740.00119 Control (Germany)/4–3049: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

top secret
no distribution in department

1476.1 For Ambassador and Holmes Eyes Only.

[The first paragraph of the cable reported on Jessup’s talk with Malik, April 29, and repeated the text of Malik’s draft communiqué printed supra.]

[Page 745]

In our opinion most difficult question at moment is reconciliation of British view with that of French and US concerning lifting restrictions. Cadogan reports Bevin strongly supporting Robertson’s view from Berlin that Military Governors must work out detailed agreement covering rights in the air, on canals, etc., before blockade is lifted. Bevin cites formula of Moscow August 30 directive2 as precedent. We consider this most unhappy precedent. We and French much prefer broad reference lifting restrictions, providing sufficient interval before CFM to test sincerity of Russian intentions. Preliminary indication Clay’s view leads us believe he agrees this approach but we are confirming with him and will ask him to discuss with Robertson. We are favorably disposed toward Chauvel’s suggestion yesterday that two dates might be used;3 one two weeks in advance of CFM for initial lifting of restrictions and one a week later for completion of lifting. We strongly hope Bevin will agree with our view that it would be most unfortunate to get bogged down in technical details.

Concerning date for CFM, despite reasonable argument advanced by Malik for June date it seems clear Russians are seeking to delay CFM so that it will still be in session when we are ready to establish Western German Government. We feel strongly we should not fall for these tactics and still prefer May 23 as target date although we might compromise on May 30. From communication just left with Jessup by British Embassy4 we are glad to note Bevin fully agrees with this general line.

Bevin has indicated objection to mentioning Berlin currency question as included on agenda. We agree entirely that in further four-party conversation with Malik we must emphasize that general description of agenda in communiqué does not affect order of discussion of topics at CFM. In statement read Malik April 5 which was cleared by Secretary, Bevin and Schuman we described the meeting of the CFM as being one to discuss “matters arising out of the situation in Berlin and matters affecting Germany as a whole”. We consider Malik’s formula quoted above in paragraph two of his text as being better. This formula is very similar to Bevin’s suggested in foregoing communication from British Embassy. However, if we suggested Bevin’s formula, “all questions relating to Berlin” we would have to admit to Malik that this included currency and would find it difficult to argue why we should not expressly say so. We would prefer following formula “questions relating to Germany and problems arising out of the situation in Berlin including the question of currency”.

[Page 746]

Cadogan has already made clear to Bevin that both we and French prefer not include Austria on advance agenda although recognizing that Ministers could bring it in during course CFM if desired and undoubtedly would do so if favorable progress made on Germany.

Repeating to you telegram to USUN NY for communication to Cadogan and Chauvel giving details our proposals next steps.5

  1. Repeated to Paris as 1392, Moscow as 282, and Berlin as 490.
  2. Under reference here is the August 30 directive, to the Military Governors in Berlin, printed in Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. ii, p. 1086.
  3. See footnote 7 to the memorandum of conversation by Jessup, April 29, supra.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Telegram 238 (to London as 1477), April 30, to New York, not printed, proposed that Jessup write an informal note to Malik stating that he had informed the British and French of the Soviet proposal and agreed to Paris as the setting for the Council of Foreign Ministers but suggested May 23 for its opening and May 9 for the lifting of the restrictions which had been imposed since March 28, 1948. The informal note would also contain a draft four-power communiqué. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/4–3049)