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

Secto 72. Sixth meeting Heads of Government convened 5:05 p.m. July 22, President presiding.

President said first unfinished item was directive to Foreign Ministers of day before yesterday. Asked Secretary to describe status.

Secretary said three tasks had been given Foreign Ministers: first, to draft instruction to Foreign Ministers to deal with problem of German unification and European security. Second in order of time was to draft recommendations re disarmament. Third, to make recommendations re paper submitted late yesterday by Soviet on principles to cover East/West European security pact.2

One unresolved basic question remained re first task: Order in which Foreign Ministers should be instructed. Certain delegations felt should follow order indicated in conference decision i.e., German unification and European security, but one delegation felt orders should be reversed.

Foreign Ministers still discussing whether there should be particular reference in paragraph re Germany to participation of representatives of GDR, GFR, and other interested states when adjourned for this meeting. All felt there would be occasion to consult representatives of German people. Three felt it was adequately covered in proposed paper stating responsibility and right of Foreign Ministers to determine organization of their work.

On disarmament, three Western Foreign Ministers had submitted paper3 and Soviets proposed substitute which had not been circulated in time to give detailed consideration before this meeting.4

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Re Soviet proposal on principles E/W security pact, Foreign Ministers had agreed that Soviet paper would be one of proposals to be considered later by Foreign Ministers under proposed provision that they should consider other possible proposals pertaining to solution of this problem.

Secretary closed by noting hard work and spirit of conciliation that had gone into these discussions, which he thought very hopeful for future.

President summarized two points still at difference as (1) order of agenda and (2) whether instructions should include specific reference representatives East and West Germany.

Faure supported views expressed by Secretary.

Eden said practice at Berlin had been to have contact with interested parties but they had no need to express this in instructions. Understood anybody could consult interested parties at any time. Believe general instructions adequate.

Bulganin called on Molotov. Molotov said agreed Foreign Ministers would meet in October and Soviets had proposed they should consider (1) European security, (2) disarmament and (3) German problem in order of desirability of handling.

Agreed that Ministers had made effort to reach agreement and said results had followed by agreeing on giving of directive, kind of directive and text of directive. However, on German problem remaining issues were participation of representatives of German people, and restated Soviet case. Disarmament remains to be completed.

President proposed Foreign Ministers be given further time to consider disagreed points. Faure agreed.

Eden suggested might be desirable in interest of time to examine disagreed points in restricted session, but said would be guided by colleagues.

Bulganin supported President’s suggestion and it was so agreed.

President suggested Foreign Ministers remain for about half hour to hear discussions on East/West contacts.

President then made statement, text sent by USIA.5

[“Gentlemen, the agenda item for today’s discussion is the development of contacts between East and West. Now, accordingly, then, today we might discuss methods of normalizing and increasing the contacts between our nations in many fields. I am heartened by the deep interest in this question, which interest implies a common purpose to understand each other better.

[“Unfortunately, there exist unnecessary restrictions on the flow between us of ideas, of things, and of people. Like other questions [Page 476]that we have considered during the past four days, this one can not be considered independently or in isolation. All are related by their direct importance to the general objective of lessening world fears and tensions.

[“To help achieve the goal of peace based on justice and right and mutual understanding, there are certain concrete steps that could be taken:

[“First, to lower the barriers which now impede the interchange of information and ideas between our peoples;

[“Two, to lower the barriers which now impede the opportunities of people to travel anywhere in the world for peaceful, friendly purposes so that all will have a chance to know each other face to face;

[“Three, to create conditions which will encourage nations to increase the exchange of peaceful goods throughout the world.

[“Success in these endeavors would improve the conditions of life for all our citizens and elsewhere in the world.

[“By helping eliminate poverty and ignorance we can take another step in progress toward peace. When restrictions on communications of all kinds, including radio and travel, existing in extreme form in some places have operated as causes of mutual distrust, in America the fervent belief in freedom of thought, of expression and of movement is a vital part of our heritage. Yet, during these past ten years, even we have felt compelled in the protection of our own interests, to place some restrictions upon the movement of persons and communications across our national frontiers. This Conference has the opportunity, I believe, to initiate concrete steps to permit the breaking down of both mild and severe barriers to mutual understanding and trust.

