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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

Memorandum from Foreign Minister Gromyko to the Western ambassadors, on the agenda of a possible summit meeting, May 8, 1958 [extracts],   pp. 268-273 PDF (2.7 MB)

Page 272

272           DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59
7. Conclusion of a German peace treaty
All the peoples of Europe, which were drawn into the war on the
side of Hitlerite Germany, have long been enjoying the fruits of a
peaceful situation and have been building their life independently,
whereas the German people are still deprived of the conditions for
the peaceful development of their country and existence on equal
terms with other peoples. The absence of a peace treaty also has a
negative effect on the solution of its national task of unifying the
country. Furthermore, the lack of a solution for questions con-
nected with a peaceful settlement in Germany is used by those who
do not value the fate of peace in Europe for drawing the Western part
of Germany into preparation for atomic war.
Under these conditions, the Soviet Government considers that the
powers responsible for the development of Germany in a peaceful
manner should strive to attain a peaceful settlement with Germany
as soon as possible. Being an advocate of such a settlement, the
Soviet Government reiterates its proposal for a discussion at a sum-
mit conference of the question concerning the preparation and con-
clusion of a German peace treaty.
However, taking into consideration the attitude of the Governments
of the US and other Western powers toward this proposal, the Soviet
Government would be ready at the forthcoming meeting to come to
an agreement at least on the first steps towarT the solution of this
question, namely, to agree, at the present stage, on the basic princi-
ples of a German peace treaty and the manner of its preparation. In
this, the Soviet Government proceeds from the premise that prepara-
tory work toward conclusion of a German peace treaty, with the par-
ticipation of German representatives from the GDR and the FRG,
would give impetus to the unification of the efforts of the German
Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany toward
their rapprochement and rest-oration of the unity of the German
8. Prevention of surprise attack against one state by another
Inasmuch as it still does not appear possible at the present time to
resolve the problem of disarmament in full and there is talk of reaching
an agreement regarding partial measures of disarmament, the Soviet
Government proposes that the question of the prevention of surprise
attack be gradually resolved, according to the nature of the measures,
in the field of disarmament in the first stage. It would be necessary to
come to an understanding concerning the establishment of control posts
at railroad junctions, in large ports, and on main highways, and con-
cerning the taking of aerial photographs in the zones of demarcation of
the principal armed forces of the military groups in Europe, at the
present stage in definite limited areas, which will be considered as the
most important from the point of view of eliminating the danger of
surprise attack.
In proposing such an approach to the solution of this problem, the
Soviet Government proceeds from the premise that the Western powers
have recognized the practical value of the Soviet proposal concerning
the establishment of control posts as a means of preventing surprise
attack. This gives a basis for hope that the conference can come to
an agreement on this question.

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