740.00119 Control (Germany)/4–1246

The Secretary of War (Patterson) to the Secretary of State

secret

Dear Mr. Secretary: I have your letter AV of 18 March 4632 which relates the State Department views as to the desirability of imposing restrictions on the movement of Soviet aircraft in United States Zone, Germany, similar to those imposed by the Soviet Government on the movement of United States aircraft in the Balkans.

Although it would seem that some such arrangement might be desirable, the disadvantages which would arise in the Western Zone of Germany would make it impractical to attempt this at present.

The paper dated 24 January 1946 (CORC/P) 46 (35)33 to which you refer is a quadripartite agreement relating to the exchange of airfield facilities among the four powers occupying Germany. This paper, as well as all other negotiations on aviation matters in Germany, was coordinated with the Office of Political Affairs prior to agreement.

As the Allied Control Council for Germany does not have any authority to make agreements relating to matters outside Germany, nor is it logical to condition quadripartite negotiations in Germany upon the granting of privileges in other countries, it would seem more advantageous to exact real reciprocity within Germany and exchange granting of aviation privileges within the United States Zone for equal privileges in the Soviet Zone. An attempt to use our ability to [Page 760]restrict Soviet aviation privileges in Germany as a lever to apply pressure on Russia elsewhere might jeopardize and would at best cause a delay in reaching control council agreements.

In addition, the location of Berlin in the midst of the Soviet Zone places us in a disadvantageous position with regard to aviation rights in Germany because every flight into Berlin is a flight across Soviet occupied territory. As we have approximately one hundred times as many flights into Berlin as the Soviets have into our Zone and as we have had a slightly greater number of flights elsewhere across Soviet territory than the Soviets have had across our Zone, it is obvious that we are not in the best position for bargaining.34

With respect to your request that a procedure be evolved whereby State can comment on Soviet requests for aviation privileges, it is believed this procedure already exists for United States Army controlled Zone in Austria and Germany by the presence of the Political Advisors on the United States Representation to the Allied Control Council. I am instructing Generals Clark35 and McNarney36 that Soviet requests will continue to be coordinated with the Political Advisors in order that State Department can be kept informed but with a minimum of delay in meeting General McNarney’s and General Clark’s operational requirements.

Sincerely yours,

Robert L. Patterson
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed, but see telegram 743, March 9, from Moscow, p. 756.
  3. A letter to Secretary of War Patterson from the Secretary of State, dated April 18, indicated the Department’s withdrawal of its recommendation for the imposition of restrictions on flights of Soviet aircraft over U.S. controlled territory (740.00119 Control (Germany)/4–446).
  4. Gen. Mark W. Clark, Commanding General, United States Forces, Austria; U.S. Representative, Allied Council for Austria.
  5. Gen. Joseph T. McNarney, Military Governor, U.S. Zone of Occupation in Germany; U.S. member, Allied Control Council for Germany.