762.0221/5–2252: Telegram

No. 147
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Department of State1

secret

3001. Re urtel sent Bonn 3091,2 ref is made our 2803.3 Sovs must now consider signatures of EDC and Ger contractuals unavoidable. They will probably shape and time their tactics to create maximum interference with ratification. We therefore expect scare campaign to parallel diplomatic exchanges with systematic attempt to wear down West nerves, using flexible tactics of tightening and relaxing pressures, even culminating possibly with full-fledged war scare when agreements will come up for ratification. Border incidents, plane incidents and troops concentrations or maneuvers may be part of game. Berlin can be expected to become object of special pressures with intent legally and factually to establish Sov controls over access and economy of West Berlin. This may lead up to Sov announcement that ratification will end Potsdam agreement and thereby void legal basis of West rights and special Berlin position. We may also expect partial or temporary closing of Sov Zone border with FedRep tightening of border controls, including those on West Berlin traffic, a purge of GDR state machinery cause of [Page 346]which attributed to sabotage activities of warmongering West, possible proclamation of GDR sovereignty and probable estab of a Sov Zone “national” army.

We estimate developments in Sov Zone itself not likely to produce strong impact on West Ger opinion or endanger ratification of contractuals. Commie countermeasures including new pressures on Berlin may be expected to produce in FedRep realization of dependency on West rather than wavering in determination to go thru with West alignment. However, sitn may grow difficult if such events and pressures should be tied into genuine war scare, raising fears of imminent invasion, occupation and devastation. It is hard to forecast how Ger public or parliamentary opinion wld stand up if such threat should become imminent reality in Ger mind. In West Berlin on other hand it appears public opinion is more concerned about our resolution to stand up and maintain position of city against renewed Sov pressure than about danger of war. Evidence of West weakness or yielding in Berlin may also tend to undermine West Ger confidence in our dependability and make ratification more difficult and less secure.

In shaping our polit and psychological treatment of sitn fol points should be kept in mind:

A.
In addition to policy statements we should consider use of police or milit measures in attempt to deter Sovs from actions which may produce real war scare in Ger and other West Eur countries. Such measures should not take place in Berlin but rather in area in which we have upper hand. We are thinking of such measures as dispatch of planes to Mediterranean, flights from Alaska to Iceland, or naval maneuvers at significant spots, to underline fact that struggle is global. We should aim such activities at making point that:
(1)
We will not be impressed by scare campaign any more than we were by campaign of empty offers and proposals;
(2)
We will show this with acts as well as words;
(3)
We have means to demonstrate such determination in areas of our choice.
B.
We should, thru psychological approach, attempt to preclude Eur fears that Sov threats may be real and actually spell war; and
C.
Demonstrate our own confidence in success of our policy and our determination not to give in to Sov threats and pressures. In particular, we favor fol psychological approach:
a.
Treat Sov and Commie threats or measures calmly in perspective. Avoid concentrating our propaganda fire on their threats and actions, for to do so wld highlight Sov scare tactics. Rather, create impression that these actions had to be expected and will be taken in stride as an expression of bad humor on part of a frustrated aggressor, and are definitely of secondary [Page 347]importance to West determination to insure security and well-being of democratic world.
b.
Expose Sov motive as one of deflecting West from its course thru attempt to create fear, confusion and hesitancy. Treat scare campaign as just another part of familiar Sov propaganda maneuvers along with unsubstantiated offers of negots and other insincere approaches.
c.
Use Commie threats of civil war and actions against civilian population of West Berlin briefly but succinctly to debunk Commie phraseology and expose Commie unscrupulousness and disregard for interest and well-being of Ger people. Note measures tightening Commie controls in Sov Zone and on zonal border to highlight obvious insincerity of East demands for Ger unity. Remark that in light of these and other facts, security and hope for unity cannot be based on Sov or Commie promises but must be sought in creation of a firmly integrated community with the West.
d.
Make clear our determination to stand on our rights in Berlin and to safeguard our posit and the West Berlin population. We should be prepared to answer immed and strongly any Sov pronouncement reflecting on these rights or on special status of the city. Berliners should be told that their exposed posit, which is well-known to them, may involve another period of strains, but that we shall stand with them as we have in past. We have protected them once and will do it again.
e.
State that threats to create an army in Sov Zone constitute no real change in a sign which Sovs have long created. In organizing and equipping mil units of the “peoples police”, Commies have maintained core of an army while not a Ger corporals guard exists in FedRep. It is armament of Sovs and their satellites against which West powers have to create security in joint defense. Remark that a gen draft placing armies in hands of average citizen may be dangerous game for imposed Commie dictatorship in Sov Zone.
f.
We should not discuss dangers of war unless Sov threats or gen fear in West countries should result in major public opinion problem. Individual Sov moves should not be discussed in this light even with intent to deny existence of such danger. In case of growing public speculation on warlike Sov intentions, we should ridicule alleged Commie fears of aggression from Atlantic Def Community which combine many free, independent and democratic nations; imply that Sov statements and gestures are based on obviously propagandistic pretense and must be considered to be of equally propagandistic character; that Commies resort to aggressive methods where they expect to find weakness and wavering but will hardly court destruction to satisfy self-invented concept of their own propaganda.
g.
We should use West answer to USSR of 13 May4 to emphasize that West is showing road to a settlement in Ger and peace in Eur based on unity with freedom. This road is open to Sovs whenever they will see fit to discard their disruptive tactics [Page 348]in favor of more constructive policy. Immunity on part of free nations to Sov threats and maneuvers, and their determination jointly to protect their security paves way to achievement of peace in Eur.

These suggestions are designed to fill in during present interim period. Probability increasing that next few months will witness Sov moves which will require thorough reassessment of our Berlin and Ger unity policies as basis for effective counteraction. These problems now under active consideration here.

McCloy
  1. Repeated to Berlin, London, Paris, and Moscow.
  2. Telegram 3091 asked for HICOG’s appreciation of forthcoming Soviet tactics and their impact in the Federal Republic and Berlin. (662A.00/4–2852)
  3. Document 145.
  4. Document 101.