740.00119 Control (Germany)/7–1047: Telegram

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


1652, ACC discussion of Reuter case55 at 66th meeting, July 10 ended in a somewhat ambiguous conclusion (mytel 1637, July 956). Clay explained he had agreed to requirement of allied approval for chief mayor for reason Berlin Government should have quadripartite support (mytel 1404, June 1057). He had not assumed that one delegate would exercise veto without presenting ACC with valid grounds. He would not expect colleagues to reject a candidate he simply did not like. Clay proposed Soviets submit statement of facts regarding Reuter to next ACC meeting for final decision.

Soviet member replied ACC decisions required unanimous and not majority vote. He reverted to Ryan July 7 press interview58 as gross [Page 874] violation of secrecy intended to exert pressure on Soviets. Pursuing line of Kotikov interview in this morning’s Taegliche Rundschau59 attacking SPD for making politics at the expense of efficient city administration, Soviet member pointed out SPD had elected Reuter in defiance of previously announced Soviet disapproval and were determined to place magistrat in opposition to occupation authorities. By supporting SPD, US and British made themselves responsible for present crisis which could only be resolved by election of another candidate. British member referred to Soviet obstructionism in opposing will of large majority in City Assembly. He opposed new election, since magistrat might re-elect Reuter, and he suggested magistrat be informed of non-approval of Reuter and that status quo be maintained with present acting chief mayor.

Soviet member proposed that Kommandatura be informed that no agreement was reached and that Reuter was not approved in view of Soviet objection; he indicated that new election should then be held. British member continued to oppose suggestion regarding new election. The ACC accepted above-mentioned draft of communication to Kommandatura with US member insisting that decision be published in communiqué.60

Sent Dept 1652, repeated London 249, Paris 281, Moscow 397.

Dept please pass to Moscow.

  1. Ernst Reuter was elected Lord Mayor (Oberbürgermeister) of Berlin by the Berlin City Assembly on June 24, 1947. At its meeting on June 27, the Allied Kommandatura failed to agree on the confirmation of Reuter’s election. The American, British, and French Commandants all voted for approval, but the Soviet Commandant objected on the grounds that Reuter was unacceptable to Soviet authorities because of his alleged anti-Soviet attitudes. The question was considered by the Coordinating Committee at its 128th Meeting, July 8, but no agreement was reached.
  2. Not printed; it reported on the Coordinating Committee meeting of July 8 (740.00119 Control (Germany)/7–847).
  3. Not printed; it reported on the Control Council’s 63rd Meeting, June 8; see footnote 54, p. 872.
  4. In a statement to the press on July 7, Major General Ryan had outlined the disagreement in the Allied Kommandatura regarding the Reuter election.
  5. The text of Kotikov’s interview is printed in Berlin: Quellen und Dokumente 1945–1951, 2 Hlbd., No. 674, p. 1195.
  6. After four weeks of disagreement regarding the form of the Allied notification on the Reuter case during which the United States Delegation had held out for inclusion of an indication that the Soviet objection was responsible for the non-approval of Reuter’s election, the Allied Kommandatura agreed on August 12 to notify the Berlin City Assembly as follows: “The Allied Kommandatura has not found it possible to approve Dr. Reuter in the post of Oberbürgermeister”; see telegram 1954, August 14, 1947, from Berlin, not printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/8–1447). Frau Schroeder continued to serve as Acting Lord Mayor until December 1948.