740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–2848: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

top secret

2442. Personal for Douglas. We are authorizing Clay in concert with Robertson and if possible the French to meet again with Sovs locally and to sift out currency question to reveal whether this in any way is real issue (subject of separate telegram1 repeated to you).

After preliminary State/national Defence discussions with the President following is top level Departmental policy which will be recommended for Cabinet approval next 48 hours:

We stay in Berlin.
We will utilize to the utmost present propaganda advantage our position.
We will supply the city by air as a beleaguered garrison.
Subject to final checking by the Secretary and the President we will further increase US air strength in Europe.
Assuming no modification of present Sov restrictions, we and Brit, and French if possible, should send note to Sovs asserting our rights in Berlin and stressing Sov responsibility for, and callousness to threatened starvation of civilian population, particularly in light of our obligation to feed Berlin, assumed at Sov insistence. We see advantage in keeping Berlin situation before world attention by every feasible device of diplomatic exchange, publicity, and appeal, not excluding ultimate reference of case to UN at appropriate time. We are hopeful that war can be avoided by these means.
We will cable you shortly draft of communication which we would like to see presented by three Govts to Sovs and published shortly thereafter. Please inform Brit FonOff and say that we would welcome their suggestions. We consider note should not over-stress legalistic approach but should be based on inhumanity Soviet action in causing suffering to civilian population as well as threatening peace.2

We are considering best means soonest to back up publicly British determined stand.

When Brit clearance given bomber groups we suggest public answer to press enquiries be that aircraft are proceeding to England after consultation and agreement Brit Govt. Sent London 2442, rptd Berlin 1124, Paris 2354.

  1. Under reference here is the telegram from Royall to Clay, June 28, supra.
  2. For the text of this draft, see telegram 2384, June 30, to Paris, p. 933.