223. Telegram From the Mission in Geneva to the Department of State 1

4100. Eyes only for Sonnenfeldt and Hartman from Sherer. Department pass to Moscow eyes only for Ambassador Stoessel—Moscow hold for the Secretary’s party. Subj:CSCE: Basket III preamble. Ref: Geneva 4076.2

Following friendly lunch (reported septel)3 given by Kovalev to honor President Nixon’s arrival Moscow, NATO delegation chiefs caucused at American Mission. Despite my strong support for some type of package deal which would enable conference to get off dead center it was almost unanimous opinion that any deal would have to be very carefully studied and should not be entered into at this time. Even the efforts by neutrals which have been reported previously were rejected and several delegations including French, Canadian and Dutch advocated avoiding encouraging of further efforts by neutrals.
Though many dels appeated to acknowledge that some form of “escape clause” to afford Soviets minimal Basket III protection would eventually have to be inserted in the principles, there was substantial disagreement as to the timing or language for such a concession. French del made the point that Soviet renunciation of insistence upon reference to “laws and customs” in Basket III preamble was not a concession by Soviets but that the inclusion of the Finnish 4th para would be a concession by the West which wanted no paragraph of any kind in Basket III preamble. Consequently, he concluded that there could be no trade-off between Basket I “legislative and regulatory systems” reference and Finnish para 4 of Basket III preamble since both items represent Western concessions.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 708, Country Files, Europe, Switzerland, Vol. III. Secret; Immediate;Nodis.
  2. Telegram 4076 from Geneva, June 26, reported that “neutrals are in process of refining their ‘package deal’ on Basket III preamble, and have today informed us that it would consist of the following elements: (1) inclusion of language on ‘right of each participating state to determine its own laws and regulations’ in principle of sovereign equality; (2) agreement on all paragraphs of Basket III preamble according to new draft prepared by neutrals, which contains same general reference to the principles as did Finnish draft; (3) agreement on texts of ‘mini-preambles’ to precede each section of Basket III document, according to new neutral drafts; (4) simultaneous registration of all above texts.” (Ibid., RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P850095–2192)
  3. Not further identified.