309. Record of an Informal Tripartite Foreign Ministers Meeting, Geneva, October 31, 1955, 11 a.m.1


The Secretary, referring to the emphasis Molotov would be likely to give to German neutrality, said this was a basic question. Neutrality for a reunited Germany would be dangerous since it would leave that country in a bargaining position and would be the cause of future trouble.

Mr. Pinay said he had expressed his views on this many times.

The Secretary said it is difficult to express our concern without annoying the Germans since it is a reflection on them. We all know German neutrality would be inacceptable but our talking about it too much would have a bad effect on German public opinion. (At this point the Secretary gave Mr. Pinay a copy of Molotov’s October 1939 speech bitterly criticizing the British and French.)

Mr. Macmillan said we cannot abandon our position of German freedom of choice. Perhaps we should go back to German statements that Germany cannot be isolated in the modern world. Our line should be the following: Two-thirds of Germany are already in NATO and if the Germans stick to their present position a united Germany would also participate. We are trying to work out arrangements whereby the Soviets will not be endangered, as they claim, if the other one-third joins NATO as a part of reunified Germany; in our plan we have tried to deal with this in advance in order to reassure the Soviets.

The Secretary pointed out that the GDR and the German Socialists, however, favor neutrality. We should concentrate on the strongest statements Adenauer has made against neutrality.

Macmillan recommended that in the conference we should revert to the need for reunification by means of free elections. Molotov says the USSR is entitled to a security treaty; we must say the Germans are entitled to reunification.

Mr. Kirkpatrick suggested we might point out to Molotov that if a reunified Germany chooses neutrality and leaves NATO, that would be an advantage to the Soviets and consequently need not be discussed as part of Soviet concern for security. We should try to brush this question off.

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The Secretary pointed to the likelihood that Molotov will develop the theme of German neutrality and suggested the experts study the question further. Mr. Bowie would represent the US Delegation.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 571. Secret. No drafting information is given on the source text. The Foreign Ministers also discussed trade controls, and Dulles reported on his conversation with Molotov on October 30 (see supra ). Dulles’ report on this conversation was transmitted in Dulte 35, October 31. (Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 571)