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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

Remarks at news conference by Secretary of State Dulles, on Germany, January 13, 1959 [extracts],   pp. 370-375 PDF (2.6 MB)

Page 374

374           DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY     1944-59
Q. Mr. Secretary, would'.you be willing to have the present East
Germany demilitarized as part of such a settlement with Russia if
they agreed to a reunification? In: other words, keep East or West
German troops out of that part of the country?
* A.- Well, something along that line is implicit in the: suggestion
that -has been made. Of course, you have got to have ordinary police
forces, forces to maintain law and order and internal security. But
the proposal that was made earlier .and which has been discussed
here already did imply that the military position of the Western
powers, NATO, should not be pushed forward into East Germany if
there should. be reunification.
Q. Mr. Secretary, if you say you are not negotiating bilaterally
with Mr. Mikoyan during this visit, how do'you propose to negotiate
all these aspects of the German question that we have been discussing,
or in fact do you propose to negotiate them?
A. Well, we have made a proposal to negotiate on the question of
the reunification of Germany, Berlin, and European security. That
proposal was made in our December 31st note. The Soviets have
said that they are prepared to negotiate on the question of Berlin
and on the question of a German peace treaty but not on the question
of German reunification or at the same time on the question of Euro-
pean: security.
Now -there seems to be one common denominator which runs
through all this, which is there seems to be a desire on both sides to
get together and talk. There is not a meeting of minds as to what we
talk about. There secuns to be a sharp difference of opinion as to
what we talk about, but there is at least a common denominator, I
think,- in terms of a feeling that there should be discussions. You
might say that it has gotten down to the point- where it is a matter of
agenda. We know that the question of agenda can be a very serious
stumbling block in the way of meetings. It was so at the time of the
Palais Rose conference (Paris Session of Deputies of Council of For-
eign Ministers, March 5-June 21, 1951) and it has been a stumbling
block in the way of a Summit meeting.
Q. But in Berlin in 1954 you accepted the Soviet agenda at the out-
set. It really made no difference in the substance of the talks. In
this case would you be willing to accept perhaps the single word
"Germany" as an agenda?
A. I think that our ideas as to the possible subject of discussion
are broad. It is the Soviet Union that is trying to narrow the subject
of discussion. We would not be alarmed by the broadness of the
agenda. The only thing that alarms us would be the narrowness of
-the agenda. To have a meeting which tried to deal with the question
of a peace treaty and Berlin without being able at the same time even
to discuss the question of the reunification of Germany or the ques-
tion of European security seems to us unrealistic. It was recognized
in -the. Geneva Summit meeting directive that there was a close inter-
relationship between the question of Germany and European security.
We still believe that there is that interrelationship. So what concerns
us. would be not the broadening of the agenda but being debarred
from discussing what we considered to be vital things by a narrow-
ing of the agenda before the talks start.
A&       *       *        *       *        *       *

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