856.79664/4–1348: Telegram

The Civil Air Attaché in Switzerland (Deak) to the Aviation Division of the Department of State


471. British clearance of Maszovlet1 Amsterdam flight (Budapest’s 588, April 8, to Department2) apparently without consultation with US distressing evidence of ineffectiveness US UK joint air policy towards satellites. On protracted reluctance to clamp down on unauthorized regular lot Warsaw Paris service British now apparently superimpose by unilateral action generous clearance of satellite flights over their zones enabling them to bypass US zone and leaving US holding bag.

Inspired by British over-cautious fence straddling (British capitulation in Berlin in connection with BEA crash incident3 for instance made worst possible impression in Swiss circles and in absence of consistency on our part smaller nations now either start scrambling for ill-conceived momentary advantages by making deals with satellites irrespective of ultimate cost both to them and us as indicated by Dutch discussions with Hungarians (Hague’s 213, April 7, to Department2) and their apparent willingness to reopen negotiations with Yugoslavs (Belgrade’s 409, April 10, to Department2) or try to eat their cake and have it too as shown by Italians blowing hot and cold same time (reference Rome’s detailed cable reports in last six weeks) or by Greeks temporizing on CSA (Athens 601 April 8 to Department4) which while understandable will result in closing stable door after horse is gone.

At risk tiresome repetition again urge immediate review of policy with view to establishment clear determined line and simultaneous coordination of such policy particularly with British, French, Dutch, and Italians, possibly with Scandinavians.

Sent Department 471; repeated London 28, Paris 27, Hague 3, Belgrade 11, Budapest 18, Rome 25; Paris please pass Berlin for Turner 42, Frankfurt for USAFE 14, Athens unnumbered, Vienna for USFA 11.

  1. Hungarian–Soviet Civil Air Transport Company. This joint company had been established under the terms of the Soviet-Hungarian Civil Aviation Agreement of March 29, 1946.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For documentation regarding the incident under reference here, see vol. ii, pp. 890891.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed; it reported that Greek Prime Minister Constantine Tsaldaris had informed Chargé Karl Rankin that immediate action by the Greek Government to stop Czechoslovak air traffic through Greece might interfere with large current barter transactions and hurt Greece’s credit balance. The Greek Government did, however, intend to restrict the frequency of Czechoslovak flights through Greece (860F.79600/4–848).