740.00119 Council/12–1345: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman)46

2515. The following is suggested for your consideration. In view of the prime importance of the early establishment of American international air services, and in view of the uncooperative attitude recently shown by the Soviet in this connection, it is hoped that an opportunity may develop to discuss the problem with high Soviet officials.

Pan American Airways has been authorized to operate from the US into Germany, thence to Praha, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and on to Turkey and the Middle East. Military permission has been obtained for one survey flight now being made by Panam into Germany and Vienna, but Soviet military officials in Budapest and Bucharest have evaded our requests for authorization of this flight, as well as for future operating rights. Matter has been referred to Moscow, but no satisfactory reply has yet been received.

Commercial air rights for US airlines in Central Europe are still indefinite, and Russians do not seem disposed to allow such services to operate through certain countries in this area. Since this permission is vital if Panam is to operate on its designated route from the US to India, it is hoped that some assurance can be obtained from the Soviets that they will not offer further objection to the inauguration of these commercial services.

American Overseas Airlines is also authorized to operate from the US into Berlin, with contemplated extension to Warsaw and Moscow. This company is authorized over another route from Stockholm to Helsinki and Leningrad into Moscow. Polish and Finnish Govts have been approached by our missions with respect to acquisition of suitable commercial landing rights at Warsaw and Helsinki, respectively, but conclusion of these arrangements probably will require Soviet approval. No formal approach has been made by this Govt to USSR for commercial landing rights in Soviet territory, and up to now Soviets have indicated no willingness to allow US air services to enter their territory proper. Perhaps an opportunity will also be presented to discuss granting of reciprocal commercial air rights between US and Soviet, but this does not have the immediate urgency of obtaining appropriate permission for regularly scheduled US services through Central Europe as mentioned above.

  1. Sent as Secdel No. 1 for the Secretary, who was in Moscow attending the Foreign Ministers’ meeting.