Publication: Dundee Courier

Full Citation

  • Title Berlin Tension Grows As Russia Delays Reply
  • Publication Title Dundee Courier
  • Collection Dundee Courier
  • Date Monday,  July 12, 1948
  • Issue Number 29674
  • Page Number 3
  • Place of Publication Dundee, Scotland
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library British Library
BERLIN TENSION GROWS AS RUSSIA DELAYS REPLY SOVIET STORY OF URGENT REPAIRS ON RAILWAY Tension over the Berlin blockade has increased. This follows the British and U.S. refusal to accept the new and obstructive restrictions imposed by the Russians on road travel between Berlin and the west and Russian complaints that air safety regulations have been violated by aircraft carrying food to the Berliners. General Sir Brian Robertson, British Military Governor in Germany, landed at Northolt Aerodrome last night during a heavy rainstorm, having flown over a day earlier than originally planned. He will see Mr Bevin at the Foreign Office to-day. He will also see Sir William Strang, Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign Office German Section. SOVIET EXCUSES. The Soviet reply to last week's British, American, and French protest Notes is still awaited. In the meantime the Russians are keeping the door ajar—but only just—by maintain- ing that the blockade is due to technical causes. The fact remains that since the protests were sent nearly a week ago the blockade has been tightened rather than relaxed. GERMANS SACKED. Two German railway officials have been dismissed and a third reprimanded for allow- ing the Berlin-Helmstedt railway to deteriorate, the Soviet News Bureau in Germany announced. The line —the only rail link between the German capital and the western zones—was closed by Russian order on June 24. It is being repaired as quickly as possible, an official of the Soviet-controlled railway administration announced. All available personnel had been put to work on the line. Special squads of railway construction workers had been ordered to help. An official said the chief reason for the General Robertson Flies To See Bevin closing of the line was that " a large number of sleepers were in very bad condition, due to too much traffic on the single-line track.' Many sleepers had started to rot and had to be replaced. He could not say when repairs would be completed. AIR MINISTER'S VISIT. Mr Arthur Henderson, Air Minister, flew to Berlin yesterday to see how the air lift is working. To-day he will watch the un- loading of aircraft. Mr Lewis Douglas, U.S. Ambassador to Britain, also flew to Berlin to discuss the situation with General Lucius D. Clay, U.S. military governor. Mr Anthony Eden is expected _ to make a brief visit to Germany soon. It is possible he will travel with General Robertson, who will return to-morrow. General Robertson will see Sir _ Percy Hollis, chief staff officer to the Ministry of Defence, before he goes back. Problems of defence in Western Europe will figure prominently in the discussions in which Mr Bevin will be engaged a week hence, when he goes to The Hague to meet the Foreign Ministers of the Western Union countries. DAY'S FLIGHTS. In the 24 hours to 6 p.m. yesterday, 157 British aircraft flew supplies to Gatow Air- field. American aircraft flew 1038 tons of cargo from Frankfurt and Wiesbaden in the 24 hours ending 4 p.m. SOKOLOVSKY TO GET NEW JOB —Berlin Report. Marshal Sokolovsky. Soviet commander in Germany, will shortly take up a high military command in Russia, Germans in close touch with Soviet headquarters reported. Sokolovsky, who flew to Moscow on Thurs- day for taiks on the Western Notes, is expected to return to the German capital to-day. No date has been fixed for him to leave Germany, but it is expected he will remain in command in Berlin until the crisis has been resolved. The reports emphasised that Sokolovsky had not fallen into disgrace, and that his new command would be a promotion. 20,000 Cheer Anti-Soviet Speech Professor Ernst Reuter, Social Demo- cratic leader, declared yesterday, " We shall put a brake to Russian ambitions in Berlin with our bodies, even if we are destroyed in ti)e act." Professor Reuter was elected Lord Mayor of Berlin in 1946. but the Russians did not confirm his appointment. Addressing a Socialist meeting in the American zone, he asserted " the Russian Collosus " would be halted. " The methods which the Russians are using in Berlin to-day are only an improved version of the methods which the Nazis used for 12 years. " For the past three years the Western Allies have made retreat after retreat in Germany, but finally they have had enough. Behind the Notes they have sent to Moscow stands the determination to force a decision in their favour. " The whole technical strength of the Western World will be concentrated on Berlin. Moscow understands language like this." His speech was interrupted for more than five minutes while the crowd of 20.0C0 cheered. A speaker of the Communist-dominated Socialist Unity party who attempted to address the meeting was forced to leave the platform. He was howled down with shouts of " Murderer," and " You are killing freedom." BRITISH FAMILIES NOT QUITTING The British military government vigorously denied a report circulated bv Soviet- controlled radio that British families were to be evacuated immediately from Berlin. _ The denial was broadcast from radio stations in the western sectors. The British statement said families on leave in Britain were and some British school children were joining their parents in Berlin for the holidays. AUSTRALIA APPROVES, SAYS CHIFLEY Mr Chifley, Australian Prime Minister, made a one-day visit to Berlin yesterday in Mr Attlee's Transport Command York. He said —" There is no auestion but that my Government fully approves _ the stand being made by the Western Allies and all that that entails. " In my talks with the Berlin citv leaders I told them I admired their courage in the stand they are making under the Russian threats." Asked if Australia might supply a token force of aircraft to help in the air lift, he replied "We are most anxious to help in any way we can, but tne number of our air- craft is limited. I shall, however, discuss this with the responsible Minister when 1 get back to Australia." During his brief stay in the blockaded capital Mr Chifley met General Clay, Mr Lewis Douglas, Major-General Neville Brownjohn, and Major-General R. J. Noiret, British and French deputy _ military Favernors, and British, American, and rench military government officials. He had tea with Frau Louise Schroeder, Berlin's acting Lord May dr. and other city officials. He also visited the headquarters of the Independent Trades Union Organise tion, where he met union leaders. BRIGHTER^DAYS IN BIZONIA Currency reform has put Germany's two main cities on opposite ends of an economic see-saw. As isolated West Berlin sinks to new austerity, Frankfurt rises to bright lights and well-filled shops. While Berliners tighten their belts —often by candlelight—the people of Frankfurt are revelling in the unaccustomed luxury of picking and choosing in shops. Lines of highly polished pre-war taxis, have appeared, running at pre-war fares. The windows of wireless shops are- crowded with post-war models. Frankfurters make out shopping lists which three months ago would have been unthinkable. Tinned foods, vegetables, cherrio'S, and tomatoes are on unrestricted sale in the shops, and coffee will soon b® available. v BRITAIN WON'T * SACRIFICE HONOUR —Mr Ede. Mr Chuter Ede, Home Secretary, told a British Legion meeting in South fc melds, "There is one price we are not prepared to pay for peace. It is the loss of our honour." Failure to appreciate this was a mistake which the Kaiser made and Hitler repeated Mr Ede hoped no one would make the same mistake again. " No sensible person in the world wants war. But we have to be very careful that when people start calling each other's bluff we don't get landed in what nobody wants."