426. Telegram From the Embassy in Germany to the Department of State0

55. For Secretary from Bruce. Deptel 2.1 I saw Foreign Minister last night.

He said he had met with Couve and Lloyd at Geneva on June 20. He had explained to them what limits were on German Government action regarding question raised first paragraph reftel. Neither he personally nor Federal government was prepared to agree to all-German commission as long as that commission does not have definite task assigned to it, that is, something within stipulations Western Peace Plan.
He had gone on to tell his British and French colleagues that he could imagine one could revert to some of the ideas suggested by Ambassador Grewe during preparations for the conference. These envisaged establishment of a 4-power commission to consider problems connected with reunification of Germany. There would be no objection to German experts being called in in advisory capacity, provided they would have no executive or legislative powers, and further provided their functions were clearly defined by the 4-power commission so that they would act merely as an auxiliary to that commission. In such case, said the Foreign Minister, no question of parity between two Germanies [Page 968] would arise, since it would not be an autonomous organization. Hence, the number of experts would not matter.
On July 3 Foreign Minister had discussed above with Grewe and Duckwitz and will take it up today with Chancellor. Thereafter, he will inform the Allies of the German position in this respect, if possible before the Geneva Conference reconvenes. However, he is not certain he can meet this deadline.
Re second paragraph reftel, Foreign Minister said in last days of conference, von Eckardt had submitted a paper on his personal initiative, to the German delegation. Foreign Minister had not been in agreement with some of his ideas, but is continuing to consider his proposals. He said he was unhappy that an informal private paper submitted by a non-member of the Foreign Office had been brought to the Allies’ attention. I told him, in defense of von Eckardt, that this Embassy had no copy of the proposal, nor did I believe the Department had ever received one. Additionally, I said I had recently mentioned the matter myself to von Eckardt, who answered that the paper was purely a representation of his private views.
I did not tell Foreign Minister that two days ago von Eckardt had said to me he intended to renew his suggestions to the Chancellor and Foreign Minister.
I think at this point it would be mistake for Department to mention von Eckardt’s proposals. He will have more of them and some of them may be worth consideration, but only if they are put forward with approval of Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister expects to arrive Geneva Saturday night.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/7–759. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution.
  2. Telegram 2, July 1, asked Bruce to seek West German views on the possibility of a four-power commission on Berlin with German advisers and for any further information the Embassy had on a proposal that Eckhardt made at the end of the first part of the Geneva Foreign Ministers Meeting. Presumably the proposal is that in Eckardt, Erinnerungen, pp. 580–582.