306. Memorandum of a Conversation, Geneva, October 29, 19551


  • German Participation


  • Ambassador Blankenhorn
  • Dr. Grewe
  • Mr. Boeker
  • Mr. Merchant
  • Mr. Kidd

At this evening’s meeting with the German representatives, Mr. Blankenhorn asked whether the US would be disposed to break off the conference if the Soviets refused to take part in any discussion of item 1 (b) of the agenda (German reunification). He said that he supposed that the Soviets would preface their position on this point by a request for participation of representatives of the GDR and Federal Republic. He understood that the Western Ministers would thereupon express a willingness to hear the Federal Republic but not the GDR, which was in accord with the position taken by Foreign Minister Brentano. If the Soviets at that point maintained that it would be useless to have any further discussion of Germany, and proposed that the conference take up items 2 and 3 of the agenda, what would the Western Ministers do? Would they refuse to go on? Mr. Boeker thought that it would be a considerable success for the Soviets if the Western Powers agreed to go on without further discussion of Germany.

Mr. Merchant replied that this was a problem especially for the Federal Republic. Grewe (not quite accurately) said that this situation had not been considered by the Working Group when they reached their decision, which was directed primarily to the Soviets raising the question on the first day. Blankenhorn said that the question obviously needed further consideration by the Germans and perhaps consultation with Bonn, which they would undertake in the next few days.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/10–2955. Secret. Drafted by Kidd. Copies of this memorandum, approved for distribution by Merchant, were sent to Dulles, MacArthur, Merchant, Phleger, Bowie, and Beam.