862.00/10–749: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Holmes) to the Acting Secretary of State


4038. Although fully concurring in view that imminent establishment “national German government” with capital in Soviet sector Berlin will require prompt counter-action by West powers, Kirkpatrick does not feel that it would be desirable to proceed with lifting of suspension of Article 23 of Bonn Constitution until high commissioners have studied implications this step and submitted their recommendations to Governments (Deptel 1966, October 5 to Frankfort, repeated London 3631, Paris 3795, Moscow 742, New York 5251). Foreign Office he said, has not yet received complete reports on yesterday’s meeting of high commissioners and their subsequent discussion with Adenauer.2 Therefore views set forth below represent tentative Foreign Office thinking and are susceptible to modification in light of high commissioners’ recommendations.

Inclusion Berlin deputies in Bundestag which would naturally follow establishment Land Berlin liable upset equilibrium of Adenauer Government since most of them would be SPD members. Kirkpatrick indicated British Labor Government would prefer to see present West German Government replaced by SPD-headed coalition. However existing situation in Germany too delicate to permit national interests to be subordinated to those of purely political nature.
Formation Land Berlin would mean occupation statute would automatically come into force there instead of present “little occupation statute”. (Our powers under latter more extensive than in Occupation Statute) itself and it would seem unwise to relinquish any of them at this critical juncture.3
Soviet broadcast referred to Embtel 4019 to Department October 6 (repeated Frankfort 113, Paris 760, Moscow 152, USUN unnumbered4) implies tacit recognition right of Western powers to remain in Berlin despite absence European [Western?] power control. On other hand, formation Land Berlin would probably result in change Soviet attitude and might induce them to raise issue of legality our presence there. Kirkpatrick admitted that broadcast does not constitute formal recognition of our right but nevertheless felt that it tended to strengthen our case.

Since problem of Berlin’s status is of primary concern to Germans as well as occupying powers, Kirkpatrick considers that we should [Page 406] consult with Adenauer re steps to fee taken. In doing so, however, we should carefully avoid giving him impression that we will necessarily act on his suggestion.

Kirkpatrick inclined to view that action to be taken re West sectors Berlin should be half-way between full recognition as twelfth Land and present status. For example, we might propose establishment of Bonn Government commission in Berlin to take charge of financial matters in which Federal Government exercises jurisdiction; Similarly, we might agree that representatives of West sectors should enjoy full membership rights in Bundesrat although not in Bundestag.

McCloy’s suggestion that Berlin might be treated as territory or protectorate of Federal Republic had not occurred to Kirkpatrick. We feel, however, that British would probably be receptive to this idea since it tends to coincide with Kirkpatrick’s half-way concept.

Kirkpatrick said that message from Bevin re his conversation with Secretary and Couve de Murville on afternoon October 6 (USUN’s 123 to Department repeated London 23, Paris 22, Frankfort 25) did not contain suggestion that he discuss with Attlee possibility of lifting suspension on Article 23 (original of message which Dean has previously shown us confirmed this statement). Accordingly he did not feel that it would be necessary to consult with Prime Minister until situation had clarified somewhat as result receipt high commissioners’ recommendations.

Sent Department 4038, repeated Paris 767, Frankfort 115. Department pass Moscow 155 USUN unnumbered.

  1. Ante, p. 399.
  2. The High Commissioners had discussed the Berlin question before their meeting on October 6, but had not discussed the matter with Adenauer. Regarding their discussion, see telegram 2846, supra.
  3. For the text of the Occupation Statute for Berlin, see Germany 1947–1949, pp. 324–326. For the Occupation Statute for Germany, see pp. 179.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed; a memorandum of this conversation is printed, p. 400.