740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–2348: Telegram

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


1450. Political developments in Berlin as result of currency reform announcements appear rapidly moving toward climax. Following Sokolovsky’s announcement of currency reform for “greater Berlin”, Colonel Howley ordered municipal government late this morning not to apply unilateral Soviet order to US sector; Order in similar sense given by British commandant at same time and French issued similar oral order. Subsequently three western commandants informed city government of intention to introduce new western Germany currency in western sectors Berlin. Proclamations and orders effecting this will be signed at 5 p. m. and given to press at approximately 7 p. m.

Shortly after noon today Soviet liaison officer summoned Lord Mayor Schroeder and communicated Soviet order that city government should not be removed under any circumstances to US sector Berlin without unanimous quadripartite approval. Howley states there is no plan to move city government but if it is broken up by Soviet action we will continue to recognize present city administration as government over all Berlin and will offer quarters in US sector.

[Page 915]

City assembly and magistrat have met several times today, parties caucused at 3 p. m. and city assembly is again in session at present writing. City administration confronted with dilemma in view conflicting orders of Soviet and western powers. They expect stand firm on legal position that they can only carry out orders in all Berlin which are quadripartitely approved. General opinion is city government in present form cannot long survive. Communist demonstration of some proportions now occurring outside city hall (in Soviet sector). Speculation centers on intention of Communist minorities to walk out of city assembly this evening and action by Soviets to bar non-Communist officials and deputies from city hall.