Publication: The Daily Telegraph

Full Citation

  • Title Blockade Talks: British Demand
  • Author By Our Diplomatic Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Daily Telegraph
  • Collection The Daily Telegraph
  • Date Monday,  May 2, 1949
  • Issue Number 29280
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The Telegraph Media Group
  • Copyright Statement © Telegraph Media Group Limited.
BLOCKADE TALKS: BRITISH DEMAND MEETINGS MUST BE ON FOUR-POWER BASIS REPLY FROM MOSCOW AWAITED M- MALIK RETICENT ABOUT ANGLO-FRENCH INCLUSION BE GUR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT The British Government has decided that the talks in New York between Dr. Jessup, United States Ambassador-at-large, and M. Malik, the Soviet representative at the United Nations, on the lifting of the Berlin blockade and a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, must now be a Four-Power basis. Instructions to this end were sent by the Foreign OfHce last night to Sir Alexander Cadogan, British permanent representative at the United Nations, and for the elucidation of several points which the bipartite conversations have not yet made clear. In consequence it. is hoped that there will be conversations among the representatives of Britain, the United States and France. It is thought that these talks should precede the desired Governmental discussions ' among Britain, the United States, France and Russia It is confirmed in London that M. Vyshinsky, Soviet Foreign Minister, has notified M. Malik of his approval of the conversations so far between M. Malik and Dr Jessup. He has also intimated officially that Russia will lift the Berlin blockade if the Western Powers end their counter-blockade and agree on a date for a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers. M. Malik has been exceedingly reticent when faced by any suggestion by Dr. Jessup that Britain and France should be brought into the discussions and that the discussions themselves should be on a higher level. At Friday's meeting with Dr. Jessup, M. Malik was specially asked for Soviet Government agreement that future talks on Berlin and the Council of Foreign Ministers must be among the Four Powers. It is presumed that he is seeking instructions from Moscow. BRITISH REQUEST Information on 3 Points Britain is anxious for clarification of three speciRc points. Information is being sought about the: 1-Restrictions it is proposed to lift ^ or to maintain. 2-Time-table for the lifting of the Berlin blockade and holding of the Council of Foreign Ministers. Q-Agenda for the Council of ** Foreign Ministers. Even assuming complete mutual goodwill in the discussions, it would not be possible to lift the Berlin blockade by the wave of a wand. Detailed examination of the considerable problems involved has Dot yet been begun; the task of defining what is meant by " lifting the blockade " has still to be faced. In discussions M. Malik, possibly in the absence of instructions, was somewhat vague about what restrictions it was proposed should be lifted and what retained. A much more detailed and prolonged examination of the problems is clearly necessary. This applies particularly to the devices which the Western Powers have adopted to protect the trade of the Western zones in Germany. MINISTERS' MEETING Russians Want Delay There is also much uncertainty about when a Council of Foreign Ministers is to be held, assuming there is agreement about lifting the Berlin blockade. Dr. Jessup is Mideistood to have suggested^ that the Council might meet m about the last week of this month. M. Malik, however, somewhat surprisingly, suggested that it should not meet Mull some weeks later. Britain is anxious that any Council of Foreign Ministers should not B}eet in late June, in view of the gcctions on July 15 for the new Western German Government. It is Possible that the Russians are deliberately delaying the holding of a Council to complicate the issue and Bewilder the German people. . If a Council cannot be held {airly soon, to enable it to complete its work some time before the German elections, Britain will insist that it be held after the new German tjoyernment has been elected. ^Regarding the agenda for any council of Foreign Ministers. Britain yiil not consider any Russian proposals to deflect the Western powers' plans for a Western German Government and will not allow the council to be used for mere Soviet Propaganda. DATE OF LIFTING Two or Three Weeks In short, discussions about the ^orhn blockade are considered in London as being " satisfactory as far ^ they have gone." The real work X? Mtoad and it will have to be done Four-Power basis. A here is no question of there being tnutual lifting of the Berlin Mockade " within a few days." stressed that, if all goes well. }he blockade might be lifted within uT or three weeks, but it is not even rio to assume at present that it will at alt. ftnere is little doubt that the Soviet ^yvernment is anxious to be relieved Pow * Pressure of the F o p b w in D pL,{he Western counter-blockade. It is inught, however, that this reason is Steely enough to warrant her lifther own blockade and that less ^hohs reasons must be sought, h t^yLplomatic question is: " What s behind the Russian move? " The yPfWer is not likeiv to be elucidated gryugh hasty action which may "ave to be regretted. F rench OptimismP8 F o th in o fr se P M st 1— 2— 3— v ti m R s l b R w M li A in b a a a o o n T M m f o a t a J t S t a t s f w c a y h w a a d o a a f b a