334. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State1

Dulte 54. Eyes only Acting Secretary from Secretary. I am thinking about circumstances under which present conference will terminate, presumably toward end of next week.

Adenauer is very anxious there should be another conference so that he will not be left alone to deal with unresolved problem of German reunification.

Undoubtedly British and French will not want this conference to mark a break. On other hand, I have difficulty in seeing possibility of recording enough progress to justify holding a new conference.

It has occurred to me today best solution may be not to regard this conference as ending, but merely as recessing to reconvene and [Page 700] continue its work some time in the spring. That will avoid giving our communiqué anything like finality and will greatly ease task of preparing it. It will avoid necessity of having to have conference judged as a complete conference which will have either “failure” or “success”. Neither is probably accurate but best solution, it strikes me, might be merely to say conference was not yet over.

You will recall original invitation of Three Powers pointed out “solution of these problems will take time and patience. They will not be solved at a single meeting nor in a hasty manner”.

If this recessing formula were adopted now, same formula could be adopted next spring and perhaps tide over election period without bringing up issue of success or failure and survival or death of “spirit of Geneva”.

I feel Directive of Heads of Government could be regarded as a continuing directive, at least for a year or more, and we should not consider the possibilities are fully exhausted by meeting together on approximately 15 days or a total of 60 hours, of which one half is interpretation.

These are somewhat rambling thoughts which have just developed in my mind. I would appreciate reaction within next day or two, as, if we adopt this thesis, we must develop it with our allies. You might give idea to President and perhaps get a slant from Vice President and some Cabinet members.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/11–755. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Dulles. Transmitted to the Denver White House as Toden 17 at 8:25 p.m. on November 7.