740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–2148: Telegram

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

top secret

1420. For Saltzman and Hickerson’s Eyes Only. General Clay, after appropriate advice to Soviet High Command yesterday, ordered a US [Page 912] military freight train to proceed to Berlin from US zone via regular authorized corridor Helmstedt–Berlin. At Soviet check point Marien-born last evening about 5 p. m., Soviet authorities refused permission for train which was in charge of US Major Lefevra to proceed further. When US officer in charge attempted to force train through, it was apparently prevented from proceeding further as section of rail had been removed or by other mechanical device. The US officer has not yet been able to communicate with Berlin, and we are in the dark re details.

US Chief of Staff Berlin called on Lt. General Lukyanchenko last evening demanding that train be permitted to proceed, but Soviet reply said matter would be investigated explaining that special precautions had to be taken to prevent illegal entry of currency, etc., into Soviet zone. Soviets would have been willing to allow train to proceed If US agreeable to inspection of cargo and train personnel.

It should be added that train crew and guards had strict orders to avoid shooting although US guards were armed. When contact has been established with US officer in charge train and facts are ascertained, decision will be taken re further representation to Berlin Soviet authorities and you will be informed.

Please treat foregoing as Top Secret as Clay desires this very closely held.