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

Secto 55. Paris pass USRO. Fifth Session Foreign Ministers Conference began 3:31 p.m. May 15. Lloyd, Chairman of session, gave floor to Gromyko.

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Gromyko made lengthy, formal statement largely devoted to exposition Soviet peace treaty proposal.1 He noted that lack of peace settlement with Germany was great source tensions in world. Division of Europe into two armed camps, for which creation of military grouping of Western powers is responsible, has deepened. Tremendous armaments in possession Western European states menace not only Soviet Union but other states as well since third world war would have no limits. If peace treaty had been concluded with Germany at proper time, there would be different situation today. In that event, one could not imagine inclusion of Federal Republic in NATO, supplying of Bundeswehr with atomic weapons and missiles, and revanchist statements of Western Germans. Also, outmoded occupation status of West Berlin creates dangers and results from absence of peace treaty. Gromyko claimed Soviet Union had always done everything possible to contribute to peace settlement and had helped implementation Potsdam decision in East Germany. In contrast, Nazi influence still important in Western Germany and militarization of Federal Republic undermines European security. Foreign policy of Federal Republic also increases tension and Federal Republic interferes with all attempts tending toward resolution of difficult international problems.

Gromyko noted that important contribution to peace had been made with signing of treaties with former allies of Hitler. Austrian Peace Treaty also had been concluded. Now it is necessary to continue work and solve most important problem remaining from war, i.e., peace treaty with Germany. Although Soviet Union and Western powers have different approach to German problem, both should be united in same aim, which is to prevent resurgence German militarism.

Gromyko said basic objection of those who opposed peace treaty with Germany is that there is today no government which can sign treaty for all of Germany. This is formalistic juridical argument, however, which ignores factual situation in Germany, where two independent sovereign states now exist. Presence in conference room of official representatives of governments of these two states is convincing evidence of this reality.

Gromyko claimed that to wait for all-German Government to be formed before signing peace treaty means postponing peace treaty for undefined time. Also, he asserted that efforts of Federal Republic to interfere with cooperation between two German states was poor augury for reunification process.

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In present situation, Soviet Government believes only possibility is to conclude peace treaty with two German States, and, in addition, with German confederation if such is formed at time of signing of treaty. To refuse to sign treaty today would mean deepening of differences between GDR and Federal Republic.

Gromyko then criticized Western powers for not recognizing GDR. He said USSR had recognized Federal Republic, not because it liked Federal Republic policies, but because USSR believes that no progress can be made in resolving German problem without Federal Republic as well as GDR. Although reunification Germany concerns Germans primarily, peace treaty affects interests of many peoples in Europe and elsewhere. Reunification of Germany is very important and Soviet Union supports solution of this question on peace loving and democratic basis. However, if Federal Republic is not ready to agree with GDR on solution of this question, then only possibility is to wait until Federal Republic adopts more realistic position.

Peace treaty is different question however. Its postponement would harm interests of peace. Therefore, Soviet Government believes that Foreign Ministers Conference should concentrate principal attention on question of peace treaty.

Gromyko then commented in some detail on various provisions draft Soviet peace treaty enclosed with Soviet note January 10.2 (Text draft Soviet peace treaty3 tabled subsequently.)

Gromyko’s remarks concerning peace treaty contained nothing essentially new. He sharply attacked military preparations in West Germany, such as installation missile launching pads, and claimed people of Germany did not wish this fate but wished opportunity follow peaceful life. This would be provided for in Soviet peace treaty. Of course, there would be some restrictions on German national armed forces, and Germany would not be permitted to produce atomic arms or means of delivery of atomic arms. However, Gromyko noted, these restrictions would not go further than restrictions already contained in Paris Accords between Federal Republic and Western powers.4

Gromyko also spoke of Soviet plan for withdrawal of foreign troops from Germany, by states if necessary. While Western powers claim that withdrawal of foreign troops would hurt Western security, this is not true and Soviet proposal demands nothing from West which [Page 711] not also demanded of Soviet Union. Also, fear that Soviet armed forces would be nearer to German borders than Western forces, after withdrawal, is unfounded, since armed forces of France, United Kingdom, Belgium and other NATO countries would be just as close to Germany as Soviet forces.

Gromyko repeated that USSR is ready withdraw its armies not only from Germany but also from Poland and Hungry if NATO countries withdraw their forces within national boundaries and liquidate military bases in foreign territories. Gromyko noted that eastern boundaries Germany were decided by Allies during war and that peace treaty should confirm this decision. So far as Berlin is concerned, Gromyko outlined Soviet proposal for transforming West Berlin into free demilitarized city during transition period before German reunification. USSR is prepared to work out with other interested governments necessary guarantees for protecting new status of West Berlin.

Turning to Western plan5 presented by Secretary at yesterday’s session, Gromyko said this plan covered many problems and he observed that it had been presented as an inseparable unit. Gromyko recalled that he had already indicated his objections to method which consisted of tying complicated questions together in manner which made their solution virtually impossible. If this path is followed, it could only lead into impasse. However, Gromyko said Soviet Delegation would present more detailed views at later date concerning propositions contained in Western plan.

Gromyko terminated by emphasizing once again importance of conclusion peace treaty with Germany and expressing hope that others would cooperate in making achievement such treaty possible.

Lloyd then made several comments6 concerning Gromyko’s statement, although he said that if he did not respond to all of Gromyko’s points it should not be thought that his silence meant that he accepted their validity. Lloyd stated that we have our own views concerning who is responsible for division of Europe, and do not agree with Gromyko on this point. Also, Lloyd said he did not share Gromyko’s views concerning Federal Republic and did not agree with his accusations against Federal Republic policies.

Lloyd went on to say that he wished to provide further explanation of Western peace plan tabled yesterday. He hoped that Gromyko would take this plan seriously and would not discard it out of hand.

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Lloyd said plan deals with many Soviet objections made to Western proposals in 1955. Lloyd then proceeded to enumerate differences (in accordance with approved Western background paper)7 concerning process of German reunification and European security. He also spoke briefly in support of Western transition plan for Berlin and stressed that all of these problems are related. While we may discuss them separately, they cannot be settled in isolation. All are linked and this is reason for their presentation in phased manner in Western plan.

No other representatives wished to speak following Lloyd’s remarks, and meeting adjourned at 5:35 p.m.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/5–1659. Official Use Only. Transmitted in two sections and repeated to Bonn, London, Moscow, Paris, USUN, and Berlin. The U.S. Delegation verbatim record of the session US/VR/5 (Corrected), and the summary of the verbatim record, US/VRS/5, May 15, are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1345 and 1349.
  2. For text of Gromyko’s statement, circulated as RM/DOC/10, May 15, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 63–74 or Cmd. 868, pp. 17–26.
  3. See Document 124.
  4. For text of the Soviet draft treaty, circulated as RM/DOC/11, May 15, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 74–88 or Cmd. 868, pp. 223–235. See also Documents on Germany, 1944–1985, pp. 629.
  5. For texts of the agreements signed at Paris on October 23, 1955, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. V, Part 2, pp. 14351457.
  6. See footnote 1, Document 295.
  7. For text of Lloyd’s statement, circulated as RM/DOC/12, May 15, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 88–93 or Cmd. 868, pp. 26–30.
  8. Not further identified.