740.00119 Control (German)/6–1249: Telegram

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


922. Largely because of stupid UGO union leadership and undisciplined functionary corps, execution of plan outlined mytel 918, June 11, repeated to Paris for USDel as 4021 to end Berlin railway strike has been delayed. Meeting of UGO railway union executive committee June 11 decided by majority to postpone acceptance of Howley proposal.

Lord Mayor Reuter and others then applied more pressure to UGO leaders. Union executive committee meeting at 9 a. m. June 12, after hearing Reuter speak, voted to accept proposal. It then asked stormy meeting of 600 union functionaries, which commenced at 10 a. m., also to accept it. Reuter spoke at this meeting also. Functionaries decided, with 60 votes against, to accept it. A member then introduced motion to put proposal to strikers in new referendum and Waldheim, who presided over meeting, took vote on motion without allowing leaders to recommend rejection. Motion was carried and referendum will be held.

One of union leaders consulted said question will be put to strikers in such form that acceptance is certainty. All union leaders will urge acceptance. Referendum will probably occur June 13.2

Sent Department 922; repeated Paris for USDel 404.

  1. Not printed; the plan called for the presentation of Howley’s proposals first to the executive committees of the railroad union and then to small meetings of union functionaries, leaving to the discretion of the union when it would announce the proposal and the expected acceptance (740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–1249).
  2. The referendum was held on June 14 and resulted in the rejection of the Howley proposals 12,626 to 2,085. Riddleberger felt that the reason for this overwhelming rejection was the denial in the Soviet-controlled media that any agreement had been made with the United States Military Government regarding the strike. (Telegram 934, June 14, from Berlin, not printed, 740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–1449)