118. Editorial Note

The quadripartite working group began discussion of the draft reply to the Soviet note of November 27 at the Quai d’Orsay on December 17 with Loftus E. Becker, Legal Adviser of the Department of State; Martin J. Hillenbrand, Director of the Office of German Affairs; and Walter J. Stoessel, Jr., representing the United States. The following day drafts of each country’s reply had been prepared and were referred to the four countries for consideration. A variety of changes were made in the individual drafts, and on December 29 they were all discussed by the North Atlantic Council. Following a few last minute revisions the three Western replies were delivered to the Soviet Foreign Ministry the afternoon of December 31. The West German reply was delivered 5 days later on January 5, 1959.

For text of the U.S. note, see Documents on Germany, 1944–1985, pages 573–576, or Department of State Bulletin, January 19, 1959, pages 79–81; for text of the British note, see Documents RIIA, 1958, pages 166–172; for text of the French note, see La Documentation Française, Articles et Documents, No. 750, January 15, 1959; for text of the West German note, see Documents on Germany, 1944–1985, pages 577–585, or Moskau Bonn, pages 480–488. Documentation on the drafting and revision of the various texts is in Department of State, Central Files 762.00/12–1758 through 12–3158.

While the quadripartite working group considered the texts of draft replies to the Soviet note of November 27, the Office of the Legal Adviser, Department of State, prepared a memorandum on the legal aspects of the Berlin situation, dated December 19. For text of this memorandum, see Department of State Bulletin, January 5, 1959, pages 5–13.