263. Record of the Meeting Between Secretary of State Dulles and President Tito on the Island of Vanga, November 6, 1955, 3–5:40 p.m.1
- Secretary Dulles
- Ambassador Riddleberger
- Mr. MacArthur
- President Tito
- Vice President Edvard Kardelj
- Foreign Secretary Koca Popovic
- Chief of Cabinet for President Tito, Joze Vilfan
[Here follows a list of subjects discussed.]
Following luncheon at President Tito’s residence on the island of Brioni, the President suggested that those who would participate in the discussions proceed to a small island about a half-mile away, where the talks would take place. President Tito escorted the Secretary into a speedboat and took the wheel himself, driving the Secretary to the island. The other members of the party followed in other craft. After making a brief tour of the small island, the meeting began at a table in the open air outside a replica of a small Burmese temple which President Tito had constructed after his visit to Burma.2 This structure was attractively arranged inside with tables, serving counter, kitchen, etc., obviously for informal entertaining.
President Tito opened the conversation by saying he would like to know what Secretary Dulles would be interested in discussing in order to put to the best possible use the limited time at their disposal. He said if Secretary Dulles would agree to spend the night, they would have a long discussion which would fully exhaust all topics of mutual interest. The Secretary replied that he was afraid this was not possible since he had to return to Geneva. This need not, he said, cause them to rush through their discussion, as he could spend the entire afternoon there leaving at any time that might be convenient that evening. President Tito expressed pleasure and asked the Secretary if he and his party would remain for dinner. He said they could have an early dinner. This would provide more time for their discussions and would also enable the Secretary to get back to Geneva that night. The Secretary accepted with pleasure and it was agreed that dinner would take place at 6:30 p.m.
President Tito then said he was ready to hear what topics Secretary Dulles wished to propose that they discuss. The Secretary replied suggesting that they talk about:
- The Geneva Conference, with particular reference to the German problem;
- the Middle East, since Tito would soon be visiting Colonel Nasser in Egypt;
- the Secretary would appreciate having President Tito’s views on the relationship between the Chinese Communists and the Soviet Union;
- similarly, he would like to hear the President’s views on the present status of the Balkan alliance;
- and finally, he would very much like an exchange of views with the President on the question of the satellite countries in Eastern Europe.
The Secretary said if this was agreeable, he would start by outlining the present status of the Geneva Conference. President Tito agreed.
1. The Geneva Conference 3
Secretary Dulles opened the discussion about the Geneva Conference by stating that it had been agreed with the Soviets that three topics would be discussed at Geneva: (1) European Security and German Reunification; (2) Disarmament; (3) Contacts between East and West.
Thus far, except for one day devoted to a general discussion of East-West Contacts, the time of the Conference has been entirely spent on the discussion of European Security and Germany.
The Secretary said that with respect to European Security, the ideas of the West and those of the Soviets were somewhat the same in that both the Western and the Soviet proposals provided that there could be a European Security pact embracing a number of states in the middle of Europe. At Geneva there had not been discussion of what specific states would be parties to such a pact, but the Western powers had in mind Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and of course the Soviet Union. Also, both the proposals put forward by the two sides would provide for mutual pledges on the non-use of force; on the denial of assistance to aggressors; and to provide aid to a victim of aggression.
The proposals would further provide for a zone, the area of which had not been discussed in precise terms at Geneva, between East and West which the Western powers envisaged would embrace most of Germany and parts of Poland and Czechoslovakia. There would be agreed levels of forces in such a zone, with reciprocal inspection rights so that each side could verify that the agreed level of forces was not being exceeded.
On all the foregoing principles there seemed to be a basis for general agreement. However, if these principles were ever discussed in detail, there would doubtless be difficult problems which would have to be discussed at length and negotiated.
The Secretary mentioned that the Western proposal also provided for overlapping radar establishments, perhaps 100–150 miles on each side of the line of demarcation. We believed the overlapping radar arrangement would tend largely to reduce the possibility of surprise attack. President Tito asked if the radar arrangement would operate on both sides of the line of demarcation or just on the Western side, and the Secretary replied that it would operate on both [Page 683] sides, and he drew a rough map to explain the operation as we envisaged it. He added that the Soviets had not accepted this suggestion.
The Secretary then said the proposals of the Western powers with respect to European Security were made on the assumption that Germany was to be unified, but not that it would necessarily join NATO, since the Western proposals specifically provide that Germany would have freedom of choice. It could join the Western collective security arrangement, it could join the Eastern arrangement under the Warsaw Pact, or it might not join either. The Secretary said that Molotov, in the discussions at the Conference, kept insisting that the Western proposal was predicated on a united Germany joining NATO and that a united Germany would do so. The Secretary emphasized that while the Western proposal did not force a united Germany to join NATO, we thought it might do so. However, it would be juridically a new state, free, as he had said previously, to join with the East, the West, or neither.
