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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956
(1959)

Declaration presented by the British, French, and United States ambassadors to the Soviet government, regarding preparations for a summit meeting, March 31, 1958,   pp. 265-266 PDF (864.0 KB)


Page 265

DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59
on the other side that the terms of the conference have implicitly, or,
indeed, explicitly, excluded that.
*  *       *       *        *        *       .*
Q. Mr. Secretary, would the United States accept an agenda item
using the same language as the previous Summit meeting on European
security and Germany, and is it correct that it is "Germany" or
"Ger-
man reunification"?
A. The label on the item was "European security and Germany."
Under that label there appeared a rather full discussion of German
reunification. So it is quite apparent that that label carries with it
the concept of German reunification. Also, that is made clear in
the preceding sentence, the prelude which leads up to that, where the
powers, it is said, recognize the close link between European security
and the reunification of Germany.
Q. Would we accept such an item for the agenda then?
A. I don't want to be absolutely categorical about any of these
matters. I think that when I have said that we thought that a second
Summit meeting should begin where the last one left off, it is fairly
clear what our view is. But these matters are all subject to discussion
with our allies. There is another meeting of the NATO Council on
this general subject, I believe, tomorrow. I don't like to take uni-
laterally positions which ought in the first instance to be discussed
with our allies.
*        *       *        *       *        *       *
Declaration Presented by the British, French, and United States
Ambassadors to the Soviet Government, Regarding Preparations
for a Summit Meeting, March 31, 19581
The present international situation requires that a serious attempt
be made to reach agreement on the main problems affecting attainment
of peace and stability in the world. In the circumstances a Summit
meeting is desirable if it would provide opportunity for conducting
serious discussions of major problems and would be an effective means
of reaching agreement on significant subjects.
It is clear that before a Summit meeting can meet in these conditions
preparatory work is required.
This preparatory work could best be performed by exchanges
through diplomatic channels leading to a meeting between Foreign
Ministers.
The main purpose of this preparatory work should be to examine
the position of the various governments on the major questions at
issue between them, and to establish what subjects should be sub-
mitted for examination by Heads of Government. It would not be the
purpose of these preparatory talks to reach decisions but to bring out,
by general discussion, the possibilities of agreement.
The Foreign Ministers, assuming they have concluded th prepara-
tory work to their satisfaction, would reach agreement on the date and
place of the Summit meeting and decide on its composition.
'Department of State press release 1'59, March 31, 1958,. The declaration
had previously
been approved by the NATO Council.
265


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