740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–2748: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

top secret   us urgent

2429. For the Ambassador. Our general estimate is that the current supply situation in Berlin means that the zero hour there will not be reached for two to three weeks. We intend to utilize this period in every way possible to reenforce our general position and to keep the initiative in dealing with the Sovs.

We are in general agreement with the Brit thinking as regards the situation re urtel 28221 and 2788,2 and for our part are preparing to continue to maintain the present unprovocative but firm stand in Berlin, utilizing to the utmost the present propaganda advantages of [Page 927] our position. In this connection we agree para 9 your 2822; also see our tel to Berlin, today’s date.3

Army and State are currently considering what steps can be taken to reenforce this position, including the possibility of sending a strong Three-Power note of protest to Moscow, the timing of which will probably depend upon the results of Clay’s possible approach to Sokolovsky now under consideration. US decision expected as result of top level meeting tomorrow, including decision on whether to send note to Moscow. You will be fully informed. A note would in all likelihood include a reference to the President’s exchange of messages with Stalin in the middle of June 1945 in which the right of free access to Berlin was specifically mentioned.4 In this connection it is important for us to know whether Brit have similar assurances. Please telegraph this info urgently.5

As regards the five points mentioned by Bevin in urtel 2822, we agree that there should be full and complete exchange of relevant info in London and are asking that you be furnished copies of all messages on this subject. Copy of your message has been furnished Dept of Army.

Re para V 4 urtel 2822 you may inform Bevin there is possibility we may wish to send 2 or 3 B–29 bomber groups to Great Britain. Please ask him for clearance.6 Details can be worked out by US/UK air authorities. For your info Air is considering what proportion bombers available for despatch to Europe should be sent Great Britain [Page 928] and Germany. Sent London 2429, rptd USPolAd Berlin for Murphy 1119, Paris for Caffery 2322.

  1. Supra.
  2. Telegram 2788, June 25, from London, not printed; in it, Ambassador Douglas reported on an appreciation of the Berlin situation by British Minister of State McNeil and British Permanent Under-Secretary of State Strang (740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–2548).
  3. Telegram 1118, June 27, to Berlin, not printed, repeated to London and Paris, reaffirmed that it was essential for the propaganda campaign regarding the Soviet actions in Berlin to be continued and carried forward on an all-out basis (811.20200(d)/6–2748).
  4. For the texts of the letters, exchanged between President Truman and Marshal Stalin, June 14 and 16, 1945, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iii, pp. 135137.
  5. In telegram 2853, June 28, from London, not printed, Ambassador Douglas reported receiving information from Bevin on the 1945 agreements covering western access to Berlin. Bevin cited the 5th meeting of the Allied Control Council for Germany, September 10, 1945, agreeing upon document CONL/P(45) (27) which provided for rail and road transport of food supplies to Berlin; the 13th meeting of the Allied Control Council, November 30, 1945, agreeing to document CONL/P(45) (63) on air transport corridors; and the meeting of October 22, 1946, of the Air Directorate of the Allied Control Authority at which agreement was reached on document DAIR/P(45)71 Second Revise regarding night rules in the Berlin air corridor (740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–2848). For Ambassador Murphy’s reports on the two Allied Control Council meetings referred to by Bevin, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iii, pp. 835836 and 854857. For the text of document DAIR/P(45)71 Second Revise, see United States Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Documents on Germany 1944–1970 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971), pp. 67–77.
  6. Telegram 2853, June 28, from London, not printed, reported that Foreign “Secretary Bevin had authorized the clearance of two or three B–29 bomber groups, one of which would remain in Britain and two of which would continue on to Germany. Clearances were also authorized for fighter aircraft. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–2848)