He went on to explain to President Tito that the security pressures which we would be willing to include in a European Security treaty would be stronger if Germany were in NATO because we would be able to control a united Germany in NATO through the Brussels Pact and NATO arrangements. He explained that the Brussels Treaty4 forbade German production of bacteriological, chemical, and nuclear weapons; that it limits German forces to 12 divisions; and similarly limits the type of naval craft which Germany could have; that it provides for limitations on stocks of ammunition so that they would not have more than needed by the agreed level of German forces. Furthermore, the Western system provided for the integration of German forces so that Germany would not control the logistical support for German forces, and if Germany became intransigent or wished to use its forces separately, SACEUR could cut off their fuel and petrol supply so that German aircraft and tanks could not move. The Secretary said we thought these controls were extremely effective. If Germany were left alone in the middle of Europe in a totally independent status to bargain between East and West, a most dangerous situation would be created. He reiterated that while we would hope a united Germany would stay under the controls of the Brussels Treaty and NATO, that was for the Germans to decide.
The Secretary then went on to say that the Soviets at Geneva were unwilling to contemplate any steps at all looking to German reunification. He believed the Soviets felt that German reunification [Page 684] would result in the liquidation of the GDR and would have a bad effect on the Soviet hold on the other satellite states of Eastern Europe. He said this had been his diagnosis of the Soviet position at the Summit Conference at Geneva in July, and all the evidence supported this estimate. In other words, the Soviet opposition to reunification of Germany was not based on considerations of Soviet military security, because the West could meet any such apprehensions. It was based on the possible political effect on the satellites and also that the GDR was unpopular in East Germany and would disappear if there were free popular expression. The unpopularity of the GDR was clearly indicated by the fact that more refugees than ever were trying to move from East to West Germany. In the light of this situation, the Soviets feared that reunification of Germany by free elections would result in the sweeping away of the GDR.
The Secretary then said the United States took a very serious view of Soviet opposition to German reunification for two reasons:
- It was specifically agreed by the Heads of Government at the Summit Conference in their Directive to the Foreign Ministers5 that Germany would be reunified. Failure of the Soviets to live up to this agreement would have a very bad effect on the so-called Spirit of Geneva, and would lead people in the United States and elsewhere to become convinced that the Soviets did not live up to agreements which they made.
- The continued division of Germany could lead to a revival of fanatical German nationalism whose aim would be to reunite Germany by any means.
The Secretary explained that he had been at the Versailles Treaty Conference and had also been in Europe in the 1920’s. He had seen the situation evolve which led to the rise of Hitler to power. He pointed out that for seven or eight years following the Versailles Treaty, Germany had had moderate liberal governments which was peacefully minded. But, gradually the injustices of Versailles with respect to the Rhineland, reparations, etc., had led to the rise of national fanaticism in Germany. We believed, the Secretary said, that if we kept postponing German reunification, it would be ever harder to achieve, and would lead to a revival of this German nationalism. In this connection, the recent Saar elections had shown some rather disquieting signs. He said that if we postponed reunification too long, German nationalism would become a real force—not in two or three years, but in four or five years’ time. We were therefore pressing the Soviet Union hard for German reunification, but thus far there were no signs from the Soviet Delegation in Geneva that any forward steps would be taken.[Page 685]
The Secretary said Molotov had returned to Moscow over the week end rather unexpectedly, and it was barely possible, but not probable, that he might return with new instructions. In this connection, the Secretary mentioned that after the Summit meeting Bulganin and Khrushchev had spent three days at Berlin to assure the Pankow Government6 that it would not be liquidated. The Soviets probably felt that a liquidation of the Pankow Government would immediately weaken the governments in Poland and Czechoslovakia, thus creating a serious situation. The Secretary concluded by saying he would very much appreciate President Tito’s views on the problem.
President Tito replied that he had followed closely the Geneva Conference and had also read the Secretary’s last speech made on Friday.7 He went on to say that the Yugoslav ideas with respect to the German question had been developed before the Bulganin–Khrushchev visit to Belgrade. These views and the reasons for them had been explained by the Yugoslavs to a number of people including the Soviets during the Bulganin–Khrushchev visit. Yugoslavia had always maintained that Germany must be independent and this included the right to rearm to a certain extent. A sovereign Germany must be re-created.
The Secretary asked whether President Tito meant a reunified and sovereign Germany. Tito replied that he had not precisely stated this, but that Yugoslav thinking presupposed that Germany must be united because both the West Germans and East Germans desired unity. However, in view of the attitude of the Soviet Union and the attitude of the Western powers on the German question, the Yugoslavs realized that German reunification would be a slow and gradual process. At the same time, the Yugoslavs believed that both parts of Germany must take part in the process of reunification.
