740.00119 Control (Germany)/3–2549

Memorandum by the Secretary of the Army (Royall) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret

Memorandum to the Secretary of State

Through: the Secretary of Defense

It seems to me highly important to make a definite decision as to what action should be taken in Berlin and that this decision should be made at the time the German Government is formed. Without change [Page 709] one way or the other, our present situation will tend to become more and more ridiculous.

The expense of the airlift, its adverse effect upon the transport reserve of the Air Force, and the danger of incidents arising there-from are arguments in favor of withdrawing from Berlin with an announcement that, the Western German Government having been completed and a capital therefor established, Berlin has no other significance to Western Germany. If we decide to withdraw from Berlin, we should offer asylum in the Western Zone to any Berliners in the Western Sectors who desire it.

On the other side is the familiar argument that a withdrawal from Berlin may affect our international prestige and create uncertainty and fear in European nations. If we are to remain in Berlin, consideration should be given to establishing a land route thereto even at the risk of an untoward incident.

Kenneth C. Royall
  1. Attached to the source text were a memorandum from Murphy to Webb and Acheson and a letter of transmittal from Robert Blum in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, neither printed. Blum’s letter requested that the source text be shown to Acheson, while Murphy’s memorandum, initialed by both Webb and Acheson, suggested that the decision on Berlin be considered after the outcome of the JessupMalik conversations had become known. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/3–2549)