197. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission at Berlin1

620. Paris pass USRO, Stoessel, McGuire. Berlin for Clay. JCS communicating with Norstad along following lines re Friedrichstrasse situation:2

[Page 545]
Probes to date have accomplished their purpose.
Further probes by U.S. personnel wearing civilian clothes and riding in official U.S. vehicles or privately owned vehicles bearing plates of U.S. Armed Forces and using armed guards or military escort will be deferred.
U.S. civilian officials will for the time being refrain from going into East Berlin except that one civilian official will attempt daily to enter East Berlin in a privately owned vehicle without armed escort.
All U.S. military personnel entering East Berlin will wear uniform.

Publicly we are taking position that armed probes by US personnel at Friedrichstrasse crossing point into East Berlin have now demonstrated a) direct Soviet responsibility for unilateral action taken by Communists and b) our unwillingness recognize East German authorities with respect to US official civilian personnel. For time being nothing further can be done on spot since matter has now moved to highest governmental levels. Instructions have been issued to defer any further civilian probes with armed escorts into East Berlin. Normal flow of uniformed military traffic into East Berlin will of course continue.

FYI. Propose send communication soonest from Secretary to Gromyko raising question serious effect Soviet and GDR unilateral action on whole basis for negotiation.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 862.181/10-2761. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Hillenbrand, cleared in substance by Rusk, and approved and initialed by Kohler. Repeated to Moscow, Bonn, London, and Paris.
  2. The decisions were transmitted to Norstad in JCS 2026 at 9:25 p.m. on October 27. They had been taken at a meeting at the White House at 5 p.m. attended by the President, Secretaries Rusk and McNamara, Bundy, Kohler, Hillenbrand, Attorney General Kennedy, Nitze, and Lemnitzer. Lemnitzer’s 2 pages of notes on this meeting are in the National Defense University, Lemnitzer Papers, Box 29. Following the meeting at the White House Kohler briefed Grewe, Alphand, and Hood. Memoranda of these conversations are in Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/10-2761.