Tito emphasized again that the Yugoslav views to the above effect were developed before he met with the Soviets during the visit of the latter to Belgrade, and he wished to stress to the Secretary that they were the independent views of the Yugoslav Government and had not been influenced by the Soviet visit. He added that he and his associates had also spoken along the above lines to Herr Gerstenmeier and other members of a West German parliamentary delegation which had visited Yugoslavia.
President Tito continued that he and his collaborators had the impression in their talks with the Soviets that “they would never accept the elimination of East Germany”. (At this point, Tito interrupted [Page 686] Mr. Vilfan who was interpreting, to say that his remarks had not been correctly translated. What he had said was that the Yugoslavs had the strong impression from the Soviets that East Germany must play an integral role in the gradual reunification of Germany.) Therefore, the problem was to find a way to bring together both Germanies and to form a reunified Germany which was neither militaristic nor expansionist. Tito said that of course he could not guess what the ultimate aim of the Soviets toward Germany was, but it was clear that the Soviet Union feared a revived military and expansionist united Germany.
The Secretary interrupted to say that we all would fear such a Germany. Tito said that if we looked at the problem more closely, it was clear that there was no danger of East Germany swallowing West Germany. East Germany was much smaller and there were substantial non-Communist elements in the East zone. There was, he said, no danger of a “Lublin solution”8 such as befell the Poles. He then went on to say that he wished to speak very frankly about this matter. If we were to speak of the danger of a rebirth of German imperialism, we must analyze this danger. We must look into the elements which would cause a rebirth of imperialism. He said he agreed with the Secretary that the possibility of a revival of German nationalism was a danger, but it was only one of the dangers. He said he also understood the plan to keep Germany under control through NATO but asked who could be sure of the German role when it was reunited. They might follow a course of their own choosing. The Germans, he said, had always criticized themselves for fighting on two fronts. The best object lesson in this respect was the Hitler-Stalin deal. Therefore, nobody could prophesy completely accurately what course a reunited Germany would follow, nor could we forget the reasons why Germany started the last war. It was essential that we have a Germany which was not expansionist but which was a useful member of the international community. Tito said the Western powers would not find a solution when the four Foreign Ministers met again. But, it was imperative that the West keep looking for a viable solution.
President Tito went on to say that although European Security was not identic with the German problem, they were linked. He suggested that if a solution to the problem of European Security could be found, this would aid a solution to the German problem. To be [Page 687] quite frank, he said, the United States was afraid of Soviet expansionism and aggression. The Yugoslavs had had similar fears and they were still cautious. But, because the United States feared Russian aggression, it should not forget the possibility of future German aggression. We must constantly think of both dangers, for if we think of only one we promote the other.
The Secretary said we were well aware of this, and France, which had the best reasons to fear German aggression, was always present in our councils. The Secretary said he agreed with Tito that reunification would probably only come about gradually, but it would never come about unless we made a beginning. As matters now stood, the German problem was becoming solidified, and therefore, more difficult of solution. He mentioned the proposal the three Western powers put forward last Friday looking to elections in Germany in September 1956.9 He said we did not expect elections to be held next September, but that the Western proposal might provoke some constructive response from the Soviets. He said the great danger was that German reunification would be so long delayed that it would come about not as a result of action by the four powers but by violent German action. This was the course Hitler had followed by strong and violent action in re-occupying the Rhineland.
The Secretary reiterated that reunification should be brought about by action of the four powers and that it should not be so delayed that the Germans would be tempted to take matters into their own hands. While German reunification would not come about next year, it was of vital importance that it come about in the next several years as the situation would not hold indefinitely.
2. The Middle East.
President Tito opened the discussion on the Middle East by saying that the Yugos were following this problem very closely. On his return trip from Burma and India, Tito had stopped in Cairo to pay a visit on Col. Nasser. One purpose of his visit was to suggest that some direct contact be established between Israel and Egypt; but when he had mentioned this, all the Egyptians had started to talk at once protesting most vigorously. President Tito said that the idea of getting the Israelis and Egyptians together did not have to be abandoned but now, in the light of the development of events, this was unfortunately more difficult. President Tito then said that, speaking frankly, the Yugos believed that one of the most unhappy ideas which had been injected into the Middle East was the formulation of military pacts in that area which tended to divide the Arab world. [Page 688] Those pacts, instead of being elements or security, are in fact an element of weakness. The Secretary interrupted to inquire whether President Tito had reference to the Baghdad Pact. Tito replied in the affirmative saying that as long as only Turkey and Pakistan were involved in an alliance, the situation in the Middle East was not substantially changed, but when Iraq and then Iran were added, the situation was entirely different. The Baghdad Pact had threatened the unity of the Arab League and some states had joined the Baghdad Pact and others had stayed out and tried to form another Pact.
