740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–2146: Telegram

Mr. Donald Heath, Chargé in the Office of the United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy), to the Secretary of State


2693. Please bring attention Ambassador Murphy.48 Completely negative results obtained 47th meeting Control Council 20 November on US proposal for freedom of flight over Germany (paragraph 1 mytel 2648, 18th November49). Burden of Soviet argument was that present air corridors are adequate and that other Allies could fly many more aircraft over them than at present. Governments agreed on zones of occupation which specified where forces including aircraft are to be located. Infantry and tank units in one zone do not trespass upon other zones and why should aircraft be excepted? Stalin suggested at Berlin Conference that there should not be zones of occupation but Truman and Churchill rejected this proposal. Sokolovsky concluded that since Governments came to this decision Control Council not authorized to change it.50

US, British and French members urged that new air corridors be opened and referred to Zhukov’s assurance at 13th meeting Control Council, 30 November 1945 (paragraph 3 mytel 1154, 1 December51). French member pointed out there is complete liberty of flight over [Page 766] French zone and asked that direct route Berlin–Vienna be first opened and British member acknowledged restriction AMG military aircraft might be necessary but that civilian aircraft should have flight freedom particularly from Berlin direct to other countries. US member challenged right of Soviet delegation to pass on US Army air requirements saying he would be similarly unjustified in passing on number Soviet Control Council personnel. Sokolovsky said he would be offended if remark had been made by any person other than US commander and accused latter of misusing issue to make relations more tense. He claimed Soviets had never rejected individual requests for flights to Vienna or Praha. In his view regular communication between Berlin and outside countries was unjustified since Control Council had no diplomatic relations with latter. When French member suggested at least corridor to Nuremberg, Sokolovsky referred to present route over Kassel and maintained that changes in air policy respecting Germany lay only within competence of four governments. US, British and French members asked whether Sokolovsky could request his Government’s authority to discuss question. Sokolovsky rudely ignored question and in his capacity as chairman brought forward next item on agenda for discussion (mytel 269252).

Sent Dept as 2693, repeated London as 388, to Paris as 375, and Moscow as 386.

  1. Mr. Murphy was a member of the U.S. delegation at the Conference on Economic Unification of the British and American Zones in Germany, held in Washington; for related documentation, see pp. 481 ff.
  2. See footnote 47 above.
  3. No such assertion is attributed to Marshal Sokolovsky in the minutes of this meeting, transmitted to the Department as an enclosure to despatch 8203, December 27, from Berlin, not printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/12–2746). No evidence has been found that Marshal Stalin made such a suggestion at the Potsdam Conference.
  4. For text of telegram 1154, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iii, p. 854; for text of the minutes pertinent to air corridors, see ibid., p. 1582.
  5. Dated November 21, p. 747.