182. Message From the German State Secretary for Foreign, Defense, and German Policy (Bahr) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


The principle of unhindered and preferential traffic (access) should be a four-power principle in order to allow a basis for “appeal” in case of difficulties. The proposal for a statement of the three powers on Federal presence is acceptable on this condition. This should also come from analogous prefatory wording in both statements.

In connection with a Berlin agreement, please consider repeating the statement on the three guarantees (presence, access and viability), which is not, in fact, affected by the planned agreement.


Federal presence is part of the ties [Bindungen] between Berlin (West) and the FRG. That is why we need a positive paragraph in order that existing ties will be maintained and fully developed.

At this point, the Federal Government could not possibly suggest restrictions on the decision-making powers of the parliament and its parliamentary party groups. With an acceptable settlement on access and foreign representation it may be possible to agree on a formula for restrictions with the parliamentary party group chairmen, for instance: parliamentary bodies of the FRG will allow their meetings in Berlin (West) to be governed by the provisions of the treaty. Also the rule must apply to the Berlin agreement: everything is allowed that is not forbidden.

My remarks in this channel represent the view of the Chancellor.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 60, Country Files, Europe, Egon Bahr, Berlin File [3 of 3]. Top Secret. The message, translated from the original German by the editor, was sent through the special Navy channel in Frankfurt; the text responds to questions posed by Kissinger on February 12 (see Document 180 and footnotes thereto). A handwritten note indicates that the message was received in Washington on February 16 at 1115Z. For the German text, see also Dokumente zur Deutschlandpolitik, 1971–1972, Vol. I, pp. 92–93.