Turning to the Arab refugee problem, Tito said that this poisoned relations between the Arab states and Israel. Nasser had spoken to him in Cairo about it at length. President Tito thought the great powers must try to help the Arabs economically with a view to assisting in the solution of this problem. He then said the great powers should also speak to the Israelis very firmly and frankly and tell them that their actions had been extremely unhelpful. We should all stress to the Arabs that the State of Israel has become a fact of life and that this must be recognized by them. President Tito said that in his forthcoming visit to Cairo in December he would make this point with Nasser. He continued that if we did not find a solution to the Arab-Israel problem, there is a risk of great danger. Yugoslavia is intensely interested in the Near Eastern area and if a solution is not found to the Arab-Israel problem, there is a real danger of a war. In this connection, he said he must state frankly that the Israeli leaders are not following the best policy. They are, in fact, risking war and a preventive war which would solve nothing and cost them dearly.
The Secretary said that we consider the situation in the area extremely serious. Whether the origin of the present tension goes back to the Baghdad Pact was debatable and could be argued. However, the immediate cause of the present trouble was the Egyptian arms deal engineered by the Soviet Union.10 (President Tito interrupted to say that the deal was with Czechoslovakia to which the Secretary replied that it had been conceived and engineered by the Russians.) The Secretary continued saying the Western powers had been trying to work out a solution by limiting the arms which go to each side and thus to keep a balance—while, at the same time, pressing both sides vigorously for a settlement. The Secretary had made a speech last August 2611 (Tito said he had read it) proposing a general approach [Page 689] to solution and offering funds to Israel to assist in an Arab refugee settlement and also funds for the Jordan water project. Turning to the question of the Arab refugee problem, the Secretary said that while the Arabs talk a great deal about this problem, not many of them are very willing to do anything about it. Probably the Arabs like to point to the bad conditions in the refugee camps which the Secretary had seen at first hand in his visit to the area in 1953 as proof of how terrible the Israelis are.
With respect to a settlement of the Arab-Israel problem the Secretary felt strongly that there should be a settlement of the boundaries. He had hoped that perhaps by intermediaries negotiations might be brought about leading to a boundary settlement. While we were studying this possibility, the Egyptian arms deal had been effected. The U.S. did not question the right of the Soviet bloc to sell arms or the Egyptians right to receive them. But the results of the arms deal were inevitable and the consequences were easily foreseeable. The deal had made the Israelis, with a population of only 1½ million against 20 million Egyptians plus the populations of Syria and Saudi Arabia, feel that they must strike first before Egypt had assimilated the arms and could use them to bring about the destruction of Israel. While Nasser did not talk about annihilating Israel, Ibn Saud had done so continuously as was the present Saudi King. The Secretary mentioned his talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Sharett12 and said that Israel wanted equivalent arms to balance the Czechoslovak shipment. We were not inclined to provide arms in quantity since it would simply lead to an arms race. Israel also wanted a guarantee of its territory but we were not disposed to give it guarantee because there was no satisfactory boundary settlement. The Israeli position is that if we cannot give them arms, or a territorial guarantee, they must do something themselves for their preservation.
The Secretary said we had also called the attention of the Soviets on three occasions to the danger of war breaking out in the area as a result of the arms shipment. Mr. Molotov last week in Geneva had said to the Secretary that there was no danger as a result of the arms shipments. Molotov had even showed him a clipping attributing to General Burns 13 the statement that there was no danger. This did not correspond with the fact because General Burns believed and said there was great danger. Although General Burns might have made a statement playing down the danger, precisely so that it would not become aggravated, his views in this matter were [Page 690] quite clear. The present situation was that each side felt the situation was more dangerous and more tense and there was great risk that hostilities would begin without anyone being able clearly to identify which side had been responsible for the aggression. The best solution would be for each side to pull back their forces so that an aggressor could be readily identified. This, in itself, would provide a deterrent.
