168. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State1
Dulte 1. Eyes only Acting Secretary for President from Secretary.
Dear Mr. President: Discussions last night with Macmillan and this morning with Macmillan and Pinay2 make it quite apparent that Eden has a “Plan” for Germany which he wishes to unveil at Geneva. This will probably include the concept of a demilitarized zone in Central Europe. Pinay is strongly opposed to our introducing this concept, because he says once the concept of demilitarization is introduced, it will be very difficult to prevent its contagious spread to Germany as a whole and result in a situation such that eventually Germany will emerge not tied into the West but a balance of power between East and West which the French dread.
I indicated some support to Pinay because I understand that our own Defense people are rather inclined to the French view, and because I think we can keep the concept of demilitarization under better control if it is first put forward by the Soviet rather than by our side.
No agreement was reached as to handling this matter, but it was understood that it would be discussed at the combined meeting of Heads of Government and Foreign Ministers to be held at your Villa Sunday morning after church.3
We all agree that it will be necessary to indicate that we are open minded and imaginative with reference to possibilities for assuring that a unified Germany will not increase Soviet danger and that the mandate to be given the Foreign Ministers for the second stage would leave them wide latitude in this respect. The issue is narrowed down to whether or not a rather specific suggestion including demilitarization should be put forward from our side at Geneva.