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Information bulletin
(June 1951)

Byroade, Henry A.
Soviet obstruction,   p. 14 PDF (543.3 KB)

Page 14

Soviet Obstruction
The following is the text of a statement made by Henry A. Byrodde, director
of the Bureau of German
Affairs, Department of State, on April 29 over the television network of
the National Broadcasting Company
and reprinted from the Department of State Bulletin.
I WANT TO TALK TO YOU about one of the major problems our government faces
today. After continuous
effort over a period of years to reach agreement with the USSR on Germany,
our government - in con-
junction with the French and British - concluded reluctantly in 1949 that
progress could no longer be
delayed because of Soviet obstruction. We, therefore, gave authority to the
western Germans to establish
a democratic form of government in western Germany.
Attempts at obstruction by the Soviet Union followed, including the blockade
on the City of Berlin. You
all know the gallant story of the airlift to Berlin. Thwarted in this, the
Soviets requested a meeting of the
four foreign ministers in a final effort to block the formation of the German
government. We met with
them in good faith, but Molotov soon made it very clear that there could
be no agreement on Germany
except one which would place all Germany at the mercy of the Soviet Union.
I give you this history because of its similarity to what is happening today.
The tactics, military preparations and hostile propaganda of the Soviet Union
-resulting in open
aggression by forces in their orbit last June -have reluctantly caused free
nations to look to their own
defense. In the Atlantic area, the 12 nations of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization made a far-reaching
decision to establish a commoA force and further agreed that western Germany,
should she so elect, would
have the right and opportunity to join and so participate in her own defense.
This was many, many months
after Soviet representatives had established military forces - so-called
police forces - in East Germany.
The Soviet Union has attacked this defensive plan, now with veiled threats,
now with mocking "peace
-     offensives." They also asked for a Big Four meeting to discuss
German demilitarization.
-        We have no desire to avoid such a meeting, since one must always
cling to the hope that a basic agree-
ment can be possible. But this time we wanted the assurance of an agenda,
not simply weeks of futile
discussions by the foreign ministers on procedures and on what to talk about.
-        For this purpose, the deputies of the foreign ministers have now
been in session in Paris more than
eight weeks.
I WANT TO CUT THROUGH confused interplay of agenda wording and tell you why
what is going on at
Paris is much more important to us than a play on words.
Gromyko, the Soviet representative, has maintained that the question of western
German participation
in her own defense is the principal cause of tension in Europe. This is clearly
nonsense since the question
of German participation in defense would not arise except for the aggressive
Soviet behavior, coupled with
their large military forces, in eastern Germany and the satellites. To accept
their contention would lead to
the conclusion that the acts and policies of the West were the primary cause
of tensions in Europe.
The Western deputies have also indicated that existing levels of armaments
and armed forces and means
for international control of armaments should be a subject for Four-Power
consideration. When we and our
Western Allies disarmed upon the end of the last war, Russia maintained -
in some instances even in-
creased -her military strength. It is the threat of these Red armies - partly
outside Russian borders and
far in excess of the needs of any state for its own self-protection - that
is the real cause of tension in Europe
today. In the face of this situation, the Soviet representative desires agenda
wording which would commit
us to a policy of reduction in armed strength of the Four Powers - and this
prior to any consideration of the
present unbalance and prior to any agreement on a form of international inspection
and control. This is an
old and familiar Soviet proposition. It, too, forms no basis for honest discussions.
These are some of the differences at Paris. Soviet propaganda, Soviet double
talk, Soviet insistence that
white is black and black is white, denies what you and I know to be true.
It would seem that the original
goal of the Soviet representatives - that is, to prevent western Germany
from accepting a defense role with
the West -has now been broadened into an attack upon the whole defensive
effort of the West. It is
important that we all understand what is behind their efforts to confuse
and control.  +END
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