290. Message From the Ambassador to Germany (Rush) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

We had a long session with Falin last night but not much was accomplished. The principal issue was the problem concerning the use of FRG passports for West Berliners in Russia, and Falin was not in a position to give on this, while of course Bahr and I were adamant. We agreed that in the quadripartite agreement the provision concerning this issue would read that the passports would be only “for identification” which would, it would seem, take care of the problem of the issue of FRG citizenship. This issue, however, is one of Gromyko’s pet prejudices, and both he and Abrasimov have been completely unyielding, according to Falin. Falin said he would go to East Berlin and Moscow to see what could be done. If we stand firm, I feel we will get what we want.
The second issue that occupied most of our time was the question of who would negotiate the implementing agreement on access, with Falin standing firm that the Senat must be a party and sign the agreement or, in the alternative, that the Western powers do so for West Berlin, and that the FRG sign only for itself. Our position is that the FRG must have one signature only, both for itself and for West Berlin, or, as a concession, will sign once for itself and have a second signature for the Western sectors. This is an issue of real importance, for the negotiations will take place between the date of signing of the quadripartite agreement and the final signing of the quadripartite protocol, when the quadripartite agreement will be under the most severe scrutiny and criticism by those opposed to it. It would be extremely dangerous politically at a time like that to make any concessions with regard to the negotiating parties or the signature.
We did not go into the access problem very deeply, both because there was no time and because I want to be sure that we have an agreed upon position with regard to wording among the three powers and the FRG. This was being done last evening by the Bonn Group, and the text of what we plan to submit to Falin concerning the sole [Page 834] exceptions to the provisions of 2 A, B, and C of the access portion is the following as a new subparagraph D:

“D) The sole exceptions to the provisions of subparagraphs A, B, and C above are that:

Search or inspection of persons, luggage, vehicles, and freight conveyances may take place in those cases where there is substantial evidence of the presence of non-sporting weapons or munitions, illicit narcotics, other specifically prohibited items, or materials posing immediate danger to life or traffic safety; or of undeclared passengers. Through travelers may be detained on the designated routes only for serious crimes committed while actually on those routes. Only those persons may be excluded from travel on the ‘designated routes who are wanted by the authorities of the place of the offense for serious crimes committed on their territory.’”

We went through the results so far on the quadripartite agreement and the documents attached to it. Bahr is now in a position to take care of the issues in the Federal presence part (part II B and Annex II) so that the words “is not to be regarded as” and “have been suspended” can be deleted.
In a surprise turnaround, on the provision with regard to travel by West Berliners in East Berlin and the GDR (paragraph 2 (C), Annex III) Falin agreed that we can include the Teltow Canal in the following words:

“The western end of the Teltow Canal can be opened to navigation in accordance with pertinent regulations of the waterways of the Western sectors.”

The Berliners and the FRG feel very strongly about the opening of the Teltow Canal because of its value in communication, and this will be a real plus for them both psychologically and in substance.

We reviewed the strategy for Monday’s meeting, which I shall not go into in detail.
Bahr and I are having another meeting this afternoon and then we meet Falin at five o’clock, in hope that we can clear up practically all of the remaining issues.
We may have still another meeting with Falin tomorrow, and I have further meetings planned with Bahr, the other Ambassadors, and the like, so I will wait until Monday to send you another message covering anything of importance up to that time.

Warm regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 59, Country Files, Europe, Ambassador Rush, Berlin, Vol. 2. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The message was sent through the special Navy channel in Frankfurt. No time of transmission is on the message; a handwritten note indicates that it was received in Washington at 2330Z.