In the Shadow of Back-Channels: Britain and the Berlin Four Power Talks, 1968–1971

In the Shadow of Back-Channels: Britain and the Berlin Four Power Talks, 1968–1971 In May 1967, Abba Eban, Israel’s foreign minister, visited Washington. Israel was on the brink of the Third Arab–Israeli War, and Eban’s mission was to secure U.S. support for Israel in the coming war. Before coming to Washington, he had met with President Charles de Gaulle in Paris, who, fearing that the conflict might start World War III, proposed to Eban the idea of convening talks among “the four great powers” to prevent the war. When Eban explained de Gaulle’s proposal, President Lyndon B. Johnson irritably retorted, “What did he mean by ‘the four great powers’? Who the hell are the other two?”1 Britain was one of “the other two” both in this episode and in the Four Power system (with the United States, France, and the Soviet Union) established for Germany and Berlin after World War II. In the historiography of Ostpolitik and the birth of the Berlin Quadripartite Agreement of 1971, however, historians have treated Britain much like Johnson did. In 2009, Carole Fink and Bernd Schaefer published a collection of essays on European and global responses to Ostpolitik, and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office released an official volume of Cold War-era British documents on Berlin. In the former, Britain was the only Four Power state that was not featured in the essays. In the latter, there was no chapter on the 1970–1971 Four Power talks.2 For almost four decades, the historiography of the Berlin negotiations has been predominantly based on the account by Henry Kissinger, President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser. In 1979, he provided the account of his “back-channel” diplomacy with Anatoly Dobrynin, the Soviet ambassador to Washington; Egon Bahr, an aide to Willy Brandt, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG); Kenneth Rush, the U.S. ambassador to Bonn; and Valentin Falin, a Soviet diplomat in charge of German affairs.3 A year before Kissinger, Honoré Catudal published the first overview of the Berlin Quadripartite Talks and the consultation process in the Bonn Group between the three Western Allies and the FRG, from the perspective of the State Department.4 His account, however, has been overshadowed by Kissinger’s “back-channel” diplomacy narrative, and with the declassified Nixon White House documents, historians have confirmed Kissinger’s story.5 Even Mary E. Sarotte’s groundbreaking study of Ostpolitik and the Berlin Talks from the perspective of the Eastern side followed Kissinger’s narrative on the Western side of the story.6 In the accounts of Kissinger, Catudal, and others, Britain has been treated as a minor participant in the Berlin Talks. Recent studies on Britain and Ostpolitik have explained that while prime ministers, ministers, and senior officials in London were generally supportive of Brandt’s policy approach, Britain did not have a very active role and, as always, worried that it was not being well informed and consulted by Bonn.7 These studies, however, have overlooked the British diplomats’ leading role in the Berlin Four Power talks and the Bonn Group. As the head of the Western Department of British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) commented, the British approach to the Ostpolitik was to “do our best to make constructive suggestions, mostly at [an] official level only, about how in practice the policy can most effectively be implemented.”8 Unfortunately, the official-level diplomacy at the Berlin Four Power talks and the Bonn Group consultations has been left largely uninvestigated since Catudal’s study, except studies on French aspects by Andreas Wilkens and George-Henri Soutou.9 This has made Britain’s role in the Berlin Talks invisible. In his memoirs, Kissinger admitted that he “was describing a complex multilateral negotiation from the perhaps inadequate perspective of a single participant,” and he had “to wait for the memoirs of the other participants” for a fuller picture of the negotiations.10 So, what pictures do the now-declassified British and American documents provide about the British role in the Berlin Quadripartite talks, which so far has been in the shadow of Kissinger’s back-channel diplomacy? This essay examines the British response to FRG’s Ostpolitik under Brandt by exploring the British role in the Berlin Four Power talks from March 1970 to September 1971. Catudal has commented that “it was a very real fact of life” that the Americans “would play the dominant role among the Allies in the Berlin Four Power negotiations.”11 In contrast, this essay argues, using archival evidence, that Britain played leading roles both in the Berlin Quadripartite negotiations and in the Bonn Group. Furthermore, the role Britain played in the Berlin talks also shows the role it played in intra-alliance relations in the decades of the Cold War and détente in Europe. As former British prime minister Edward Heath wrote, Britain was “conspicuously lagging behind our European partners in the ‘bicycle race’” to Moscow.12 Both Heath and his predecessor, Harold Wilson, appeared less active than their European or American peers in pursuing détente in Europe generally and in Germany and Berlin in particular. However, as this essay explains, Britain had a significant, if inconspicuous, role in coordinating the intra-alliance diplomacy that took place in the era of détente in Europe. It might be symbolic that the principal private secretary of Michael Stewart, Wilson’s foreign secretary who maintained supportive stances toward European détente and Brandt’s Ostpolitik, recalled Stewart as an “unsung Foreign Secretary”––quiet, unobtrusive, unprovocative in manner, but