177. Editorial Note

Shortly after 11 a.m. on February 17, Assistant Secretary of State Merchant briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the situation in Europe with particular attention to the Berlin question. After reviewing Secretary Dulles’ trip to London, Bonn, and Paris and stating that he was “entirely satisfied” with the results, Merchant explained the positions of the British, French, and West Germans on Berlin and described the meetings of the working group in Washington. Merchant stated further:

“The Secretary feels very strongly that if the Soviets are convinced of the firmness of the allied position to maintain its rights and position in Berlin, and access thereto, then there will not be a physical challenge on the part of the Soviets or the GDR to the exercise of those rights.”

For text of Merchant’s briefing and the questions and answers which followed, see U.S. Senate, Executive Sessions of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 1959, volume XI, pages 158–175.