740.00119 Control (Germany)/3–946: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan) to the Secretary of State


743. We have just received upon our request a copy of paper dated January 24 (CORC/P)46(35)21 from OMGUS Berlin entitled “Report on Provision of Airfield Facilities to the Soviet in Western Zones of Germany” which was agreed to by Coordinating Committee on basis of unanimous agreement of Air Directorate at its twentieth meeting on Jan 28.22 Under this arrangement airfield facilities in western zones are to be granted Soviets in connection with reparations removals while “Soviets will in reciprocal manner afford air facilities to meet requirements of other three powers and also that each of four [Page 757]nations governing Germany shall assist the aviation of the other by granting of like facilities and privileges as and when required”.

Inasmuch as we are not in a position to claim “like facilities and privileges” in Soviet zone in Germany since we have no claim for reparations there it is unfortunate that Ambassador Harriman’s warning against accepting general assurances from Marshal Zhukov23 on reciprocal air facilities (contained in Moscow’s 4068, Dec 5 to Dept24 which referred to Berlin telegram to Dept repeated to Moscow as 90, Dec 1, 8 p.m. third paragraph25) was apparently not repeated to Berlin at that time. Since Soviet proposal presented admirable opportunity to obtain from Soviets in return for privileges granted them similar consideration for our need of better air communications with our missions in Balkan countries I think it regrettable that these concessions were made without reference to more immediate and concrete needs of our Govt.

As we are now about to propose to Soviet Govt plan for regular ATC flights (reDeptel 402, March 626) to various Balkan capitals from Vienna I wish to support views expressed by Deak in telegram to Dept from Budapest 451, Mar 5, 9 p.m.27 I would recommend that a procedure similar to the one now followed by Soviet authorities in granting clearance for American flights to Balkan countries be instituted in Germany in connection with Soviet requests for clearances for Soviet aircraft to proceed to American occupation zone under terms of agreement referred to above. This might then be continued unless and until we obtain improvement we are seeking in Balkan air communications.

Sent Dept 743 repeated Berlin 52, Vienna 18, Budapest 13, Bucharest 20, Sofia 23.

  1. Not printed.
  2. As reported in telegram 312, January 31, from Berlin (not printed), the paper on reciprocal rights in the use of air fields was approved by the Allied Control Council at its 18th meeting, January 30 (740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–3146).
  3. Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgiy Konstantinovich Zhukov, Chief of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany, Soviet member, Allied Control Council for Germany.
  4. See Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iii, p. 856, footnote 50.
  5. Reference is to telegram 1154, December 1, from Berlin, reporting on the 13th meeting of the Allied Control Council; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iii, p. 854.
  6. Not printed.
  7. Not printed. This proposal was subsequently taken up with Soviet authorities in Moscow but nothing came of it. Mr. Francis Deak was Civil Air Attaché at Belgrade, Berlin, Bucharest. Budapest, Praha, Sofia, and Vienna.