123. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in France 1

1004. Paris for USRO Stoessel McGuire. Following discussion Quadripartite Ambassadors’ meeting August 21, Kohler chairman.

Kohler announced U.S. prepared back German NATO proposal boycott Leipzig Fair. U.S. participation small but attempt being made discourage prospective exhibitors.
Kohler hoped UK/French would instruct their commandants associate themselves with U.S. in discussing with Senat possible EastZone sequestration S-bahn rolling stock. Announced U.S. commandant instructed in addition agree de facto measures keep rolling stock West Berlin by means short legal expropriation.
Kohler and Ambassadors agreed troop reinforcement and Johnson visit very successful in restoring morale. Grewe thought GDR silence on reinforcement via autobahn “very significant attitude”.
Kohler announced U.S. acceptance UK proposal for TTD ban by categories. French agreed in principle but wanted discussions Bonn on adding categories, particularly trade people. UK proposed that its plan be adopted with proviso other categories could be added. Kohler agreed with understanding that this action not be portrayed as counter-measure but as means reducing tension by stopping GDR propagandists, etc.
Meeting agreed that Soviet note August 192 on sector boundary closure protest required no answer and ended that particular exchange. Kohler noted that tripartite declaration discussed August 18 meeting now had no relevance and would be dropped in view divergent ideas.3
Kohler reported Soviet concurrence to initialing recently concluded U.S.-Soviet civil air agreement with postponement signing until later.
Discussion on negotiating problems evolved along lines August 18 meeting. French unwilling accept U.S. suggestion of possible discussion by Foreign Ministers at UNGA September 19. French demurred at [Page 362] Secretary’s suggestion in TV appearance Sunday Aug 20 of public posture that negotiations will take place as anticipating decisions of Allies and inciting neutrals to call upon West for further concessions. French also argued necessary develop firm negotiating position before moving toward negotiations. Kohler replied this not feasible before German elections and unacceptable to U.S. to wait until after that date to act. Kohler again outlined U.S. position stressing necessity of early initiative for negotiations as concomitant to our military build-up.

UK indicated could accept proposal discussion Foreign Ministers at UNGA if preceded by Ambassadorial probes. Latter, Caccia said, could be omitted from text of note and put forward orally at time delivery Western replies. UK also suggested that negotiations be proposed in broader terms than Germany to include other East-West problems. U.S. agreed to discuss language on this with UK tomorrow. U.S. then asked French to report fully to Paris urging French reconsideration Western negotiating position, referring in this connection to Rusk-de Gaulle talks in Paris.4

Next meeting tentatively morning August 23.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/8-2161. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Kohler and Holloway. Repeated to London, Bonn, Berlin, and Moscow.
  2. For texts of the Western protest notes of August 15 and 17 and the Soviet replies of August 18, see Documents on Germany, 1944-1985, pp. 776-780, or Department of State Bulletin, September 4, 1961, pp. 395-400.
  3. A report on the August 18 meeting was transmitted in telegram 845 to London, August 19 (Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/8-1961); regarding the tripartite declaration, see footnote 3, Document 118.
  4. See Document 100.