361. Letter From Secretary of State Dulles to Prime Minister Segni 1

My Dear Mr. Prime Minister: It has occurred to me that you might like to have some of my thoughts about this Conference. First of all, it is clear that we can expect no result on the important issues which have been at the heart of our discussions here. The position of the Soviet Union with regard to German reunification has remained completely inflexible and Mr. Molotov has repeatedly made it clear that under no circumstances will the Soviet accept any arrangement which would involve giving up Eastern Germany. We have been able to expose to the world the fact that the principal obstacle to agreement is not consideration of the security of the Soviet Union, but Soviet insistence on preserving the so-called German Democratic Republic.

The Soviet position with regard to disarmament holds little promise for progress at this time. Mr. Molotov has merely repeated the arguments of the Soviet proposals of May 10, 1955, and has heaped criticism on the President’s proposal of last July. However, discussion will continue in New York, and in my statement on November 10, 1955, I pointed out that at a later stage the time will come when other nations should be associated with the task of the Disarmament Commission. I appreciate the interest of your Government in this field and Italy was in my mind when I made that statement.

As you know, we have not been able so far to make much headway on the 3rd item of the Directive either. The Soviet Union seems to favor only those exchanges of persons and information from which it can hope to derive political or technical advantages. It shows no sign of willingness to remove the real barriers to freedom of speech and information, so as to create conditions for genuine progress in the field of East-West understanding.

In fact, the only evidence of the “Geneva spirit” on the part of the Soviet delegation at this Conference has been their abstention from diatribe. The substance of what Mr. Molotov has had to say reveals no sign of a more conciliatory attitude toward the West and no intention to abide by the letter, or the spirit, of the Directive of the Heads of Government.

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As you know, I paid a brief visit to Marshal Tito a week ago2 and I believe that this was of real benefit. We had an interesting and frank exchange of views on the current situation. I might mention that the subject of Italian-Yugoslav relations was not discussed, nor did Marshal Tito raise this topic in any form. Kardelj did observe that relations were now much better.

It is my feeling that the course of this Conference makes it more than ever clear that the free countries of the West must remain firmly united, and conscious that the chief aim of the Soviet Union is to create division and friction among them, now as in the past. I hope very much that Mr. Pinay and Mr. Spaak will be able to talk with Chancellor Adenauer this weekend on the desirability of further efforts toward European integration. I am mindful of the important role which your country has always played in the effort to unite Europe. I believe that we must continue to strengthen NATO. In these tasks of partnership I greatly value the contribution of Italy.

I am glad to have been able to talk with Ambassador Bova Scoppa. We have done our best to keep your Government informed through him of the course of events at the Conference.

Sincerely yours,

John Foster Dulles 3
  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 583. Personal and Confidential. Drafted by Tyler.
  2. Secretary Dulles left Vienna for Pula, Yugoslavia, at 9:45 a.m., November 6, and spent the day with Marshal Tito discussing questions of mutual concern. He returned to Geneva shortly after 11 p.m.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.