[“Now I should like to turn to the question of trade. I assume that each of us here is dedicated to the improvement of the conditions of life of our own citizens. Trade in peaceful goods is an important factor in achieving this goal. If trade is to reach its maximum capability in this regard, it must be both voluminous and worldwide.

[“The United Nations has properly been concerned in making available to the people of the underdeveloped areas modern technology and managerial abilities, as well as capital and credit. My country not only supports these efforts but has undertaken parallel projects outside the United Nations. In this connection, the new atomic science possesses a tremendous potential for helping raise the standards of living and providing greater opportunity for all the world. World-wide interest in overcoming poverty and ignorance is growing by leaps and bounds and each of the great nations should do its utmost to assist in this development. As a result, new desires, [Page 477]new requirements, new aspirations are emerging almost everywhere as man climbs the upward path of his destiny. Most encouraging of all is the evidence that after centuries of fatalism and resignation the hopeless of the world are beginning to hope.

[“But regardless of the results achieved through the United Nations effort, or the individual efforts of helpful nations, trade remains the indispensable arterial system of a flourishing world prosperity. If we could create conditions in which unnecessary restrictions on trade would be progressively eliminated and under which there would be free and friendly exchange of ideas and of people, we should have done much to chart the paths toward the objective we commonly seek.

[“By working together toward all these goals, we can do much to transform this century of recurring conflict into a century of enduring and invigorating peace. This, I assure you, the United States of America devotedly desires, as I know all of us do.”]

Faure said contacts between individuals of paramount importance reducing tension, of which meeting Heads of Government a glowing example.

Recognition of two security zones in Europe does not imply final acceptance of division of continent. France believes in brotherhood and friendship between nations. Prerequisite for unity in Europe is freer exchange between peoples and economies; therefore France offers proposal designed for freer circulation of men, ideas and goods.6

First, Faure referred to freedom of movement for business and tourism; second, to developing exchanges in professional, artistic and scientific circles, including students and lecturers, books, journals, magazines, documentary films, etc.

Primary obstacle to this has been atmosphere of systematic hostility which now appears to have largely receded. Further, there is fear that exchanges in scientific, cultural, technical and artistic fields will be used for political propaganda purposes. To solve this could have committee of ministers of education or fine arts to devise safeguards.

Aid exchanges by radio should be amplified but broadcasts should not be used for propaganda. Suggested broadcasts on literary and scientific subjects.

Stated next problem is freedom of access to information. This would be easy re technical information, but more ticklish re political directives of opinion. Proposed Heads of Government should be able to make broad statements on general situation and other governments [Page 478]should give statements wide dissemination through press and radio.

On economic problems said there would be advantages in wide development of trade, but barriers cannot be removed all at once although they can be made more flexible and reduced to largest extent possible. Said there would be advantage in admitting countries of East and West Europe into common organizations, particularly, as Pinay said at Strasbourg, in areas of transport and power. Also views with favor creation of common investment fund in Europe for public works of general value.

Eden said that as conference hall was only place with simultaneous translation available, and as Foreign Ministers should get to work soonest, he would be ready to table his observations so Foreign Ministers could get to work and postpone further discussion this agenda item until Foreign Ministers had reported.7 Bulganin concurred.

President adjourned meeting proposing Heads of Government meet 11 a.m. tomorrow to consider Foreign Ministers work, suggesting about four persons per delegation plus interpreters. Agreed. Adjourned 6:14 p.m.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–2355. Secret. Repeated to London, Paris, Moscow, and Bonn. Copies of the U.S. Delegation verbatim record, USDEL/Verb/6, July 22, and the records of decision, CF/DOC/RD/11, July 23, for this session are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 510.
  2. For text of this Soviet paper, see footnote 2, Document 221.
  3. For text of the Western proposal on disarmament, see footnote 4, Document 232.
  4. For text of the Soviet proposed substitute, July 22, see supra.
  5. The text that follows in brackets is taken from the verbatim record referred to in footnote 1 above.
  6. For text of the French proposal, circulated as CF/DOC/19, July 22, see Document 256.
  7. For text of Prime Minister Eden’s statement, circulated as CF/DOC/21, July 22, see Geneva Conference, pp. 64–66.