288. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State1

2186. Eyes only Secretary. Document on Berlin which Gromyko gave me obviously drafted with eye to publication and suggest we should reply with similar document.2 Dept will have noted greater emphasis given Oder-Neisse line than internal borders. Also using only border question as example of “other questions” may indicate particular significance Soviets attach to this although this may merely be due to fact that desire to settle this problem is one of their best arguments for peace treaty. Presume that we could meet his argument about impossibility holding plebiscite while our troops in occupation by offering to substitute UN troops until after plebiscite since Soviets would certainly not agree. On other hand imagine such offer would disturb West Berliners. If we wish to seek means to keep conversations going we might put forward my suggestion of a confederation of all Berlin. Unless some new element introduced difficult see how conversations can be kept going much longer on present basis although Gromyko certainly gave me impression Soviets not yet ready for break and in any event would want to put onus for break on us. This problem obviously also related to possibility of Foreign Ministers’ meeting on disarmament which would give opportunity for higher level discussion Berlin problem.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.0221/2-1262. Secret; Priority.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 284.