740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–949: Telegram

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

secret

214. At their urgent request General Bapst and De Noblet of French military government called this afternoon to present a message from Koenig to following effect:

General Koenig wished to make a personal proposal that the three Western commanders-in-chief should make la joint démarche through their liaison officers at Bonn to inform parliamentary council that Western commanders would show a certain hesitation in approving a document which contemplated the transformation of Berlin into a Land. For his part General Koenig expressed view that moment was badly chosen for taking a position on this twelfth Land when Berlin was cut in two.

In conversation that followed, De Noblet indicated unmistakably that Koenig’s request had the full support of French Government1 which for reasons of a juridical character had grave doubts on the association of Berlin with the Western German government. He emphasized that the action contemplated at Bonn would undermine our rights in Berlin as set forth in quadripartite agreements. He furthermore was apprehensive at such an association because of the fears it might arouse of a revived Prussia with Berlin as the capital. Both Bapst and De Noblet concluded by reiterating that French Government attached greatest importance to this question and hoped that Clay would agree to make the démarche they proposed. They are approaching Robertson with the same proposal tonight. I told French representatives that I would pass their proposal to Clay at once, but it was my impression that he would prefer to consult his Government before agreeing to such a plan.

In discussing this proposal with General Clay tonight, he said that he would cable his recommendation to Army Department tomorrow. His recommendation will probably be to refuse the proposed démarche and not to take action on this question until entire constitution is reviewed by three military governors. Clay told me incidentally that in a conversation with Robertson today, prior to French proposal, that latter having just returned from London was not at all convinced that Germans should be bluntly told that Berlin could not be formally associated with the Western German government. Robertson was much [Page 194]more inclined to look for a way out, which could not be construed as a severe rebuff to the Berliners.

Redeptel 151, February 7,2 Clay cabled his views on this general question to Army (CC 7700, February 93).

Sent Department 214, repeated London 96, Paris 78.

Riddleberger
  1. In telegram 568, February 10, from Paris, not printed, Caffery confirmed that Koenig’s proposal had the full support of the French Government. The Foreign Ministry considered the status of Berlin a capital point which would probably be taken up at governmental level if Koenig’s démarche was unsuccessful. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–1049)
  2. Supra.
  3. Not found in Department of State files.