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

Secto 298. Paris pass USRO. At Couve’s dinner for Pella last night little of great importance emerged. Other guests were Von Brentano and Lloyd, all Ministers with two advisers. I had Reinhardt and Merchant with me. Pella with bulging briefcase took post-prandial working meeting seriously.

As this was first opportunity for me to see other conference participants we spent some time on tactics for opening session today.

Von Brentano following general lines German tactics paper1 made available Dept just prior my departure strongly urged Western Ministers return to problem of Germany as a whole and disarmament rather than pick up Berlin where we left. Couve objected and I supported him.

[Page 979]

Lloyd then raised what he termed defect in our June 16 Berlin proposal which was absence any provision for dealing on continuing basis with problem of Germany as a whole. He asked tentatively what his colleagues would think of embellishing our memorandum with proposed establishment four-power commission with German Delegations attached. Couve objected on grounds this would play into Soviet hands by adding to stature GDR and embarrassing FedRep. I disagreed with Couve and urged we consider Lloyd’s suggestion seriously.

Pella then took over conversation for prolonged period. He opened with plea for more formal and enduring association of Italy with conference and its staff work. In this connection he referred to importance Italy’s position in Alliance particularly with respect to atomic risks to which it was now exposed. He indicated Italy while pessimistic over prospects for sufficient present progress to justify summit was nevertheless anxious one be held. He referred to fragile character Italian public opinion and narrow parliamentary margin on which government operates. He then proposed some new dramatic solution for Berlin and unveiled a proposal that occupying powers turn West Berlin over to FedRep retaining temporarily their forces in city under invitation from Senat pending ICJ ruling on legality transfer of sovereignty. He promised to submit detailed memorandum on this proposal and expressed fervent hope opportunity for prolonged consideration of it with his colleagues in days ahead.

None of us commented substantively as hour was growing extremely late but I suspect Pella with Straneo and Pansa who attended him are settling down for once.

During course general conversation prior Pella discourse Lloyd described in classically British form essentiality summit irrespective result of this conference. I agreed with some of his argumentation but pointed out our task was to insure achievement sufficient progress to justify it. Couve somewhat to my surprise and in contrast pre-recess attitude agreed we should search for minimum agreement with Soviets which would warrant summit and said interim solution on Berlin seemed obvious arrangement to attain this purpose. Von Brentano interjected no objection this trend of thought at this point.

Just before break-up Lloyd informed colleagues he had torn up proposed reply to Soviets on Balkan atom free zone2 prepared by his experts and dictated own draft which would be despatched today (presumably without consultation in NAC).

[Page 980]

He said he took more forthcoming position to effect regional zone of character proposed by Soviets made no sense except in larger context global disarmament measures safeguarded by adequate inspection system. Lloyd also said UK had received no assurances from Soviets during recess as some press reports indicated.

We agreed Deputies’ Coordinating Group would meet early this morning and Western Foreign Ministers at noon.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–1359. Secret. Drafted by Merchant and approved by Herter. Repeated to London, Bonn, Rome, and Paris.
  2. Translations of the three West German papers, “Tactics at the Opening of the Second Phase” “Tactics for the Event of a Renewed Failure of Negotiations,” and “The Negotiation Situation Following the Conclusion of the First Phase of the Conference,” were transmitted to Geneva in airgram G–01, July 11. (Ibid., 396.1–GE/7–1159)
  3. For text of the Soviet proposal of June 25 on a nuclear-free Balkan and Adriatic zone and the U.S. rejection of the proposal, see Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, vol. II, pp. 1423–1426 and 1434–1436; regarding the British reply, see 609 House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, 5th Series, cols. 26–27.