862.00/10–2849: Telegram

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


3553. London’s 4267 to Department, repeated Frankfort as 138.1 I endorse British suggestion that it would be helpful if Department [Page 538]took action along same lines as Foreign Office, advising Benelux, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes and Swiss against recognition of so-called German Democratic Republic.

Preliminary review here of foreign political position of German Federal Republic in situation created by formation of East zone German Democratic Republic indicates breakdown international relationships into at least seven areas enumerated below. In view complexity situation, pressure developments, and necessity co-ordinating US with British and French views, would appreciate Department’s comments and guidance with respect to the following:

Relations between German Federal Republic and German Democratic Republic (GDR). Basic assumption here is neither can recognize other. However, consistent with Western policy to encourage East-West trade, commercial agreements between two areas should be permitted, possibly on formula employed in agreement on interzonal trade 1949/1950 (Frankfort agreement) concluded between “competent authorities” in currency areas of DM East and DM West. Above formula involves no recognition by either party governmental status or structure of other.

Relations between Soviet Union and satellites and the GDR as affecting High Commissioner or German Federal Republic: USSR, Poland, Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia have recognized GDR and will not recognize High Commissioner or German Federal Republic.2 Inasmuch as Poles and Czechs have military missions accredited to ACA which are located in British and US sectors Berlin respectively, question posed as to what action proper Western powers if Poles or Czechs combine military missions to ACA with diplomatic missions to GDR. (Note: Overt US Neue Zeitung reported October 26 that Czech Military Mission chief stated on October 24, after return from Prague, he will continue to be accredited to ACA but his office would probably be joined (verbinden) with administration of Czech diplomatic chief to GDR. Berlin office HICOG believes first statement may be used by Czechs as legalistic argument to support claim to continue maintenance Czech consulates in west zones. (Combination military and diplomatic missions may arise under either following two forms:

Employment premises of military mission to ACA to house part or all of diplomatic mission to GDR;
Employment personnel of military mission to perform functions of diplomatic mission to GDR (example this type action arose when General J. Pravin, chief, Polish Military mission to ACA in Berlin, on October 19 handed to Georg Dertinger, Foreign Minister GDR, note from Stanislaw Lescozycki, Deputy [Page 539]Foreign Minister Poland, extending official recognition and naming Karol Tkocz head diplomatic mission to GDR).

Although we cannot consistently tolerate in western sectors Berlin diplomatic missions accredited to GDR, if missions to GDR are established as separate entities and located on Soviet controlled territory, we can ignore them and thereby permit continuance Czech and Polish military missions in present status. Supporting this solution is probability that any aggressive action our part against Czech and Polish military missions will bring retaliation by Soviets, on pattern applied to Brazilians, against large number Western military mission chiefs to ACA who now being designated also to HICOG. Probably best solution under circumstances lies in our notifying Czechs and Poles immediately but informally, possibly through lower echelon contacts in Berlin, that amalgamation two missions will result in our reviewing their right to remain in area. However, before taking decision on expulsion military missions, important that we consider views of intelligence agencies, which may desire continued Czech and Polish residence in western sectors where surveillance and penetration facilitated.


Relations between the Soviet satellite states and the German Federal Republic: Although unwilling to recognize the Federal Republic the satellites will desire to have commercial relations with it and to maintain on its territory consulates or other agencies.

In view our general policy to encourage East-West trade, we should endeavor to find formulas which will make it possible for trade to continue under whatever commercial agreements will be necessary. Among methods devised in past, of special interest is formula employed in most recent trade agreements signed with Hungarians and Czechs, who, though refusing to deal with “a representative of the High Commissioner”, signed with a “representative of the High Commissioners (US, UK and France),” who in both above cases was British national. Above formula suffers, however, from failure to provide for Federal Republic participation as well and may be unacceptable once Federal Republic begins signing agreements in own right.

Should no formula be devised for entering into formal trade agreements, commerce, though hampered [, and?] communication could still be carried on between Federal Republic and East either through device of currency area agreements between central banks of Federal Republic and satellites or through establishment separate trading agencies or corporations specifically created by Federal Republic to perform for it with respect to East-West trade functions normally negotiated directly between governments.

