152. Editorial Note

Following receipt of telegram 3221 ( supra ), the Department of State agreed to the dispatch of identic tripartite notes to the Soviet Government. Coordination was handled by the High Commissioners at Bonn, and the draft text was presented to Chancellor Adenauer for his approval. The note was then transmitted to Moscow for delivery on April 30.

Shortly before the note was to be delivered, the Soviet High Commissioner replied to the April 15 letter from the three Western High Commissioners. Pushkin stated that the question of tolls lay completely within the competence of the German Democratic Republic, but agreed to a meeting of the four High Commissioners if the Western powers still felt it desirable. Pushkin’s reply forestalled delivery of the note in Moscow, and the United States, the United Kingdom, and France decided to continue protesting at the High Commissioner level. In similar replies, dated May 2, they stated that they could not accept this Soviet position and proposed May 7 for [Page 367] the quadripartite meeting. After further discussion, the date for the meeting was set for May 20.

Documentation relating to the drafting of both Western notes, including their texts, is in Department of State, Central Files 762.0221 and 962A.7162B. For texts of Pushkin’s note and the Western reply, see Department of State Bulletin, May 23, 1955, page 834. For a report on the meeting of the four High Commissioners on May 20, see Document 158.