66. Memorandum on the Substance of Discussion at the Department of State-Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting0

[Here follow a list of participants and discussion of unrelated subjects.]

II Preparations for the Summit (Raised at State initiative)

Mr. Merchant stated that a great deal had been agreed among the British, French and ourselves regarding the forthcoming Summit meeting. He outlined the dates of the various meetings, including CENTO and SEATO in April and May and the composition of the main and sub [Page 168] groups1 which were working on the preparation for the Summit. He stressed the Italians’ excessive claim to participate in every important group and the difficulties which this position had made for us, particularly among the small countries who were concerned about the possibility that the four Western heads of government would agree to a series of Summit meetings when they themselves thought there would be only one Summit meeting. Their concern was the establishment of a “Directorate” within NATO. At the conclusion of the NATO meeting in December these difficulties had been resolved and agreement had been reached on three general topics to be discussed at the forthcoming Summit: (1) disarmament; (2) Germany, including Berlin; and (3) East-West relations.

Mr. Merchant then outlined the composition and plan of the preparatory working groups as set forth in Mr. White’s memorandum of January 14 to the Acting Secretary (Tab A).2

Admiral Burke wondered whether there would be any results from the disarmament group before the Summit and said he would anticipate a change in the Soviet position about a week before the Summit. Mr. Merchant commented that the first task is to get an allied position before March 10, when the disarmament group meets.

III Berlin Contingency Planning (Raised at State initiative)

Mr. Merchant said he would like to refer to Berlin contingency planning in the broadest possible spectrum, not just the military. As the Joint Chiefs knew, the basic forum for this planning was the tripartite group established in Washington under the chairmanship of Mr. Murphy and including the British and French Ambassadors. A few days ago the French proposed that all planning be centered in Paris under General Norstad.3 The State Department felt that this did not make sense so we have informed the French that we would call a meeting of the tripartite committee in the near future. At the present time we have under way a review of the status of the planning and we wanted to remind the British and the French that we consider it necessary to bring it up to date. In this connection on the non-military side there are only a few items remaining concerning which there is some disagreement. The State Department’s general feeling is, however, that it would be desirable” [Page 169] bring the Germans a little more into the planning and this we would discuss with the British and the French.

[1–1/2 pages of source text not declassified]

  1. Source: Department of State, State-JCS Meetings: Lot 70 D 328. Top Secret. A note on the source text indicates that this was a Department of State draft, which had been cleared with Merchant, but not cleared by the Department of Defense.
  2. See Document 111.
  3. Not printed. This memorandum described the various summit preparatory working groups and outlined a schedule of meetings for the spring beginning with a Western Foreign Ministers meeting at Washington April 13–14, and ending with the SEATO meeting at Washington May 31–June 2.
  4. A memorandum of Hillenbrand’s conversation with Winckler on January 4 during which this proposal was made is in Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/1–460.