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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

Report by Secretary of State Dulles on the Geneva foreign ministers meeting, November 18, 1955,   pp. 178-185 PDF (3.4 MB)

Page 184

At this Geneva Conference the Soviet Union had to face up con-
cretely to the cost of achieving the larger results which it says it wants
in terms of European security, disarmament, and increased contacts
between East and West.
On this occasion no positive results were achieved. But I recall
that President Eisenhower, after returning from Geneva, said that he
was "profoundly impressed with the need for all of us to avoid dis-
couragement merely because our own proposals, our own approaches,
and our own beliefs are not always immediately accepted by the other
side". And he pointed to the difficulty of bridging the wide and deep
gulf between individual liberty and regimentation and between the
concept of man made in the image of God, and the concept of man as
the mere instrument of the State.
That gulf has created obstacles so great that they could not be
overcome at this recent Geneva Conference.
That does not mean that our efforts at that Conference were wasted.
The proposals we advanced were basically sound and respected the
legitimate interest of all. When solutions come, they will have to take
into account the principles which we sought to apply.
The Soviets pride themselves on being realists. They have shown
in the past that they will adapt their policies to facts and realities
once they recognize them. We believe that the free nations, by main-
taining and strengthening their unity, can make it apparent to the
Soviet Union that solutions such as we proposed are in its real inter-
est and will benefit them more than the local and temporary advan-
tages to which they now seem to attach overriding importance.
Of course the Soviets will not change their policies if they believe
that the free world is going to fall apart. That is why continuation
of the present partnership of the independent nations is indispensable
to a peaceful solution of present problems.
It is vital that all free nations, including ourselves, clearly under-
stand this basic truth.
I am happy to be able to make a good report about this partnership.
In Paris, before the Geneva Conference, we had a useful session of
the NATO council. It was attended by virtually all of the Foreign
Ministers of the 15 member countries. It served further to cement
the unity represented by the Council.
While in Europe I also consulted with leaders of the movement
to develop still further the unity of Europe. This movement is again
becoming vigorous. In my talks, I made clear that the initiative for
further steps toward European integration must come from the Euro-
peans themselves but that the United States stands ready and eager
to help to realize this great idea.
I went to Spain, Italy and Yugoslavia. In each place I had a full
and helpful discussion of the international scene. The result was,
I think, to create better understanding and firmer ties of friendship.
Finally, a most important fact is that at the Geneva Conference
there were the closest personal and working relations between the
British Foreign Minister, Mr. Macmillan[,] and the French Foreign
Minister, Mr. Pinay, and myself. We also worked closely with the
representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany in matters that
concerned it.

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