862.00/1–2649: Telegram

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


133. Since my A–12 January 5,1 there have been further developments re Berlin’s status in future Federal German Republic. US-licensed Tagesspiegel of January 22 quotes Jakob Kaiser, Berlin’s CDU representative at Bonn, as reporting agreement between SPD and CDU/CSU on full and equal Berlin representation and suggesting possibility Berlin having status of Twelfth Land in Republic. Article 45 of basic law as approved in second reading by main committee merely gives Berlin right to send deputies to Bundestag and Bundesrat.

In view growing German, and particularly Berlin, interest in this question and tendency by political parties in Bonn and Berlin to commit themselves publicly on it, I believe Tripartite Military Government [Page 189] attitude should be established without delay. Failure to do so will merely increase German resentment if subsequently Military Governors countermand German decision granting Berlin representation. Another strong reason for prompt decision is necessity for studying complex relationship which would result from incorporation Berlin in Western German State, such as status under Occupation Statute, type of Military Government control, jurisdiction of Military Security Board, etc. These aspects have so far only been studied in very general terms and we doubt that Germans have considered in detail the many ramifications of their proposal.

Prior to tripartite consideration of such problems an agreed policy decision must be reached by three Military Governors. General Koenig has already stated that French Government opposes political affiliation Berlin to Western Germany. British and US positions are not yet formulated but British Political Division has referred problem to London. General British view here appears to favor Berlin representation in Bundestag and Bundesrat but with recognition that Berlin’s situation raises numerous problems regarding Occupation Statute, Military Government control and relationship of Berlin city government to federal and Laender governments in West which cannot be met by simple incorporation Berlin on same basis as Western Laender.

In view high importance placed on representation Berlin in Western German Government by Western-oriented political parties here and apparently now in Bonn as well, I feel our position should be to concede Parliamentary Council right to decide this question independently although with full recognition of and warning to German authorities of problems involved in such relationship and necessity for working out satisfactory solutions. Cumulative effect on German official and public opinion of Ruhr Statute and Military Security Board Directive,2 coupled with inevitable reaction which will follow announcement of Occupation Statute terms,3 should be considered in this connection. I believe that nullification of a free German decision regarding Berlin would not only have unfortunate political effects here but would also add further support to the increasingly expressed German view that US policy in Germany is coming to be shaped by desire to meet French views.4

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I would appreciate Department’s views.

Sent Department 133, repeated London as 63, Paris 53, pouched Moscow.

  1. Not printed; it reported that the new Berlin SPD party program demanded voting representation for Berlin in the organs of the future Western German government. Further indications of the importance which the Berlin public attached to this question was the seconding of these views by the CDU official organ, Der Tag, on January 4. (862.00/1–549)
  2. For documentation on the establishment of the International Authority for the Ruhr and the Military Security Board, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. ii, chapter ii, parts b and d .
  3. For documentation on the London negotiations concerning the occupation statute for Germany, see pp. 1 ff.
  4. At this point in the outgoing copy of this telegram in the Berlin post file, Murphy had crossed out the following: “more than by consideration of German or even general European interests. On positive side I feel that number of political benefits would flow from decision to give Germans free hand in this problem subject to qualifications mentioned above.”