194. Letter From Secretary of State Dulles to General Franco 1

Dear General Franco : Since my return from Madrid I have found my thoughts recurring to our talk, particularly in light of developments at this conference.

Three days ago Mr. Molotov, in a speech as brutally frank and cynical as any I have ever heard, told the conference in effect that the Soviet Union would continue to support the East German regime and that there was no hope for the reunification of Germany until the ground had been adequately laid for the Bolshevization of the Federal Republic.2.I am satisfied myself that this is a lead from weakness and not from strength. I believe that the internal cost to the Soviets of the “spirit of Geneva” had become intolerably high in terms of the hopes it created within Russia and the doubts which it produced within the satellites. There is a growing demand for greater tolerance and more independence which frightens the present rulers. This cost had to be [Page 558] balanced by the Soviets against the benefits gained by relaxation within the Free World, but it seems that they are willing to risk those benefits.

This would explain the vehemence with which Molotov, speaking for the Soviet Government, lauded the “social gains” of the GDR and assured that regime of full and lasting support.

I can find no other reason which would account for the willingness of the Soviets to jeopardize the “spirit of Geneva” by repudiating at this conference the German unification agreement reached at the Summit. A contributing factor may be the existence of what they consider to be opportunities in the Middle East which they could not exploit and still maintain the pretense of relaxing tensions. I found various items of confirmatory evidence for this hypothesis.

I send you this word in the thought that it may be of interest to you. Again let me thank you for all your courtesies while I was in Spain.

Sincerely yours,

John Foster Dulles 3
  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 582. Personal and Confidential. Drafted by Merchant and transmitted to Ambassador Lodge on November 13 for delivery to General FRANCO.
  2. Regarding Molotov’s speech on November 8, see vol. V, p. 703.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.