41. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Germany 0

2936. Eyes only Ambassador. It seems clear from Carstens’ “general” points of objection reported your 25451 that Germans still do not fully understand nature of approach in US “principles paper”. When you see Schroeder you should accordingly point out that, as indicated by Secretary at Lausanne and in briefings given Germans at Geneva, what we are trying to do is deal with existence of underlying disagreement on elements of permanent solution and even on formulations of existing facts in such a way as to avoid dangerous crisis. Our paper attempted [Page 120] to set forth certain principles which might be agreed by both sides, omitting those points on which no verbal agreement could be reached, in an effort to create basis for possible modus vivendi. In addition it would provide forum for continuing discussion of questions which could not be agreed now but which involve points of possible future conflict. Inevitably then, paper would have conspicuous omissions. To insist on inclusion of every Western point would merely result in Soviet insistence on inclusion every Soviet point unacceptable to West, and effort to put Berlin problem on back-burner by tactic indicated would inevitably collapse, as it may in any event in face of possible Soviet intransigence.

As to Western unilateral declarations, we assume that unilateral public explanations regarding omissions would be inevitable in case modus vivendi on this basis ever reached which does not seem early likelihood. However, we had not anticipated that these would have to be formally drawn up in advance, or in any case at such an early stage as present.

On specific point of mixed commissions, other than change of a few non-substantive words, language in 2 (b) is identical with that contained in paper given Gromyko at Geneva to which Germans did not object. New language in paragraph at end of Section 1 intended take care of Berlin Senat point re movement of persons in Berlin.

Other specific points made by Carstens are practically all covered by changes included in text of revised paper transmitted Deptel 2930,2 and would seem to leave no substantial points of difference between us.

We had understood from your 25423 that Schroeder would be available Thursday instead of Friday. However, since Secretary would not expect to see Dobrynin until Friday afternoon, in view of time difference you could perhaps still give us quick prior rundown on results your Friday discussion with Schroeder by KY–9 telephone.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 375/4–2462. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Hillenbrand and approved and initialed by Kohler.
  2. In telegram 2545, April 24, Dowling reported that in a meeting that day Carstens raised general objections to the lack of reference in the U.S. paper to reunification, Western forces in Berlin, and FRG-Berlin ties, and specific objections to the composition of the access authority, respect for local authority, mixed commissions, the pledge on use of force, and the mention of Germany in the nuclear diffusion ban. (Ibid.)
  3. Dated April 24. (Ibid., 762.00/4–2462) This draft, which attempted to take into account specific objections by the West Germans, had substantive changes only in sections I and V.
  4. Dated April 24. (Ibid.)
  5. In his conversation with Dowling on April 27, Schroeder reiterated his regret over the press leak, stated that he was aware of the difficulties it caused the United States, and said he would like to start by approving the revised principles paper (see footnote 2 above), subject to the Chancellor’s approval. He then repeated the objections made by Carstens (see footnote 1 above), but accepted Dowling’s comment that these questions could be dealt with by unilateral declarations at the appropriate time. He next made a few specific comments on the paper. Dowling concluded that Schroeder needed to overcome Brentano’s objections and convince the Chancellor of the merits of the U.S. paper. (Telegram 2578 from Bonn, April 27; Department of State, Central Files, 375/4–2762; and memorandum from Klein to Bundy, April 27, summarizing Dowling’s telephone conversation; Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Germany)