242. Editorial Note

The Four-Power Working Group at Paris met from March 9 to 21 to consider the Western position at a conference with the Soviet Union. Martin Hillenbrand led the U.S. Delegation, while Jean Laloy, Patrick Hancock, and Georg von Baudissin, respectively, led the French, British, and West German Delegations.

Following initial discussions, March 9–11, the United States Delegation submitted its basic paper “Elements of a Western Position at a Conference with the Soviets” on March 12. This paper included an estimate of Soviet intentions, Western objectives, tactics, a four-stage proposal for German reunification, and proposals on Berlin and became the basis for the final report of the Working Group. See Document 220.

On March 12 the four delegations also began drafting a reply to the Soviet note of March 2 (see Document 244), but this work was suspended at British insistence on March 14 until Prime Minister Macmillan could visit Washington. During the rest of its sessions the Working Group drafted a report that included six sections devoted to Soviet objectives, Allied objectives, method of unifying Germany, security measures in Europe, future status of a reunified Germany, and Berlin; annexes entitled “Proposal for Phased Plan for German Reunification, European Security, and a German Peace Settlement” and “Elements of an Interim Berlin Settlement”; three supplementary papers that considered Soviet intentions, a peace treaty between the Soviet Union and East Germany, and a proposal concerning a preliminary stage of German reunification; and a two-page paper on tactics.

A copy of the report is in Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1225. Reports on the sessions of the Working Group and the discussion by the North Atlantic Council on March 18 and 19 are ibid., Central Files, 762.00/3–959 through 3–2159.