711.4027/4–1548: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France


1577. Emb’s understanding (Embtel 2206 Apr 261) correct. Strict reciprocity is cornerstone of US aviation policy vis-à-vis Soviet and satellites. While it is true that advantages East-West operations believed for political and economic reasons to overbalance, for present at least, advantages of blocking satellite air operations to Western Europe, advantages such East-West operations are not so heavily preponderant, in Depts opinion, that they would also outweigh considerations of reciprocity. If French and Yugos agreed exchange reciprocal rights on route Paris-Rome-Belgrade, US would expect and hope Itals would bar Yugo flights through Italy unless Yugos granted Itals reciprocal rights Yugo. Similarly, if Poles and Swiss agreed exchange air rights and Poles, bypassing US Zone Germany, proposed to fly to Switzerland via Brit Zone Germany, we would count not only on Swiss to exact reciprocity from Poles but also upon Brit to bar Polish flights unless Brit received satisfactory reciprocal rights in Poland. [Page 446] On same basis US has every present intention blocking satellite operations through US Zones unless US receives saisfactory reciprocal rights, theoretically and operationally, from satellite concerned.

Dept has stated (Deptel 141 The Hague Apr 15 repeated Paris as 12342) as Emb has pointed out, that US does not desire for reasons stated to discourage East-West air traffic. On other hand, Dept has also made clear (Deptel 716 Mar 17 to Rome, repeated Paris as 8423) US policy does not envisage actively encouraging such traffic. Conclusion to be drawn from these two reflections of US policy which tend to offset each other is that, as indicated in first par above, political and economic advantages East-West air transportation are not, at present time, heavily preponderant.

Paris, Lon, Bern, Borne, The Hague, Brussels, and Stockholm requested, in their discretion, inform Governments to which accredited of foregoing US views and report reaction thereto.

Sent Paris 1577; rptd Bern 645; Berlin for OMGUS 810; Frankfurt for USAFE 156; London 1656; Warsaw 278; Rome 1315; The Hague 175; Budapest 471; Belgrade 219; Vienna for USFA 419; Brussels 675; Stockholm 312; Cairo 544; Ankara 221; Athens 564.

  1. Intermittent discussions had been conducted in Warsaw over a period of months regarding the possible extension of American Overseas Airways service to Warsaw. The United States was insisting any authorization for the Polish national airline (LOT) to overfly the United States zone of occupation in Germany would be conditioned on the reciprocal right of an American carrier to enter Warsaw. In the telegram under reference here, the Embassy in Paris asked if it was correct in understanding that the United States would agree to the establishment of satellite air services to Western European cities over the United States zone of occupation only if the United States was given reciprocal entry to the satellite concerned (711.4027/4–2648).
  2. Ante, p. 443.
  3. Not printed.