Moscow Embassy Files—879.6 Berlin Route

No. 531
Memorandum by the First Secretary of Embassy in the Soviet Union (Page)

Memorandum [of] Conversation

Present: W. A. Harriman, American Ambassador
Edward Page, First Secretary of Embassy
A. Ya. Vyshinski, Assistant People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs
Postoyev, Soviet Interpreter

Subject: Air Communications.

The Ambassador inquired whether there had been any developments in connection with opening new routes to Moscow.

Mr. Vyshinski replied that he had been too busy with the Czechs, the Poles, and the Berlin conference to have given any time to this question. However, planes were flying back and forth to Berlin and communications were much better than previously. He said that events had overtaken themselves and indicated that the Moscow-Berlin service would be open to American passengers.

The Ambassador expressed the hope that the United States-Soviet line could be opened shortly, once the American zone of occupation was taken over in Berlin. He explained the great need for this service in view of the curtailment of the Tehran route and the present delays in mail reaching the Embassy. He emphasized the need of the Reparations Commission to receive expeditiously documents from Washington.

Mr. Vyshinski again stated that the Moscow–Berlin route, and thence onward to the United States, was the best system. He said that once technical details had been worked out on a military level this route could be promptly opened.

The Ambassador said that his Government did not believe that he had been pressing hard enough for the opening of such a route and asked whether he could report that Mr. Vyshinski was in favor of a quick establishment of a United States–Soviet route via Berlin. Mr. Vyshinski replied that the Ambassador had been constantly “on his neck” with respect to the opening of a more expeditious air route out of Moscow and said that he certainly could report to his Government that he was in favor of the Berlin route and that there was no reason [Page 803]why it should not be opened up as soon as the technical details had been worked out.