Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Merchant) to the Secretary of State 1



  • Proposed Statement on Berlin by Allied Foreign Ministers in Paris.


In order to encourage and strengthen Berlin and to improve the relationships between the Allies and the Berlin authorities it is desirable for the Allies to formulate a new Declaration on Berlin. This Declaration would manifest the Allies’ intent to relax their exercise of authority over all matters except those of a military, security or emergency nature.

The old Declaration on Berlin,2 signed in Ma 1952 and intended to come into effect simultaneously with the West German Contractual Agreements, is outmoded. Authorities of both Berlin and the Federal Republic, have indicated a desire for a new Berlin control document. During the Allied negotiations with the Federal Republic concerning [Page 1391] implementation of the decisions of the London Conference,3 the German representatives requested on behalf of Berlin, tripartite assurance that the present document of control for Berlin would be revised and would come into force when the Conventions do. A further request was made that the Berlin authorities be consulted in revising the control document.

The UK and French representatives in Bonn indicated a willingness to have the subject discussed with Berlin authorities but were apparently not in a position to commit their Governments to a decision to revise the present control document. It is believed, however, that if approached at the governmental level the British and French would probably support such a decision, although the French may display some reluctance.

Although the Berlin Government favors Allied retention of supreme authority in the city, a liberalization of Allied–Berlin Government relationships and, where possible, more self-determination is desired While Berlin authorities realize that a new document of control cannot be negotiated on a contractual basis, they wish to be consulted concerning the formulation and operation of a new document. Attached (as Tab A4) is a more detailed discussion of the need for a new Declaration on Berlin and a liberalization of Allied–Berlin relationships.


That the three Allied Foreign Ministers issue in Paris a joint statement on Berlin which would

note their satisfaction with the cooperation between Allied and Berlin authorities,
declare their intention to bring about the greatest degree of selfgovernment in Berlin compatible with Berlin’s special situation,
instruct Allied representatives in Berlin to consult with the city’s authorities with a view to implementing jointly and to the fullest degree possible the foregoing principle.

Attached (as Tab B) is a copy of a suggested text of a communiqué on Berlin.

Tab B


Draft Tripartite Statement on Berlin

With respect to Berlin, in addition to the reaffirmation of Allied security guarantees for the city as indicated in the London communiqué of October 3, 1954, the Foreign Ministers of France, the United [Page 1392] Kingdom and the United States have noted with deep satisfaction the close and friendly cooperation between Allied and Berlin authorities. The Three Powers now declare their firm intention to bring about the greatest possible degree of self-government in Berlin compatible with Berlin’s special situation Accordingly, the three governments have instructed their representatives in Berlin to consult with the authorities of that city with a view to implementing jointly and to the fullest degree possible the foregoing principle.

  1. Drafted by Delmar R. Carlson. A handwritten notation in the margin of the source text reads as follows: “Sec saw and generally approved.” The notation, however does not bear a date. When Merchant’s memorandum was circulated to members of the U.S. Delegation to the Nine-Power Conference as document PMO R–11 of Oct. 16, 1954, the cover sheet indicated that the proposed statement had not been approved by the Secretary. Document PMO R–11 is in the Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 377.
  2. Documentation relating to the Tripartite Declaration on Berlin, including its text approved at Bonn on May 26, 1952, is presented in volume vii.
  3. The negotiations under reference presumably took place during the meetings of the Bonn Working Group on the Termination of the Occupation. For information concerning the Bonn Working Group, see the editorial note, p. 1385.
  4. Not printed.