265. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission at Berlin1
912. Eyes only for Clay from Secretary. No other distribution. Reurtel 1322.2 I am glad you reported your reactions to Stockwell’s approach in Paris because this gives me an opportunity to make a few points clear as seen from Washington:
- To begin with you can be absolutely certain that British observations of this nature are completely without influence on our evaluation of officers like General Watson or anyone else connected with Berlin Mission. We base our judgments of personnel on appropriate qualified American sources including yourself. I have talked with Secretary McNamara and this goes for Defense as well as State.
- I do want to say however that it was Stoessel’s duty to report information of this kind coming to his attention since it obviously has considerable bearing on problem of our relationship with British. We have noted that British have taken considerable pains both during Home’s visit to Berlin3 and in Bonn to deny that any rift exists. However Stockwell’s report makes it seem clear that despite these denials British officials in field have actually reported to London highly critical views. While we see no profit in disclosing this knowledge on our part either in Berlin or Bonn, probability that such critical reports have been sent is pertinent to general problem of trying to bring British along on the whole range of Berlin preparations and contingency planning.
- I have not repeated your cable to Norstad but am sending him by pouch a copy of your telegram together with copy of this reply. I cannot [Page 756] of course speak for him but my own impression is that his remarks were addressed not to an evaluation of Watson but to an understanding of Stockwell’s concern in the light of reports which appeared to be reaching Stockwell from British sources in Germany. We’ll undoubtedly be getting his comments.
- We have not had in Washington any approaches from the UK that reflect Stockwell’s line. At Bermuda4 Lord Home asked me whether I was personally in touch with the situation in Berlin and cited the amount of military traffic on the Autobahn as an example. I told him that I was following it very closely indeed. His only remark was, “Well I just wanted to be sure that you are keeping an eye on it personally.” My guess is he had been receiving local British reports but wanted to satisfy himself that the situation on the spot was being handled in terms of governmental policy. He did not offer objections.