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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 German reunification, January 10, 1958,   pp. 227-228 PDF (875.1 KB)

Page 227

cannot ignore the fact that arms reduction has rarely occurred in the
face of acute political tensions and of grave international injustices.
One such injustice afflicts deeply one of our NATO members, the
Federal Republic of Germany. I should like to reiterate most sol-
emnly our abiding determination that Germany shall be peacefully re-
united in freedom. At the summit conference over 2 years ago this
was formally and solemnly promised to us by Mr. Khrushchev and Mr.
Bulganin. Unhappily, that promise has been repudiated at the cost
of the international confidence which the Soviet rulers profess to de-
sire. Likewise, I cannot let this occasion pass without recalling our
common concern over the status of Berlin. The clear rights there of
the Western Powers must be maintained. Any sign of Western
weakness at this forward position could be misinterpreted with
grievous consequences.
Remarks at News Conference by Secretary of State Dulles, on
German Reunification, January 10, 19581
*        *       *        *       *        9       9
Q. Mr. Secretary, you and the President have emphasized on a
number of occasions the need for an act of good faith on the part of
the Russians as a prerequisite for some NATO negotiation, Summit
meeting, or something of that kind. Could you give us your most
realistic definition of what you would consider an act of good faith on
the part of the Russians?
A. The most realistic and encouraging act would be the carrying
out of some of the prior agreements that have been made and most
particularly I would say the agreement which was arrived at at the
last Summit meeting with the Soviets. There it was stated that the
Four Powers recognize their common responsibility for the German
problem and the reunification of Germany and agree that Germany
shall be reunified by free elections. That agreement was the principal
product of the Geneva Summit meeting. Since then the Soviet Union
has taken the position that it had no further responsibility for the
reunification of Germany and that in any event that reunification by
free elections was not an acceptable method. Now that certainly
throws doubt upon the worth-whileness of these meetings. You may
recall that that Summit meeting was preceded by the consummation
of the Austrian State Treaty, a matter where the Soviet Union had
been seriously in default. Finally, as a result of many meetings that
we had on the subject, it finally agreed to the State Treaty, and that
was consummated on the 15th of May, 1955. That created a condition
which made it seem worthwhile to have a Summit meeting. It was in
that environment that the July meeting was held. But that July
meeting in turn produced agreement which apparently has, so far,
certainly been repudiated by the Soviets and I would think that at
least one possible act of good faith would be to indicate a willingnesss
to carry through on the prior agreement. I don't want to suggest that
that is an absolute condition precedent. But you asked me for what
might be an act which would make another Summit meeting seem
worth while. Certainly that would be such an act.
1 Department of State press release 7, January 10, 1958.

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