740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–2249: Telegram

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


980. Following is text of letter to General Kvashnin, dated June 21 from the 3 Western Commandants of Berlin. This letter has not been released to the press and its release is not planned at the present time:

“Subject: Settlement of the Berlin Railway Strike

To: Major General P. Kvashnin, Technical Forces, Transportation Department, Soviet Military Administration of Germany.

We acknowledge receipt of your letters of the 20 June,1 addressed in similar terms to the 3 Western Commandants, and note with satisfaction that you again confirm that the Reichsbahndirektion will carry out all the conditions of the agreement as set out in General Howley’s letter to you of June 10.2
In particular, we note your reassurance that no reprisals whatsoever will be taken by the Reichsbahndirektion against strikers, irrespective of what trade union they may belong to, unless they had committed during the strike some criminal offence. In this connection, we assume that criminal actions which may be instituted against any persons will be dealt with in accordance with German law, that all trials will be public, and that the rights of the accused will be guaranteed.
We are now prepared to use our good offices towards the final settlement of the strike. In order to ensure that both the strikers and the general public are made aware that the terms of the settlement have been the subject of correspondence between us, we propose to publish the letters which have passed between us at 2100 hours today, 21 June, 1949.
Finally, in order to avoid a repetition of the unfortunate misrepresentations and distortions which occurred last week,3 we suggest that you, for your part, and we 3 commandants do our best to ensure that these terms for settlement of the strike are given fair and favourable treatment both in the press and over the radio in the immediate future.”

Signed General de Brigade J. Ganevel (French); Major General G. K. Bourne (British); Brigadier General Frank L. Howley (USA).

  1. Not printed, but see editorial note, supra.
  2. Transmitted in telegrams 914, June 10, p. 848.
  3. The reference here is to the denials in the Soviet-controlled news media of Berlin that any agreement had been made between the Soviet Military Administration and the United States Commandant regarding the Berlin railroad strike.