862.00/10–649: Telegram

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

restricted
priority

1415. All Soviet licensed papers October 6 give prominent coverage to report that Volksrat Praesidium and anti-Fascist Democratic bloc met in Berlin October 5 under chairmanship of Wilhelm Pieck and resolved as follows:

“Formation of western separate state, edict of an occupation statute, dismantling carried on in violation of international law, refusal of peace treaty, tutelage exercised by High Commissioners even re such matters as devaluation of mark and signing of trade agreements between eastern and western Germany—all this indicates grave national emergency in which Germany has been placed by dictatorial policy of western powers.

“To protect national interests of German people through self-help, we call upon German Volksrat, which was elected by third German Volkskongress on May 30, 1949, to reconstitute itself into provisional Volkskammer (Peoples Chamber) in accordance with constitution of German Democratic Republic as adopted by third German Volkskongress [Page 527](for constitution see Berlin’s despatch 470, April 131), and to establish a constitutional government of German Democratic Republic. For this purpose, Praesidium of German Volksrat calls German Volksrat into session at Berlin on Friday October 7 at twelve noon”. End resolution.

This appears definitive indication that new government will be constituted by decree and not on basis of popular elections, despite specific wording of article 51 of Volksrat constitution which stipulates as follows: “Peoples Chamber (Volkskammer) shall be composed of representatives of German people. Representatives are elected in a universal, equal, direct, and secret ballot for term of four years, according to principles of proportional representation. Representatives represent nation as whole. They are bound only by their own conscience and are not tied to any mandates.”

Elimination of electoral procedure will of course be “justified” on grounds new Volkskammer only “provisional” and that elections can be held later (according British Intelligence sources, Grotewohl recently told Dertinger and Nuschke of CDU that elections will not be held until September 1950). Attempt may also be made to pretend that Volksrat is, in fact, an elected body, representative of the people, since it was elected May 30 by Volkskongress (Berlin’s telegram 865, May 31 to Department, repeated Paris 359, London 303, Moscow 932) which had in turn been “elected” (on “yes” or “no” ballot) by people of Soviet zone and south sector May 15 and 16 (Berlin’s telegram 755, May 18 to Department; repeated London 272, Paris 273, Moscow 853).

Sent Frankfurt 1525, repeated Department 1415, London 456, Paris 506.

Department pass Moscow 136.

Taylor
  1. Not printed.
  2. Ante, p. 520.
  3. Not printed, but see the editorial note regarding these elections, p. 516.