740.00119 Council/4–2048: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

top secret   us urgent

1397. Personal for Douglas. Dept concurs generally in your views (Delsecs 1674, Apr 16;1 1678, Apr 19;2 1681, Apr 203) and Clay’s views (Berlin’s tel 914, Apr 18, sent London as 1374) that it is undesirable to extend London discussions to include other items as suggested by Brit. We agree with you and Clay that items D and E proposed by Brit (Delsec 1674) are not proper subjects for London talks.

Re item A, reparations, we agree that questions of German machine tools and report of technical mission should not be subject of discussions in London. However, we see no objection to an informal exchange of views on allocation machinery, on understanding that topic not be on official agenda. We interpret Berlin’s 914 to indicate this agreeable to Clay.

Re item B, German assets in Italy, Dept does not believe necessary that discussions with UK on this subject be held in connection with conference, and deems preferable that no informal discussions be held until written UK reply received to points made Deptel 1225, Apr 8.5

Re proposed item C, Berlin situation, Dept believes discussion of broader aspects current German and Berlin situations is not only unavoidable but desirable. While operational features Berlin problem can best be dealt with by Commanders-in-Chief, Dept concurs in your view that Govts will wish to consider broad implications Berlin question. Brit and particularly French pressing for such discussion. For your top secret info, Sec State in reply to personal message from Bidault on immediate security problems is suggesting that London talks may afford opportunity for informal conversations at governmental level on current German situation.6 We envisage that Clay, on basis general authority granted him by State and Army, will be [Page 195] able to participate with you in such discussions situation Germany and Berlin, which it is recommended be kept at highest and most secret levels. Concur question should not be on official agenda, and of course no final decision will be taken in London. Please show Gen Clay this telegram, the gist of which was read to Draper who is in agreement.

Please telegraph final conference agenda.

  1. Ante, p. 187.
  2. Ante, p. 190.
  3. Not printed, but see footnote 3 to telegram 1625, April 19, from London, p. 190.
  4. Ante, p. 188.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Secretary of State Marshall’s message of April 21 to Foreign Minister Bidault is included in the documentation on the antecedents of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization presented in volume iii .