862.01/10–649: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Bruce ) to the Acting Secretary of State


4187. Foreign Office this morning had not yet received report Dept’s approach to Washington Embassy re action to be taken by West powers in regard Berlin (Deptel 3795 Oct 51) nor had Foreign Office itself apparently yet taken matter under consideration at high levels. Similarly Foreign Office doubted any authoritative discussion of problem in High Commission today possible on part François-Poncet since he had no instructions on subject.

At working level Seydoux, new European director and Sauvagnargues, Acting Chief Central European Division, recalled firm position France had hitherto taken in opposition inclusion Berlin as twelfth Land and emphasized complex situation which would arise as result such inclusion, citing amongst other things likelihood inclusion Berlin would reserve [reverse?] present balance of power in Bundestag.

Seydoux brought forward his now favorite theme that problem was one which might most properly and expeditiously be treated by reference to the three Foreign Ministers in New York. He also remarked that Foreign Office’s continued emphasis on necessity specifically refuting Soviet accusation of violation Paris decisions in our eventual reply to Soviet note2 (Embtels 4153, October 4 and 4165, October 53) was based in great part on feeling that if we were not able to head off Soviets from including Berlin in new all-German government at least we would have made fully clear for record in advance [Page 403] of such act our own willingness to have reached a working four-power arrangement in regard administration Berlin.

In conclusion, however, Seydoux undertook to bring matter urgently to attention Parodi and both he and Sauvagnargues admitted that if Soviets did in fact make Berlin capital of new state claiming comprise all Germany then lifting suspension Article 23 “would be difficult to oppose”.

Embassy fully agrees unified and decisive attitude West allies on Berlin question psychologically necessary in regard both Soviets and Germans. In light today’s conversation seems probable French will come along with us when question becomes actual. It would seem desirable, however, West German Government should also have part in this united front and Embassy suggests therefore [might?] be well sound out West German leaders as to whether their desire include Berlin as twelfth state now as determined as heretofore. In this connection point raised by French as to possible effect on Bundestag may have significance.

Sent Department 4187, repeated London 688, Frankfort 81. Department pass Moscow 81, New York 4.

  1. Same as telegram 1966, October 5, p. 399.
  2. Ante, p. 275.
  3. Neither printed.