The Secretary then said that he did not believe that Egypt would become a Soviet satellite simply because of the Czech arms deal. But there was danger that Egypt would become more dependent on the Soviet Union particularly for spare parts, etc. The U.S. is prepared to assume that Egypt will remain independent of the Soviet Union; and, therefore, we do not wish to take reprisals, such as cutting off aid or putting pressure on the International Bank to refuse a loan for the High Dam just because Egypt concluded the deal. The U.S. does not wish to get placed in the position of backing Israel with the Soviets backing the Arab states. While Jewish elements in the U.S. have considerable influence, they do not make U.S. foreign policy and we believe that everyone should counsel moderation and avoid a position where the U.S. and the Soviet Union would be backing the opposing camps. The Secretary said he agreed with Tito that the Arabs must accept Israel as a fact of life. Furthermore, we should all concentrate on solutions to the refugee problem, the water problem, and particularly the boundary problem. The Secretary was inclined to believe that Israel would accept a settlement even though it had to make some sacrifices, but the Arabs refused to deal directly with Israel. If anything is to be accomplished, it may have to be done on the side through intermediaries, but we are not even sure if that is possible. The big territorial problem for Egypt is Negev where Egypt wants land access to Jordan. Israel wants to retain the Negev for prestige reasons and also because it does not wish to be cut off from the port of Akaba. The Arab states sometimes talk about14 a solution should be along the lines of the UN Resolution of 1947 but this Resolution gave all the Negev to Israel which would not seem to satisfy Egypt. We still believe that some settlement could be arranged; but in view of the unwillingness of the parties to get together, it is extremely difficult. The Secretary said we had thought of a Trieste type of negotiation15 where a proposed solution would be presented to both sides and inquired whether President Tito would be willing to take this one on. Tito laughed, indicating that others might be better placed than he.[Page 691]
The Secretary then asked President Tito if he had good relations with both Arab states and Israel. Tito replied in the affirmative saying that he had been invited to Israel last year but he had been unable to go. The Secretary asked him if he would go this year when he visited Egypt and Tito replied in the negative, but that he might go next year. Tito said that he would try to help with both sides and reiterated that he would be frank with Nasser when he saw him in December and that when he next visited Israel he would also be equally frank there. Yugoslavia’s only real interest is the maintenance of peace in the area. The conversation on the Middle East concluded with the Secretary saying that he personally thought well of Col. Nasser in that he was honest and well-intentioned, but that he was fanatical on the problem of Israel.
3. Communist China.
The Secretary opened the discussion of this item by saying he would appreciate having President Tito’s views about China since Tito knew much more about it than did we. Tito replied that he could not agree that he knew much more than the Secretary but he would be glad to give his views. He said the Yugoslavs had not known too much about China, but since they had established diplomatic relations with the Chinese Communist regime16 they were in a position to give first-hand study to it.
The first point he wished to make was that one could not speak of China as a satellite of the Soviet Union. It was true that at one time the Soviets had had great influence over the Chinese Communists, but even during the time when Mao Tse-tung 17 was trying to come to power during the “partisan” war period, Stalin had complained that Mao was very hard to deal with. The Soviets, he felt, had a rather cautious attitude toward the Chinese Communists. China was a very large country, with infinitely greater population than the Soviet Union. The Soviets were helping China economically and technically, but it was wrong to think the Soviets were pushing Communist China as their spearhead for penetration in Asia.
President Tito said he was sure that some times the Soviet exercised a restraining influence on the Chinese Communists, and in this connection commented that the Chinese Communist regime was young and in full flush of revolutionary fever, which on occasions caused it “to run a bit wild”. He felt that the Chinese Communists had learned some lessons and were now wiser than they had been initially. He expressed the view that it would be very helpful if [Page 692] Communist China could be admitted to the UN since it was important for them to have political and economic contacts with a wide variety of countries and not to be forced into a position of only having relations with the Soviet Union. He stressed the political importance of this and commented that with respect to the economic side, China could provide a wide market for a number of countries, including the United States. He then went on to say that just as China had “shown some elasticity in its internal affairs, so it might show similar elasticity in its foreign policy, which would not exclude some difficulties with the Soviet Union”.
The Secretary inquired whether there was a relationship between the Chinese and the Soviet Communist Parties. Tito replied in the affirmative but said the Chinese Communist Party was quite independent. There had been certain pro-Russian elements in the Chinese Communist Party but they had been largely eliminated. He summarized by saying that the relations between the two Parties were equivalent to the relations between the Soviet Union and China.
The Secretary said he understood President Tito to make the point that there was not the same relationship between Communist China and the Soviet Union as between the Soviet Union and the European satellites which it dominated. Tito said the Secretary’s understanding was correct, and started to speak of a weakening of ties between the Soviet Union and its European satellites, but agreed that this would be discussed later when they exchanged views on the satellite countries.
The Secretary then asked President Tito whether he felt his information regarding the relationship between China and the Soviet Union was dependable. Tito replied in the affirmative, adding that it was not necessary for the Yugoslavs to rely simply on information which came to them. Their estimate was based to a large extent on their understanding of the political developments in China which in some respects were close to the past developments of Communism in Yugoslavia. He added that the conclusions which the Yugoslavs had reached from their analysis corresponded with views they had received from the Burmese and Indians during Tito’s trip to Burma and India.
