862.00/10–749: Telegram

The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Acting Secretary of State


2846. Reference Niact 1966 of 5 October.1 Have discussed improving position of Western Sectors Berlin, in event Soviet action includes Berlin, with British and French colleagues. British (Robertson) feels strongly action should be taken, but not necessarily in form of full recognition as twelfth Land. These are his personal views and not British Government’s, since he has not been able to reach Bevin. French (Bérard acting since François-Poncet absent) could not state French Government view, but would have to consult Paris. He, personally, thinks French position opposing inclusion Berlin will remain unchanged. In his opinion, French Government would probably consider Soviet action strengthened their argument, since inclusion Western Sectors in Federal Republic would increase tension in Berlin, if latter became capital of East Zone. He will consult Paris and seek urgent instructions.

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I feel French agreement to inclusion Western Sectors in Federal Republic most improbable, despite feeling that they appreciate need for strengthening vis-à-vis East Berlin as Soviet Zone capital. They will probably attempt advance formula short of full inclusion. Have some doubts as to wisdom of full Land status for Berlin, which is awkward and unnatural in many ways. My hesitation in going all out for inclusion of Berlin as twelfth Land is more technical than substantial. Feel that Berlin is in so unique a situation that it will be almost impossible to apply to Berlin many of the laws which the Western Government would pass for itself. Therefore, feel it might be more practicable to treat Berlin as a territory or protectorate of the Western Republic with full right to vote on all matters affecting Berlin. The latest information we have is to effect that Berlin will not be included in the Eastern Zone, although this is only intelligence report gossip thus far.

Draft of statement2 by US being considered by French. Bérard has indicated he prefers general background statement rather than direct quotation of the Commissioners, and I have agreed, as has General Robertson.

However, I will agree to full Land status if French and British agree.

As to method removal of present suspension by Military Governors of Article 23 of Bonn constitution will most probably be followed by prompt action of Federal Republic giving Berlin full Land status and immediate acceptance by Western Magistrat. Hence, limited suspension of Article 23 to permit territorial relationships referred to above might be preferable.

To summarize, I shall (a) agree to full Land status if French and British agree. If no agreement on (a) is reached, will propose or accept if proposed limited suspension of Article 23 as indicated above.3

Sent Department 2846, repeated London 201, Paris 225, Bonn 4 for Riddleberger.

  1. Ante, p. 399.
  2. The draft statement under reference has not been identified further.
  3. In a subsequent telegram Riddleberger reported that he had made the proposals indicated in this cable in a discussion with the other allied political advisers and had met French opposition to both the proposals and to the issuance of a statement. The French political adviser stated that his government’s view on Berlin as a twelfth Land had not changed and that the French Government was opposed to any Western moves with regard to the city, since it appeared that Berlin would not be included in the new East German Government. The political advisers agreed however to meet again as soon as more specific information on the East German Government became available. Telegram 14, October 7, 7 p. m. from Bonn, not printed (862.00/10–749).