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

Secto 321. Paris pass USRO. Begin summary—Plenary Meeting July 15th consisted series of exchanges between Gromyko and Western Foreign Ministers seeking clarification of respective positions. Discussion centered non Soviet interjection of all German committee into interim solution of Berlin problem with West seeking explanation why Soviets had unnecessarily reopened overall German problem in this manner and Gromyko insisting upon logical connection between interim Berlin arrangement and all-German committee. Meeting ended inconclusively with Secretary proposing conference take up all open issues re interim Berlin solution and Gromyko replying that all German committee proposal could not be left out of consideration. End summary.

Meeting opened with Couve pointing out Soviet proposal of June 9, as modified on June 19, combined issue of all German settlement with distinct problem of separate solution Berlin matter in manner stultifying prior work regarding separate Berlin solution.1 Couve requested Soviets explain why such action taken and why action did not reopen all prior differences regarding general settlement German problem.

Gromyko replied with series of questions directed to why West had not given concrete answers to latest Soviet proposals on all German [Page 989] committee and provisional status of Berlin in view of fact West had first suggested all German committee and fact proposal met previously expressed Western concern. Added Couve’s statement had not clarified situation.

Secretary stated Gromyko should reply to Couve’s questions as Soviet had introduced all German committee into Berlin discussion. After further interchange re who should answer first Gromyko stated vital link between Berlin settlement and all German committee was fact if committee succeeded in task Berlin question necessarily solved; added Soviets did not intend reopen question reunification which German matter.

Couve pointed out Soviets on basis our reference all German committee in Western Peace Plan expected West to accept entire Soviet position on Germany. Lloyd added no logical link between interim Berlin settlement in all German committee. Lloyd attempted debating point re inconsistency Soviet position on reunification with Article 22 Soviet Draft Peace Treaty2 which Gromyko fielded. Gromyko then deprecated West position on reunification shedding crocodile tears on its injustice to Germans.

Lloyd and Couve both commented on fact course of discussion in meeting demonstrated that Soviet all German committee proposal necessarily reopened previous sterile debates on settlement of overall German problem. Following exchange in which Gromyko inquired why if the West so strongly advocated free elections in Germany they would not leave the matter for decision by the Germans and Couve pointed out answer is to be found in Western Peace Plan. Secretary made the suggestion regarding taking up open points on an interim Berlin settlement one by one reported above and Gromyko voiced the position that as question all German committee had been raised it could not be ignored. Agreed another plenary meeting will be held tomorrow afternoon.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–1559. Official Use Only. The U.S. Delegation verbatim record of this session, US/VR/20 (Corrected), is ibid., Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1388.
  2. For texts of the various statements given at this session, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 404–418.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 305.