12. Paper Prepared in the Department of State1


Policy Considerations

We believe that the quiet revolution now in progress in the East European countries will continue and gather momentum in the years [Page 44] ahead. The current changes in East Europe are characterized by four important features varying in degree from one country to another: (1) internal liberalization; (2) establishment of a certain degree of national independence from Soviet control; (3) pragmatic innovations designed to cope with pressing economic problems; and (4) progress in reassociation with the West.

Our basic purpose in building bridges to East Europe is to facilitate and sustain these changes. We seek thereby progress toward the realization of our ultimate objective in East Europe, that is: the establishment of conditions under which the people of each country may determine its own society; and where each country may enjoy national independence, security, and a normal relationship with all other countries. This will mean the final dismantling of the Iron Curtain and the free association of East Europe and the West. It will entail the establishment of a viable relationship between the East European countries and the Soviet Union consistent with the security of both.

To weave the fabric of reassociation with East Europe is to lower barriers, strengthen ties and broaden relations with the countries of that area. We seek to promote and influence the evolution of Communism in the area and to obtain the agreement and positive cooperation of Communist governments in spheres of mutual interest.

We must focus and rearticulate our policy in keeping with the developing East European situation. We must also closely relate our moves in East Europe to the solution of the German problem and the achievement of a durable relationship with the Soviet Union. Our policies for achieving West European unity, East European evolution and secure peace with the Soviet Union must move forward together.

There are two great needs:

One is coordination—of US policies toward the various parts of Europe; among Western countries in building relationships with East Europe; within the Executive agencies; and among the Executive Branch, the Congress and the American public.
The other is further tools for the purpose—in legislative authority giving the Executive Branch greater means and flexibility to influence developments in the European Communist countries.


The Department recommends a comprehensive program of: (1) actions affecting East Europe as a whole; (2) actions to achieve a common Western approach; (3) steps in multilateral associations; and (4) country initiatives.

The program includes actions that can be taken now as well as measures that will put us in a better position to take advantage of opportunities as they emerge in the various countries of East Europe. Timing and priority are shown in specific cases.

[Page 45]

I. Actions Affecting East Europe as a Whole

Since this paper is concerned with East Europe (as well as the Soviet Union), it does not cover East Germany and none of the recommendations are intended to apply to East Germany.


Extension of Official Relations

We should prepare the way for fresh initiatives in East Europe by clearing up certain outstanding issues. Specifically:

Negotiations of claims settlements. (Country Programs for Czechoslovakia and Hungary)3
Removal on a reciprocal basis of travel restrictions and limitations on the size of diplomatic staffs. (Tab A)
Settlement of specific consular problems and conclusion of consular conventions. (Country Programs)
Opening of Consulates in USSR, Poland and Czechoslovakia. (Country Programs)


Negotiating New Bilateral Agreements

We can support such initiatives by entering into commercial agreements with individual European Communist countries on the basis of a mutual exchange of benefits. Such agreements need not be limited to trade. They should be used as an opportunity to resolve outstanding problems in matters concerning trade, such as: the protection of industrial property (Tab B), settlement of commercial disputes, and expansion of trade and tourism opportunities. Such agreements could also be related to the settlement of financial claims and consular problems. They can be used as a means of bringing US relations with an individual country under regular review and consultation procedures.

We can move in this direction through bilateral negotiation on the pattern of the Rumanian talks in 1964. For this purpose, we must be prepared to liberalize our export licensing practices and to guarantee commercial credits as part of the process of broadening relations with an individual country.

If we are to expand trade with these countries on a sound basis and maintain forward momentum in our relations with them, it will be necessary for the US to grant most-favored-nation tariff treatment where the situation warrants.

Shipping (Tab C)
We should gradually admit ships of the European Communist countries to an increasing number of US ports.
We should partially and gradually relax surveillance of Polish and other East European ships in US ports insofar as US security arrangements will permit.
We should scrupulously treat commercial transactions with the European Communist countries outside US preferential shipping requirements.
We should not apply the preferential shipping requirements of PR 73–17 to transactions involving Export Import Bank guarantees of commercial bank credit of 5 years maturity or less.

Civil Aviation (Tab D)

We should adopt a new course in this field by:

Fostering the exchange of aviation officials and technicians with selected East European countries.
Seeking to obtain rights, unilateral if possible, but through reciprocal agreements if necessary, for US air carriers to serve selected East European points.
Relaxing current barriers to sales of US civil aircraft and aviation equipment to East European countries and within security limitations encouraging such sales.
Supporting applications from individual East European countries for adherence to the Chicago Convention and urging East European countries to apply the ICAO standards.


Facilitation of Travel

We should encourage the flow of tourist travel both ways by civil aviation links, by establishment of tourist offices where appropriate and by a more expeditious procedure for issuing visas to temporary visitors from East European countries. The last proposal (Tab E) would also facilitate the conduct of official relations with the East European states since many of the visitors have official status. The Agencies involved should reduce drastically the time required to complete the prescribed security name checks on applicants.


