Publication: Western Daily Press

Full Citation

  • Title Soviet Says Blockade 'not Permanent'
  • Publication Title Western Daily Press
  • Collection Western Daily Press
  • Date Wednesday,  June 30, 1948
  • Volume 180
  • Issue Number 29812
  • Page Number 4
  • Place of Publication Yeovil, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library British Library
SOVIET SAYS BLOCKADE 'NOT PERMANENT' THOUGH GRIP IS FAST ON ELBE SHIPPING MARSHAL SOKOLOVSKY, Soviet Military Gover- nor in Germany, last night told his British counterpart. General Sir Brian Robertson, that Russian traffic restrictions on Berlin were " not of a permanent nature." ■ The General was meeting with five other British and American Forces and political chiefs for a special " siege conference " to discuss the Soviet blockade of the German capital — a crisis he described as grave for the whole world. This warning was re-echoed by Berlin City Assembly when they approved a "last resort" appeal to the United Nations to settle the four-Power crisis and foster agreement. Latest Soviet action was yesterday's halting of River Elbe shipping, including transit craft to Czechoslovakia. rjiHE British, French and Ameri- can Military- Governors are meeting German officials to-day at Frankfurt to discuss laying the groundwork for establishing a Federal West German Government. In London yesterday, Mr Bevin discussed the crisis with Mr Lewis Doutfas. U.S. Ambassador. Russian officials informed Ger- man police at the British—Soviet Zonal border at Helmstedt that they were prepared to open the boundary to-day for Germans ••travelling in both directions, pro- vided they had proper inter-Zonal passes. Rail communications are still cut. The Allied chiefs met after in Berlin, General Sir Brian Robert- son had flown to Berlin from Ham burg at the suggestion of his American counterpart, General Lucius D. Clay. Surprise — Or Gloom? Berlin Assembly's appeal was issued against a vote of the Soviet- sponsored Socialist Unity Party. It was introduced by Or Ferni- nand Friedensburg, Christian- Democratic Deputy Mayor, who said: "I discussed our plight with the Russians, but regret that unless there is a last-minute sur- prise I can see no way out of the gloomy future which awaits us." " Soon, without coal imports, electricity, gas, water supply and the sewage system will break down. " We have greeted with satisfac- tion the decision of the Western Allies to bring in food by air. This, however, will only meet the* needs of a fraction of the population." Two thousand delegates of the Berlin Independent Trade Union Opposition (U.G.0.) last night attempted to stage an anti-Com- munist demonstration outside the Soviet - controlled Berlin Radio Station in the British Sector of the city. German police dispersed them. All yesterday Allied 'planes took food and other vital supplies into the Western Sectors of the capital for the 2.000,000 people cut off since the " currency war" began last week. Soviet Retort Eighty-five had landed at Tempel- hof Airport by last night, including the first four C 54 Skymaster cargo carriers flown over specially from the United States to help in the air- bridge operation. A Soviet retort is: " If the Ameri- can. British and French Occupation Authorities are really concerned about Berlin's population, all they have to do is to drop their separate currency measures in the city, and all those difficulties which have arisen as a result of their illegal action will be removed." The U.S State Department de- clared that it did not consider the time ripe at present for United Nations action. Berlin City Administration accused Russia of aggravating the dispute, and forecast that a worsen- ing of the situation will mean "complete physical extermination" of 2,100,000 Berliners.—Reuter and Associated Press.