862.00/10–1149: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy), at Frankfurt


2072.1 Dept’s views concerning status of Berlin as contained in Deptel 1966 of Oct 52 have now been fully cleared in Wash.

These views were predicated on assumption that Sov action wld clearly include eastern Berlin (or “greater Berlin”). Dept is not sure at this moment however what status has been given to Sov sector of Berlin and believes we must all have clearest possible answers to fol questions:

Is the capital of the East Ger republic to be physically located in Berlin? If the answer is yes, this creates a strong presumption that Berlin forms part of the “Ger Democratic Republic”.
Will legis and admin acts of Eastern republic have validity in Sov sector Berlin? If not, are there indications that they will in practice be given validity by action of Sov Magistrat and Sov Assembly?
Is Berlin represented in lower house of Sov zone Parliament? Dept assumes it is, since East Berlin participated in Volkskongress elections from which Volksrat derives its “mandate”. We note from Berlin’s 1423 of Oct 83 that Berlin is given seven “observers” in upper house of Sov zone Parliament.

If the weight of answers of foregoing questions (or other evidence available) indicates either de jure or de facto inclusion of Berlin in East republic, Dept adheres to views expressed in its Niact 1966. Given this conclusion, Dept would favor its original solution advanced in reftel (and which appears to be same as General Robertson’s second proposal in second para ur 2943, Oct 104), to lift suspension of Art 23 and let Germans work out problem. We wld also willingly support Robertson’s original detailed proposal (Bonn’s Niact 15, Oct 95), except that in view of all the proper safeguards outlined therein we do not see why Berlin shld continue to have only non-voting observers in Bundestag, a limitation which would mar the political effect of the action taken. We leave this to your judgment on the spot, however.

Fr arguments do not impress Dept. Opposition to action only because Berlin may become German capital strikes us as windmill-tilting and is untenable position in long run. It is inconsistent with their willingness to allow Kaiser’s Ministry and other Fed offices to be set up in Berlin, which wld be a more effective wedge than “Land” status: toward making Berlin the capital.

Dept rather doubts practicability of your suggestion of “territorial” status for Berlin. We believe this would create very involved constitutional questions, would hardly achieve the political objective we aim at, and on basis of past experience wld be avidly seized on by Sov propaganda to demonstrate how Western powers are imposing colonial status on Berlin.

We hope foregoing will give you sufficient indication of Dept’s views to permit you to go ahead in effort to reach tripartite agreement if possible. Wld appreciate most definitive replies you can give at this time to questions posed in second para. Pls give Dept opportunity to study any final recommendations you make singly or collectively.

  1. Repeated to Paris as 3879, London as 3694, and Moscow as 754.
  2. Ante, p. 399.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed; but see footnote 3 to telegram 2940, October 10, p. 409. Robertson’s second proposal was the lifting of the suspension of Article 23.
  5. Ante, p. 407