55. Memorandum of Conversation0



Paris, December 19–21, 1959


  • United States
    • The Secretary of State
    • Mr. Merchant
    • Mr. Reinhardt
    • And other advisors
  • Federal Republic of Germany
    • Foreign Minister Von Brentano
    • Mr. van Scherpenberg
    • Mr. Carstens
    • And other advisors
  • France
    • Foreign Minister Couve de Murville
    • M. de Carbonnel
    • M. Lucet
    • And other advisors
  • United Kingdom
    • Foreign Minister Lloyd
    • Mr. Hoyer-Millar
    • Ambassador Jebb
    • And other advisors


  • Procedural Aspects of Western Summit
[Page 139]

In their discussion of procedural aspects of the current four-power meetings,1 the Foreign Ministers:

Agreed that a drafting party will meet at 9:30 Sunday morning (December 20) to work on a summit communiqué. The four Foreign Ministers will, during their meeting at 11:00, consider their product.
Left open the time of release of a three-power communiqué on the resumption of disarmament negotiations, the text of which had been agreed at the working level by the three delegations concerned.
Agreed to a 5-power meeting at 3:15 p.m. on Monday (December 21) of the Foreign Ministers of the Western countries to be represented in the 10-power disarmament talks. The four Foreign Ministers concerned would then meet at 5:00 p.m. on Monday to review the work of the conference and to discuss the report to be made to NATO on December 22 and any other matters still outstanding.
Left open the text and precise timing of the deliveries of the notes to the Soviet Union suggesting a date and place of a summit conference. It was assumed that the views of the Heads of Government and Chiefs of State would have to be taken into account before final decisions could be made on the text.
Took note of Secretary Herter’s statement that the President would raise with the other Heads of Government or Chiefs of State the possibility of having the four Foreign Ministers also attend the afternoon meeting scheduled for Sunday at Rambouillet.
Agreed that the three powers concerned should send similar instructions to their Ambassadors at Moscow regarding the position to be taken in any discussion at the time of delivery of the Soviet notes. The instructions should take account of the possibility that the Soviets might raise the question of GDR participation.
Took note of Von Brentano’s request that the Federal Republic have an observer present at the 5-power preparatory talks for the 10-power disarmament committee session.
Agreed that the focal point of preparations for the East-West summit and the 10-power disarmament committee should be in Washington, but left open the possibility of having a separate working group to discuss summit items other than disarmament and the German problem involving Berlin meet elsewhere. It was agreed that the summit preparations in Washington would be handled by a continuation of the Consultative Group which has had the responsibility for preparations for the present meetings.
It was tentatively agreed that Couve would be the principal spokesman for the four at the NATO Ministerial meeting on Tuesday. Only an oral report would be made. He suggested that the other Foreign Ministers should have the primary responsibility for answering questions.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1569. Secret. Drafted by Hillenbrand, cleared with Reinhardt, and approved in S on December 21. The meeting took place at the Quai d’Orsay.
  2. The Foreign Ministers also discussed proposals for wider economic consultations among the developed countries. A memorandum of this part of the conversation (US/MC/10) is ibid.