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Britain, Ost- and Deutschlandpolitik, and the CSCE (1955-1975)

Luca Ratti

Based on new and existing archival documentation, this book provides a detailed analysis of the British attitude to Bonn’s Eastern and inner-German policies during the period of détente and the CSCE. Each chapter analyses the evolution of British policy on a particular issue area, making detailed comparisons of British and West German archival sources and outlining the main aspects of the British view of West Germany’s relations with the Soviet bloc states and the German Democratic Republic. Drawing upon the archives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and of the West German foreign ministry, this book sheds new light on some of the more occult aspects of the British attitude to the German question and reveals the problems faced by British decision-makers in seeking to maintain Britain’s close ties with Bonn, while being hardly enthusiastic about the long-term prospect of German reunification. This volume addresses issues of East-West and Anglo-German relations, the role of NATO, and the debate among the Western allies on relations between the two German states during the period of détente.

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Contents

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Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Chapter 1 Britain and the early stages of Ostpolitik (1955–1968) . . . . . . . . . . 23 1.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 1.2 Britain, détente and the German question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 1.3 Britain and Adenauer’s Ostpolitik (1955–1963) . . . . . . . . . . . 27 1.4 Britain, de Gaulle, and the commercial Ostpolitik of chancellor Erhard (1963–1966) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 1.5 Britain and the Ostpolitik of the Grosse Koalition (1966 –1968) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 1.6 Britain, Ostpolitik, and the Czechoslovakian crisis . . . . . . . . . 52 1.7 The impact of the Prague crisis on Anglo-Soviet relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 1.8 The Wilson government and the question of the Federal Republic’s adhesion to the NPT . . . . . . . . . . . 62 1.9 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Chapter 2 Britain and Willy Brandt’s Neue Ostpolitik (1969–1971) . . . . . . . . 69 2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 2.2 Britain and the advent of détente in East-West relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 62.3 Britain and the formation of the Brandt government . . . . . 75 2.4 The Wilson government and the FRG-Soviet negotiations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 2.5 West German views of the British attitude to the Soviet-FRG negotiations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 2.6 The formation of the Heath government and the visit of West German foreign minister Scheel to Moscow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 2.7 British reactions to the signing of the treaty of Moscow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 2.8 The Heath government and the signing of the treaty of Warsaw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 2.9 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Chapter 3 Britain, the FRG’s Deutschlandpolitik, and the quadripartite agreement on Berlin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 3.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 3.2 Britain and the quadripartite negotiations on Berlin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 3.3 British concerns about Ostpolitik in relation to the attitude of the United States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 3.4 West German...

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