With regard to permanent residence on Federal Republic territory of consulates and other agencies of satellite states, we should decide immediately whether we can consistently tolerate such agencies on Federal Republic territory if countries they represent recognize GDR and refuse to recognize High Commissioner. It is to be noted that no retaliatory action can be taken by Soviets or East Germans on behalf of satellites since no consulates or similar agencies of Western nations are on GDR territory. Possible arguments against expulsion lie in advantages to US in their retention arising from considerations of commerce [Page 540](in facilitating East-West trade and negotiations), intelligence (this can be established by consultation with intelligence agencies), or personal convenience to allied nationals resident in Germany (visas, etc.). Arguments for expulsion center around considerations primarily of international prestige and of security. Possible compromise, informally suggested by British in Berlin, lies in not expelling present consulates but preventing establishment additional ones or enlargement current staffs. Important issue would seem to be whether it is in our interests to get rid of these consulates and special missions, many of whose personnel undoubtedly up to no good in Western Germany.

Relations between Western nations and GDR. Every step should be taken to prevent recognition of GDR by Western countries, and action by British Foreign Office in this matter welcomed here. With respect to encouragement of East-West trade, we should suggest use of devices such as trading companies, currency areas, etc., to avoid giving even appearance of recognition. If this impracticable and agreements must be concluded with GDR government bureaus, we should urge Western nations to deal only with more technical (non-political) bureaus and to make clear from beginning of negotiations that recognition of GDR is not implied or intended.

Relations between Western nations and Federal Republic. Concerted effort should be employed to induce Western nations recognize High Commissioner and Federal Republic, latter as sole governmental representative German people. To this end we should urge accreditation maximum number missions to High Commissioner, and should endeavor to obtain British and French consent in council to accreditation these missions to German Federal Republic as well.

Since majority governments thus far replying affirmatively to invitations accredit missions to HICOM have indicated their chief of mission will be present chief military mission to ACA, we should try to avoid complications with Soviets by urging them establish their missions to HICOM as entities independent of military missions to ACA even though both missions may share some personnel. Unless this occurs any action we contemplate against Czechs and Poles might be prejudiced by Soviet retaliation, on pattern their action against Brazilians.

We should also try to obtain British and French consent to establishment German consular-commercial service to start functioning abroad as soon as possible.

Special situation affecting “neutrals.” We should strongly discourage “neutrals” such as Swedes and Swiss, from recognizing GDR by citing, if necessary, their commitments under OEEC, ECA, Council of Europe, etc. Inasmuch as HICOM has already extended unqualified invitations to establish missions at Bonn to all states with consulates in Germany, including satellites and “neutrals,” it might be advisable to call attention of “neutrals” to implication that their acceptance of invitations rules out subsequent recognition of GDR.
Relations with UN subsidiary and other international organizations: We should employ our majority in UNO agencies and in other international bodies to obtain admission, at least as observers, of representatives of the German Federal Republic and to prevent admission [Page 541]of representatives of the GDR. We recognize this problem is complicated and different policies may be necessary for different UN agencies. Washington tripartite working party may have already addressed itself to this problem.
Communication problems between Federal Republic and GDR. We have noted a recent announcement by General Kvashnin, transport chief of SMA, that responsibility for German traffic system will now be borne by German Traffic Minister (HICOG Berlin cable 201 to Frankfort, repeated Department as 14663). We are considering the effects of this announcement in terms of trans-Soviet zone movements. We will explore this with EUCOM and with British and French. For your private information British (Robertson) have indicated that they favor a strong position if it appears to be Soviet intention that Western occupation personnel will deal directly with East German officials.

Sent Department repeated London 232, Berlin 236, Paris 266; pouched Moscow.

  1. Not printed; it reported that the Foreign Office had informed the chiefs of the seven missions on October 24 that it did not intend to establish diplomatic relations with the “German Democratic Republic”, and it hoped that their governments would adopt a similar position. (741.62/10–2549) The Foreign Office considered that analogous representations in Washington and Paris would be very helpful.
  2. The Soviet Union had announced its decision to exchange diplomatic missions with the “German Democratic Republic” on October 15. During the following week Bulgaria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Rumania also recognized the East German regime. For the text of the Soviet announcement and the notes of the satellites recognizing the GDR, see Dokumente zur Aussenpolitik der DDR , pp. 234–328 passim.
  3. Same as telegram 201, supra.