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

Dulte 60. Eyes only Acting Secretary for President at Adams’ discretion.

“Dear Mr. President: Molotov returned from Moscow this morning and this afternoon delivered one of the most cynical and uncompromising speeches which I have ever heard.2 It involved a sweeping rejection of all Western proposals for European security and German reunification. It repudiated the provision of directive that reunification and European security were closely linked. It stated we could not now speak of ‘all German elections’ as agreed in directive, and in effect said Soviet Union would never permit Eastern Germany to be reunified with Western Germany except under conditions which clearly implied the Communization of all of Germany.

There was not in all of his speech a single phrase which was conciliatory or which gave even lip service to your agreement at ‘summit’.

At close three Western Ministers agreed not to make a reply today and I as presiding officer merely stated that implications of Molotov’s speech were so serious I did not want to reply without deliberation overnight. Pinay and Macmillan took same line.

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We shall have to reply tomorrow at four o’clock Geneva time and I do not see how I can avoid taking position that the clear breach of summit directive creates a condition where no confidence can be placed on agreements with Soviet Government and that we shall have to conduct our relations accordingly. I feel Soviet position was taken with full recognition of consequences and without any apparent desire to avoid them. It means I am afraid that further debate on disarmament and contacts will have little substance and we shall probably quickly reach end of our agenda.

Macmillan, Pinay and all our advisers agree on this analysis of Molotov’s speech. I think Pinay is prepared to react strongly but Macmillan seemed to have been softened up, presumably by Eden, on his weekend visit to London.

I should welcome any guidance you can get to me by tomorrow. I am deeply disappointed as I know you are at this apparent frustration of the hopes which were born at Geneva and to which you contributed so greatly. However, this development here coupled with developments in Near East seems to me to indicate deliberate Soviet decision to take measures which they must have seen would inevitably involve a sharp increase of tension and resumption of cold-war struggle. The fact Molotov went to Moscow before making speech seems intended to show that it represents highest Soviet policy.

Prior to today’s developments we had contemplated recessing this conference end of next week with view to reconvening next spring. However, I would not now want to commit myself to another conference prior to return and personal consultation.

Faithfully yours, Foster

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/11–855. Secret; Niact. Transmitted to the Denver White House, November 8, at 4:05 p.m. as Toden 19.
  2. See Document 340.