740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–449: Telegram

The Deputy Director of the Office of European Affairs ( Reber ) to the Secretary of State


494. From Reber.1

[In the first part of this telegram, which is printed on pages 8990, Reber reported the French position on tripartite conversations concerning Germany.]

When we turned to discussion of Berlin currency problem I asked when French would be ready to accept Western mark in Berlin, pointing out that it was clear neutral experts were going to, if they had not already, report failure. Couve admitted that no Security Council solution of Berlin currency seemed feasible and in fact he said recent exchange of telegrams between Kingsbury Smith and Stalin 2 left no doubt, even if any had ever existed, that Soviets had never been prepared to accept one. Important thing was that we should deal with UN commission in such a way as not to assume responsibility for its failure and he thought that this was now in hand. While evidencing no enthusiasm whatsoever for Western mark in Berlin, he nevertheless put forward as suggestion idea of third currency for Berlin which might be restricted in first instance to Western sectors, but which, if [Page 669] Soviet showed any subsequent desire to reach agreement, might provide eventual solution for whole of Berlin. I asked whether his experts would be prepared to discuss this subject immediately, to which he answered in affirmative, and I pointed out that it was essential that this matter be settled without further delay, not only because of economic deterioration in Berlin, but that a solution on our own initiative would strengthen our hand in subsequent dealings with Soviets. I offered no opinion whether third currency for Western sectors of Berlin would be feasible solution, but admitted however that our experts had had in mind for some time that something of sort might be eventual solution for all of Berlin. Important thing in my mind was action, and prompt action, since there was no longer any excuse for delay in view of situation in Geneva. Couve thought it might be useful, even if we did decide to go ahead with a Western currency solution, to allow technical discussions for an overall Berlin currency to continue in Geneva, thereby keeping alive Security Council phase.

[In the last section of this telegram, which is printed on page 27, Reber reported the French attitude toward the London discussions on the occupation statute for Germany and related topics.]

[ Reber ]
  1. Reber was in Paris to discuss the forthcoming negotiations on the Austrian Treaty. For documentation relating to these negotiations, see pp. 1066 ff.
  2. Regarding the Stalin-Kingsbury Smith exchange, see editorial note, p. 666.