54. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • USSR-“GDR” Treaty; Cyprus


  • Germans
    • Chancellor Erhard
    • Foreign Minister Schroeder
    • Ambassador Heinrich Knappstein
    • State Secretary Ludger Westrick, Office of the Chancellor
    • State Secretary Karl Carstens, Foreign Office
    • State Secretary Karl-Guenther von Hase, Federal Press Office
    • Assistant Secretary Franz Krapf, Foreign Office
    • Karl Hohmann, Assistant Secretary, Office of the Chancellor
    • Horst Osterheld, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of the Chancellor
    • Herman Kusterer, Counselor, Foreign Office (Interpreter)
  • Americans
    • The President
    • The Secretary
    • Mr. McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant to the President
    • Governor Herter
    • Ambassador McGhee
    • Mr. William R. Tyler, Assistant Secretary of State, EUR
    • Mr. George Reedy, Press Secretary, White House
    • Mr. Angier Biddle Duke, Chief of Protocol, Department of State
    • Mr. Charles K. Johnson, Office of German Affairs
    • Mrs. Nora M. Lejins, Interpreter

The first portion of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of the communiqué to be issued at the conclusion of the talks.2 After agreement had been achieved on the final text, Chancellor Erhard remarked that we had now received the full text of the USSR-“GDR” treaty and asked what our reactions were.

Secretary Rusk replied that after a first reading of the text, the treaty appeared to be what we expected—an attempt by Khrushchev to give something to Ulbricht without getting into the complexities of a peace treaty. He remarked that he was happy to see the language contained in Article 9 of the treaty.3 On the other hand, the Secretary said, we need to watch the situation carefully to see that no steps are taken on the basis of the treaty which might tend to reduce Allied rights.

Secretary Rusk then stated he would like to express our concern about the situation in Cyprus.4 As Foreign Minister Schroeder would recall, at the recent NATO meeting in The Hague it was agreed by all parties that war between Greece and Turkey was an unthinkable eventuality. The situation has now become more dangerous; the Turkish Cypriots seem to be in a more critical position. The Greek Government appears to fear employing its maximum pressure on Archbishop Makarios out of concern that Makarios will turn to the Soviet Union. The United States has been making representations to both sides. Our clear position is that there must be no war between the Greeks and the Turks, and that both sides must exert every possible influence to maintain law [Page 127] and order and find an agreed solution promptly. We had had a very tight situation recently when the Turks were at the point of intervening militarily. Under Secretary Ball’s mission had been undertaken in order to insist in both capitals on moves to stabilize the situation. In view of this situation, we believe it is important for all NATO members to make clear in both capitals the nature of their concern. Secretary Rusk said that we will keep in touch with the FRG on this situation. We hope that the FRG will insist firmly in Athens and Ankara on the idea that peace must be maintained.

Chancellor Erhard expressed his agreement with what Secretary Rusk had said and asserted that the FRG will make further efforts to make reason prevail.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Germany, Erhard Visit, June 1964. Confidential. Drafted by C.K. Johnson. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room at the White House.
  2. For text, see Public Papers of the President of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964, Book I, pp. 771–773.
  3. It reads: “The present treaty does not affect the rights and commitments of the sides under the bilateral and other international agreements which are in force, including the Potsdam agreement.”
  4. Reference is to the mobilization of Turkish forces following the outbreak of intercommunal fighting.