355. Editorial Note

In a letter to Secretary Rusk dated July 29, 1963, German Foreign Minister Gerhard Schroeder asked that the United States negotiate an explanatory protocol to the limited test ban treaty stating that ratification of the treaty or accession to it by territories or authorities “not generally recognized as states” constituted contractual relations only to parties that had already recognized such entities. In his reply of July 30, Rusk stated that Harriman had specifically stated before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 29 that adherence of the “Soviet Zone of Occupation” to the treaty would not affect any question of recognition, that it was not feasible to add to the treaty as already negotiated, and that he (Rusk) did not think the proposed language would add to the understanding on the subject reached at Moscow. In formal hearings after signature of the treaty and in communications with other governments, the United States would make its interpretation on the recognition issue more generally known; however, it was the U.S. view that it was in the interest of the “free world” that the treaty should be binding on as many “governments, regimes and authorities as possible.” (Telegrams 292 and 298 to Bonn, both July 30; Department of State, Central Files, DEF 18-4)

Schroeder reiterated his proposal in slightly different form in an August 1 letter to Rusk, this time requesting that it be issued as a declaration by the two Western powers upon signature of the treaty in Moscow. Rusk replied on August 2 and again refused, referring to the President’s statement at his news conference the preceding day and stating the view that it wasn’t in the interest of the “free world to declare abstractly that [Page 864] such deposits created no obligations on an unrecognized regime—having in mind, for example, Communist China—vis-à-vis a non-recognizing depositary. It is our conclusion that any such questions should be reserved for such time as a practical issue might arise.” (Ibid., Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204, German Officials’ Correspondence with Rusk, 1961-1964, and Rusk’s Correspondence with German Officials, 1961-1964, respectively)

For text of the President’s statement regarding East Germany and the test ban treaty, see Department of State Bulletin, September 2, 1963, page 354. The Department’s statement on the subject issued on August 2 is ibid., page 355.