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

Secto 352.

After social luncheon today Gromyko took me into separate room and said had one or two matters discuss. Before he started I raised with him two questions:

Moving forward plenary session from Tuesday to Monday at 4:00 p.m., so that it would follow our private luncheon session. This suggestion followed his own thought we should wind up talks and get down to concrete cases. (Western Foreign Ministers had agreed best to have plenary Monday afternoon in order advance time of formal tabling of proposal for continuation Foreign Ministers talks at lower level reported in Secto 353.)1
I then mentioned possibility my going Berlin this coming Saturday saying trip to be in connection with dedication Foster Dulles Street. Gromyko volunteered that such a trip would be considered provocative and would certainly be understood as political gesture having bearing on present discussions, however, he said if I were determined to go nothing he could do about it. I told him I would probably go but no final decision had been reached but would advise him when decision made.

Gromyko then raised the question to which I tried to get an answer at conference yesterday, namely, an understanding that if temporary agreement reached in Berlin and were followed by further session Foreign Ministers none of existing rights or obligations under quadripartite occupation would have been abrogated by interim arrangement Berlin. Gromyko said that he would try to give as clear an answer as he could, namely, the following: Soviet Government would sign no agreement of any kind which would perpetuate occupation rights Berlin. However, Soviet Government on its part would not require any statement on part Western Foreign Ministers that such rights abrogated by temporary agreement. In other words, rights as such should not be mentioned. However, as Foreign Minister talking to Foreign Minister, he could assure me no unilateral action would be taken during interim arrangement nor during negotiations following such arrangement. This was as far as he authorized to go. Am now consulting legal talent delegation to see how above is interpreted. Would be glad to have Department’s views.

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Gromyko then raised question all-German committee. He again expressed himself vehemently on fact Adenauer refusal discuss German problems with East Germans. He said only US had influence with Adenauer and could persuade him to change his mind. He said he laid such store in necessity of agreement for all-German talks that he doubted whether any Berlin interim agreement could be reached without satisfactory understanding this point. He then said he would, of course, await with interest what Western powers had to suggest since we had told him yesterday we would consider possible alternatives. I gave no indication of nature alternate proposal we had discussed this morning. In addition to his insistence on all-German committee, he repeated his now familiar arguments on necessary link between time limit for all-German committee to report and time limit on temporary status Berlin arrangements. With respect to this latter point, he was not as vehement as in talks yesterday.

My impression is that Gromyko would like to have extended his bilateral conversations covering entire area matters under previous consideration at the conference. I felt this impossible without my Western colleagues and so begged to be excused after some forty-five minutes conversation.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–1859. Secret; Limit Distribution.
  2. Document 454.