447. Delegation Record of Meeting0
SMALL STAFF MEETING
- The Secretary
- Mr. Merchant
- Mr. Reinhardt
- Mr. Berding
- Mr. Becker
- Mr. Smith
- Mr. Irwin
- Mr. Stimpson Ambassador Bruce1
- Rear Admiral Dudley
Luncheon Meeting Today
1. In preparation for the luncheon meeting of the four Foreign Ministers today, Mr. Merchant said that it might be necessary at the meeting of the Western Foreign Ministers this morning to slow down Selwyn Lloyd who wants to plunge ahead. Mr. Merchant also recommended that we try to get agreement that the wording in any document refer to “not increasing” troop strength in Berlin and only as a last concession agree on leaving this blank. The Germans, both here and in Bonn, now seem agreed on the plan for a Four-Power Commission with German advisors. However, Mr. Merchant continued, as far as we know, the French are still opposed and we should try to get Couve’s agreement to such a commission.
The Secretary agreed with Mr. Merchant’s recommendation that after the meeting of the Western Foreign Ministers today the revised version of the Draft Communiqué2 should be sent to Washington. The Secretary speculated that the French may wish to check whether the second German paper3 (given us on July 16) represents Adenauer’s views.
Developments in Germany
2. Ambassador Bruce recommended that the Secretary have a frank private discussion with Von Brentano in the next few days with the fewest advisors possible present. The Secretary agreed this would be a useful step.
Mr. McCloy had told Ambassador Bruce that Adenauer was irritated with Macmillan because it had been reported that Macmillan had called him “a tiresome old man.” Ambassador Bruce added that the British think the Germans are relying too heavily on the blocking power of the French in Geneva.[Page 1003]
Visit to Berlin
3. Several possibilities were mentioned regarding the timing of the Secretary’s visit to Berlin but no agreement was reached. Ambassador Bruce recommended against a stop in Bonn on this trip. He added that the Berliners are apprehensive that we will make concessions here beyond those they believe we have already made.
4. Mr. Berding said that Soviet briefer Kharlamov had said that five of the six participants yesterday had displayed a better understanding of the problems facing the conference. Dr. Grewe was the exception. Kharlamov called attention to what he described as a new point in the Secretary’s statement, namely, that we were willing to discuss all methods of unification including the Soviet proposals. He described Lloyd as showing more flexibility.
There was a general discussion of Mr. Berding’s proposal that something be said to the press after each private meeting of the Ministers, including today’s luncheon. The Secretary expressed the view that any statements on substance might wreck the private meetings. He thought a background press conference might occasionally be useful.
5. Mr. Irwin was disturbed by Gromyko’s clear statement yesterday that the Soviets would, under no circumstances, accept the perpetuation of the occupation regime in Berlin. He believed it would be futile to reach agreement on details, such as troops and propaganda, and then be faced with a denial of our basic rights. The Secretary thought this point might be discussed at the meeting of the Western Foreign Ministers today, noting that it will become acute when we get down to discussing the actual wording of any document. The Secretary was skeptical of the possibility of reaching an agreement on troop strength in Berlin or on propaganda control, the latter because the Soviets will never accept a reciprocal agreement in this regard. The Secretary agreed with Mr. Merchant that it was interesting that Gromyko had not mentioned the most important question of all—access to Berlin.
In a discussion of the question of the control of propaganda, Mr. Becker said that the British and French have now accepted the use of the phrase “in and about Berlin”, but the British have only done so as a bargaining point.
The Secretary hoped it would be possible to get Gromyko to discuss point by point our June 16 paper, something he has avoided doing thus far.