740.00119 Control (Germany) /8–346: Telegram

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

secret

1732. Ur A–638, July 2082 and 1858, Aug. 3. Discriminatory treatment pol parties in Sov zone and Sov Sector Berlin is recognized as problem utmost importance. We believe US influence should be exerted in every feasible way to assure conditions which will permit non-Communist parties to maintain their organizations, carry on pol activity, and take part in forthcoming elections with largest measure freedom possible under circumstances. In this connection Dept is requesting War to obtain views OMGUS of situation and its recommendations action to be taken in furtherance free pol activity.

Our tentative view is situation should forcefully be brought to attention Sov auths, and in so doing informal approach in behalf free conditions for all democratic parties might first be made to Sov elements outside ACA and Kommandatura. If there is no marked relaxation repressive practices, issue should be pressed in ACA and Kommandatura on basis documented cases of obstruction as departure from para 9 (ii) Potsdam Agreement.83 To forbid SED in US sector would probably invite Sov retaliation and lead to breakup present system Berlin govt and should be avoided as long as any hope remains for effective quadripartite action in treatment Ger as whole. In any event this step considered inadvisable prior to Berlin and zone elections.

Dept not entirely convinced it is wise for CDU to withdraw from pol scene in Sov zone if impediments to its operations not immediately removed. While Sov auths probably desire continued existence of CDU and LPD within limitations which they impose, non-participation in election might force issue to point of break with Sov admin and effective dissolution of such parties in Sov zone.

There is question here whether situation has already developed so far as to preclude alternative of continued pol participation of non-Communist parties and simultaneous efforts as indicated above to lift existing restraints upon their activity. From long-range standpoint this course might have virtue of preserving party cadres without great impairment until present pol factors are clarified. Although CDU leaders are in immediate position to determine efficacy of further party [Page 733]efforts in face of Sov restrictions, Dept is inclined to view that decision to withdraw should be postponed until developments have more fully revealed position non-Communist parties in Sov zone.

Acheson
  1. Not printed, see footnote 75, p. 729.
  2. Reference is to the Communiqué of the Potsdam Conference, August 2, 1945; see Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, vol. ii, pp. 1499, 1503. The section referred to reads: “all democratic political parties with rights of assembly and of public discussion shall be allowed and encouraged throughout Germany”.