239. Editorial Note

On July 26, 1974, the Department of State sent to the Mission in Geneva telegram 161424, cleared by Counselor Sonnenfeldt and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Hartman and approved in its substance by Secretary of State Kissinger. The telegram instructed the United States delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe: “You should table as soon as possible the following language for inclusion in principle one on sovereign equality: ‘In accordance with international law, the participating states consider that their frontiers can be changed through peaceful means and by agreement.’” For the origins of this language on “peaceful change,” see Document 233. Telegram 4839 from Geneva, July 26, reported that the delegation tabled the formulation on peaceful change the same morning. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)

Telegram 161424 was sent in direct response to a request from the West German Foreign Office. In telegram 11610 from Bonn, July 23, the Embassy reported that “the FRG is asking the U.S. CSCE delegation to table the agreed language on ‘peaceful change’ and Bonn thinks it must be done yet this week before the recess.” The West German Foreign Office had said “U.S. introduction would be natural since the Secretary had raised this matter with the Soviets.” (Ibid.)