At this point, Kardelj interrupted to say that the Yugoslavs knew quite a bit about the misunderstanding between Stalin and Mao Tse-tung. He said they knew from what Stalin had told them that Stalin was opposed to Mao taking over China by open revolution. He said it was a paradox that two Communist revolutions which were completely successful—namely, the Yugoslav and the Chinese—were carried out against Stalin’s wishes. Stalin had wanted all countries that engaged in revolution to be dependent on the [Page 693] Soviet Union because he was fully aware that every revolution bred a feeling of national independence.
The Secretary said that in the United States there was a strong feeling against the Chinese Communists. This sentiment derived largely from Chinese Communist intervention in Korea and also from the open efforts of the Chinese to take over Indochina which seriously threatened that area. He now believed the situation in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia was such that those areas had a good prospect of remaining free. Another cause for United States sentiment against Communist China was their threats of action against Taiwan, which had not been part of China for sixty years. Taiwan had been detached from Japan largely due to the efforts of the United States, and therefore the United States did not feel obliged to turn Taiwan back to a regime which was hostile to the United States. Similarly, we did not like the continuous threats of the use of force against Taiwan.
The Secretary then briefly outlined Ambassador Johnson’s talks with Ambassador Wang in Geneva,18 saying that our first objective was to secure the release of Americans who had been imprisoned for political reasons. These Americans were gradually being released. The Chinese Communists wished to talk about trade and we were willing to have some talk on this subject, but we wished to have the Chinese Communists renounce the use of force. The Secretary said that if satisfactory progress could be made by the two Ambassadors in Geneva with respect to a reasonably dependable renunciation of force, we would all be much better off. He said, however, that this would take time and that sentiment in the United States could not be changed by arbitrary action on the part of the United States Government. A change of sentiments would depend on the actions and words of the Chinese Communists. He felt that the talks in Geneva between the Ambassadors were a good thing but that they would take time to arrive at the result for which we hoped. Therefore, he was not too disturbed at their leisurely pace.
The Secretary said that another aspect of the problem was the loyalty which we felt to our Chinese Nationalist friends. He recalled that he had been in Canton in 1938 when the Japs were moving into China and that Chiang had received an attractive offer from the Japanese which he had refused. He had been loyal to the same principles in which we believed and we did not feel we could simply abandon him. In connection with the Taiwan situation, the Secretary explained that we had obtained an agreement from Chiang not to act [Page 694] against the Mainland except in agreement with us. This gave us a considerable degree of control over Chinese Nationalist action against the Mainland. Last January the risk of war had been very great because of the attitude of the Chinese Communists. In this connection, he recalled to President Tito that the Congress had passed a Resolution19 with only six votes in opposition, empowering the President to use the armed forces of the United States to assist in the defense of Taiwan and the Pescadores. Since then, the situation had improved, but the Chinese Communists must realize that the American people still harbored strong feelings against them not simply because they were a Communist regime, for we had good and friendly relations with Yugoslavia which was a Communist regime, but because of the Chinese intervention in Korea, their efforts to take over Indochina, and their threat of force to take over Taiwan.
4. The Balkan Alliance.
At the Secretary’s request, President Tito gave his views on the Balkan Pact. He opened by saying that recently there had been a change in atmosphere as a result of the Turkish riots against the Greeks. These riots occurred when the King of Greece was making a state visit to Belgrade. Tito had discussed this matter with the King, and both had agreed that it would be desirable not to dramatize this situation, particularly in Greece where it had caused much emotion. Pursuant to this agreement, the Yugoslavs had instructed their diplomatic representatives to tell both the Greeks and the Turks to calm down, and they felt their efforts in this direction had produced certain good results. The situation today was much calmer than it had been.
President Tito then turned to a discussion of the Pact itself. He said it was not true that the Yugoslavs wished to eliminate the military side of the Pact. On the other hand, they did not wish to emphasize it as much as in the past because the general situation was now different. (He did not specifically say so, but obviously was referring to the relaxation of tension and the Spirit of Geneva.) Tito said the Yugoslavs believed it was now necessary to emphasize the political, economic, and cultural sides of the Pact. The Turkish action against the Greeks in September had made it quite obvious that it was necessary to strengthen the relations in other fields, because the military relationship was not of much use unless it had a firmer foundation based on real cooperation in other fields.
With respect to the military aspects, President Tito said the Yugoslavs had recently sent a military delegation to Greece to discuss military cooperation in areas where they had a common interest. [Page 695] They had not, however, wished to publicize this military mission. He felt that despite the Turkish action against the Greeks, the Pact would develop into an even more useful instrument.
