740.00119 Council/5–2249: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Council of Foreign Ministers to the Acting Secretary of State

top secret

Delsec 1784. Personal for Webb from the Secretary. At our recent NSC meeting,1 there was a discussion of the question as to what we should do in the event the Russians reimpose the restrictions on Berlin traffic. At that time I expressed the view that three alternative courses of action would be open to us:

To revert to the airlift, thus reestablishing the status quo;
To use surface routes with the employment of whatever military means might be required; or
To probe the use of highway, rail and waterways for the purpose of ascertaining whether the Russians will use force to restrain our movements. That use of force if it occurs might be useful as a demonstration of Soviet intentions and in future treatment of this subject.

At the meeting Voorhees rather discarded (3) as impractical. It might be well, however, for me to examine such an eventuality as a method of testing out Soviet intentions. Will you please ask Voorhees to have a study made of alternative (3) as soon as convenient and let me know results.

  1. May 17. At this meeting the National Security Council discussed the United States position with respect to Germany and agreed that the Secretary of Defense in coordination with the Secretary of State would prepare a study of possible courses of action if no agreement were reached on Germany at the Council of Foreign Ministers and the Soviet Union subsequently reimposed the blockade of Berlin. (NSC Action 215b, 740.00119 Control (Germany)/5–2049)