26. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State0

2603. Paris for Embassy and USRO. Responsible American journalist says he talked with three representatives Soviet Embassy including Fedorov (TASS representative) at Polish reception November 11. He got impression all were well briefed on line to follow about Khrushchev speech on German question. All “talked tough”. When asked if Soviets intended to surrender control of communications to West Berlin to GDR they replied logical to assume so. When journalist asserted Western rights not dependent upon Potsdam, Fedorov said this was a quibble, West had violated Potsdam and so far as Soviets concerned it is non-existent. When journalist said Berlin especially sensitive subject in US and Khrushchev therefore creating a dangerous situation Fedorov replied “if there is going to be a war we had better have it now and get it over with”.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/11–1253. Secret. Repeated to Paris, Bonn, and Moscow.