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

Secto 296. East-West Contacts Meeting of Foreign Ministers convened 3:35 p.m., November 14, with Pinay in chair. Macmillan [Page 772] began speech by confessing sense of frustration in reading account work of experts.2 He welcomed the fact that here for first time we were able to raise in detail with Soviet representatives all those barriers to communications which prevent free and spontaneous passage ideas and persons. Referring to Western memorandum3 he pointed out that 17 points divide into three parts: 5 items on removal barriers, 7 on free exchange of ideas and 5 on exchange persons. Twelve contained sincere and specific offers for improved contacts. Yet of 17 points in Western memorandum we had no satisfactory response on any of these, he said and the only barriers which Soviets suggested as important to remove were strategic controls which clearly excluded from directive. Of 18 meetings, Soviets permitted only 2 on subjects such as censorship and jamming.

Referring to proposals in Soviet document tabled October 314 Macmillan called them frills with which Soviet delegation seeks to clothe nakedness of their ideas on how ordinary, simple intercourse between people East-West can be made into reality.

On issue of trade, short answer to Soviets, Macmillan stated, is that if they want more trade they should trade more. “What can we make of an attitude which proclaims unlicensed freedom in trade, and then asks us to accept as beyond question prohibitions and controls of most illiberal nature in all other fields of human intercourse,” he queried.

Re jamming, he said, UK does not claim to force British opinions on Soviet people. We only make modest request that Soviet people be allowed to know what our opinions are. To jam everything is not censorship, he said. Censorship implies selection but to jam everything is total exclusion. Soviets not only jam BBC broadcasts to Russia but also BBC broadcasts in Finnish, Hebrew, Turkish and German languages. Soviets seem, therefore to judge not only what own people sought to hear but what other people ought to hear also. Re Soviet complaint concerning frequencies, he remarked: “If you force man to talk to you through brick wall you can hardly complain if he raises voice.”

After expressing regret Western delegates got no encouragement on reading rooms and official publications (America), he expressed view that wider understanding Western point of view and policies which derive therefrom would aid in solution of political problems [Page 773] which now divide us and some real progress on Item III might well have assisted, even if indirectly, progress on first two items.

Molotov, in his statement,5 referred to directive heads of government and declared that proposals contained in Soviet document formulated in accord with that directive. He reiterated arguments which he presented October 316 concerning importance of trade in East-West contacts, stating that there can be no normal development of contacts between East and West without elimination of Western discriminatory measures. Molotov then referred to Western memorandum and stated it contained number of proposals representing attempts at interference internal affairs certain countries. Western memorandum, he said, not only reflects claims for changes in legislation and administrative regulations of some countries it also advances claim for modification exchange rate of currency (we do not, he said, conceal fact that in USSR, neither before nor hereafter will such freedom for exchange of ideas be afforded which would authorize freedom for war propaganda and propaganda of atomic attack) nor can we agree, he added, to so-called freedom for exchange of persons which would enable dregs of society to conduct unrestricted subversive activity in countries of socialism and democracy although we know many millions spent for these purposes. Every honest person will recognize, Molotov declared, that broadcasting stations disguised under “Free Europe” label do not serve cause of freedom but cause of darkest reaction, incitement to enmity among peoples and undermining of peace and preparation of new war.

Recognizing that experts unable to agree on a number of important points he asked: What is then to be done as regards drawing up of resolution by this conference on East-West contacts? Molotov then proposed that Soviet draft on East-West contacts be accepted as basis for agreement on certain fundamental matters facilitating development contacts. Soviet delegation he said could also accept as basis draft proposals presented to conference of heads of government by Premier Faure on July 22.7 A number of paragraphs from Western memorandum could also be included he said. Bilateral and multilateral agreements between states, he explained, would deal with concrete questions relating to the development of scientific, technical, sports and other ties, and also to broadcasting, exchange of printed matter, et cetera. Appropriate bilateral agreements could thus embody points which most concern the countries in question. This, [Page 774] he concluded, would be in accord with directives received from heads of government.

Full text Dulles statement cabled by USIA.8 At 5:30 p.m. immediately following conclusion Dulles speech meeting suspended.

