762B.02/11–1952: Circular airgram

No. 705
The Acting Secretary of State to All Diplomatic Offices1


In view of the renewed efforts of the USSR and its satellites in recent months to obtain international recognition for the Soviet Zone of Germany, including membership in various international organizations, and the attempts by the GDR (German Democratic Republic) itself to make recognition a condition precedent to various types of bi-lateral negotiations, the Department wishes to emphasize its position on these questions.

Circular Airgram despatched February 10, 1950, 12:45 P.M.2 contained the text of a position paper adopted by the Brussels Pact Powers and the United States on the problems of recognition, de jure or de facto, of the so-called German Democratic Republic. Most of the OEEC countries and some other Powers have since associated themselves with this position.

The United States Government continues to oppose the recognition of the so-called German Democratic Republic, de jure or de facto, and desires to encourage a similar attitude in other states not under Soviet domination.

[Page 1571]

In the event that the issue of recognition of the GDR should arise, the Officer-in-Charge is requested, at his discretion, to remind the government to which he is accredited that the Government of the United States, in conjunction with a number of other governments of the free world, considers that the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany is the only freely and legitimately constituted Government in Germany, and consequently is the only government qualified to speak for the German people in international affairs. This Government would be deeply disturbed if any government not under Communist domination were to recognize the so-called GDR or to vote to extend it membership in any international organization. In the past, however, the Department, in the interests of harmony, has in a few instances accepted without objection, the granting of ad hoc observer status in some technical organizations, to representatives of the Soviet Zone of Occupation of Germany. The Soviet Zone of Occupation as opposed to the so-called GDR, is an entity recognized by this Government in various international agreements.

The above is not intended as an instruction for a démarche to any government at this time. It seeks rather to advise all missions that United States policy on this issue has not changed. And it also is intended to alert missions to the possibility of renewed activity by the Soviet bloc to obtain implied or direct recognition for the so-called GDR. In the event the government of the country concerned appears to be giving consideration to such action or is considering the question of GDR membership in some international organization, the Officer-in-Charge may, at his discretion, make appropriate representations.

This Airgram is being sent to Iron Curtain and Brussels Pact countries for information only.

  1. Drafted by Blumberg and cleared with Williamson.
  2. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iv, p. 942.