151. Telegram From the Office of the High Commissioner for Germany to the Department of State1

3221. I am disturbed by indication in Deptel to Bonn 29272 that Dept may be disinclined send tripartite note to Moscow on GDR road tolls or at least defer delivery until “all other efforts on local level Germany unproductive.”

I believe most important single factor in our solution this problem, or larger ones which may arise from it, will be degree of cooperation which we can achieve with our Allies and particularly with FedRep. Thus far FedRep has shown excellent cooperation and even initiative in taking IZT measures to exert economic pressure on Sov Zone although these measures involve some sacrifice for FedRep and although some quarters FedRep have serious doubts about their efficacy. At same time FedRep authorities have tended to see this problem as primarily Allied responsibility in terms free access to Berlin and have expected us to move vigorously and are pressing us for note to Moscow soonest. Chanc (ourtel 3200),3 Blankenhorn (ourtel 3148),4 and Westrick (ourtel 3110),5 have stated this view.

If we for our part fail to take whatever action we can to help, which at present time FedRep envisages as inter-governmental note to Moscow, there is strong reason to believe that FedRep will soon lose its taste for continuing hard line in resisting GDR moves and we might then find ourselves in situation which would be most difficult to retrieve.

Moreover, our fears that GDR harassment of Berlin may not be confined to road tolls have been strengthened by recent actions such [Page 366] as truck and scrap confiscations (Berlin’s 674 to Dept)6 and we are thereby further convinced of need for Moscow approach as part of our efforts to check this trend.

Should Treuhandstelle meeting today prove unproductive, I am certain Chanc will expect us to raise this issue at Moscow level without delay, especially since time is rapidly approaching when IZT measures will reach maximum impact (ourtel 3188).7 I would therefore hope Dept could authorize us to inform British and French here that Washington favors despatch of note in ourtel 31258 soonest on that assumption.

In addition, believe Dept should give accelerated consideration to trade measures to be taken by US and other countries as follow-up to delivery of note.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.0221/4–2655. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Berlin and Moscow.
  2. Not printed. (Ibid., 762.0221/4–2555)
  3. Supra.
  4. Telegram 3148 reported on a meeting of the Deputy High Commissioners with Blankenhorn on April 21. (Department of State, Central Files, 962A.7162B/4–2155)
  5. Telegram 3110 reported on a meeting with Westrick on April 19. (Ibid., 962A.7162B/4–2055)
  6. Not printed. (Ibid., 762.0221/4–12555)
  7. Telegram 3188 reported on a meeting between Allied officials and representatives of the Federal Republic on April 23, at which the latter described the interzonal trade situation and noted that the impact of West German measures would peak in about 10 days. (Ibid., 962A.7162B/4–2455)
  8. Telegram 3125 reported that the Deputy High Commissioners had met on April 20 and transmitted the draft of a note to Moscow demanding that the Soviet Union live up to previous agreements on Berlin. (Ibid., 962A.7162B/4–2055)