299. Telegram From the Delegation to the Foreign Ministers Meeting to the Department of State0

Secto 33. Paris pass USRO. Third Session Foreign Ministers Conference began 3:30 p.m. May 13. Secretary, who was in chair, offered floor to Gromyko to make statement, which he had previously indicated he wished to do. Gromyko remarks devoted to question of Polish and [Page 697] Czechoslovakian participation.1 He reviewed all points made in his statements yesterday2 and endeavored rebut Western positions on participation question. Gromyko said attempt postpone decision concerning participation was only thinly veiled effort to side-step it indefinitely.

Western representatives made clear their positions remained as set forth previously. Gromyko thereupon expressed once more his belief that Poland and Czechoslovakia have legitimate right to participate from outset in Conference. He regretted there was still no decision to this problem, but he was sure that decision would be forthcoming within next few days.

Secretary then made his formal opening statement (text reported separately by USIS).3

Lucet, who substituted for Couve de Murville (who has flu), made brief statement4 which highlighted central importance of German problem. No real security and stability in Europe can be attained until German problem is settled. French Government believes there is hope that progress can be made in this direction, although it may take time. If progress is realized, way will be opened to Summit, which will confirm arrangements agreed on at Foreign Ministers Meeting and will discuss “vaster problems.”

Gromyko’s opening statement5 was long but relatively mild for Soviet representative. He stressed peaceful aim of Soviet Union. On Germany, he welcomed fact that representatives of “two German states” were present at conference, and emphasized only way to solve German question is through direct negotiations between representatives of two German states.

Gromyko repeated familiar arguments in favor of conclusion German peace treaty and “ normalization” of dangerous situation in West Berlin through ending occupation regime there.

He said Soviet Government is encouraged by similarity of views existing between governments on several questions. He cited as examples [Page 698] communiqué following Macmillan-Khrushchev talks,6 de Gaulle’s statement on German frontiers,7 and “more realistic approach to German problem” shown recently by statements of leading U.S. officials. Gromyko also noted warmer relations between U.S. and USSR resulting from Mikoyan’s visit to U.S. and Nixon’s forthcoming trip to Moscow.8

Gromyko went on to say that other actions, such as establishment U.S. atomic-missile bases abroad and atomic arming of Bundeswehr served only to increase the differences between states. They could “make difficult if not impossible successful outcome present talks.” Moreover, Soviet Government, if it wished, could also present its partners in talks with accomplished facts in political as well as in military fields. But Gromyko said this was not desired by Soviet Government, which wished to narrow difficulties between states rather than expand them.

Gromyko expressed concern at reports that West will attempt to link all political elements concerning European settlement into one bundle which will be impossible to untie.

Gromyko said it would not be feasible to solve all problems at one sitting. Therefore Soviet Government proposes for consideration only conclusion of German Peace Treaty and normalization of West Berlin.

Foreign Ministers Conference, Gromyko stated, will also have to agree on time, place and agenda of Summit Meeting. He emphasized importance Soviet Government attaches to Summit and he hoped such meetings could be held on regular basis. He therefore welcomed view of Macmillan that Summit meeting would mark beginning of period of talks between East and West.

Lloyd’s remarks were brief and informal, largely devoted to comments on points made by Gromyko.9 He said Western powers do not share Soviet view concerning existence two sovereign German states and likewise do not believe that way to solve German problem is through negotiation between Germans.

Referring to Gromyko’s remarks re linking of political problems together, Lloyd said that, of course, it must be recognized that problems are interrelated. Lloyd also noted that Western powers were not [Page 699] “forcing pace” on arms modernization program, but were fulfilling program decreed on sometime ago.

Lloyd echoed hopes of others that present meeting could make progress on at least some issues and that way could be opened to Summit.

Meeting adjourned about 6:00 p.m.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/5–1459. Official Use Only. Repeated to Bonn, London, Moscow, Paris, and USUN. The U.S. Delegation verbatim record of the session, US/VR/3 (Corrected), and summary of the verbatim record, US/VRS/3, May 13, are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1345 and 1349.
  2. For text of Gromyko’s statement, circulated as RM/DOC/4, May 14, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 29–33.
  3. See Document 297.
  4. Herter’s statement, in which he reviewed developments since the last Foreign Ministers meeting in 1955 and noted that the present session had three objectives: (1) reach agreements over as wide a field as possible, (2) narrow the differences on other points, and (3) prepare proposals for a Heads of Government meeting, was circulated as RM/DOC/2, May 13. For text, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 34–37; Cmd. 868, pp. 1–2; or Department of State Bulletin, June 1, 1959, pp. 775–776.
  5. For text of this statement, circulated as RM/DOC 3, May 13, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 37–38 or Cmd. 868, pp. 2–4.
  6. For text of Gromyko’s statement, circulated as RM/DOC/5, May 14, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 39–47 or Cmd. 868, pp. 4–11.
  7. For text of the Khrushchev-Macmillan communiqué, March 3, see RIIA, Documents on International Affairs, 1959, pp. 11–14.
  8. Not further identified.
  9. Regarding Mikoyan’s visit to the United States in January, see Documents 121 and 135137; regarding the Vice President’s trip to the Soviet Union, see Document 466.
  10. For text of Lloyd’s statement, circulated as RM/DOC/6, May 16, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 47–49 or Cmd. 868, pp. 11–12.