740.00119 Control (Germany)/5–2549: Telegram

The Acting United States Political Adviser for Germany (Riddleberger) to the Acting Secretary of State

top secret

819. ReDeptel 612, May 24,1 your paragraph 1.


OMGUS agrees unrestricted access as original position with minimum position 24 trains from West zones to Berlin. This figure some what larger than pre-blockade normal traffic, since 20–21 daily average given you included passenger as well as freight. We would normally expect run only five passenger trains which, under your demand, would leave 19 freight trains each carrying 800 tons, or total of 15,200 tons daily. This tonnage, added to very considerable IWT potential for coal and other bulky cargoes, and 1000/2000 tons daily by road, would meet any prospective tonnage demands of Western sectors.

Capacity of Helmstedt route is reduced by amount of outbound traffic over single track, plus amount of intra-Soviet Zone traffic. Since last two are variables, impossible gauge actual potential of Helmstedt but would be inclined rate it at not more than 20–21. Therefore believe we should insist upon access via Gerstungen, Probstzella, Buchen and Oebisfelde.

Detailed inspection of rail and water freight could be carried to extreme of forcing unloading of cargoes to see if anything hidden underneath. OMGUS considers that Soviet Zone interest should properly be limited to ensuring that goods do in fact transit the zone and are not unloaded there. Sealing wagons and holds accomplishes this. But it is not feasible to seal many of the trucks and trailers, therefore Soviet Zone entitled to check contents to prevent smuggling.

We, of course, prefer use Western locomotives and crews and agree this position. Since it is contrary to normal international usage, we had felt it was weak point to insist upon. If we take this attitude [Page 799] we should also obtain right to control shuntage and distribution of cars in West sectors, and recommend you so amend our rail point 13.

ACA directive 43, as amended by directive 49,2 is now being generally observed by Soviets. It provides that interzonal passes issued to Germans by commander of zone in which he resides will permit free passage into any other zone. This is same arrangement as you propose.

Do not consider idea of joint agreement of Soviet and Western power border control officials on rejection of traffic is likely to get far, and recommend against asking for it. No matter what the border inspection setup, all OMGUS points under heading “documentation” are essential and should suffice to cover considerations raised by Deptel.
Your wording preferable. We used “normally” because we could not imagine sovereign power abdicating its right to call for emergency inspection of suspicious vehicles, shipments or persons in its territory. We doubt you can get your stipulation, but it isn’t so outrageous as make it inadvisable to try.

Repeated Paris 325 for USDel.

  1. Supra.
  2. For the texts of Directives 43 (October 30, 1946) and 49 (April 23, 1947), see the Official Gazette of the Control Council for Germany, October 31, 1946, pp. 215–220, and May 31, 1947, p. 274.