740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–549: Telegram

The United States Expert at the Technical Committee on Berlin Currency and Trade ( Knapp ) to the Secretary of State

top secret   priority

130. From Knapp.

I. 1. Section II below gives text statement (unnecessary words omitted) presented committee by three western experts late yesterday following your telephone clearance. Committee promptly transmitted Malietin and received his reaction at previously scheduled evening session.

2. Before meeting with Malietin committee met briefly closed session and decided postpone until Monday final decision further procedure. Understand general attitude that time was favor [able?] winding up promptly with report President Security Council.

3. Apparently, however, Malietin staged virtuoso performance as “willing and aggrieved party” (see comments paragraph 5 mytel 111 repeated London 23, Paris 24, Berlin 281), accused Western powers seeking thwart full free discussion, and insisted he should be given further hearing. He minimized area disagreement between himself [Page 670] and committee, praised committee’s handiwork, and left impression he could be persuaded accept committee proposals virtually intact. Apparently he ignored “new look” of counter-proposal and simply reiterated it lay entirely outside committee’s terms reference. In Robertson’s phrase he left “not dry eye in house”.

4. Despite personal desires all involved windup promptly, Robertson believes committee members and secretariat (for somewhat different reasons) may now be reluctant do so lest incur Soviet criticism. Gifford and I have told Robertson we see no advantage giving Soviet further ground for complaint, but have recommended strongly that if committee decides continue Malietin hearings, it should set definite time limit of few days. In such case Gifford anxious Western experts have one more session for discussion trade proposals, which scarcely touched upon this week’s meetings. Robertson very dubious value such session, especially in view tripartite statement and I have simply expressed willingness conform committee’s desires.

5. Robertson now quite worried about tactical position Western powers. He still appears believe committee report will refrain any attribution onus failure, but feels excellent propaganda record being built up by Malietin. Both he and Gifford now express doubts wisdom our having taken such positive line. My feeling of course is we were put in hole from outset by character committee’s proposals and that Malietin’s present receptive attitude only confirms wisdom our rejection proposals outright rather than having to break on series individual small issues. Can only repeat you must expect no endorsement counter-proposal in committee report.

6. In view foregoing feel must remain here until committee reaches final decision on procedure and on whether hold one more session Western experts. Means deferring departure Paris until Monday or possibly Tuesday but do not propose alter plane reservation.


  • “1. From review committee’s preliminary draft proposals and after reexamination comments submitted thereon by Soviet expert and ourselves is clear us that very considerable area disagreement remains which seems scarcely possible reconcile basis committee’s draft. We also note much of difficulty arises because absence present time unified city administration Berlin.
  • 2. In our previous statements committee we have emphasized Western occupying powers anxious restore unified municipal administration add full effective quadripartite control Berlin at earliest opportunity. Our governments would therefore like regard any arrangements now made for administration currency trade split city as constituting only temporary modus vivendi which would lift blockade Berlin and open way broader negotiations directly among four powers with respect reunification Berlin and problems Germany as whole.
  • 3. We therefore urge committee give earnest consideration, in preparing report President Security Council to alternative suggestions [Page 671] put forward by US expert and previously commended attention committee by British French experts. We invite committee consider possibility offered by these suggestions of interim solution adapted present circumstances split city and affording provisional protection legitimate interests all four occupying powers. If reunification municipal administration Berlin can be achieved, our governments would then be prepared give renewed consideration committee’s preliminary draft proposals, with appropriate amendments, or to any alternative plans which may be developed for use single currency Berlin adapted to circumstances reunified city administration.”

Sent Department 130, repeated London 30, Paris 30, Berlin 33.

[ Knapp ]
  1. Not printed.