46. Notes of the Secretary’s Staff Meeting0


[Here follow paragraphs 1–17 on unrelated subjects.]

Berlin Situation

18. The Secretary welcomed Ambassador Burgess to the meeting.

The Ambassador reported that yesterday’s meeting of the North Atlantic Council had indicated keen interest in the Berlin situation and a desire by all members for full consultation.1 The Germans had been given a pretty good working-over on their draft reply to the Soviet note of September 18.2

The Secretary said that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been concerned by General Norstad’s recommendation for direct action to keep open the land routes to Berlin.3 Ambassador Burgess thought that Norstad had moved too quickly, but stated that Soviet probing would probably soon bring us to a position where we would have to decide how firm to be. The Secretary declared that we must be firm but we should try to carry the British, French and German Governments with us.

  1. Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Staff Meetings: Lot 63 D 75. Secret.
  2. See Document 43.
  3. For texts of these two notes, see Moskau Bonn, pp. 432–434 and 459.
  4. Presumably this was discussed at the meeting referred to by Dulles in his telephone conversation with McElroy on November 17; see Document 44.