740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–449: Telegram

The Deputy Director of the Office of European Affairs (Reber) to the Secretary of State


494. From Reber.1 At his request I called on Couve de Murville last night for a general discussion concerning Germany which lasted more than one hour. He expressed hope it might be possible some time in relatively near future to arrange at ministerial level for a general discussion of principal outstanding points still at issue between US, UK and France with respect to Germany. Although he recognized it was very difficult at such a meeting to reach decisions involving general policy, consideration must at least be given to policy matters if we are to know where three of us are going. He hoped it might be possible to arrange this meeting concurrently with signature of Atlantic Pact.

In his opinion it would be important for three countries to exchange views whether it is in our interest to maintain division of Germany or whether, if Soviets should lift blockade, we should really work for unified Germany involving general elections, establishment of a central government in Berlin and early withdrawal of occupation forces. His own government had not yet reached any decision in this respect but realized we might all be placed in embarrassing situation if Soviets should make sudden move looking toward this solution.

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It is over question of political significance of Berlin that he felt many of our difficulties had arisen. In his view Berlin had become political symbol in Germany, symbol of resistance to Communism which we all could applaud, but which at same time presented definite risks insofar as central organization of Germany is concerned. Question to be put to us by Germans at Bonn with respect to acceptance of Berlin as twelfth land raises this issue immediately. He said, as we undoubtedly knew, French Government felt this request should be rejected on grounds that Berlin was separated from and could not be made integral part of West Germany. I pointed out we were giving Germans certain freedom in establishing their own government and if we imposed objections at every turn they would consider our promises in this connection quite unreal and it would be difficult to refuse completely to recognize Western orientation of Berlin which had taken place largely because of our efforts and in our support. Whether it was necessary that Berlin representatives should be entitled to participate on basis of full equality as representing another land was, however, matter for further examination and I had no comments to make on this point.

. . . . . . .

[In the last two parts of this telegram, which are printed on pages 2728, and 668669, Reber reported on the Berlin situation and the French attitude on the London discussions.]

  1. Reber was in Paris to discuss the forthcoming negotiations on the Austrian Treaty. For documentation relating to these negotiations, see pp. 1066 ff.