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

Secto 232. 1. Macmillan opened ninth session November 9 with expression of regret that Molotov returned from Moscow with even more negative approach.2 He said Geneva spirit meant moving out of immobility characteristic of much previous discussion into field of flexible negotiation. But it now appears that directive which in world [Page 735]opinion marked distinct advance has been repudiated. Soviet Government no longer accepts free elections throughout Germany. This constitutes grave situation in which it does not seem useful continue discussion of Item 1. Failure on Item 1 must gravely affect spirit in which we approach Items 2 and 3. Despite some encouraging progress on security, Molotov’s latest statement if not revised will result in loss of guidance for future. Soviet Government now on record that Germany cannot be reunified until NATO and WEU abolished. Soviet Government is prepared use happiness, unity and independence of German people as pawns in its game to break up Western defense system. Moreover, Germans would still lack freedom of choice according to Soviet position and would be forced accept odious system of East Germany or remain divided. Brutal fact is that for Soviet Government only acceptable guarantee for reunification Germany is Bolshevization of whole country. This is Soviet Government’s contribution to Geneva spirit. Soviet Government making very grave error because Western powers not prepared sacrifice NATO and WEU and German people unwilling accept alien system and loss of independence as price of unity. So long as Soviet Government persists in this policy present state of affairs will continue with all its dangers and with diminishing hopes for a just solution.

Macmillan urged Soviet Government not to incur such grave responsibility before history.

2. Molotov waived his turn, Secretary stated he was now in position express views his government on grave implications of Molotov’s statement.3 Secretary first declared that Soviet persistence in present position would perpetuate conditions which jeopardized peace of Europe. He said fair interpretation of directive was that Heads of Government recognized European security would be endangered if Germany was not reunified. This certainly US view as indicated by President’s statement at July conference that continued division of Germany creates basic source instability in Europe. He also quoted President concerning inseparability European security and reunification. Secretary then reviewed positive nature Western proposals which he said would give Europe security it has not known for hundreds of years. Molotov had said on October 31, 1939 that it was German efforts to shed fetters of Versailles Treaty which led to Second World War. But Versailles Treaty fetters were nothing compared with cruelty and injustice of dividing German people. He cited refugee statistics as evidence German anguish and said situation cannot be indefinitely perpetuated without grave risk. Yet it is to [Page 736]perpetuate this very risk that Soviet Union rejects far-reaching and solid security proposals of Western powers. He urged Soviet Government adopt wiser statesmanship. In addressing himself to effect of the Soviet position upon international relations generally, Secretary recalled Bulganin July statements regarding relaxation of tension and re-establishment necessary confidence among nations. Heads of government had agreed to reunification of Germany by means free elections. US Government believed this agreement at very least meant Foreign Ministers would engage in serious discussion of both security and reunification questions. Soviet Government has refused, however, consider German reunification at all despite clear instructions of directive. Soviet proposal for all-German council4 did not even purport to charge that council with any responsibility for reunification but made proposal with intent perpetuate German division. This grave breach agreement heads of government bound affect adversely over-all relations Soviet Union with other countries including US. Secretary said he would be less than frank if he did not say that so far as US concerned what has happened here has largely shattered confidence that was born at summit conference. Although there can be peace and limited degree of working relations between nations not having such confidence, relations under those conditions are bound be difficult and restricted. Discussions of disarmament and East-West contacts will benefit us little if we cannot feel that we can rely upon agreements between us. He expressed great fear that conference failure this item would be viewed with grave discouragement and concern throughout world. It is not desire or intention of US so far as we can control it to revert to conditions prior to July. It is our purpose continue strive by all means in our power for just and durable peace. Secretary said, however, he deplored setback to European security and damage to spirit of Geneva which has been inflicted by Soviet Union. It is still our hope that Soviet Union may give loyal substance to heads of government agreement that Germany shall be reunified by free elections.

3. Pinay said one is forced to deduce from Molotov’s statement November 85 that German policy of Soviet Government is to consolidate Communist government of Eastern Germany and prepare for extension of Communism over whole of Germany.6 Apparently Soviet Union will agree to free elections only when they can be carried out in manner insuring Sovietization of all Germany. He asked Molotov how Bulganin could have agreed in July to directive providing [Page 737]for German elections if Soviet Government now finds it impossible talk about elections. Pinay then repeated his previous criticism of Soviet proposal for all-German council. He accused Molotov of ignoring his patient responses to questions posed by Soviet Delegation and reviewed Western position again regarding: (1) point at which security treaty would become effective, (2) impossibility unilateral German revocation treaty safeguards, (3) insurance of security for neighbors of Germany and participation Eastern Europe in controls and (4) possibility of amending and improving Western proposals. Pinay said Soviet Government refusal consider Western proposals indicated that its concern was promoting unilateral political aims rather than achievement security. If Soviet proposals accepted, security of France and other neighbors of Germany would be very gravely threatened.

