307 Joint Communication by Evatt and Lie

, [PARIS, 13 November 1948]

Sir, we have the honour to address this communication to the Chairman of the Delegations of the powers signatory to the Moscow Agreements of 24 December 1945 and to request that it be transmitted to the respective chiefs of Government for their urgent consideration. On Wednesday November 3, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations sitting in plenary session at Paris unanimously adopted an appeal to the Great Powers to renew their efforts to compose their differences and establish a lasting peace. In this resolution the General Assembly declared that the disagreement between the Great Powers in a matter of vital importance to all the United Nations is at the present time the cause of the deepest anxiety among all the peoples of the world and that the United Nations in the performance of its most sacred mission is bound to afford its assistance and co-operation in the settlement of a situation, the continuation of which involves grave dangers for international peace.

The resolution then recommends the powers signatory to the Moscow Agreement of 24 December 1945 and the powers which subsequently acceded thereto to redouble their efforts in a spirit of solidarity and mutual understanding to secure in the briefest possible time the final settlement of the war and the conclusion of all the peace settlements.

The representatives of all the powers signatory to the Moscow Agreements spoke in unqualified support of this resolution and voted for it. They have accepted the recommendation and the world rightly expects them to take active steps toward carrying it out without delay.

We believe the first step is to resolve the Berlin question. This case is still pending before the Security Council. We believe the history of the Security Council's consideration of this case demonstrates that it can be solved. Every day that the deadlock over Berlin continues the danger to the peace and security of all nations continues undiminished. Fear of another war is crippling the effort of all nations to repair the damage of the last war and return once more to the ways of peace. The work of the General Assembly and of the United Nations as a whole in every field of its endeavour is being delayed and undermined.

It is within the power of the leaders of the great nations to which this communication is addressed to end this danger to the peace. We therefore respectfully urge upon the governments of France, the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics, the United Kingdom and the United States signatories to the Moscow Declaration, the desirability of immediate conversations and of taking all other necessary steps toward the solution of the Berlin question thus opening the way to a prompt resumption of negotiations for the conclusion of the remaining peace settlements for Germany, Austria and Japan. We also believe the Great Powers should lend their full and active support to the efforts at mediation of the Berlin dispute by the President of the Security Council. For ourselves we stand ready to lend all further assistance such as the currency study now being made by the Secretary-General as may seem most helpful to the Great Powers in the solution of the problem.

We await an early reply to this communication in order that the members of the United Nations now assembled here in Paris may be informed of the progress in the implementation of the General Assembly's unanimous appeal to the Great Powers to renew their efforts to compose their differences and establish a lasting peace.[1]

[1] The Soviet reply, dated 16 November 1948, pointed out that the Soviet government had already agreed to the settlement of the Berlin question in accordance with the agreement reached by the four powers on 30 August 1948 (see Document 301, paragraph 10 and note thereto). It had, at the time, also proposed to convene the Council of Foreign Ministers to consider the questions of Berlin and Germany as a whole.

The replies of the British, French and United States governments (dated respectively 16, 17, 17 November 1948) all noted that the matter was still on the agenda of the Security Council and argued that this body should seek a solution. The US and British governments said they would agree to direct discussions as soon as the blockade was lifted.

[AA : A1838, 854/10/21, I]