207. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State1

1469. Eyes only Ambassadors. At Kremlin reception last night just before concert began Gromyko told me rather casually that he did not plan to reply to Secretary's message on Berlin situation. He said situation in Berlin seemed to have calmed down and he had already made Soviet Govt's position clear in his earlier conversation with me2 and therefore thought matter could be considered as stand-off. I said I was astonished at this and pointed out that reason situation in Berlin was quiet was that we had stopped our civilians from going into East Berlin in order to allow period of calm in order to resolve problem. Gromyko then said our military had behaved very badly and that it had been extremely dangerous and provocative action for us to have brought up tanks and to have sent armed men into East Berlin. I pointed out that it was East Germans who had initiated affair and we could not be expected to let our position be eroded in this way. As concert began at this moment I concluded by saying I would inform Secretary of his statement.3

Thompson
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/11-861. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to London, Paris, Bonn, and Berlin.
  2. See Document 194.
  3. In telegram 978 Lightner commented that Gromyko's casual “brushoff” of the U.S. approach was intolerable. He suggested that the United States should demand a reply, and if no satisfactory reply was received, bar Soviet civilians from access into West Berlin. (Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/11-961)