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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 the Western powers to the Soviet Union, on agenda for a summit meeting, May 28, 1958 [extracts],   pp. 277-280 PDF (1.6 MB)

Page 278

would be an effective means of reaching agreement on significant
They regard such settlements as constituting effective means for
developing a spirit of confidence in their relations with the Soviet
Union which could lead to cooperation among nations in the pursuit
of a just and lasting peace.
Such settlements, if they are to serve this purpose, must take into
account the legitimate interests of all the parties concerned and must
embrace the necessary elements to assure their implementation.,
In his letter of January 12, 1958, President Eisenhower put forward
a series of proposals to Premier Bulganin. The Governments of the
US, UK and France consider that they form the basis for mutually
beneficial settlements at a meeting of Heads of Government. Some of
the considerations which underlie this view are set forth below. In
making their proposals in the field of disarmament, the three govern-
ments recall their obligations, undertaken in the UN Charter not to
use any weapons against the territorial integrity or political independ-
ence of any state. While a comprehensive disarmament remains their
ultimate aim, they propose certain practical balanced and interde-
pendent measures which would mark significant progress toward con-
trolling the arms race and thus reducing the danger of war. Progress
of this sort would also create an atmosphere of confidence which could
facilitate settlement of the political controversies that disturb rela-
tions between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union. Reduction
in both nuclear weapons and conventional armed forces and arma-
ments are vital for this purpose. The Three Governments therefore
consider it desirable to make clear once again what were the reasons
which led them to put forward far reaching proposals for partial
disarmament in 1957.
*        *       *        *       *        *       *
6. Reunification of Germany in accordance with the terms of the 1955
Directive of the four Heads of Gove'rnment to the Ministers of
Foreign Affairs.
The continued division of Germany is a major obstacle to the
restoration of confidence and the creation of conditions of genuine
peace and stability in Europe. Thirteen years have passed since the
end of the war in Europe, vet no peace settlement has been made with
Germany. A necessary prerequisite for such a settlement is the crea-
tion of a government which truly reflects the will of the German
people. Only a government created on such a basis can undertake
obligations which will inspire confidence on the part of other coun-
tries and which will be considered just and binding by the people of
Germany themselves.
The Heads of Government in Geneva recognized the common
responsibility of the four powers for the settlement of the Germai
question and the reunification of Germany. They agreed that the
settlement of the German question and the reunification of Germany
through free elections should be carried out in conformity with the
national interests of the German people and the interests of European
security. The Western powers propose that the Soviet Union join
with them in immediate steps to carry out their responsibility by
agreeing to permit (an all-German Government to be formed by free
elections and enabling it to carry out its functions. Such an agree-

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