740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–1745: Telegram

The United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy) to the Secretary of State

1051. Referring to our 632 of September 2788 and our 640 of September 2889 and Department’s 612 of October 5,90 US overt Berlin Allgemeine Zeitung terminated publication November 11.

[Page 1072]

With suspension of Allgemeine Zeitung in Berlin, US is left without overt paper here except for twice weekly delayed shipment to Berlin of 50,000 copies of US all-zonal army newspaper Neue Zeitung published in Munich.

US licensed Der Tagesspiegel has daily run of 300,000 copies under German editorship.

British Berliner publishes 300,000 copies thrice weekly.

French Kurier has rim of 150,000 thrice weekly.

Average daily circulation in Berlin of combined US, British and French newspapers now approximately 540,000, roughly one third daily output of Soviet-controlled Berlin press.

In contrast Soviet-controlled Berlin press now has daily run of between 1,650,000–2,000,000 copies of which over 1,000,000 copies are sold in Berlin.

Additionally are 700,000 copies of new Soviet authorized illustrated weekly Der Freie Bauer aimed at agricultural and peasant populations and prominently featuring the Soviet campaign for land reform.

Combined daily output of three Communist papers published in Berlin totals 1, 100,000–1,400,000 copies. Output of other non-Communist papers under Soviet censorship and often required, to support Soviet viewpoint totals additionally 550,000–600,000 daily.

Above emphasized sharp lead of Soviet-controlled press over US, French and British press in Berlin.

  1. Not printed; it reviewed the information control situation and requested the Department’s guidance on long-range objectives in this field in Germany (740.00119 Control (Germany)/9–2745).
  2. Not printed; in it Mr. Murphy expressed two misgivings concerning American press policy, particularly in Berlin: first, the practice of withdrawing United States operated newspapers as German licensed papers were established; second, the practice of placing licensed newspapers under the control of groups which reflected a wide range of political opinion rather than that of a single party or group (862.918/9–2845).
  3. Not printed; it contained comments designed to clarify the Department’s ideas on long-range information policy in Germany. The pertinent ones are here listed: primarily, the information control program was aimed at eradicating Nazism and promoting democratic political development; nevertheless, no undue haste should be taken in turning over information activities to Germans; publication of newspapers by single parties or groups was definitely to be preferred to publication by groups of parties; finally, it was felt that publication of Allgemeine Zeitung, the overt United States paper in Berlin, should be continued, as Mr. Murphy had urged, until it could be replaced by a Berlin edition of the planned United States zonal paper. (740.00119 Control-(Germany)/9–2745)