740.00119 Council/5–2649: Telegram

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

top secret

Delsec 1796. For discussion with British and French we have been considering basis of a possible proposal for the administrative reunification of Berlin under a modus vivendi with Soviets (see pertinent portions tripartite delegation report to the US, UK and French Foreign Ministers1). Following are our draft recommendations:

  • “1. The Western powers should endeavor to obtain Soviet agreement to the holding of free city wide elections under four power control on the basis of the electoral procedure employed in October 1946.2
  • 2. It should be agreed that the Government to be chosen by these new elections should be a provisional government operating on the basis of the temporary constitution of August 1946.3 It is essential that all four powers agree to the suspension of article 36 of the temporary constitution and further agree to the system of controls provided for in the ‘little occupation statute,’4 amended, however, to preclude the provision in paragraph 5 that any amendment to the temporary constitution or any new constitution or legislation in the reserved fields will require the express (unanimous) approval of the allied Kommandatura.
  • 3. The tripartite agreement as to controls over Berlin5 accompanying the ‘little occupation statute’ should be amended for four power application to exclude the appeals provision making possible indefinite suspension of Kommandatura action in the event of no agreement between the occupying powers. Should any of the other governments suggest it, consideration might be given to permitting appeals to a permanent or semi-permanent coordinating body for all of Germany established in Berlin, provided such appeals, whatever action was taken upon them, would only suspend Kommandatura decisions for not more than a period of 30 days.
  • 4. The German city administration should be authorized to draft a permanent-constitution for Berlin, employing either the draft of the permanent constitution submitted to the allied Kommandatura in 1948,6 amending it, or submitting such new proposals as they deem necessary. Approval of the permanent constitution by the Kommandatura would take place by majority vote.”

Urgently request your views as well as those of Clay and McCloy, if obtainable. With reference to article 18, sub paragraph 4 of Berlin temporary constitution,7 would like your comments on possible amendment to state that resolution be forwarded to allied Kommandatura instead of sector military commandant.

Sent to Berlin for Riddleberger Eyes Only, repeated to the Department.

  1. Not printed; the Report to the Foreign Ministers on the Tripartite Conversations Preliminary to the Sixth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers is in CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 140.
  2. In the 1946 election any political party recognized in one sector of Berlin was free to campaign in all the sectors of the city.
  3. For the text of the August 1946 temporary constitution for Berlin, see Plischke, Berlin, pp. 215–229.
  4. The reference here is to the Occupation Statute for Berlin (Statement of Principles Governing the Relationship Between the Allied Kommandatura and Greater Berlin), May 14, 1949. For the text of the Statute, see Germany 1947–1949, pp. 324–326.
  5. Ante, p. 183.
  6. Not printed.
  7. This subparagraph read: “Upon a two-thirds vote of the total membership of the Bezirksverordnetenversammlung, a resolution may be forwarded to the Military Commandant of the Sector requesting dismissal of the Bezirksamt and stating that the Bezirksamt must resign immediately.” (Plischke, opcit., p. 224.)