University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

Statement by the Department of State, regarding the Soviet note on Berlin, November 27, 1958,   p. 332 PDF (405.1 KB)

Page 332

Statement by the Department of State, Regarding the Soviet Note
on Berlin, November 27, 1958'
The Soviet Government has today handed the United States Am-
bassador in Moscow a communication relating to Berlin. Appar-
ently similar notes have been received by the Ambassadors of France,
the United Kingdom, and the Federal Republic of Germany. The
communication is a very long one and will of course receive careful
The Soviets seem to be proposing that, while they keep their grip
on East Berlin, the three Western allies abandon their rights in West
Berlin and retire in favor of what is called a "free city." Their
city" proposal is limited to West Berlin. The Soviet Government in-
dicates that, unless the three Western allies accept this Soviet pro-
posal within 6 months, the Soviet Union will consider itself free of
its obligations to them in relation to Berlin.
It is clear that a number of fundamental considerations are raised
which will have to be kept in mind while we study the Soviet note.
One of these is that the United States, along with Britain and
France, is solemnly committed to the security of the Western sectors
of Berlin. Two and a quarter million West Berliners in reliance
thereon have convincingly and courageously demonstrated the good
fruits of freedom.
Another consideration is that the United States will not acquiesce
in a unilateral repudiation by the Soviet Union of its obligations and
responsibilities formally agreed upon with Britain, France, and the
United States in relation to Berlin. Neither will it enter into any
agreement with the Soviet Union which, whatever the form, would
have the end result of abandoning the people of West Berlin to
hostile domination.
The Western allies have for years sought to negotiate with the
Soviets for the freedom of all of Germany, of which Berlin is part,
on the basis of free elections by the German people themselves. In-
deed, the three Western powers are still awaiting a reply to their
latest proposals presented on September 30, 1958, to the Soviet
The United States Government will consult with the British and
French Governments as well as with the Federal Republic of Ger-
many and NATO in regard to the new Soviet note.
Statement by Secretary of State Dulles, Regarding the Soviet
Note on Berlin, November 30,1958 2
*        *       *        *       *        *       *
During the course of my stop-over at Augusta, I reported to the
President on the developing situation following the receipt on No-
vember 27 of the Soviet Union notes on Berlin. We noted the ex-
changes of views which had already taken place between the Western
1 The Soviet Note on Berlin: An Analygi8 (Department of State publication
6757), p. 49.
2 White House news release, November 30, 19,58. The statement was released
at Augusta,

Go up to Top of Page