862.01/10–349: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom


3588.1 Dept giving urgent consideration to best method handling Sov note charging Western powers with violating Potsdam and splitting Ger (Moscow’s 2475, rptd London as 270, Oct 12).

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We believe note shld not be answered by note since this wld probably only involve us in endless exchanges. Only purpose of any form of reply it seems to us is to set record straight for Western world; for propaganda purposes it is assumed that reply will not be widely disseminated behind iron curtain. We believe therefore that best results wld be achieved by statement issued by Acting Sec, and possibly statements of a like character by Br and Fr.

In our view it wld be unnecessary to attempt detailed or point by point defensive refutation of Sov charges. Instead we suggest brief statement along fol outline:

For the very reason that it is devoted to the democratic ideals embodied in the Potsdam Agreement, the US has never found any possibility of real cooperation with oppressive police state regime established in the Sov zone.
The very machinery through which the US and other Western powers attempted to carry out Potsdam mandates was slowly sabotaged by Sov govt’s use of veto and finally destroyed by Sov withdrawal from Control Council.
Though many propaganda speeches and notes about Ger unity have come from Sov govt, the only practical steps leading toward uniform admin and unification of Ger have come from Western powers. Thus when Bizonia was formed all zones were invited to join. Bizonia has been followed by Trizonia and estab of Fed Rep. Thus in spite of Sov obstructionism, real progress has been made towards unification of Ger thanks to initiative of Western powers and the overwhelming support of the Ger people and their freely elected Reps.

Dept believes clear record and conscience of West will best be served by prompt reply and refusal to be drawn into defensive debate. Pls present these ideas to FonOff and ascertain if they agree to this gen method of procedure as we think action by all three powers shld be generally similar.3 Paris being given similar instrs.

  1. Repeated to Frankfurt as 1912, Moscow as 725, New York as 518, and Paris as 3752.
  2. Ante, p. 275.
  3. In telegrams 2744, October 4, from Frankfurt, and 2508, October 5, from Moscow, neither printed, McCloy and Kirk concurred with this suggested line of approach. (862.01/10–499 and 549) Holmes reported the initial favorable reaction by the British Foreign Office in telegram 3966, October 4, from London, not printed, but Bruce indicated that the French were inclined to reply with a note rather than a statement. (Telegram 4153, October 4, from Paris, not printed. 862.01/10–449)