Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Lovett)
|Participants:||The British Ambassador|
|Mr. Reber, EUR|
The British Ambassador called on me this afternoon to give us Bevin’s preliminary impression of the Soviet reply1 to the joint [identic] note on the Berlin situation.2 Bevin holds the strong opinion that we should not hurry our reply or publication of the note. As an indication of our position we should step up the air lift in the meanwhile. He suggests that Douglas, Strang and Massigli should jointly consider the note and advise the three Governments with respect to the timing of publication and the nature of our reply. It is important in Bevin’s opinion that we do not give any impression of concern or fuss about the note which is in all likelihood only the opening of a protracted operation. I explained that we had a similar message from Douglas this afternoon and that the latter had urged us to add as many C–54’s as possible.3 This matter was now in the hands of the air force.
With respect to sending the B–29’s, the National Security Council at its meeting tomorrow would consider this matter in the light of the Soviet note.4
The Ambassador then gave me the substance of a further message from Mr. Bevin on the Subject.
The substance of which is contained in the attached memorandum. In this connection I said it was impossible to forecast the decision of the National Security Council but that the question of timing was the only real matter of substance to be discussed tomorrow.
The British Ambassador then handed me a copy of the Soviet reply to the British note which differs from the one we received in that it leaves out certain paragraphs relating to the situation in Berlin itself but this may be an omission in transmission as the British note is identical in other respects.5
- July 6, p. 950.↩
- The reference here is to a telecon between Washington and London at 2 p. m. Washington time in which Douglas repeated his hope that Clay would be sent more C–54’s (740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–3048).↩
- At its 15th meeting July 14, the National Security Council “agreed, subject to reservations by the Secretary of the Army, that the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense should recommend to the President that the United States proceed with the dispatch of B–29 bombers to the British Isles.” (NSC Action 77, Executive Secretariat Files) Douglas was notified of this action in telegram 2757, July 15, to London, not printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/7–1548).↩
- Subsequent comparison of the Soviet notes revealed that the British and U.S. versions were identical.↩