Cabinet Secretaries' notebooks (CAB 195/18): Germany
Sought Cab. endorsement of F.O. tel. to W'ton. 1378 re procedure. U.S. draft was not sufficient or satisfactory.
First task : get Allies to agree on character & date of mtgs. That will help to get them to concentrate on substance.
Expect tough answers for U.S. But don't propose to yield on this until after I have seen President.
French are not averse to this line. Cd. be brought to conform.
Germans more likely to be interested in substance than procedure.
Fr. & G. now take line tht. if F. Ministers fail, all the more reason for a Summit mtg. That is advance - U.S. view = opposite.
Participation & agenda : may be diffies., but Fr. won't be awkward.
b) Visit to Paris.
Atmosph. friendly. Think Fr. & G. realise you can't have a war over this.
But if there is a Munich they will cast me as N. Chamberlain!
When I pressed de G. to say what mil. contn. he wd. make - none. He is indulging in brinkmanship at our expense.
On substance : Fr. are sensible on G. They agree tht. you can't re-unify G. save by war : must face these facts : but must, for sake of Germans, keep some light at end of tunnel. We shd. have constructive plan, too - prs. on confedn. basis : to keep the G. soul alive. Re-unificn. by free elections is not on : but we can't say so flatly.
Short-term problem. Fr. wd. prefer to stand on existg. rights - arrangemt. with D.D.R. w'in existg. agreements. Accommn. of detail w'in that.
We have bn. thinking on other lines. Can't stand for ever on rights of conquest : cdn't then make a peace treaty at all. Therefore, negotiate a new agreement, with suitable guarantees.
Much to be said for either approach. Fr. think first is safer.
Fr. agree tht. our agreemts. with W. Germany is de facto peace treaty. And recognise too tht. our juridical posn. in W. Berlin is not v. strong.
People won't understand a war to unite Germany.
Progress. No ultimatum. Negotn. K.'s flexibility on guarantees. Hope U.S. can be brght along. Wd. prefer troops & U.N. in W. Berlin.
This can't be solved in U.N. But valuable to bring U.N. in as part of settlement - to help in guaranteeing it.
Don't like stages in memo. Impn. of weakness. Wd. sooner not appear to be driven back.
Not happy about disengagement. Our plan is so unfavourable to R. tht. we shd. be pressed to go further twds complete disengagemt. wh. wd. disrupt N.A.T.O.
Divided G. is on our interest. Seek modus vivendi on basis of status quo.
Support P.M.'s approach. Tough time ahead, in W'ton. U.N. presence as guarantor - v. useful. Timing : what will F. Ministers do, with Gromyko. Shd. we not narrow gap betwn. that & Summit mtg.
That is ground for fixing date for Summit. It moves For. Ministers along.
They cd. do prepns. - if agenda cd. be widened.
Statement by P.M. on Wed. before Easter will avert debate. Need for conference on keeping public opinion informed. Need to review state of C. Defence. May have to say somethg : but not w'out refce. to P.M. Concentrate on evacuation policy & communications.
Taken from C.C. 16(59) - Meeting held on 11 March 1959