Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956
Statement by Secretary of State Dulles before House Foreign Affairs Committee, January 28, 1959 [extract], pp. 378-380 PDF (1.3 MB)
378 DOCUMENTS- ON GERMANY, 1944-5 9 the secret session at which finally that was agreed to by the Soviet Union, including Mr. Khrushchev himself. Now, if they want to suggest another method than the method they have already agreed to, it is I think primarily up to them to suggest the alternative and not up to us., We do not relinquish the agreement that we have merely in order to have what may be a kind of a wild goose chase looking for another method. We stand on the agreement that we have. If the Soviets have another method and say, "We don't want to have reunification -by free elections but we are willing to have it some other way", we could of course listen to any proposal that they make. But it -seem.s to me the primary responsi- bility to suggest an alternative rests upon the nation which wants to -get out of its present agreement,- which is an agreement to do it by means of free elections. Q. Well, does that inrean, Sir, that you do not consider their ap- parent qualified disposition toward confederation as a new alternative? A. No, I do not. Quite to the contrary. Both the proposals for confederation and the proposal for a peace treaty with two Germanies are obviously designed not -to bring about reunification but to per- petuate the partition, the division of Germany and to formalize it for an indefinite period of time. In other words, I consider them as proposals not for reunification but as proposals for permanent partition. * * * * * * * Q. Mr. Secretary, you said that the confederation idea, as ad- vanced by the Russians, is unacceptable. Would you consider the confederation idea as constituting an item of negotiation if it were under a different form and there were different safeguards leading to- reunification? A. Well, I said in answer to an earlier question that the word "confederation" covers a very wide variety of political relationships. It can beb a relationship between two utterly dis siilar and unrelated areas which tends to perpetuate their division, perhaps only having a surface unity with respect to certain particular matters. Or you can. have a confederation which is, in fact, of very considerable progress; toward reunification. I said in a sense you can call the present Federal Republic of Germany a confederation. Now I don't like, as I said, to use the word particularly because it has become a word around which emotions revolve. But. the matter of finding ways which, in fact, will promote reunification: is a matter which, I think can be and should be studied as resourcefully as possible. * * * * * * * Statement by Secretary of State Dulles Before House Foreign Affairs Committee, January 28, 1959 1 [Extract] ,* * * * * * .* -* *: * In 1944-45 there were agreements between the principal Western allies and the Soviet Union on the zones of occupation of 1Department of State press release 71, January 28, 1959.
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