862.77/10–1149: Telegram

The United States Commander, Berlin (Taylor) to the Secretary of State


1431. Following is text of letter from General Kotikov dated October 10 in reply to letter addressed to him by Western commandants on September 28 (Berlin’s Nbr. 135 to Frankfort of September 28, repeated Department 1399, London 447, Paris 500, Moscow 1271).

“Dear General: I received your letter of 28 September, 1949.

1. You state that you have been instructed by your high commissioner to terminate any discussions on questions pertaining to the normalization of life in Berlin. I am compelled to declare that the high commissioners are not in a position to annul the decision adopted by the Council of Foreign Ministers in Paris on 20 June, 1949,2 which serves as a basis for the consultative conferences by the Berlin commandants. The Soviet Kommandatura, in strict observance of paragraph 3/c of the Paris communiqué, had on its part, taken all measures to insure a positive solution of all questions concerned with the normalizaton of life in Berlin. Toward that end, certain positive results were achieved during the consultative conferences and were met favorably by the entire population of Berlin.

Your refusal to continue with the consultative conferences at a time when they have already begun to yield positive results does not, in any way, testify to a desire on your part to normalize the city’s life or to act in a spirit of mutual cooperation. The position which you are taking cannot lead to an improvement in the difficult economic position of Berlin’s Western sectors or to a decrease of mass unemployment developing there; such unemployment might not prevail if steps were taken to insure the city’s normal economic life.

2. As to your assertion that the railway administration does not, ostensibly, adhere to the agreement, reached at the time of liquidation of the railwaymen’s strike in Western Berlin, I must say that it is unfounded and unsubstantiated. According to our information, the Berlin Railway Administration, which is under the supervision of the [Page 412] Soviet authorities is adhering strictly to that agreement. Not [only does] the administration refrain from applying any repressive measures by way of laying off any of her railwaymen who took part in the strike, but, as it came to my knowledge, is hiring in the Western sectors of Berlin workers and employees for the needs of the railway. If what you have in mind are certain concrete instances which cause you to have any doubts, such instances might be examined in a spirit of friendliness, without permitting them to create dissentions or complications between us.

Thus, your assertions concerning some violation of an agreement, allegedly perpetrated against railwaymen in Western Berlin, are without foundation.

I am convinced that public opinion will correctly evaluate the fact that you are indulging in an artificial attempt, by means of groundless and invented charges, to mask your unwillingness to abide by the decision of the Paris [conference of] the Council of Foreign Ministers concerning normalization of life in Berlin. Under the circumstances, the responsibility for undermining the implementation of paragraph 3/c of the Paris communiqué rests entirely on you.

The Soviet Kommandatura, on its part, adheres firmly to the instructions of the Paris Conference of CFM and will also insist that the other participating parties abide by them as well.

Letters of analogous content have been forwarded by me also to Major General Bourne and Division General Ganeval.”

Sent Frankfort 167; repeated Department 1431; London 464; Paris 514; Moscow 142.

  1. Ante, p. 394.
  2. Post, p. 1062.