51. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Diplomatic Missions 1

2115. Paris deliver Finletter by 8:00 am, June 29. Following guidance for use in replying to Allied Governmental inquiries which may arise from Newsweek story (Depcirtel 2105)2 detailing alleged JCS recommendation [Page 160] for possible military action in connection Berlin and similar press stories this subject:

The current situation with respect to Berlin is giving rise to a great many highly speculative press stories largely inaccurate.
It is an obvious responsibility of military staffs to work continuously on plans covering a broad range of possibilities. This is true with respect to a number of potentially critical areas including but not limited to Berlin.
Foregoing does not alter fact that such plans either individually or in combination are implemented only as a result of a political decision which would of course be made only in full consultation with our Allies.
Four power talks on Berlin are continuing in Washington and largely deal with tactical aspects of planning. Reports to the full NAC will be made whenever appropriate. Meanwhile any NATO member is free to put forward suggestions for consideration by the four governments.
Meanwhile we do not plan take any of the actions listed in the Newsweek story at this time.

Same line except para 4 above may also be taken with friendly press on background basis.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/6-2861. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Lehmann on June 27; cleared by Kohler, Hillenbrand, Tubby, and Fessenden; and approved by Rusk. Sent to 17 missions in Europe and Canada.
  2. Circular telegram 2105, June 27, reported that the July 3 issue of Newsweek would have a lead story on Berlin including a section on Department of Defense planning. After outlining the story, telegram 2105 noted that guidance for discussing the story would follow. (Ibid., 762.00/6-2761)