154. Telegram From the Delegation at the Summit Conference to the Department of State0

Secto 4. At meeting today of Four-Power Working Group on Germany Including Berlin1Laloy distributed text of French translation new Soviet proposal on Berlin handed to French by Soviet Ambassador Paris May 9 at same time as Khrushchev letter to De Gaulle.2 Proposal has obvious relationship both to Soviet proposal of July 28, 1959,3 and to Smirnov memorandum given to SPD leader Ollenhauer January 13, 1960.4Laloy said he assumed proposal is follow-up to De GaulleKhrushchev March conversations on Berlin and stressed desirability of preventing any leaks of its existence or contents to press.

US-Del translation from French follows:

Begin text.

Proposals of Soviet Government.

The Soviet Government favors proceeding immediately to the signature of a peace treaty with the two German states. However, since such a solution of the problem raises objection on the part of the Western Powers, the Soviet Government, which as always strives to achieve concerted action on the German question among the four principal members of the anti-Hitler coalition, is prepared meanwhile to agree to an interim solution. This interim solution would consist of the signature of a temporary (provisoire) agreement on West Berlin, suited to prepare conditions for the ultimate transformation of West Berlin into a free city and the adoption of measures leading to the preparation of the future peace settlement. In this connection the Soviet Government proposes the following: [Page 396]


To conclude a temporary agreement for two years relating to West Berlin. The agreement would include approximately the same list of questions as those which had already been discussed in 1959 by the Foreign Ministers at Geneva and, without bringing any radical change to the actual status of West Berlin, would, however, open the way to the elaboration of a new and agreed status for the city corresponding to peace time conditions.

The temporary agreement should envisage the reduction of the effective strength of the forces of the Three Powers in West Berlin, which reduction could take place progressively in several stages. It would likewise be suitable to put in writing the intention expressed by the Three Powers not to place in West Berlin any kind of nuclear weapons or missile installations.

The agreement should moreover include a commitment to take measures to prohibit the use of the territory of West Berlin as a base of subversive activity and of hostile propaganda directed against other states. Measures concerning the prohibition of subversive activities and of hostile propaganda with respect to West Berlin might likewise be envisaged under an appropriate form.

In the accord account would also be taken of the declarations of the Soviet Union and of the GDR concerning the maintenance of the communications of West Berlin with the outside world in the form in which they exist at present for the duration of the temporary agreement.

The engagements concerning the GDR could in that event take a form which would not signify diplomatic recognition of the GDR by the Western Powers who would be parties to the agreement.

To supervise the fulfillment of the obligations flowing from the temporary agreement regarding agreed measures in West Berlin, and to take, in case of necessity, measures assuring the fulfillment of the agreement reached, a committee could be set up composed of representatives of the French Republic, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States of America.


At the same time that they conclude an agreement on West Berlin, the Four Powers will make a declaration inviting the two German states to take advantage of the interim period fixed by the agreement in order to attempt to arrive at a common point of view of the German question. Contact could be established between the two German states by means of the creation of an all-German committee or under some other form acceptable to them.

In formulating these proposals, the Soviet Union proceeds from the thought that, if the German states refuse to engage in conversations with one another, or if, at the expiration of the temporary agreement, it becomes clearly evident that they are not able to come to an understanding, [Page 397] the Four Powers will sign a peace treaty with the two German states or with one of them, as they would judge it desirable. Of course, if the GDR and the GFR succeed in reaching an agreement, there will be no obstacle to the conclusion of a single peace treaty for all of Germany. Moreover, measures will be taken in order to transform West Berlin into a free city. As far as the statute of the free city of West Berlin is concerned, the USSR would prefer to elaborate this in common with France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In proposing the transformation of West Berlin into a free city the Soviet Union does not in any way wish to damage the interests of the Western Powers, to change the present mode of life in West Berlin or to attempt to integrate this city within the GDR. The Soviet proposal derives from the existing situation and tends to normalize the atmosphere in West Berlin while taking account of the interests of all parties. The creation of a free city would not damage the economic and financial relations of West Berlin with other states, including the GFR. The free city would be able to establish as it pleases its external, political, economic, commercial, scientific and cultural relations with all states and international organizations. Completely free relations with the external world would be assured to it.

The population of West Berlin would receive sure guarantees of the defense of its interests, with the Governments of the Soviet Union, of the United States, of France and of the United Kingdom assuming the required obligations in order to guarantee the precise execution of the conditions of agreement of the free city. The Soviet Union states that it also favors participation of the UN in the guarantees given to the free city. It goes without saying that, in the event of the reunification of Germany, the maintenance of the special situation of the free city of West Berlin would no longer have any basis.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–PA/5–1360. Secret; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Bonn, London, Moscow, and Berlin.
  2. The meeting took place at 3 p.m. at the Quai d’Orsay. Laloy, Kohler, Rumbold, and Carstens headed the four delegations. A memorandum of the conversation at the meeting (US/MC/3) is ibid.. Conference Files: Lot 64 D 559, CF 1664.
  3. On May 8, Khrushchev sent letters to Macmillan and De Gaulle, which were delivered on the following day, suggesting that the United States was not interested in the success of the summit conference. A copy of the letter to Macmillan, which according to Herter was the same in substance as that to De Gaulle, was transmitted to the President as an enclosure to a May 15 memorandum from Herter. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles-Herter Series) For an extract from the letter and Macmillan’s reply on May 10, see Macmillan, Pointing the Way, pp. 198-200. No copy of the letter to De Gaulle or any reply he might have made has been found.
  4. See vol. VIII, Document 489.
  5. For text of this memorandum, see Dokumente, Band 4, 1960, Erster Halbband, pp. 69-75.