862.00/10–2749: Telegram

The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the United States Political Adviser for Germany (Riddleberger), at Frankfurt


201.1 For Riddleberger. Reference Berlin’s 198, October 26.2 Trend of events suggests we may soon be forced to make definite decision on [Page 537]nature and extent of de facto relations we are prepared to maintain with East German Govt. Following up Kvashnin’s statements reported in telegram under reference Grotewohl, in press conference on October 26, is reported in West licensed press to have stated that S. Bahn in West Berlin would also be under control of Eastern Govt. No mention this alleged statement noted thus far in East press. Latter, however, reports other remarks by Grotewohl to effect modus vivendi must be created in Berlin (full report in separate cable).

We are confronted with the proposition that on the one hand we can not recognize the legality of the East German Govt, while on the other we must find some practical means of day-to-day operating relationship. The most acceptable procedure would seem to be to carry on such relationships through German channels, as is being done re East-West trade. With respect to the thorny problem of railway administration in Berlin and communications between Berlin and West Germany, there are no competent German authorities to represent us here now. It occurs to me that it might be worthwhile in this connection to explore the feasibility of establishing a competent office of the West German Railway Administration in Berlin, which would be empowered to represent us in all technical arrangements with East zone authorities. This would also contribute to our political objective of strengthening Berlin’s ties with the West. Furthermore, it would place the Russians in a similar position vis-à-vis Federal Republic as we would be vis-à-vis Eastern Government. Our major bargaining point in any discussions with Russians on this whole question will be, of course, their apparent desire to avoid any disruption of East-West trade. Thus a pattern may be evolved to cover all de facto relations between East and West Germany. Efforts are being made to learn the nature of any orders or other measures taken to implement East German control of Reichsbahn, especially as it may affect West Berlin sectors.

Sent Frankfort 201, repeated Department 1466.

  1. The source text is the copy in the Department of State files.
  2. Not printed; it reported an announcement in the Soviet-licensed press on October 26, that General Kvashnin had informed the Traffic Minister of the German Democratic Republic “… that administrative responsibility in traffic field would henceforth rest with his ministry.” (862.00/10–2549)