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

Secto 318. 1. As first speaker afternoon session fifteenth meeting, November 15, Molotov brought up previously mentioned Soviet proposals re troop withdrawal, fifty percent reduction of foreign forces in Germany, limitation of German military units and non-aggression pact between NATO and Warsaw.2 In effort elicit Western comments he stressed contribution each of these would make to relaxation of tension in Europe and as first step toward establishment European security system.

2. Three Western Ministers rejected discussion of proposals re foreign troops and German units as part of Item 1, since Soviet delegation had failed discuss reunification. Secretary said US not prepared to consider such fragmentary proposals calculated to put asunder what heads of government had joined together.3 Macmillan said that since Molotov had in effect torn up directive by refusing to discuss [Page 787] German reunification under system of free elections, discussion of latest proposals irrelevant and contrary to directive.

3. Molotov argued that treaty between NATO and WEU on one hand and Warsaw pact on other would take into consideration interests of both sides and enable four powers make beginning on European security by avoiding points not yet agreed.4 Efforts to subordinate such agreement to settlement of German problem as whole would not contribute to progress. This proposal takes into account existence of two German states. To be concluded it would have to be agreed with all member states each military grouping.

4. Western ministers pointed out that this draft treaty added nothing to UN Charter provisions relating to renunciation use of force and settlement of disputes by peaceful means. Western security proposals repeated these provisions but went beyond them to provide specific and concrete European security measures. Secretary said that US would not sign any security treaty with Soviet Union in relation to Europe except as part of arrangement for reunification of Germany in freedom.5 Soviet proposal devoid of real meaning and would mislead public by creating impression new measures taken providing for European security.

5. Molotov then repeated familiar criticism Western security proposals as being designed to place remilitarized and reunified Germany in NATO. This he claimed would endanger rather than promote European security. Other provisions in three-power draft he characterized as “merely paper guarantees” not even satisfactory to France since Pinay wants united Germany in NATO as additional guarantee. Soviet proposal for treaty between military bloc fully consistent with UN Charter and necessary because no other measures exist adequately governing relations between groupings. European people would hardly understand failure to take such step for peace and relaxation tension simply because three-power draft proposal not agreed.

6. After extended recess Molotov submitted resolution (text transmitted separate telegram6) summing up European security points on which Soviet and Western positions had been similar and pointing out that agreement had not been reached on “assurance of European security on the basis of consolidation of cooperation between states and also the settlement of the German problem and the restoration of Germany’s unity”. Resolution ended with statement: “All [Page 788] parties to the meeting have shown their desire to continue their efforts toward achieving such agreement.”

7. Western ministers each indicated desire study Soviet resolution before making detailed comment and Secretary said resolution failed adequately reflect fact Western security proposals expressly related to German reunification through free elections in accordance directive.7 He indicated that views contained in draft resolution might preferably be reflected in closing speeches rather than in precise formulation of an agreement. Macmillan said Soviet resolution confirmed his previous impression that real progress might be made if Soviet Government would accept major premise of German unification by free elections.

8. Ministers then agreed to consider problem of quadripartite communiqué in restricted session, leaving further discussion Item 1 and Soviet resolution until Wednesday morning. Final communiqué and closing speeches scheduled for afternoon session Wednesday.

9. Restricted meeting agreed communiqué should be short and objective.8 UK will circulate tripartite agreed draft as its own and experts of four delegations will discuss it in morning. Also agreed morning plenary to conclude Item 1 and afternoon session for closing speeches and issuance communiqué.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/11–1655. Secret; Priority. Repeated to London, Paris, Bonn, Moscow, and Berlin. The U.S. Delegation verbatim record of the fifteenth Foreign Ministers meeting, which took place at 4 p.m. on November 15, USDel/Verb/15 (Corrected), and the record of decisions, MFM/DOC/RD/15, both dated November 15, are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 586.
  2. For text of Molotov’s statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/74, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 169–176.
  3. For text of Dulles’ statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/67, see ibid., pp. 170–171, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 97–98.
  4. For text of Molotov’s second statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/75, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 171–172.
  5. For text of Dulles’ statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/68, see ibid., p. 173.
  6. Secto 319 from Geneva, November 19, not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/11–1655) For text of the Soviet proposal, circulated as MFM/DOC/70, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 174–175, or Cmd. 9633, p. 109.
  7. For text of Dulles’ statement, circulated as MFM/DOC/79, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, p. 175.
  8. See Document 376.