The Secretary said the Turkish riots had been a very bad affair. While the Turks were primarily responsible, a certain blame was attached to the Greeks because they had set in motion the forces of nationalism, particularly with respect to Cyprus, which now they were having difficulty in controlling. He said he believed the Turks wished to make amends for the riots and hoped the Greeks would accept such gestures and also that Tito would work toward this end.
5. European Satellite States.
The Secretary opened the conversation on this subject by referring to a comment President Tito had made earlier in the discussion about a weakening of ties between the Soviets and the satellites.
Tito said that in viewing the satellites, one had to go back into history. When Stalin had died it was clear that certain developments started to occur in the Soviet Union and that two divergent trends had appeared. The first trend was simply to continue Stalin’s policy in both the internal and external fields. This trend had been quite strong in the Soviet Union, and particularly strong in the satellites. The other trend was a realization of the blind alley into which Stalin’s policy had led the Soviet Union. He mentioned that Bulganin, Khrushchev, and Mikoyan held this view. They had realized that to get out of the blind alley they must effect a change in future policy, including Soviet policy toward the satellites. The first result of this change of policy line was the Bulganin-Khrushchev visit to Yugoslavia. This visit was not simply to get Yugoslavia back into the Soviet camp, but was recognition that the entire Soviet policy toward Yugoslavia in the preceding four years had been wrong. Tito said that on the other hand, it was obvious that a change in Soviet policy would be a slow process. To the outside world it was not always clear that a struggle was still going on between proponents of the two trends he had mentioned. The Soviet leaders must go slowly. The same trend and process was occurring slowly in the satellite countries.
He said there were clear signs of a new orientation taking place and that in the satellites this new orientation was clearer among the masses than among the leadership. He felt there was, in fact, a definite new concept which did not involve a renunciation by the Soviets of the desire to have influence in the satellites, but was a change from the previous policy of iron control. He did not mean to suggest that the new Soviet leaders had all forgotten or given up all elements of Stalinism, which were in their minds, but he felt that the elements of Stalinism which were retained by people in the Soviet Union, and [Page 696] particularly by leaders in the satellites, would become weaker as the views and policies of the present Soviet leadership became stronger.
The Secretary asked him what elements in the Soviet Union were Stalinist-minded, and Tito replied that there were a vast number of relatively young and middle-aged functionaries in the MVD and elsewhere who had been brought up on Stalinist teachings. These elements represented a substantial force within the Soviet Union.
Tito then made reference to the Bulganin–Khrushchev visit to Belgrade and said it had been a very risky proposition for the Soviets. If nothing had come of it, they would have “ruined themselves”. He believed the visit had also had considerable influence on the attitude which the Soviets had subsequently taken at the Geneva Summit Conference.
He said that in his judgment it was wise to support the present leaders in the Soviet Union against the Stalinist group and that this could be done particularly by developing contacts between the East and West. He added that present Soviet leadership was inclined toward a policy of relaxation of tensions and the opening of Soviet frontiers. It was a group which did not wish war, and included military figures such as Marshal Zhukov, who knew what the consequence of war today would be.
Reverting back to the leadership in the satellites, they were still “mentally Stalinist”. Some tried to put on a new dress, but their minds had not changed. However, these leaders were under pressure from the satellite populations to change, and eventually new leaders would emerge. The Secretary said he saw no indication that the present satellite leaders would change. Tito agreed, saying it would be difficult for them to do so. The Secretary said the example which President Tito had set in asserting his independence of the Soviet Union must have had a very great effect among the satellite countries because it showed that Tito had the support of other countries which did not believe in Communism but did believe in the genuine independence of countries. He felt that other satellite countries might wish to follow Tito’s example.
President Tito said there was no doubt that the example of Yugoslavia had had a great impact on the states of Eastern Europe. The peoples of these states envied Yugoslavia’s independence and present position in the world. He said independence for the satellite states would not be a quick process. It would not happen at once, but on the other hand it would not happen too slowly.
He mentioned the joint Soviet-Yugoslav communiqué20 issued at the time of Bulganin’s visit, and said that on Yugoslav insistence, [Page 697] the principles of independence, non-interference in the internal affairs of a state, and the right of countries to seek their own way to socialism, had been included.
The Secretary said that what made the real bonds between the United States and Yugoslavia was the common belief in the right of every country to have independence and any system which it wished without having that system imposed from without.
