290 High Commission in London to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 2430, LONDON, 21 July 1948, 6.35 p.m.


Your telegram 2662.

[matter omitted]

3. Generally it seems that while airlift is maintaining food supplies there is cumulative displacement of people from regular employment. Effect of Soviet offer of food and coal cannot yet be seen from here. It may show some sensitivity to world opinion. There is no diminution of airlift.

4. Soviet authorities seem certain to insist on some quid pro quo for lifting of blockade. It seems to me United Kingdom will accept four power talks provided they do not appear to be a complete surrender to Soviet point of view.

5. There is no evidence that alternatives to some such compromise have been seriously considered but opposition to reference to United Nations organs is strong except as a last resort. Clearly an early solution is wanted and it is not thought this can be secured in the United Nations.

6. Though readiness for four power talks (or resumption of meetings of C.F.M.[1]) is apparent Western powers seem determined (i) to stay in Berlin and (ii) not to undertake such talks until blockade is removed at least to some extent.

[1] Council of Foreign Ministers.

[AA : A1838, 29/2/2/4/1, I]