205. Memorandum of the Conversation at the Soviet Luncheon Between Secretary Dulles and Foreign Minister Molotov, Soviet Villa, Geneva, July 20, 1955, 1:15 p.m.1


I was seated between Prime Minister Bulganin and Foreign Minister Molotov, the only significant conversation took place between Mr. Molotov and myself.

He asked what our plans were for concluding the Conference. I said that I felt that we could discuss European security this afternoon and then could start on disarmament on Thursday and continue on Friday with a view to winding up on Friday or Saturday. Mr. Molotov indicated assent to this time table and to the topics. He then asked whether we had any proposed decision for the conference to take. He said that he assumed we had so many experts that we had come fully armed in this respect. I said that we had no proposals formulated but were awaiting the evolution of the conference. I said however we had begun to think in terms of a directive which would call for a meeting of the Foreign Ministers after a reasonable lapse of time to enable us to study the various interesting suggestions which had been made here. He asked what lapse of time I thought of and I said that I thought the Foreign Ministers might meet some time in October.

Mr. Molotov asked what subjects I had in mind that the Foreign Ministers might study and I said the problem of German unification, European security and disarmament, the latter to be studied either here or at the United Nations. Mr. Molotov said that he thought it was appropriate to continue to study the questions of European security and of disarmament but not the subject of German unification. He said it was premature to study German unification at this time.

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I said that while I recognized that the subject could not be German unification except within the context of European security, it seemed to me that it would be inadmissible to ignore the problem of German unification for this would have a very serious impact on Germany, also that the problem of European security could not be realistically studied except on the assumption that there would be German unification. Mr. Molotov continued to insist that we should only study now disarmament and European security and that German unification should not be one of the topics designated for future study at this time.

I asked Mr. Molotov where he thought the Foreign Ministers ought to meet if they met again. He said he thought Geneva was a good place and asked me what I thought. I said that if there was a good result from this conference then we might meet here again but that if this conference did not make good progress then perhaps we should try out another atmosphere as, for example, that of San Francisco. Molotov said that if we were going to meet elsewhere than Geneva we might meet at Moscow or Leningrad. I said we had met at Moscow once and the results had not been very good. He said it might be different if we tried again.

After lunch I mentioned to Eden what Molotov had said about excluding German unification from the topics to be studied further by direction of the Heads of Government. Eden said that while he had gathered from last night that that was Molotov’s view he did not think that it would necessarily prevail as against what he considered the more liberal views of Bulganin and Khrushchev.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 516. Secret. Drafted by Dulles. Also present from the U.S. Delegation were Dillon Anderson, Hagerty, Thompson, Rockefeller, and Stassen. Another memorandum of the conversation, USDEL/MC/4, July 20, by Thompson, is the same in substance, but concludes with the following sentence: “In the course of the conversation, Mr. Molotov expressed the hope that the conversation between President Eisenhower and Marshal Zhukov would facilitate the work of the Conference.” (Ibid.)