November 27, 1958
Code Message No. 15023 from Ambassador Szymanowski in Stockholm to Birecki
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
November 27, code message of the ambassador in Stockholm
regarding the talks with Sweden’s minister of foreign affairs
on the Rapacki Plan and the Berlin question.
Code message No 15023
from Stockholm, transmitted on Nov. 27, 15.00 hrs
On the 27th of this month Unden received me for a 40-minute conversation.
1. The Rapacki Plan
He is familiar with the new elements. With interest and sympathy they monitor Poland’s efforts and the introduced modifications which, indeed, seem to meet the main objections. (At this point he mentioned that he was also interested in R’s visit to Oslo28, and the Nordic session29 provided an opportunity to determine that the Norwegian government views the visit in positive terms). According to Unden that the main motive behind the armament of the FRG. Sweden shares it and considers the German question the most pressing in Europe. (Now the first mention of Berlin that the Soviet move does not bring hope of reducing the tension, and probably they do not favor the prospects for the R. Plan). The Swedish government defined its position several times (Erlander, Unden). They support all kinds of initiatives of real and specific disarmament and détente.
They consider the R. Plan worth their attention, but are not directly interested. The declaration of the Nordic ministers could also have and only a general character. Unden cannot go beyond a general position, especially so given that the R. Plan was not discussed so given that the R. Plan was not discussed by the Royal Council for foreign affairs or by the Riksdag.
Unden asked if there were any formal replies of governments and what kind they were. Although the ‘first round’ was unsatisfactory, he personally believes that the Polish government should frame the new version as a document and put it forward formally. There is, after all, substantial interest, for example in England. The Plan has the support of the SPD; unfortunately, their current influence is limited.
In relation to my claim that the plan is now the only substantial disengagement proposal, he returned to Eden’s plan and the subsequent English proposals. They were easier because their territorial scope was narrower. On the other hand, the Polish plan, although it covers an enormous part of Europe, it leaves out Hungary, which “some consider important.”
An important difficulty lies in the hard and negative attitude of Bonn, but, naturally, Sweden cannot give advice to the FRG.
2. Unden talked about Berlin at length. He believes that the main point cannot be the GDR, because, ultimately it is only a matter of prestige.
Again, the point is primarily, the anxiety over the armament of the FRG. But he is very worried about the hypothesis that it is another step on the path toward a deeper and more permanent division of Germany. I argued against such an interpretation.30
AMSZ, ZD 6/77, w. 60, t. 852
28 See doc. no 259.
29 The reference is probably Session VI of the Northern Council at Oslo, (November 9–15).
30 Document sent out to diplomatic missions in Geneva, Belgrade, London, Paris, New York, and Washington.
The ambassador in Sweden reports on a conversation with Unden, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs. Sweden has some interest in the Plan in its new form, but not directly. Unden is worried about the FRG posing as an obstacle to the Plan.
The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.
To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].