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

1636. Paris for USCINCEUR, Thurston and Finn. Your 1417; Berlin’s 603 sent Bonn 526.1 Department’s initial comments follow: Western [Page 742] Military Liaison Missions apparently faced with another “Heads they win, tails we lose” situation. Soviets may have decided they can do without their Missions in Federal Republic, relying on military attachés. In final analysis USAREUR must decide how essential continuation of USMLM is to accomplishment its mission; [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]. If US (and British and French) decide they can do without these Missions and, if effort through approach to Soviets unsuccessful in obtaining more acceptable form of pass, we prepared to see their withdrawal and to request Soviets withdraw their Missions to Allied Headquarters in Federal Republic accompanied by vigorous protest at violation Huebner-Malinin Agreement. Appropriate public statement should probably follow such decision.

If US, British and French Headquarters not prepared to see Missions withdrawn at once, consequences of their continuation must be studied carefully. While we may be able to live with and teams be able to function on basis new documentation, we must face fact that so doing erodes our position and in long run probably merely postpones final decision.2

If USAREUR asserts USMLM essential we would favor initial tripartite communication to Soviets questioning change in form and wording of permanent passes. If, as is likely, Soviets refuse to alter form or wording of new passes and we have decided continuation Liaison Missions essential, we should probably send tripartite communication to Soviets along following lines:

“Certain changes have been made in the form and wording of the passes issued to USMLM. My Government wishes to make clear that acceptance and use of passes in this altered form by members of its Military Liaison Mission does not constitute any change in its position respecting the so-called German Democratic Republic. My Government, as before, continues to look to the USSR for fulfillment of the provisions of the Huebner-Malinin Agreement of April 5, 1957.”

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.0221/2–160. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by McFarland; cleared with Hillenbrand, SOV, L/EUR, and the Department of Defense; and approved by Kohler. Repeated to Berlin USAREUR, Heidelberg, London, Paris, and Moscow.
  2. Telegram 603 from Berlin, February 1, reported that new passes had been issued for the Western Military Liaison Missions effective February 15, which incorporated registration of the passes with the German Democratic Republic. (Ibid., 762.0221/1–3060) Telegram 1417 from Bonn, January 30, reported that the question of the new passes would be discussed at a tripartite meeting in Bonn on February 2. (Ibid., 762.0221/2–160)

    On February 2, Herter showed the President a copy of telegram 1636 and discussed with him the problem raised by the new language. (Ibid., Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199)

  3. At the tripartite meeting on February 2, both the U.S. and French representatives stated that acceptance of the change of language in the new passes might be interpreted as de facto recognition of the German Democratic Republic, [text not declassified] (Telegram 1431 from Bonn, February 2; ibid., 762.0221/2–260)