811.79661/7–2845: Telegram

No. 1172
The Chargé in the Soviet Union ( Kennan ) to the Ambassador in France ( Caffery )1

[259.] Question raised in your 214 July 262 of possible courier route to and from Moscow via Berlin and Paris is one which has preoccupied this mission for some time, since Tehran service is definitely unsatisfactory and no other regular air facilities are yet available. (Sent Paris 259 rptd Frankfurt for Harriman 37, rptd Dept 2702)

On June 29 Ambassador Harriman discussed with Vyshinski project of regular facilities for our passengers and mail via Berlin whereby Soviet and American airlines would connect at Berlin. Vyshinski seemed to think that this would be possible and that administrative and technical details could be promptly worked out.3 On July 7 Ambassador wrote Vyshinski specifically requesting his cooperation in speedy conclusion of arrangements for this service.4

On July 11 Vyshinski replied by referring to a previous conversation of June 15 in which, he stated, he had drawn attention to fact that while considerable improvement had been made in air facilities on that route and while he recognized importance of matter question could not be considered sufficiently advanced for detailed consideration. He stated that he would communicate further as soon as further instructions were received from the Soviet Govt.5

Ambassador Harriman left soon afterward for Berlin, and I have not heard anything further from Russians in his absence. I have no information as to whether subject has been discussed with Russians at Berlin. Meanwhile, Russians continue to take individual American [Page 1169] passengers from here over this route when it pleases them to do so and to refuse to take them in other cases.

It would, of course, be helpful if American aircraft could travel as far as Warsaw. I believe, however, that any proposal for regular entry of American aircraft to Poland may encounter strong opposition in certain Russian quarters.

  1. Printed from the text received by the Department of State as telegram No. 2702. The same message was sent directly to the Office of the Political Adviser at Frankfurt for transmittal to the United States Delegation at Babelsberg.
  2. Not printed. The Embassy at Paris, apparently unaware that the subject had already been raised with Stalin at the Conference, had suggested that it be raised with the Soviet Foreign Office at Moscow.
  3. See vol. i, document No. 531.
  4. See vol. i, document No. 533.
  5. See vol. i, document No. 534.