740.00119 Control (Germany)/5–2447: Telegram

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


1255. Soviet member at yesterday’s Kommandatura meeting presented a statement sharply attacking the American attitude on question of relationships between the Kommandatura and Berlin city government organs. Soviets charged that American representatives are seeking to introduce the principle of “unanimous post disapproval of the actions of the authorities in Berlin” in violation of the agreement under which the allied Kommandatura exercises joint control of greater Berlin. This agreement, he stated, can only be changed by agreement of the allied governments. While the American delegation, he said, based its efforts to introduce this principle on allegation that time had come to delegate more freedom and independence to city government in control of Berlin (which he conceded was called for under the temporary constitution approved by the Kommandatura), he declared that the Kommandatura must never forget that occupation regime binds occupying powers to daily observance and control of activity of German organs and that allied Kommandatura has not been relieved of this necessity by Control Council or higher authority. He went on to cite a number of specific instances of alleged violations of Kommandatura orders by city functionaries and of disrespectful conduct toward the allies which the Kommandatura had failed to deal with because of the fruitless discussions in the Kommandatura under the “unanimous post disapproval” principle.

The statement ended by declaring that if the principles which had been agreed upon for control of Germany, and of Berlin in particular, have become burdensome for the US, then it is at liberty to open the question of revision of the four-power agreement of the “control [Page 869] mechanism in Germany.” His concluding words were that the Soviet delegation would not permit disorganization of the occupation regime in Berlin nor allow the allied Kommandatura to be reduced to the status of an unprivileged observer of city government activity.

When pressed by British chairman as to whether he wished to make specific proposal, Soviet member said he only wanted to insist upon observance of agreements under which allies are operating in Berlin.

American member made no reply except to say statement would require careful study.

Soviet statement will, by agreement, be on agenda of next meeting June 13.

Repeated Moscow 329 and London 202.