740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–1549: Telegram

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


241. Lord Mayor Ernst Renter reported to special session Berlin City Assembly February 14 on his recent trip to London and Paris. He said his meetings with Bevin, Schuman and other officials were in nature of “conversations” not of “negotiations,” and that they were first time that German spokesman had opportunity submit directly ideas of Berliners to leaders foreign governments.

In London, he was agreeably surprised that officials with whom he talked had detailed knowledge Berlin’s problems; he departed with conviction “that we were in full accord on all important matters.” Both Bevin and London Lord Mayor accepted his invitation to visit Berlin.

Reuter stated three main problems he discussed in London were:

Airlift: “I am authorized to say it is intention English Government to do everything to strengthen airlift in order that Berlin can continue its fight under all conditions.” Bevin assured him 8,000 tons daily could be reached.
Currency question: In both British and French [capitals] he had received impression that problem West Berlin currency would soon be resolved in manner corresponding Berliners’ wishes.1
Berlin’s legal and constitutional position: He had pointed out that with dissolving of Prussia, Berlin had been placed in “impossible legal position,” but not guaranteed that German demands (i.e., include Berlin as 12th Land in West German state) would be immediately fulfilled; however, he was convinced that Allies would be eventually constrained accede these demands.

Schuman told him in course their 90-minute talk (with François-Poncet present) that French would review question of Berlin’s relation to West in light of Renter’s exposition present situation. Schuman declared French Government favored restoration German unity and added basis for any settlement Berlin problem was restoration city’s communications with West Germany. He himself was always ready to listen to Berliners’ viewpoint and would send his special deputy, François-Poncet, to Berlin to prepare personal report for him.

Reuter said he regarded his invitation to Paris as most significant fact of trip “for an understanding between France and Germany is essential problem of whole European division and recovery therefrom.” French Government desires this understanding as much as we [Page 199] do, he asserted. —“That is most valuable result and most valuable knowledge I have brought from Paris.”

Both Foreign Ministers impressed upon Reuter significance they attach to “European consolidation,” to which he believed his trip may have made “small and modest contribution.” He returned “full of hope and confidence” since “slight differences between our interpretations and those of Western Powers have diminished.”

Reuter told us that Schuman had not closed door on inclusion Berlin in West German state but gave impression that French might favor a gradual approach, instead of immediate inclusion. We are inclined to belief that Reuter’s trip will have little concrete effect upon British and particularly French policies regarding Berlin but that its chief result can be measured in terms of good will it created.

British Political Division has informed us that Bevin trip Berlin will not be immediate future.

Sent Department 241; repeated London 112, Paris 94.

  1. For documentation relating to the conversion of currency in the Western sectors of Berlin, see pp. 643 ff.