340. Telegram From the Delegation at the Foreign Ministers Meetings to the Department of State1

Secto 223. 1. Eighth Ministers Session November 8 began with review by Pinay of present status discussion Item 1.2 He said it would not be prudent hide fact little progress had been made during past few days. He characterized Western position as one providing broad basis for conciliation and stated belief that Molotov had failed realize its actual scope. Western security proposals should allay Soviet anxiety as well as safeguard security other European countries. West prepared consider amendments of initial proposals in order reach agreement, but feels justified in maintaining principle that they provide real security for all. Destruction of West European security cannot be considered essential to security of USSR. Pinay rejected Soviet contention that security guarantees proposed by Western powers would enter into effect only in event reunited Germany joins NATO, pointing out some guarantees would go into effect upon reunification and before unified Germany exercises its freedom of choice under Eden Plan provisions. He emphasized contractual nature of most security guarantees offered by West and concrete aspects of control and inspection system in which Eastern Europe would play its part. As for security of countries neighboring Germany, West would consider it desirable that they participate in treaty in the event reunified Germany should elect join Warsaw Treaty, latter would have to be modified in order to provide West similar guarantees which West offering USSR if united Germany elects NATO. With regard theoretical possibility that unified Germany might join neither pact, it would be involved in European system of reciprocal security guarantees which would make uncontrolled development German military power impossible.

2. Macmillan developed similar line of argument, stating his main purpose was remove obstacles to full understanding and seek path to compromise.3 He said it was apparent there was no intention of any of Four Powers to impose demilitarization upon Germany since even Soviet proposals here and at Berlin Conference envisaged [Page 720] German armed forces. Practical problem then was how to devise arrangement prevent rearmed Germany from threatening European security. Western proposals met this problem squarely for Soviet Union, as well as countries bordering Germany including Poland and Czechoslovakia. Macmillan also countered Soviet arguments that unified Germany might violate all agreements and that NATO and WEU controls might be unilaterally relaxed. He stressed fact that other parties to security agreement including Soviet Union would be in position to take necessary preventive action under terms of treaty. Macmillan said Western security proposals purposely drawn up in outline form in order leave possibility translate them into precise terms as result negotiations. Macmillan concluded by urging Molotov to focus on German reunification by means free elections to which he had stated agreement in principle. He asked that his questions on Eden Plan directed to Molotov at previous meeting4 kept in mind when Soviet Delegation gives its considered response latest Western proposal for 1956 elections.

3. Molotov rejected Western proposal re 1956 elections and establishment Commission of Experts at outset of long and harshly negative speech.5 He said latest Western proposal did not represent anything new as compared initial Western proposals this conference. Purpose of latter was to bring about remilitarization not only of Western Germany but also of Eastern Germany and to draw both into North Atlantic bloc directed against Soviet Union and not only against Soviet Union. He said Soviet Government cannot contribute to implementation of these proposals. Fact that Western powers made no attempt take into account GDR statement was reason why Western proposals “are removed from the realities of life”. After repeating his familiar argument regarding necessity recognizing changed situation in Germany where two sovereign states now exist, Molotov referred to creation of GDR as turning point in history of Germany and Europe. He said it could not be accepted that it impossible to bring about European security prior to reunification of Germany. Participation of both GDR and Federal Republic in European security system would represent important contribution to peace. GDR has established diplomatic and commercial relations with other states and enjoys sovereign freedom to decide on matters of internal and foreign policy. Existence of strengthened GDR with population of eighteen million can neither be ignored nor minimized. Whether some people like it or not GDR is standing firmly on its feet and developing successfully. Molotov then referred to treaty recently [Page 721] concluded between USSR and GDR6 as basis on which Soviet Union is developing its relations with GDR. Soviet Government cannot and will not agree to any violation this treaty. He said that this state of affairs must be taken into account in considering matters relating to Germany. Western proposals ignore these realities and are devoid of constructive character. Molotov said that question of all-German elections was not simply question of changing government but of determining fate of country. Western reunification proposal artificial and ignores views of Germans. Mechanical merger through the so-called free elections under Eden Plan might deprive GDR working people of factories, land, and wealth which impossible to accept. Reunification of Germany cannot be brought about otherwise than by mutual consent of two existing German states. It is direct responsibility of Four Powers to contribute to rapprochement between two parts of Germany and development normal relations between them and other states. Under present conditions paths leading to German reunification along peaceful and democratic lines “can be neither short nor easy”. Establishment of all-German Council is necessary first step. Council could resolve many questions in such fields as commerce and movement between Western and Eastern Germany where agreed decisions would benefit all Germans. From this Molotov concluded that “further consideration of German problem would be useful when Germans themselves find a common language and take task of preparing settlement of that problem into their own hands.” Proposals of Western powers would lead to revival of imperialist Germany by spreading Paris Agreements throughout Germany and to re-establishment of monopolists, junkers, and militarists. Democratic and social transformation as well as freedom won by working people of GDR would be liquidated. Resultant aggressive German militarism would enhance danger of new war in Europe. Fact that US has not recognized GDR irrelevant. Recognition merely a question of time and GDR has great future as workers’ and peasants’ state supported by strong and loyal friends. Although true that Soviet Union considered all-German elections possible in 1954, intervening events such as Paris Agreements and fact that Western Germany has placed itself in opposition Germany now make it impossible to speak of all-German elections. Western attempts to speak to Soviet Union from position of strength cannot yield success in German problem or any other problem. Despite fact that Western and Soviet security proposals have some points in common, such principal matters as assuring European security through liquidation [Page 722] of military groupings, and the question of German participation in a European security system have not been agreed. Soviet Government proposals in accordance with directive take into consideration interests of European countries and national interests of German people. They do not hold promise for an easy solution of complicated international problems we face particularly the German problem “but unfortunately no such easy solution is existent”.

4. After brief recess Secretary said that implications of Molotov statement seemed so serious in terms of the directive and hopes with which we came here that he preferred study matter over night before speaking. Pinay and Macmillan voiced agreement with Secretary’s statement and meeting was adjourned an hour earlier than usual.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/11–955. Secret; Priority. Repeated to London, Paris, Bonn, Moscow, and Berlin. The U.S. Delegation verbatim record of the eighth Foreign Ministers meeting, which was held on November 8 at 4 p.m., USDel/Verb/8 Corrected, and record of decisions, MFM/DOC/RD/8, both dated November 8, are Ibid., Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 579.
  2. For text of Pinay’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/38, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 137–140, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 75–78.
  3. For text of Macmillan’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/40, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 141–144, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 78–80.
  4. See Document 327.
  5. For text of Molotov’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/39, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 145–152, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 81–86.
  6. For text of the treaty between the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic, signed at Moscow, September 20, 1955, see Documents (R.I.I.A.) for 1955, pp. 200–202.