740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–2749: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

top secret
us urgent

299.1 For Holmes. After further consideration in light Knapp’s comments (Geneva Tel 82) we request you obtain Brit comments, and Fr [Page 665] comments if Brit favorable, to outline given below of modified plan re Berlin currency originally transmitted Deptel 244.3 We envisage that if Brit and Fr agree, Western experts in Geneva might communicate outline plan either to neutral comm itself or to comm chairman with view influencing drafting of comm’s report to SC Pres in favorable terms. In subsequent SC discussions US, UK and Fr could formally present and develop plan.

Advantage new approach as we see it is that in event Sov non-acceptance our counterproposal4 on present basis such approach makes use counterproposal to offer reasonable interim solution which Western Govts could put forward in hope of leading to ultimate agreement. It would place Western Govts in position proposing positive workable arrangement which comm would be called to take into acct in its final report and it would furnish us with concrete program for future discussions in SC.

At appropriate time and in any event before termination Geneva meetings, US, UK and Fr experts would again stress their objections to comm’s preliminary recommendations5 and US would re-emphasize its view that these recommendations are unworkable because of split city administrations and Sov pol actions in Berlin.
US, UK and Fr experts would urge reconsideration US counterproposal in light its offering possibility of providing a stand-still interim solution under circumstances of a split city. Acceptance would afford provisional protection of legitimate interest of four powers in Berlin and would, of course, be accompanied by a lifting of blockade and an early CFM meeting to which three Western powers are committed.
US, UK and Fr experts would indicate willingness of their Govts after lifting of blockade to negotiate through Mil Govs without prejudice to date of a CFM meeting, a re-unification of city admin through discussion of new city constitution which was pending consideration before break-up of Allied Kommandatura in Berlin.
If this step successful in re-unifying city, West Govts would then be prepared reconsider experts comm’s preliminary plan with appropriate amendments or a new plan for use of a single currency adapted to circumstances of a uniform city admin to be estab.6

  1. Repeated to Geneva as 77, Berlin as 105, and Paris as 239.
  2. Not printed; in it Knapp reported the lack of progress at a session of the Technical Committee on January 21 and expressed his belief that the suggestions in section III of telegram 60, January 22 (p. 662) might offer an escape from the impasse in Geneva if Malietin rejected the United States counterproposal as a basis for negotiation. The United States suggestion would throw the onus for failure back to the Russians and give the committee an excuse to retire gracefully from its consideration of the problem. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–2449)
  3. Same as telegram 60, January 22, p. 662.
  4. Regarding the United States counterproposal, see editorial note, p. 658.
  5. Not printed; the text of the Technical Committee’s draft recommendations is printed in the Department of State, Documents and State Papers, May 1949, pp. 763–771.
  6. The basis for this four-point proposal was a memorandum by Beam, January 25, not printed (862.515/1–2549). In telegram 353, January 29, from London, not printed, Holmes reported British and French approval of it. Robertson also regarded the proposal as an improved position. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–2949)