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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)

Letter from President Eisenhower to Premier Bulganin, on Germany, European security, and disarmament, January 12, 1958,   pp. 228-236 PDF (3.9 MB)


Page 232

DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59
You renew the oft-repeated Soviet proposal that the United States,
the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union should cease for two or
three years to test nuclear weapons; and you suggest that nuclear
weapons should not be stationed or produced in Germany. You add
the possibility that Poland and Czechoslovakia might be added to this
non-nuclear weapons area.
These proposals do not serve to meet the real problem of armament.
The heart of that problem is, as you say, the mounting production,
primarily by the Soviet Union and the United States, of new types of
weapons.
Your proposal regarding Central Europe will of course be studied by
NATO and the NATO countries directly involved from the stand-
point of its military and political implications. But there cannot be
great significance in de-nuclearizing a small area when, as you say,
'the range of modern types of weapons does not know of any geograph-
ical limit", and when you defer to the indefinite future any measures
to stop the production of such weapons.
I note, furthermore, that your proposal on Germany is in no way
related to the ending of the division of that country but would, in fact,
tend to perpetuate that division. It is unrealistic thus to ignore the
basic link between political solutions and security arrangements.
Surely, Mr. Chairman, at a time when we share great responsibility
for shaping the development of the international situation, we can
and must do better than what you propose.
In this spirit, I submit some proposals of my own.
IV.
(1) I propose that we strengthen the United Nations.
This organization and the pledges of its members embodied in the
Charter constitute man's best hope for peace and justice. The United
States feels bound by its solemn undertaking to act in accordance with
the Principles of the Charter. Will not the Soviet Union clear away
the doubt that it also feels bound by its Charter undertakings? And
may we not perhaps go further and build up the authority of the
United Nations?
Too often its recommendations go unheeded.
I propose, Mr. Chairman, that we should rededicate ourselves to
the United Nations, its Principles and Purposes and to our Charter
obligations. But I would do more.
Too often the Security Council is prevented, by veto, from dis-
charging the primary responsibility we have given it for the main-
tenance of international peace and security. This prevention even
extends to proposing procedures for the pacific settlement of disputes.
I propose that we should make it the policy of our two govern-
ments at least not to use veto power to prevent the Security Council
from proposing methods for the pacific settlement of disputes pur-
suant to Chapter VI.
Nothing, I am convinced, would give the world more justifiable
hope than the conviction that both of our governments are genuinely
determined to make the United Nations the effective instrument of
peace and justice than was the original design.
(2) If confidence is to be restored, there needs, above all, to be
confidence in the pledged word. To us it appears that such confidence
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