18. Telegram From the Embassy in Germany to the Department of State 0

534. Repeated information USAREUR 144 for USPolAd by other means. Reference Berlin’s telegram 175 to Department.1 Question Soviet insistence inspection military convoys and trucks on autobahn discussed tripartite meeting this morning.

Wilkinson, British Political Counselor, said British feel unless we prepared submit Soviet inspection procedures we will probably be blockading ourselves in Berlin and in effect helping Soviets accomplish purpose obstructing our access Berlin. British, he added, inclined view Soviet insistence inspection as administrative matter and one which we probably will have to accept. [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]

We said we considered inspection question political matter not merely administrative problem and not prepared yield Soviet inspection demand. By conceding this Soviet demand we would be jeopardizing position in Berlin.

French Political Counselor supported our view. He argued that if we yielded Soviet inspection demands re closed trucks, we would immediately be confronted with Soviet insistence inspection trains and that if we kept yielding on these questions we would soon find ourselves backed up against wall. It was one thing he said compromise on questions of administrative detail but important that we take strong stand matters principle, e.g. inspection. British Counselor said he would like additional time reflect on matter and suggested later meeting on subject.

Re publicity inspection problem, however it tripartitely agreed preferable avoid publicizing matter as long as situation remained fluid and there was possibility further discussions with Soviets.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.0221/9–358. Confidential Repeated to Berlin, Paris, Moscow, and Heidelberg.
  2. Telegram 175, August 26, reported on a meeting of the Political Advisers on August 22 at which the British had proposed sending a letter to Zakharov that would point up the inaccuracy of the Soviet claim that the Western powers had agreed to inspection, and that further discussion of the question should be referred to Bonn. (ibid., 762.0221/8–2658)