Volume #26 - 77.|
NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION
Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs|
to Secretary of State for External Affairs
January 12th, 1959|
SOVIET DRAFT PEACE TREATY WITH GERMANY|
I attach for your information a copy of the text of the latest Soviet draft peace treaty with Germany.120 This was submitted to the USA, UK, and France on January 10, 1959,121 under cover of Notes which were in reply to their Notes of December 31, 1958, on the Berlin situation. (These, in turn, had been in response to the Soviet Notes of November 27 proposing a free-city status for West Berlin.)122
The Canadian Ambassador in Moscow has informed us that he was called in by the Soviet Foreign Minister on January 10 and was given a copy of this draft treaty and also a covering note? of six pages addressed to the Canadian government. Mr. Gromyko said similar notes were being sent to other countries which had fought against Germany and that the text of these notes would be published on January 11. We expect to obtain the text of the Soviet note to the USA by telegram from Washington shortly, and we believe this will provide an indication of the contents of the Note to the Canadian government. Our ambassador has reported that the Note proposes a conference in Warsaw or Prague to be attended on the one side by the two Germanys and on the other by the countries which fought against Germany.
Apart from the clause declaring that the state of war is ended and that Germany is to have full sovereignty, the main features of the draft treaty are as follows:
Participants: The list of participants in the Soviet Note is the same as the list of proposed signatories for the draft treaty. There are 29 names given in this list (including Canada). On the Communist side it is significant that the name of the People's Republic of China has been included, thus bringing the question of recognition of China into the German problem - something the Soviet Union has avoided doing in the past. Also, following the precedent established at UN, it is proposed that the Ukraine and Byelorussia participate as separate entities. Provision is made for both the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany to be represented; in the event a German Confederation is set up in time, it too would be represented. There would therefore be at least two German delegations, and possibly three.
Reunification: It is stipulated in the proposed treaty that the term "Germany" in the text is taken to mean the two existing German states and that all obligations will be equally binding on both. (Article 2) A suggested promise of support to the two German states in achieving a rapprochement is included (Article 22) and it is stated that the peace treaty can be regarded as a contribution to reunification.
Berlin: Under the terms of this draft treaty, West Berlin would have the status of a demilitarized free-city pending the restoration of Germany's unity and the establishment of a united German state. (Article 25) There is no change on this issue from the original proposals put forward by the Soviet Union on November 27 despite the intervening rejection of them by the three Western occupying powers.
Frontiers: It is proposed that by means of this treaty Germany will renounce its claims to territory beyond the Oder-Neisse boundary and that its future frontiers will be those existing on January 1, 1959. Various other boundary questions would be tidied up: including recognition of the Sudeten region as part of Czechoslovakia and acceptance of the independence of Austria.
Military Alliances: The treaty proposes that Germany should be neutral, not taking part in any military alliance which does not include the USSR, USA, UK, and France. (Article 5) The German Democratic Republic would withdraw from the Warsaw Treaty and West Germany from NATO. Germany would participate in a security system in Europe and its admittance to the UN would be supported.
Defence Preparedness: Such armed forces as were necessary for the defence of the country would be permitted to Germany, but these must not possess nuclear weapons, missiles, bombers or submarines, nor an arms industry beyond Germany's own needs.
Troop Withdrawal: All foreign troops and foreign bases would be removed from Germany within a year of adoption of the treaty (alternatively troops would be withdrawn on a schedule whereby a one-third reduction would be achieved by the end of six months. Article 29)
Political Parties: In a general section on political parties, the Soviet Union has attempted to attack the situation over which it has often shown irritation - the existence on German soil of emigré groups of Russian and East European nationals. Germany would be required to dissolve such bodies and to refuse to grant asylum to any persons affiliated with them. (Article 18)
Prisoners of War: As a gesture to West German sentiment the Soviet government has included a stipulation that German nationals on the territory of allied powers as a result of the war would be repatriated and it specifically mentioned the German specialists forcibly removed at the end of the war. (Article 21)
The picture of a neutral and largely demilitarized Germany in which the two German states would be joined by confederation is not new. The main features have been advanced on various occasions in the past by the Soviet Union and just as often have been rejected by the Bonn government and the Western Powers. The proposals are similar to those put forward by the USSR at the Berlin Conference in 1954.
123One point of change, however, is that the USSR has now combined its proposals for a free-city status for Berlin with its long standing demand for a German peace treaty; in November it asked that the Berlin question be treated by itself. The proposals for withdrawal of foreign troops are also somewhat more definite than the general suggestions made by the Soviet Union in the recent past.
It is too early to have received comment from Bonn and indeed from other capitals but early press reactions indicate that the West German government will not find attractive the idea of the two Germanys sharing equally in the conclusion of a peace treaty, with a new accent on confederation, and that it will find equally unpalatable the proposal that it share with the GDR a neutral and largely demilitarized existence. There is likely to be less real concern at the suggestion that the Oder-Neisse boundary be regarded as the fixed eastern frontier of German territory.
We think it would be well if Canada were to urge, in the course of discussions in NATO, and in direct dealings with the countries concerned, that, while not accepting the Soviet draft as the only basis of negotiation, it should not be rejected forthwith. Both in regard to the Berlin situation, which gave rise to the current bout of exchanges, and in the larger question of German reunification, it seems to us important that the avenues of discussion and possible negotiation be kept open. We would welcome an indication of whether you approve of this line as an initial policy to be followed.124
120Voir le texte du projet de traitÚ dans Department of State Bulletin, vol. XL, No. 1028 (March 9, 1959), pp. 337 Ó 343.
121Voir/See Volume 24, Document 319.
122Voir/See Volume 24, Document 304.
123Voir le volume 20, les documents 282 Ó 306./See Volume 20, Documents 282-306.
124Note marginale :/Marginal note: Yes! S.E. S[mith]