4. In long reply Molotov repeated most of his arguments presented at previous session although tone somewhat milder.7 He reasserted Soviet position entirely consistent with directive which placed European security first and thus gave it priority. He pointed out Bulganin in concluding statement at July conference8 rejected “mechanical merger” of two parts of Germany and called for establishment collective security system with both parts of Germany participating on equal basis. Directive did not state that unified Germany should necessarily enter NATO nor that West Germany should engulf East Germany. Soviet Government cannot accept these suggestions. Molotov repeated argument that main condition for entry into force of Western treaty was membership unified Germany in NATO and WEU. Soviet Government by the way “is not requesting so-called guarantees” of Western treaty. Pinay has offered no proof that Western treaty would provide so-called guarantees for Poland and other neighboring countries. He need only consult opinion of Polish Government to learn that Poland just as skeptical and negative regarding those so-called guarantees as Soviet Union and some other countries. Molotov repeated argument regarding German participation at conference at some length. Soviet Government has always been full-fledged supporter of German reunification and free all-German elections but question not yet ripe for solution since Germans have not been able get together. On Federal Republic side there is no desire to meet and there is evidence of arrogance toward other side (GDR). That state of affairs cannot last long. Leader of West German SPD believes as many technical contacts as possible should be established between two parts of Germany. Need for such contacts if not recognized [Page 738]today will surely be tomorrow. Molotov rejected Western interpretation of Soviet Government aims as Sovietization of Western Germany. He said sense of his speech on previous day was that it is time to refer German question to Germans and to recognize fact that until they agree and refer some common proposals to Four Powers any attempts to impose solution on Germans from outside will fail. Attempts by Western Ministers to show Soviet position inconsistent with spirit of Geneva represent strange logic. It appears that Geneva spirit could be maintained only by agreement on Western proposals and that any other proposals are contrary to that spirit. It also seems wrong to Soviet Delegation to play with such words as “confidence” and “lack of confidence”. Soviet Government serious in believing that establishment of confidence is in interest of all states. Molotov concluded with statement that to work in spirit of Geneva meant to make further persistent efforts narrow down differences on fundamental matters still outstanding.

5. After intermission Macmillan said that Soviet Delegation refusal to consider all-German elections made it seem useless pursue Item 1 further. He moved adjournment further discussion Item 1 in order allow Molotov to consider his position and proposed passing on to Item 2 tomorrow. Molotov then pointed out that Western Ministers had not responded to Soviet proposal that within three months all foreign troops be withdrawn from German territory within their national frontiers leaving only strictly limited contingents in Germany. He asked for indication of attitude other delegations to that proposal. Secretary said that Soviet Delegation had refused submit any proposal in response to German provisions in directive and consequently recommended that Ministers go on with remainder of agenda. He recalled my agreement9 that additional items might be discussed at end agenda upon unanimous approval. There then ensued series of exchanges in which Pinay as chairman sought to adjourn session in accordance with Macmillan motion in face of several statements by Molotov which were out of order. During course of his questions regarding meaning of Macmillan motion Molotov indicated Soviet Government had additional proposal for 50 percent reduction of Foreign troops on German territory and still another proposal which Bulganin had made at July conference on basic principles of treaty to be concluded by existing groupings in Europe.10 After considerable argument over question of suspending Item 1 and whether additional Soviet proposals in fact related to [Page 739]Item, Macmillan clarified his motion by stating that adjournment on Item 1 did not mean that discussion on it would be brought to an end. He stated he had made this motion because Soviet Government declaration yesterday put such complete bar to any discussion of German reunification. Molotov then agreed to postponement further consideration Item 1 pending discussions Items 2 and 3. Meeting was adjourned on understanding discussion Item 2 would begin at next meeting November 10.11

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/11–1055. Secret; Priority. Also sent to Berlin. Repeated to London, Paris, Bonn, and Moscow. The U.S. Delegation verbatim record of the ninth meeting of the Foreign Ministers, which took place at 4 p.m. on November 9, USDel/Verb/9 Corrected, November 9, and record of decisions, MFM/DOC/RD/9, November 10, are Ibid., Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 580.
  2. For text of Macmillan’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/43, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 153–165, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 86–88.
  3. For text of Dulles’ statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/41, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 154–159, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 88–91.
  4. For text of the Soviet proposal, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 98–99, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 107–108.
  5. See Document 340.
  6. For text of Pinay’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/44, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 159–162, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 91–93.
  7. For text of Molotov’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/54, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 162–168, or Cmd. pp. 93–97.
  8. For text of Bulganin’s statement, see Geneva Conference, pp. 77–80.
  9. See Document 284.
  10. The proposal on troop reduction was never submitted to the conference. For text of the Soviet treaty proposal, circulated as MFM/DOC/42, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, p. 168, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 108–109.
  11. Following the ninth meeting of the Foreign Ministers, Dulles discussed the day’s developments with Blankenhorn and Brentano. Dulles suggested that the three Western powers should issue a declaration on Germany at the conclusion of the conference. The German representatives agreed to prepare a draft for the statement, and asked whether Dulles would have time to stop at Bonn following the meetings. (USDel/MC/29, November 11; Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 609)