Department of Defense Files

The United States Delegation at the Council of Foreign Ministers to the Department of the Army

top secret

CFM 24. For Voorhees from Dorr and Magruder. Difficult situation developed here yesterday with tripartite direction to UK, French and US in Berlin “that Soviets should be informed that signatures to trade agreement conditional upon a satisfactory statement in writing from the Soviets regarding traffic including licenses.”

We felt that this so broad that would throw whole negotiations of a new access Berlin agreement into Berlin with danger that it might narrow our ultimate rights or precipitate a holding up on present transport arrangements pending working out of such a formal agreement both as to traffic and trade.

We transmitted this to Hays with request as to his opinion as to advisability and probable results, and received violent reaction we expected. Hays feels that we will need in the future heavier shipments into Berlin than before the blockade, that therefore the restoration of the pre-blockade traffic movement in terms of tonnage would be inadequate but that we should devote our efforts to the establishment of the broad principles of our rights of access. As result after conference American delegation were able to send following which now cleared with British and French:

“In light of your comment, Secretary of State agreeable your proceeding substantially as you had already planned should indicate to the Soviets that effort we are making to get interzonal trade going again are necessarily dependent on reciprocal approach on the part of Soviets to Berlin transport and trade problems.”

Hays by telephone says this is very satisfactory.