Publication: Western Daily Press

Full Citation

  • Title West Powers Demand 'lift Blockade Now'
  • Publication Title Western Daily Press
  • Collection Western Daily Press
  • Date Wednesday,  July 7, 1948
  • Volume 181
  • Issue Number 29818
  • Page Number 4
  • Place of Publication Yeovil, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library British Library
WEST POWERS DEMAND 'LIFT BLOCKADE NOW' TONE IS: 'UNTIL THEN, WIDER ISSUES WAIT' BRITAIN, the United States and France last evening despatched to the Soviet Union Notes of protest against continuance of the Russian blockade of Berlin's Western Sectors. They are in similar terms, the British protest being kanded to the Soviet Ambassador in London, at the Foreign Office by Mr Ernest Bevin, Foreign Secretary, and the others delivered through the Russian Ambassa- dors in Washington and Paris. It is emphasised that lifting of the blockade must be a prerequisite to any wider considerations of Four-Power control of Berlin under the terms of the Agreement made by the European Advisory Council in 1944, thus fore- stalling any suggestion which Moscow might make that the Foreign Ministers' Council should be reconvened to consider the situation. rpHREE leading members of the Socialist Democratic Party in West Germany, in London sivins tiieir views on the crisis to the British Labour Party and Foreign Office, met Mr Bevin and were assured that he would never abandon efforts to secure German unity, stressing that interim measures were designed to make this possible. It is assumed that the three Western Powers, maintaining that the blockade of road, rail and canal communications between Berlin and West Germany has been imposed for po-iticai and not technical reasons, have as'-ced in their Notes for immediate resumption of these facilities. The threat to the well-being of over 2,000.000 Germans has already been described as a Russian responsibility. Kommandatura? Th" Western Towers would desire to knew the Soviet attitude to the future of the Kommandatura —the F3ur-Power organisation responsible for the control of Berlin which the Russians unilaterally declared last week as having " ceased to exist/ Britain. U S. and France may also reiterate their willingness to permit the Soviet Mark to be the legal cur- rency in Berlin, provided always that currency matters in the Ger- man capital are under Four-Power control. During 10 days' consultations in London. France was understood to have urged a moderate line, but London sources had declared that the tone of the British and Ameri- can Notes, the text of which will be released later, was " stiff." The Soviet Ambassador, M. Alex- ander S. Fanvusskin, was called to the United States State Department yesterday to receive a demand from Secretary of State Mr George Mar- sha'.! for the lifting of the blockade While the Notes are under consideration in Moscow, and until a Soviet reply has been received, the R.A.F, will main- tain, and increase, the supply by air of toed and necessities to Beriiners. The air bridge operations sus- pended on Monday night, owing tc bad weather, were resumed yester- day in perfect flying weather.: • Pilots Praised General Sir Brian Robertson. British Military Governor, last night personally thanked R.A.F. pilots for a ' grand job.'' United States transport 'planes, probably Skymasters, will begin fly- in? to Berlin to-da^. Berlin City finance officials were called to Russian Head- quarters at Karlshorst and told that all municipal em- ployes, from the Mayer down, would get no wages ''until the political situation had been clarified.' Repa r work on the closed Magde- burg-Marienborn section of the Berlin Railway to the West ls over- hauling of a sort formerly done with- out interfering with traffic. About 1,000 people watched the ceremonial opening of a new American Radio Station in Berlin: Frau Louis Schroeder, Acting Lord Mayor, describing it as a "spiritual air-bridge between Berlin and the West, of human and political under- standing." The Americans are not taking un- usual precautionary measures in Berlin in connection with Paris reports that Communists are plan- ning street demonstrations. —Reuter and Associated Press.