740.00119 Council/6–749: Telegram

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


Delsec 1859. For President and Acting Secretary. Eleventh meeting CFM.1 Bevin in chair continued discussion second agenda item on Berlin with 3 Western Ministers offering careful detailed criticism of long statement by Vishinsky, largely repeating all Soviet proposals and arguments submitted to 3 restricted meetings. No area of agreement reached in discussion which will continue in next meeting, 3 p. m. Wednesday.2

In reviewing proposal on elections for Berlin, Vishinsky said USSR cannot accept US proposal for quadripartite supervisory body with equal representation to each occupying power. Berlin now split into 2 parts, and each part should be given equal representation on supervisory body. Vishinsky also said US proposal did not go far enough in revising 1946 law and CFM should reach definite agreement on extending franchise and on allowing social organizations and trade unions to nominate candidates. Soviet delegate would accept revision of Article 36 of 1946 Constitution but not its deletion which would mean rejection of right of Kommandatura to review acts of Magistrat. Vishinsky also refused accept control mechanism based on Austrian agreement.3 Kommandatura should be responsible for coordination Allied measures and assuring life of city which concept underlay division of responsibilities set forth in Soviet proposal (Delsec 1853, June 34). Kommandatura could only operate in this manner on basis of unanimous decision all matters. US proposals on functions of Kommandatura could not be accepted.

Acheson, in reply, said we not willing go back to 1946 statute of Kommandatura because it did not work before and would not work [Page 963] now. We demanded realistic practicable control mechanism which would guarantee normal life in city. He asked Vishinsky whether it not true that under Soviet proposal any action by city Magistrat could be vetoed by any one member of Kommandatura. In effect, Acheson said Soviet proposal made everything but death subject to Kommandatura approval. US had proposed operating mechanism which had been successful in Austria and we believed principle involved could be applied Berlin. On election procedure, Acheson said he could not accept proposal which gave Kommandatura power to veto election results and could not accept Vishinsky parity formula which was not equitable on basis of population, of equality for sovereign states, or of vote at last election. Further we would insist according to our democratic principles that all candidates run on party platforms for which they stand. We did not object to having social organizations support duly-nominated party candidates.

Schuman said Soviet proposal open and deliberate effort go back to 1946 could be characterized by certain measure of contempt for all practicable experience of past. Western powers, on other hand, sought to enter new phase in which wider power and authority would be given to Germans. Analysis of Soviet proposal revealed no powers left to free decision of German authorities without possibility of intervention by Allies. Four powers can never go back to old basis if they truly desire establish sound and stable system.

Bevin stated that relative points of view now quite clear and there appeared to be fundamental divergence almost impossible to bridge. He amplified remarks previously made in opposition to Soviet electoral proposal, Kommandatura control over all civil personnel and Soviet one-man veto principle. Altogether, he said, this set up system which would make any progress impossible and suggested that as compromise CFM might consider holding Berlin elections and postponing final decision on Kommandatura and Magistrat. Vishinsky withheld further remarks until next meeting.

Sent Department 1859, repeated London 374, Berlin 226, Heidelberg 16, Moscow 119.

  1. The eleventh plenary meeting of the Council.
  2. At the Tripartite meeting of the Western Foreign Ministers before the meeting of the Council the Soviet proposal on the unification of Berlin (CFM/P/49/20, p. 1048) was examined and found unacceptable. A record of this meeting, not printed, is in the CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 140.
  3. The reference here is to the New Control Agreement for Austria, June 28, 1946.
  4. Not printed; for the text of the Soviet proposal (CFM/P/49/20), see p. 1048.