217. Telegram From the Delegation at the Geneva Conference to the Department of State1

Secto 61. At 11 a.m. meeting Molotov said all recognize importance problem European security and its inter-connection with German unification, but so far have no agreement on views necessary to draft directive from Heads of Government on that matter. Soviet Delegation feels establishment effective system European security would facilitate German unification. All must take into account realities and one such reality is fact Geneva Conference should contribute to lessening tensions. If European security were to be connected with German unification, postponement security problem would be implied. However, should be able achieve some progress at this stage.

Molotov proposed draft statement which said (Begin verbatim text), “Heads of Government of USSR, U.S., France and U.K. instruct Foreign Ministers continue consideration problem establishing system collective security in Europe, having in mind such development of that system as would contribute to relaxation international tension, strengthening confidence among nations, and facilitate settlement problem German unification. Ministers are instructed consider to that end any proposals relating conclusion security treaty or pact, for Europe, or, in first instance, for part of Europe, and also to consider [Page 437] any other possible proposals pertaining to settlement that task” (End verbatim text).2

Secretary then proposed agreed tripartite draft directive (Begin verbatim text), “Four Heads of Government agree:

That in the interest peace and general security;
Germany should be reunified through free elections in conformity with national interest German people and security of Europe, thus discharging common responsibility Four Powers.
Security for Europe should be sought by effective means which will respect and further legitimate interests of all, including inherent right of individual and collective self-defense.
That to further accomplishment these objectives, representatives Four Powers shall meet at (name of place to be designated) to consider and propose effective means (a) reunification of Germany and (b) security for Europe.
That Foreign Ministers Four Powers initiate such discussion during October (SEC added ‘October this year’) and shall determine organization of work.
In carrying out their responsibilities under para 2, representatives Four Powers shall give due consideration to such possibilities as: security pact extending existing undertakings relating to non-recourse to force and denial of assistance to an aggressor; limitation, control and inspection for forces and armaments; establishment of zone between East and West in which disposition of armed forces would be subject to mutual agreement; and such other possibilities as may thereafter be put forward.” (End verbatim text)3

Secretary said concept that Germany being reunified in conformity with national interests of German people and security of Europe were precise words Bulganin’s opening statement. Also concept that security for Europe should be sought by effective means which will further legitimate interests of all, including inherent right individual of self-defense, reflects Bulganin views. Para 4 contains major suggestions made by Heads of Government. Other possibilities must also be considered at future conference.

Pinay said Soviet proposal does not seem provide for thorough study German unification and also postpones consideration that issue until after study European security. France feels security cannot be achieved before achievement normal situation in Germany. Postponement Germany reunification will have extremely unfortunate effect upon German and world public opinion. Pinay asked Molotov what [Page 438] would be disadvantage tackling both problems at once. Western proposal takes into account Soviet point of view but Soviet proposal fails take into account Western suggestions. Soviet proposal also fails reflect agenda present meeting wherein all agree to discuss German reunification.

Macmillan said present meeting must be success and, to be so, must show advance in bringing together two points of view. Soviet proposal merely reflects feeling solution German unification must follow setting up system collective security in Europe. West, on other hand, maintains most urgent problem is reunification. However, West draft has struck fair balance between two views and can be basis for compromise view.

Molotov said necessary avoid turning discussion from businesslike meeting into propaganda exchange. All recognize connection between two problems. He agreed this conference cannot complete discussion this matter and should be continued in Foreign Ministers’ meeting in October. At that time, Foreign Ministers should have tasks of more modest character, more within their capacity and it follows therefrom agenda coming conference might be more restricted. While Soviet draft largely reflects Soviet view, it has also tried meet Eden proposal inclusion smaller number European states in pact rather than merely reflecting Soviet idea inclusion all European states. Soviet draft could be amended include suggestions in para 4 Western proposal. Could also find common ground regarding paras 2, 3, and 4 Western proposal. Must then find ground for agreement on para 1.

Secretary said all appreciated Molotov remarks which indicate general desire reach agreement and not make topic matter propaganda discussion. Primary problem is unification Germany and there is really no need for new European security pact because entirely defensive nature NATO and Brussels pacts both of which are within U.N. Charter framework. However, we are willing put both problems on parity and hope Soviets will not insist subordination Germany reunification. We cannot postpone indefinitely either problem, since they are inseparable.

Molotov, as chairman, said he wished sum up meeting. First, all delegations had expressed desire study drafts, second, much common ground already exists and third, differences lie in para 1 of both Soviet and Western drafts. Matter will have to be discussed by Heads of Government. He asked suggestions for further procedure.

Secretary suggested 3:30 meeting to discuss directive before proceeding question disarmament. Others agreed.

Secretary said most important two draft proposals not be made available to press since difficulties not as great as two texts might suggest. Others agreed.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–2155. Secret; Priority. Repeated to London, Paris, Moscow, and Bonn. The U.S. Delegation verbatim record, USDEL/Verb/M–3, July 21, and the record of decisions, CF/DOC/RD/7, July 22, are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 509.
  2. The Soviet draft directive was circulated as CF/DOC/9, July 21, in the records of the conference.
  3. The tripartite draft directive was circulated as CF/DOC/8, July 21, in the records of the conference.