In conclusion, the Secretary said the United States was completely dedicated to the cause of peace. However, peace required a nation to be strong and to be willing to take risks to defend its national interests and independence. As the danger of war had receded in recent months there had been a loosening of the close ties between the Western countries which were banded together by the fear of Soviet aggression. Some people in the United States seemed to regret the relaxation of tensions because of this loosening of bonds between the Western allies. These people did not see that parallel with the loosening of bonds in the West there was also going on a loosening of bonds within the Soviet bloc, for it was difficult to see what was happening within the Soviet bloc. The Secretary said he felt strongly that such a loosening-up process was taking place in the European satellite states, and in this connection he paid tribute to the great contribution Marshal Tito had made to this end by his actions in defending Yugoslavia’s national independence and aspirations.
President Tito said he fully agreed with the Secretary’s estimate regarding the loosening of bonds within the Soviet orbit, saying that the Yugoslavs were in a better position than others to observe this trend. (On the return trip from Vanga to Tito’s residence at Brioni, Foreign Minister Popovic said the Secretary’s estimate of the loosening-up process occurring in the satellite area had been one of the most significant things which he had said to the Yugoslavs, and coincided with their judgment of the facts.)
The meeting concluded with a brief discussion as to what the Secretary might say in his press conference21 and it was agreed that he would say he had reviewed for President Tito the progress of the Geneva Conference; discussed the Middle East in the light of Tito’s forthcoming visit to Cairo; obtained Tito’s views on the present status of the Balkan Alliance; and discussed with him the states of Eastern Europe, having been in agreement with him that these states should be fully independent, that there should not be outside interference in their internal affairs, and that they should be free to choose their own social and economic systems.
Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199, Yugoslavia. Secret. Drafted on November 8 presumably by MacArthur and circulated to the members of the U.S. Delegation at Geneva. A handwritten note on the source text indicates that Secretary Dulles approved this record on November 23.
The Secretary flew from Geneva, where he was attending the Four-Power Conference of Foreign Ministers, to Vienna on November 4. He met informally with Austrian leaders on November 5 (see Toden 16, infra ) and then flew to Brioni for talks with Tito on November 6. According to Dulles’ Appointment Book, the Secretary was accompanied on the trip from Geneva by Mrs. Dulles, Douglas and Mrs. MacArthur, Jacob Beam, Robert R. Bowie, and Carl McCardle; Ambassador and Mrs. Riddleberger joined the party in Yugoslavia. Only Riddleberger, Dulles, and MacArthur were present for the substantive meetings with the Yugoslavs. (Princeton University Library)↩
- Tito visited Burma January 6–7, 1955.↩
- Reference is to the Four-Power Conference of the Heads of Government at Geneva in July 1955; for documentation, see volume v.↩
- Treaty of Economic, Social, and Cultural Collaboration and Collective Self-Defense among the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg was signed on March 17, 1948. For text of the treaty, see American Foreign Policy: Basic Documents, 1950–1955, vol. I, pp. 968–971.↩
- For text of the Directive to the Foreign Ministers, July 23, 1955, see vol. v, pp. 527–528.↩
- The Government of the German Democratic Republic.↩
- Dulles’ statement of November 4 is printed in Department of State Bulletin, November 21, 1955, p. 823.↩
- Reference is to the formation in July 1944 of a government in Poland composed primarily of pro-Soviet Polish politicians. The government was immediately recognized by the Soviet Union. The United States did not extend recognition until July 1945, and then only after the government was expanded to include pro-Western Poles. Following elections in January 1947, the pro-Soviet elements gained complete control of the government.↩
- The text of the Tripartite proposal, November 4, 1955, concerning the reunification of Germany by free elections, is printed in Documents (R.I.I.A.) for 1955, p. 55.↩
- On September 27, 1955, Nasser announced an agreement signed on September 21, allowing for the Egyptian purchase of arms from Czechoslovakia. For documentation, see volume XIV.↩
- For text of the Secretary’s speech before the Council on Foreign Relations, see Department of State Bulletin, September 5, 1955, p. 378.↩
- Secretary Dulles and Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett met in Paris on October 26, and again in Geneva on October 30. See vol. XIV, pp. 657 and 683.↩
- Major General E.L.M. Burns, Commander, U.N. Truce Supervisory Organization in Palestine.↩
- In a change presumably ordered by Secretary Dulles, the source text shows the words “generally believe” struck out and the words “sometimes talk about” substituted.↩
- In a change presumably ordered by Secretary Dulles, the word “settlement” has been struck out and the word “negotiation” substituted.↩
- Yugoslavia established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in January 1955.↩
- Mao Tse-tung, Chairman of the People’s Republic of China.↩
- Reference is to the Geneva Ambassadorial talks held from August 1955 through 1957 between U. Alexis Johnson, U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, and Wang Pingnan, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Poland.↩
- The Joint Congressional Resolution of January 29, 1955.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 251.↩
- See footnote 5, infra .↩