243. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson 0

The British have been having some high-level bilateral exchanges with the Soviets, on the relation between a non-aggression pact and the Berlin-Germany problem, and it is time now for us to weigh in with them. Here is the situation and Rusk’s recommendation, in which I concur:

The Germans have violently opposed a non-aggression pact which did not bring real improvement in Berlin or Germany. Khrushchev has now suggested to Douglas Home that a non-aggression pact might be accompanied by a unilateral Soviet declaration opposing the use of such force for such problems as Germany and West Berlin.

This is not nearly enough for the Germans or for us, and the UK has suggested that they might propose an amendment which would require the Soviet Union to state that it would refrain from any unilateral action affecting the situation in Berlin or Western access to that city.

[Page 640]

We think this is not good enough, plainly because it would be regarded as weakness in Germany and because British bargaining in particular arouses suspicion on the Continent.

So our plan is to tell the British that we prefer to have them fend off this Soviet ploy (which is all it seems to be right now) but that if they insist on going forward, they ought to check directly with the French and the Germans, rather than to put the matter in the North Atlantic Council.

I have watched this one carefully, because the Department tends to be more rigid on these matters than President Kennedy wanted, but in this case their recommendation seems right. [2 lines of source text not declassified]

McG. B. 1
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Aides File, Bundy, Chron. No classification marking.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears these typed initials.