56. Memorandum for the Record1

SUBJECT

  • Ambassador Pauls–Mr. Kissinger Conversation

The Ambassador wanted to know what the President might expect Chancellor Brandt to tell him during their forthcoming meeting on June 15, and vice versa. Mr. Kissinger said that problems connected with NATO and the Mansfield amendment would presumably be high on the agenda. [Omitted here is discussion of matters other than the European security conference or MBFR.]

Next, Mr. Kissinger said East-West relations and Berlin would presumably figure in the conversation. He said that he could detect no disagreement between the two governments but it was important to synchronize approaches. MBFR would also figure under this heading.

[Omitted here is discussion of matters other than the European security conference or MBFR.]

Switching to MBFR, Pauls commented that there was a problem of moving ahead on this subject without having made progress on Berlin. Mr. Kissinger wondered whether the Soviets would accept a percentage cut as balanced. In any event, we were still working on our position although we would shortly have some of our analytical work available for submission to the Allies.

[Omitted here is discussion of matters other than the European security conference or MBFR.]

Pauls asked about Soviet motives in regard to MBFR. Mr. Kissinger conjectured that the Soviets might want to pull out some of their troops in Czechoslovakia and trade them in for US troops in Germany. Beyond this, the Soviets have apparently recognized that they could not have a separate détente with the Europeans alone. At the very least such a policy was not a feasible one in terms of German domestic politics. In addition, the Soviets could not make progress on Berlin under conditions of hostility with the United States. Additional factors in the Soviets’ motivations may be China, domestic Soviet considerations and the hope of weakening Western cohesion. Pauls added that the Soviets [Page 149]may want to switch the discussion of FBS to the MBFR forum. He also thought that economic considerations figured in the Soviet motivation. [Omitted here is discussion of matters other than the European security conference or MBFR.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 685, Country Files, Europe, Germany (Bonn), Vol. IX. Confidential. Sent for information. Drafted on June 3 by Sonnenfeldt. A notation at the end of the memorandum indicates that it went to Kissinger.