555) In Secto 14 the U.S. Delegation reported that the Foreign Ministers had approved the report of the Paris Working Group ( infra ) and agreed on a procedure for briefing the North Atlantic Council. (Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–1555)