740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–2149: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

top secret
us urgent

603.1 We are gratified Fr are demonstrating growing appreciation of necessity Western currency measure in Berlin Mar 10, which is all the more needed to protect Western sectors against increasing currency confusion (Paris tels 151 and 155 to London2). Our understanding is that Fr, while doubtful SC discussion can be avoided, will agree to Mar 10 changeover if SC takes no action on experts report and we trust they will cooperate with us and Brit in NY in our proposed procedure.

We learn that SC Pres will probably circulate report to other SC members middle this week and that Chinese Pres [Rep?] is looking to Western Dels for advice. Accordingly we propose instructing US Delegate in following sense: Together with Western colleagues he would approach present Pres as well as Cuban Rep, who will be next month’s Pres and tell them that in view failure full discussion of problem at Geneva to make any advance toward agreement, SC consideration of experts report would seem to us to serve no useful purpose. Western delegates would suggest SC Pres making public statement along following lines at agreed time:

“The President is making public the report of the comite of neutral experts established by the President of the Council, Mr. Bramuglia, on Nov 30, 1948, which with its annexes gives a full account of the work of the comite for the study of the Berlin currency and trade problems. Despite long and detailed discussions lasting several weeks, as the report indicates, the comite was unable to arrive at a solution of the problem acceptable to both sides. Accordingly there would appear [Page 680] to be no further contribution which the President’s committee of experts can make at this time. The Council remains seized of the Berlin matter, however, and the President of the Council as well as other members not directly involved in the dispute hold themselves ready to render such assistance to the parties as would be most helpful.”

As will be noted from above, we are coming to belief it will be impossible and also inadvisable to insist upon non-publication experts report. Consider that nothing would be lost and that in fact it would be advantageous to have report published simultaneously with announcement by SC Pres referred to above. Dept convinced leaks of parts of report unfavorable to West bound to occur which would be more damaging than publication complete report. Also due to pressure from press, non-publication will almost certainly insure bad reaction. Our main doubt on publication had been fear it would make SC meeting more probable. If Pres issues suggested statement believe this apprehension will be countered. It may be difficult enough to prevent SC meeting and Dept believes wiser course concentrate this objective. Dept sending you in separate cable draft statement it would propose to issue immediately following publication and announcement.3 Suggest Brit and Fr prepare similar releases.

In order to influence favorable reaction other neutrals, Western delegates would take Canadian Rep into their confidence by informing him that we would be forced shortly to withdraw legal tender status East zone mark in Western sectors because of confusion and disorganization caused by irrational currency situation. Canadian Rep would be informed of our view that this necessary step once taken would not preclude further SC consideration but was needed, failing likelihood early agreement, to even up position in Berlin. After adoption this measure, which cannot be justifiably delayed much longer, Western powers would consider possibilities further SC action for resolution Berlin problem.

We realize SC Pres may find it necessary consult Sovs before issuing public statement and that Sovs may regard themselves in favorable position to request or promote SC discussion expert report. Should Sovs make such attempt SC Pres might appropriately ask Sov Rep whether he now recognizes SC jurisdiction which hitherto Sovs have refused to do.

Pls endeavor to obtain Brit and Fr FonOff agreement to parallel line of procedure. We urge that they send full instrs their UN delegates so that coordination can be effected as soon as possible in NY.

For Paris: Pls take action required.

  1. Repeated to Paris as 543, Berlin as 217, and New York as 98.
  2. Telegram 151 same as 723, p. 678; telegram 155, not printed.
  3. Transmitted in telegram 617, February 23, to London, not printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–2349).