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

769. Eyes only Clay. In reply to your 1056,2 the President will want to have your promptest evaluation in any new situation arising in Berlin and your recommendations. Hence you should not hesitate use KY-9 phone to him or to me in such circumstances. President’s decisions would be made in light of circumstances and instructions issued to all those responsible for execution. Command and other channels are in high state of readiness for just such purpose.

Reference stories out of Berlin attributing to Soviet sources statement that US troop movements autobahn are provocative, we are taking line that these are routine and normal exercise long established rights to be in Berlin and have free access thereto. Since these rights are utterly fundamental to us and involve issue of war and peace, it is important that we not accept their infringement on the one hand and, on the other, that we ourselves not distort significance their normal exercise. We do not ourselves wish to lend credence to Soviet charges by building up exercise of routine rights as something special. President is concerned to avoid giving Soviets any opportunity to divide Allies by a plausible claim that trouble originated in a US provocation.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.0221/11-2461. Top Secret. Drafted and approved by Rusk and cleared by Kohler and the White House.
  2. In telegram 1056, November 24, Clay noted that his discussions in Washington at the time of Adenauer’s visit did not limit his authority to telephone directly to Washington if conditions in Berlin warranted it. (Ibid.)