195. Telegram From the Mission at Berlin to the Department of State 1

856. Bonn for Ambassador Dowling. From Clay to Rusk. While situation is tense it looks to me as if it could continue this way for a good may days without any significant change as our confrontation today was [with] Soviet tanks manned by Soviet troops. In view of present circumstances, in telephone conversation with the White House,2 we are to refrain from further probes until Monday reporting back prior to probing and during the same period will send only uniformed Americans into East Berlin. Our troops are on a partial alert although all of us are confident that we are just in a new phase of the war of nerves, and ours are in good shape.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.0221/10-2761. Top Secret; Niact; Eyes Only. Received at 5:23 p.m. and repeated to Bonn.
  2. At 11:55 a.m. (Washington time) Clay had called the President to discuss the situation at Friedrichstrasse. No record of this telephone conversation has been found, but in an Emergency telegram to Norstad an hour later, Watson stated that Clay had told the President that he would allow no more Americans in civilian clothing to enter East Berlin until he had reported back and that he would make no probes before October 30. (Telegram 97455; Eisenhower Library, Norstad Papers, Policy File, Berlin-Live Oak, 1961)