After recess Pinay delivered speech9 in which:

He listed areas of general agreement reached by experts and expressed gratification therewith.
He voiced disappointment at restricted scope such agreements and emphasized that Soviets excluded progressive elimination of barriers interfering with free communication between people.
He stated that Soviet proposal sacrificed exchange of ideas for technical and cultural exchanges.
He pointed out that since no serious understanding reached on basic points French delegation could not agree to vouch before public opinion for the value of results obtained by experts.
He listed items on which French government ready to conclude long range commercial contracts with USSR. Here he mentioned proposal re civil air links.
He cited figure 768 used by Soviet delegation concerning number of Western businessmen who visited USSR in 1954. Such an absurdly small figure, he said, illustrates our problem better than long speeches. Soviet Government, he added, is in better position than other governments for acting on development of trade because it controls all trade and can orient trade as it wishes. Nevertheless, Soviets proposed no concrete measures. Soviets simply throw out Western suggestions without discussing them and make no suggestions themselves.
He stressed that agreements confined to small number of businessmen and other professional people do not appear to be kind of agreement which meet the very great hope born at Summit.
He emphasized that so far as France concerned, France not afraid of being known and France convinced that great part of present lack of confidence would disappear if Soviet people were in position to know French as they are and not through the distortions of propaganda.

Pinay then read draft four-power declaration on development East-West contacts which he tabled.10 Text French draft follows immediately.

[Page 775]

In second round Macmillan indicated that if we really want our people to get together and to understand each other there are not very great difficulties. “What worries me is that I do not quite see as yet in the approach of Soviet delegation any real desire to do the things I hoped we had all decided to do at meeting in July and I hope it is not too late to return to that spirit.”

Molotov pointed out that Pinay, who spoke after Soviet delegate, did not refer to Faure proposals made at conference heads of government and requested Pinay to state his views on Faure proposals. Difference between proposals made now and proposals made at heads of government conference including Faure’s proposals was that latter made no attempt interfere in internal affairs of any country.

After repeating familiar arguments re Soviet desire to reduce international tensions and strengthen peace and emphasizing duty Soviet Government to defend rights and interests of Soviet working people Molotov stated that Soviet delegation will give views on new proposals in the morning.

Mr. Dulles then delivered rebuttal on Soviet argument re internal jurisdiction. I am considerably bewildered, he said, by Molotov statement that we should not in this area consider anything which is a matter Soviet internal or domestic jurisdiction. If we stick strictly to that principle, we would, I think, all have to be completely silent because it seems to me that subject of increased contacts inherently involves matters which are of domestic jurisdiction. Dulles then pointed out that Soviet proposal for example calls for elimination immigration barriers. Immigration, he said, is matter of domestic jurisdiction as are proposals in paper of Soviet delegation, in paper submitted by Faure last July and in paper submitted today by French. Assertions by Soviet delegation re domestic jurisdiction in effect means that there is nothing further to be discussed. “Certainly, so far as I am concerned, I would be much more interested in what the Soviet Union does than what it agrees to do,” Mr. Dulles concluded.

Pinay suggested that Mr. Molotov might have been trying to make him contradict his own Premier and added that Molotov would find that six of the points in French draft of four-power declaration contained in proposal of Mr. Faure. Pinay then recalled to Molotov that at September session of UN in New York he spoke against efforts of certain countries to meddle in internal affairs of other countries. “I should like to express regret that your conversion to my thesis has come so late,” Pinay concluded.

Discussion of Item III will be continued at 10:30 a.m. November 15.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/11–1555. Secret. Repeated to London, Paris, Bonn, Moscow, and the Mission at the United Nations. Passed to Defense and USIA. The U.S. Delegation verbatim record of the thirteenth meeting of the Foreign Ministers, which was held on November 15 at 3:30 p.m., USDel/Verb/13 (Corrected), and the record of decisions, MFM/DOC/RD/13, both dated November 14, are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 585.
  2. For text of Macmillan’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/60, see Foreign Ministers Meeting pp. 248–253, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 146–149.
  3. For text of the Western proposal of October 31, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 245–248, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 164–166.
  4. For text of the Soviet proposal, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 239–240, or Cmd. 9633, p. 163.
  5. For text of Molotov’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/62, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 253–256, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 150–152.
  6. See Document 310.
  7. See Document 256.
  8. For text of Dulles’ statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/59, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 256–262, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 152–156.
  9. For text of Pinay’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/66, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 262–265, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 156–159.
  10. For text of this proposal, circulated as MFM/DOC/61, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 266–267, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 166–167. On November 15, the U.S. Delegation reported that the French had tabled this proposal in response to Molotov’s unexpected reference to Faure’s proposal on East-West contacts. The delegation noted that both it and the British had reservations about submitting such a general document, but agreed that the French could table it. The delegation speculated that the possibility of Soviet acceptance was remote. (Secto 299 from Geneva, November 15; Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 585)