Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956
Statement at Geneva by Prime Minister Eden, on European security, German reunification, and a demilitarized area, July 18, 1955, pp. 147-149 PDF (1.3 MB)
DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59 DONE in Warsaw on May 14, 1955, in one copy each in the Russian, Polish, Czech and German languages, all texts being equally authentic. Certified copies of the present Treaty shall be sent by the Government of the Polish People's Republic to all the Parties to the Treaty. IN WITNESS WHEREOF the plenipotentiaries have signed the present Treaty and affixed their seals. Statement at Geneva by Prime Minister Eden, on European Security, German Reunification, and a Demilitarized Area, July 18, 19551 This Conference is unique in history because the conditions in which we meet are unmatched in human experience. We all know what unparalleled resources the scientific and technical discoveries of our age have placed within our reach. We have only to stretch out our hand and the human race can enter an age of prosperity such as has never been known. It is equally clear how utterly destructive must be the conditions of any conflict in which the Great Powers are engaged. There was a time when the aggressor in war might hope to win an advantage and to realize political gain for his country by military action. The more overwhelming the military power the more tempt- ing was the prize and the less might the aggressor expect to have to pay. We can each one of us think of examples of this in history. Nothing of the kind is possible now. No war can bring the victor spoils; it can only bring him and his victim utter annihilation. Neutrals would suffer equally with the combatants. These are stern facts out of which we can perhaps win enduring peace at last. The deterrent against warlike action holds up a, warn- ing hand. But the deterrent cannot of itself solve international problems or remove the differences that exist between us. It is in an attempt to make progress with these problems and differences that we are met here today. And at this Conference we have to deal with them mainly in the context of Europe. What is the chief among them? There can surely be no doubt of the answer. The unity of Germany. As long as Germany is divided, Europe will be divided. Until the unity of Germany is restored there can be neither confidence, nor security in this continent. Within the limits of our Western Zone we have done all we can to unify Germany. We have broken down the barriers between our zones. We have treated the three Western areas as an economic unit and given them a federal Government. We have brought the occupation to an end. Quite apart from the larger issues of German reunification it would mark a real advance if, pending our negotiations for German unity, the Soviet Government felt able to relax the physical restrictions which now aggravate the division of Germany, and prevent contact between Germans in the East and West. Now I must turn to the wider' issues of German unification. What is the reason why the Berlin Conference failed a year ago? We must examine this as dispassionately as we can in order to see what 1 The Geneva Conference of Head8 of Government, July 18-23, 1955 (Department of State publication 6046), pp. 31-34.
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