305. Telegram From the Delegation at the Foreign Ministers Meetings to the Department of State 1

Secto 80. In opening speech October 29 Secretary compared degree to which Western and Soviet proposals responsive to directive of Heads of Government.2 Made following points:
Western proposals conform to first instruction of directive3 regarding close link between European security and German reunification. Soviet security proposal4 not linked reunification in any way but appears assume indefinite division of Germany.
Soviet security proposal ignores nearly all substantive provisions in security section of directive. Only point this section carried by Soviet proposal was obligation not resort force and to deny assistance aggression. Western proposals on other hand included this plus following:
Limitations, control and inspection armed forces and armaments;
Establishment between East and West of zone in which disposition armed forces subject to mutual agreement;

Constructive proposal for effective warning against surprise attack including provision for overlapping radar system. Soviets merely repeated sterile clauses of old Berlin proposal5 which antedates directive and fails take latest thinking into account.

Apart from security guidance directive contained mandatory instruction settle German question and reunify Germany by free elections, West has put forward detailed plan for this in conscientious effort to carry out directive in both letter and spirit. Soviet proposal ignores German reunification. Accordingly [Page 646] recommended that Western proposals be taken as basis further conference discussion item 1.

Pinay echoed Secretary’s points regarding inadequacy Soviet proposal.6 He attacked Soviet requirement that NATO be dissolved and made it clear once again NATO not negotiable. He listed security and non-military aspects NATO which benefit both member and non-member European countries. Soviet proposal relax tension through simultaneous elimination NATO and Warsaw Pact would be fools bargain for West. Monolithic Eastern bloc based on bilateral pacts would remain as threat to Western security. Balance essential for coexistence now provided by NATO would be destroyed. Soviet substitution of military vacuum covered only by legal guarantees is no solution. Therefore second stage Soviet security plan totally unacceptable. First stage Soviet plan calls merely for maintenance status quo to which Soviet security guarantees add nothing. Based on continued division of Germany, this would only aggravate matters by indicating to Germans that four powers had abandoned reunification. If Soviet Government really concerned about its security, Western plan should allay all its anxieties.

Macmillan briefly underscored remarks Pinay and Secretary critical of Soviet proposal and similarly supported NATO.7 In discussing benefits to USSR of Western security proposals Macmillan stressed fact that section 8 would guarantee Soviet Union against attack by any NATO member also party to treaty of assurance. This would include Germany and possibly additional countries since West willing discuss how treaty membership might be extended. This offer goes far beyond any made before. It difficult see how USSR could ask for more under circumstances contemplated, i.e., if united Germany chooses remain in NATO.

Must make it clear that so far as West concerned Germany would have complete freedom choose between NATO or not. Our proposals also designed reassure Soviets event Germany does not join NATO. Germany would not as Soviets claim be forced along path of remilitarization and aggression. It would of course have its own armed forces. West not alone in this nor the first to begin rearming Germany. Federal Republic does not yet have single soldier whereas East Germany has 100,000 men under arms and equipped with tanks and heavy artillery. Since both West and Soviets envisage armed forces for united Germany, question is whether such forces better controlled under Western proposals or Soviet proposal. By recapitulating [Page 647] NATO and WEU controls applicable to Germany and pointing out that new controls in Western security plan would be added to theme Macmillan gave effective emphasis to concreteness Western proposals.


Molotov in reply said fact Soviet Delegation plans present separate German proposal does not mean USSR refuses recognize link between security and unity.8 Soviet Government interprets directive as making consecutive consideration of two parts item 1 appropriate. Since directive mentions security first and security more important because it affects all European nations, Soviet Delegation wishes consider it fully first. Soviet Government has proposals on other items related European security as well as on German reunification. It would appear conference already giving emphasis to European security. This impression confirmed by fact no one has brought up question of German participation in conference which directive instructs Ministers to consider in connection with German problem. When time comes take up German question, Soviet Delegation will raise question of participation. In refuting Macmillan point that divergent Soviet aims excluded USSR from NATO Molotov said basic Soviet objectives of defending peace and insuring security for four powers and for world are same as NATO objectives. Four powers have common purpose of seeking understanding on means achieving these objectives despite difficulties. Positive significance of Western draft proposal is that it deals with problem of European security which was ignored by West at Berlin Conference. Although Soviet gratified East and West positions getting closer, Western proposals have formal character, stressing certain declarative statements and merely referring to possibility of consultation. Main shortcoming is that everything in them including reunification seems subordinated to task of integrating reunified and remilitarized Germany into NATO plan. It is only in that event that draft provided for special guarantees in connection German reunification.

It had been explained that if organized Germany joined Warsaw Pact it would not be up to three powers to give guarantees regarding Germany, but no one mentioned possibility free Germany might elect join either NATO or Warsaw. Western powers had given no convincing clarification covering this contingency. Seemed to Molotov that four powers should assist Germans make own free choice rather than reunify it merely to draw it into one bloc or another. All this requires agreement on principal problem, that of security of European countries. Molotov then put following question to conference and requested views of other Ministers on it before proceeding further:

[Page 648]

“Whether it would not be possible for us to agree to regard the problem of security not from the point of view of this or that grouping of powers but from the view of strengthening point of view of the security interests of all the countries in Europe; or in any case from the point of view of all those European States which suffered so much in the past from German militarism and which are so desirous of preventing the revival of German militarism and any aggression on its part?”

Secretary replied that progress had been made in two day’s discussion and question now was how to continue. West has presented proposals of both parts item 1. Though not complete they were full exposition point of view of three governments. Most questions put by Molotov had been answered with adequacy required at this stage. When we get detailed elaboration treaty of assurance, more detailed exchange views re treaty drafting would be in order. What we need to know now is Soviet Government position on German reunification, since Western proposals on security start from premise Germany will be reunified. Until clear whether Germany will be reunified, it cannot be established whether foundation upon which Western security proposals rest can be laid. In this indeterminate situation, it is premature to answer hypothetical questions such as that used by Molotov.
In subsequent exchange Macmillan and Pinay supported Secretary’s position against repeated pleas of Molotov that Soviet Delegation’s question be answered. Molotov argued that while Heads of Government recognized link between security and reunification, it was up to Ministers to decide how link should be brought about. Soviet view was that completion of consideration on security problem would make it easier arrive at some conclusion on German question. Molotov noted Secretary’s statement that Western proposals subject to possible improvement or modification and said that this had been important debate on European security, leading to better understanding. Soviet Delegation willing to make certain additional proposal on European security at next meeting. Secretary said it would be helpful if Molotov presented his additional proposals of both security and reunification in interest advancing work of conference.
Agreed that October 31 meeting would first take up question of E-W contacts as planned and then resume discussion item 1.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/10–3055. Secret; Priority. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Bonn, Moscow, and Berlin. Copies of the U.S. Delegation verbatim record of the third Foreign Ministers meeting, which took place at 3 p.m., USDel/Verb/3 Corrected, October 29, and the record of decisions, MFM/DOC/RD/3, October 29, are Ibid., Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 569.
  2. For text of Secretary Dulles’ speech, circulated as MFM/DOC/14, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 55–58, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 23–25.
  3. Document 257.
  4. Document 251.
  5. Reference is to FPM(54)46 and 47, February 10, 1954, printed in Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. vii, Part 1, pp. 1189 and 1190.
  6. For text of Pinay’s speech, circulated as, MFM/DOC/15, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 58–63, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 25–29.
  7. For text of Macmillan’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/16, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 63–66, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 29–31.
  8. For text of Molotov’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/13, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 66–72, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 31–36.