Humanitarian Assistance (Tab F)

We should be in a position to respond promptly and effectively to disaster situations and other requirements for humanitarian assistance in East Europe. Present authority to provide food assistance for needy persons through voluntary agencies is adequate. However, we have only limited authority to meet disaster situations in East Europe. We should also be able to cover on a selective basis longer term requirements for rehabilitation and reconstruction after the immediate emergency.

Bridges of Ideas (Tab G)
We should systematically expand our programs of cultural exchanges and exchanges of persons with East Europe. We should also seek a better balance by arranging more exchanges in the arts, humanities [Page 47] and social sciences. We require more funds, both public and private, for these purposes.
We specifically propose:
  • —to increase grants and scholarships;
  • —to promote the export of US publications, television and motion picture films;
  • —to establish additional libraries in our diplomatic missions, US cultural centers and reading rooms;
  • —to distribute cultural and scientific bulletins as well as an America magazine in the local language;
  • —to assist East European countries to improve the teaching of English in their schools and universities and where possible to establish chairs of American studies. (Country Programs)
We have concluded a Fulbright agreement with Yugoslavia. We should be prepared at the right time to conclude Fulbright agreements with Poland and Rumania if those countries are ready to undertake the standard obligations under such agreements.

Arms Control (Tab H)

In the absence of a basic European political settlement, efforts to develop understanding with East Europe in the field of arms control and disarmament should be focused on:

Persuading East European leaders and people of the peaceful purposes and defensive posture of the US, the Federal Republic and other Allies, especially as concerns the MLF and Allied nuclear strategy as well as Bonn’s policy toward East Europe.
Limited steps of a “bridge-building” character within the arms control and disarmament framework including: (1) greater contact with individual East European delegations at the ENDC and UNGA for exchange of views; (2) the welcoming and careful consideration of East European initiatives such as the Gomulka plan even if they are inadequate; (3) visits of US experts to East Europe for presentation of US positions or possible exchange of visits of specialists; (4) exchange of documents and provision of US research studies; (5) increased public information activities including if possible placement of articles on US disarmament policy in East European publications.


Articulation of Policy

The President’s “bridge-building” speech in 1964 and his reference to the subject in the State of the Union speech as well as the Secretary’s earlier speech on “Why We Treat Different Communist Countries Differently” have been of great benefit in explaining to the American people the US approach to East Europe and in helping to build support at home for a [Page 48] positive policy.4 Such authoritative statements on our purposes in East Europe in relation to our policies in West Europe, especially Germany, and toward the Soviet Union are essential in order to make clear to all parts of Europe the design of our policy and the interrelationship of its parts. The US should continue to enunciate, and build support for, our policy through such presentations on opportune occasions.


New Legislation (Tab I)

In the field of trade, our greatest need is for the President to have discretionary authority to grant most-favored-nation tariff treatment where he believes it is in the national interest. With this authority, the US could negotiate commercial agreements with individual European Communist countries that would enable us to make maximum use of trade as a means of broadening our relations with these countries and influencing the evolution of their societies.

As a further means of facilitating trade relations with European Communist countries, the legislation should also clarify the existing authority for the Export-Import Bank to guarantee commercial export credits.

In separate legislation, we should propose an amendment of the Battle Act which would permit greater flexibility in the use of our PL 4805 funds in Poland to support US programs and trends there to our advantage. The present PL 480 legislation should be amended to remove the five-year limitation on Title IV sales to Poland. (Poland Country Program)

To meet disaster situations in East Europe, we should seek to amend the Foreign Assistance Act so as to give the President authority to provide emergency famine relief and other forms of humanitarian assistance.

II. Actions Toward Achieving a Common Western Approach

We should strengthen our effort to develop a common Western approach to East Europe: (1) to increase the possibilities of realizing our policy objectives in the area; and (2) to insure that the drawing together of East and West Europe occurs in association with, not to the exclusion of, the US.

[Page 49]

We should:

Cooperate closely with the Federal Republic in the evolution of Western policies toward East Europe without permitting Bonn a veto on such policies.
Work with Bonn and other West European governments as appropriate in promoting understanding and a better relationship between the Federal Republic and the East European countries especially (a) by discouraging public pronouncements by Bonn officials on claims to the “lost territories” or Germany’s 1937 frontiers in the East; (b) by encouraging the FRG to consider undertaking discussions with the Poles looking toward a definitive understanding, in advance of a German peace treaty, on the ultimate boundary between Poland and a unified Germany; and (c) by supporting any disposition shown by the FRG to modify or by-pass the Hallstein Doctrine insofar as it serves to impede the development of Bonn’s relations with East Europe.
Cooperate with the FRG and other Western states in ways to increase the differences between the GDR and East Europe and to make the reunification of Germany more acceptable to the latter.
Consult with West European states on how relations of the West with East Europe, especially with Poland, can be utilized to build bridges from there on to the Soviet Union.
Concert with NATO members on utilizing developing opportunities to bring selected East European states into a feasible working relationship with certain multilateral organizations.
Seek in NATO a closer coordination of trade and credit policies toward East Europe.
Begin a systematic exchange of views with the EEC Commission on East-West relations.
Explore the possibilities of quadripartite consultations on policies toward East Europe and of periodic meetings of Western officials responsible for dealing with East Europe.
Explore the suggestion made by West Berlin’s Governing Mayor Willy Brandt in a New York City speech in June 1964, when he declared that the West should propose “common projects” to the peoples of East Europe, such as joint construction of continental highways, waterways, etc.

