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

Secto 94. Paris pass USRO. Ninth Session held May 21, Lloyd Chairman, lasted 3:30 to 6:45 p.m.

Couve de Murville criticized briefly several points from Gromyko statement yesterday.1 Points raised included: questioned categoric [Page 740] nature of Soviet rejection plan and asked whether Soviet position meant compromise possible only on basis Soviet proposals; rejected Gromyko efforts draw West into discussion Soviet peace treaty articles, claimed conference not yet at stage which would justify such discussion.

Lloyd spoke briefly2 on unification, emphasizing three points on which Soviets and West evidently hold similar ideas and on which compromise should be possible: Agreement on desirability German unity; acceptance principle all-German elections; and agreement that four powers must play part re unification. Lloyd stated this should provide sufficient scope for Ministers discuss unification and endeavor reach agreement. Also further elaborated on advantages Western plan and ways it endeavors meet Soviet views.

Grewe’s speech3 mainly solid criticism Soviet confederation proposal. Recalling previous Gromyko’s reference to fact United States began as confederation, Grewe pointed out American confederation based fundamental principles of liberty, democracy, and human rights held in common by all members, in contrast to which Soviets propose confederation between free democratic Federal Republic and tyrannical, oppressive GDR. Grewe said impossible confederate “system of freedom with system of bondage.” Grewe also mentioned German experience with 19th century confederation, which, however, had proved extremely weak and inadequate. German history therefore regarded that form of government as reactionary.

Grewe alleged confederation involving opposite political ideas would result in organization incapable of action, adding that indeed confederation concept contained inherent veto right each member re common institutions. Pointed out unsatisfactory recent experience such veto principle, including Control Council Germany and UN Security Council. Suggested aim confederation proposal really to paralyze Federal Republic while not permitting similar paralysis GDR. Also attacked parity idea asking whether votes 52,000,000 people on par with those 17,000,000. Therefore concluded confederation proposal will not contribute to German unification but to its postponement and prevention, and moreover to political paralysis Federal Republic.

Grewe closed by expressing hope certain Gromyko statements yesterday indicative positive ideas. He mentioned: Soviet suggestion two parts Germany might not have to withdraw existing defense pacts suggests Soviets now recognize German right in accordance Article 51 UN [Page 741] Charter free decide membership regional defense arrangements; Soviet intention avoid imposing economic restrictions on future Germany welcomed if this means no Soviet objections membership in communities European economic integration; and hope that Gromyko statement yesterday meant does not regard Federal Republic political parties as “revanchist.” Finally Grewe warned that prospects resolving East-West differences still uncertain until Soviets change Article 2 treaty draft providing for negotiating with “two existing German states.”

Bolz then defended Soviet Peace Treaty proposal along established lines with particular reference to its urgency and benefits, militarism Western Germany, etc.4 Warned that division of Germany would deepen and unification become more difficult unless treaty accomplished, and claimed existing two German states constitute juridical successors former German Reich.

Rather longer Gromyko speech5 followed, ostensibly as comment on West statements made today. Virtually nothing new, again hammering on urgency peace treaty, revival militarism etc., Western Germany, dangerous Federal Republic and NATO policies. Said confederation details should not be discussed at conference since matter for German agreement and urged against wasting time discussing elections and unification.

Secretary closed with short statement6 criticizing accusations by Gromyko that NATO and Federal Republic arming for aggressive purposes. Pointed out justification Western defense measures and expressed hope that kind accusations and innuendos would cease. Otherwise he would be compelled to open the record.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/5–2259. Official Use Only; Priority. Repeated to Bonn, London, Moscow, Paris, Berlin, and USUN. The U.S. Delegation verbatim record of this session, US/VR/9 (Corrected), and the summary of the verbatim record, US/VRS/9, May 21, are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1254.
  2. For text of Couve de Murville’s statement, circulated as RM/DOC/37, June 10, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 158–164 or Cmd. 868, pp. 80–84.
  3. For text of Lloyd’s statement, circulated as RM/DOC/21, May 21, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 164–167 or Cmd. 868, pp. 85–87.
  4. For text of Grewe’s statement, circulated as RM/DOC/A/8, June 6, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 539–542 or Cmd. 868, pp. 190–193.
  5. For text of Bolz’ statement, circulated as RM/DOC/A/3, June 4, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 570–573 or Cmd. 868, pp. 193–196.
  6. For text of Gromyko’s statement, circulated as RM/DOC/24, May 24, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 167–172 or Cmd. 868, pp. 87–91.
  7. For text of Herter’s statement, circulated as AR/DOC/22, May 22, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 173 or Cmd. 868, pp. 91–92.