III. Actions in Multilateral Organizations

We should make more active use of specialized multilateral organizations to influence the evolution of East European countries and to enlarge the area of peaceful engagement between them and the West. Individual East European countries are becoming increasingly interested in full membership, partial membership, or observer status in multilateral organizations composed wholly or almost wholly of [Page 50] non-Communist countries. They are also likely to seek various types of links with the supranational European Communities.

We should seek to utilize this interest, examining each opportunity on a case-by-case basis and responding appropriately to specific overtures from East European countries. We must balance the risk that entry of East European countries could dilute the operational effectiveness of the organization concerned against the gain in advancing our goal of reassociation of the East European countries with the West.

[Here follow action recommendations on specific organizations.]

IV. Country Initiatives

The principal features of the attached country programs are:


Albania (Tab M)

Albania presents the most unpromising situation of any East European state.

The only immediately practical move is to relax restrictions on the travel of Americans to Albania. When and if there is any possibility, we should try to open a channel of communication to the Albanians.


Bulgaria (Tab N)

In spite of setbacks and difficulties since the Georgiev spy case at the end of 1963, there are some signs of movement at the present time.

We should continue efforts to improve the atmosphere and content of bilateral relations through efforts to negotiate a consular convention, the encouragement of trade, with credit contingent on political amelioration, and the expansion of cultural exchanges and the exchange of visits.


Czechoslovakia (Tab O)

Czechoslovakia may provide us one of our more attractive opportunities but a broad advance in our relations depends upon signing an economic and financial agreement.

We should decide, as soon as prospects for an East-West Trade Act are clarified, whether to proceed with the economic and financial agreement already initialed or to reopen the negotiations with the Czechs looking toward a larger amount of compensation for US claimants. Measures should be taken to encourage trade, cultural exchanges and exchanges of visits as opportunities appear. The negotiation of a consular convention should be undertaken at an early date.


Hungary (Tab P)

New possibilities are opening up in Hungary. The first requisite is to move forward in the normalization of our relations by discussions to resolve outstanding economic, financial, consular and other problems.


Poland (Tab Q)

The most immediate step is to conclude the consular convention now in process of negotiation. The reciprocal establishment of consulates [Page 51] should follow. We should advance further in putting our economic relations with Poland on a purely commercial basis, expand our trade, and broaden our cultural exchanges.


Rumania (Tab R)

Our proposals are principally concerned with measures to follow up and consolidate the results of the negotiations of 1964 with the Rumanians, which significantly extended Rumanian relations with the US and helped to enlarge the basis of Rumanian independence. If we are to continue this forward movement it will be necessary soon to be able to accord Rumania most-favored-nation tariff treatment.


Yugoslavia (Tab S)

Of most importance are: (1) US action to permit sales of military spare parts from Government stocks to Yugoslavia; (2) the continuation of PL 480 and EXIM Bank programs so long as these may be necessary; (3) exchanges of high-level visits; and (4) the implementation of the Fulbright agreement concluded in November 1964.


Soviet Union (Tab T)

While the Soviet Union is not formally a part of East Europe we include a program for it since movement there is related to movement in East Europe.

Proposed steps in this bilateral program include: ratification of the consular convention, reciprocal establishment of consulates, signing and implementation of the civil air agreement, exchanges of military visits, cooperation in desalination, implementation and expansion of the cooperative program in outer space activities, improvement of seismic data exchange, negotiations on outstanding economic issues, and expansion and improvement of exchanges as a whole.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1 EUR E–US. Secret. The source text bears no drafting information, but the paper was transmitted as an attachment to a June 5 memorandum from Read to Bundy.
  2. Document 4.
  3. The Tabs and Country Programs are not printed.
  4. Regarding the President’s “bridge building” speech, see Document 4. For text of the State of the Union address, January 4, 1965, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, Book I, pp. 1–9. For text of Secretary Rusk’s September 14, 1964, speech before the Economic Club of Detroit, see Department of State Bulletin, October 5, 1964, pp. 463–468.
  5. For text of P.L. 480, the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act, enacted July 10, 1954, see 68 Stat. 454. The Battle Act (the Mutual Defense Control Act of 1951; P.L. 213) provided for the suspension of U.S. economic aid to nations supplying strategic materials to Communist nations; 65 Stat. 644.