uncompromising.13 “The policy we have long advocated”: Ostpolitik and Britain After World War II, the former Third Reich was occupied by four powers––the United States, Soviet Union, Britain, and France. Germany and its capital Berlin were divided into four sectors by these powers. The four powers agreed to hold joint rights and responsibilities for Germany and Berlin, and they were to continue this arrangement until a new state for all of Germany was born with the conclusion of a peace treaty among the four powers and the Germans. With the start of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and its three Western counterparts, however, Germany was divided into two regimes: the FRG and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). A series of major Cold War crises ensued concerning the divided Germany and Berlin, including the First and Second Berlin crises of 1948–1949 and 1957–1962. The Western Allies publicly called for an early reunification of Germany, essentially through the FRG’s absorption of the GDR. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, asserted that Germany should remain perpetually divided, and Berlin, which comprised the Western sectors of Greater Berlin and was in the middle of the GDR, should be absorbed into the GDR.14 The construction of the Berlin Wall in the summer of 1961 put an end to this phase of the East–West confrontation. The Wall had shown both sides that the status quo of a divided Germany could not be altered in the way either side wished. Thereafter, the focus of the German and Berlin questions shifted. For the FRG and the Western Allies, a German reunification would not be possible for several decades. Thus, during this long period before the final reunification, the Western side had to promote provisional agreements with the Soviet side on how to stabilize the status quo and prevent the escalation of tensions; how to promote an East–West détente; and how to preserve the possibility of a final reunification that could be attained after decades of improvement in East–West relations.15 It was in this context that Willy Brandt, who was governing mayor of West Berlin during the Second Berlin crisis, and Egon Bahr, his aide, proposed their Ostpolitik.16 The FRG would not be able to recognize de jure the GDR because that would mean the end of the Four Power system whose goal was a reunified Germany. But for the period until the reunification, the FRG would be able to recognize de facto the GDR as a provisional regime governing part of a single German state and promote the normalization of relations between the two German regimes. By effectively putting an end to the FRG’s policy of nonrecognition of the GDR, which prevented improvement in the FRG’s relations with the Soviet bloc in general, Brandt and Bahr expected that the door would open for the FRG’s modus vivendi with the Soviet Union as well as its East European neighbors, most notably Poland and Czechoslovakia. They hoped that, through a generation-long rapprochement with the Soviet bloc, a path toward ending the division of Germany could be built, little by little.17 Brandt became the vice chancellor and the foreign minister of the Christian Democrats-Social Democrats Grand Coalition government in 1966 and the chancellor of the Social Democrats-Free Democrats coalition government in 1969. In the years that followed, Brandt and Bahr, who became minister of state in the Chancellor’s Office in charge of Ostpolitik, realized their vision in a series of diplomatic successes: the FRG–Soviet Moscow Treaty (August 1970), the Warsaw Treaty with Poland (December 1970), the Four Power Berlin agreement (September 1971), the Quadripartite Declaration on Berlin (November 1972), and the FRG–GDR Treaty on the Basis of Relations (December 1972). Despite these diplomatic successes, Nixon, Kissinger, and French president Georges Pompidou, held grave doubts about Brandt’s Ostpolitik. They believed that it would, intentionally or unintentionally, end in a German–Soviet rapprochement, the weakening of the West German commitment to the Western alliance system, and the neutralization of West Germany in search of reunification.18 In contrast, Britain welcomed Brandt’s Ostpolitik. As a March 1968 Cabinet memorandum on British foreign policy noted, it was “the policy we have long advocated and we can wholly support.”19 The basic ideas of Brandt’s Ostpolitik––including the FRG’s provisional acceptance of a divided Germany and the development of long-term East–West détente to end the division of Germany and Europe after several decades––paralleled the proposals that successive British prime ministers, from Winston Churchill to Harold Macmillan, had put forth since the early 1950s. While publicly supporting the FRG’s call for the early reunification of Germany, British policy makers also thought that it was neither possible nor desirable to try to reunify the country in the short term. Reunification should instead be pursued as a long-term goal for the Western alliance by provisionally accepting the status quo and calming down the tense atmosphere surrounding East–West relations, promoting détente in Europe, and seeking a peaceful change in Soviet attitudes toward the West. Accordingly, British prime ministers sought East–West agreements for provisional acceptance of the status quo on Germany, without closing the door on the West pursuing the end of the division of Germany and Europe in the distant future.20 Such stances on the German and Berlin questions often isolated Britain from its Bonn Group allies. In particular, Macmillan’s diplomatic initiatives during the Second Berlin crisis, including his decision in January 1959 to visit Moscow immediately after Khrushchev’s ultimatum on Berlin, led to the severe deterioration of UK–FRG political relations.21 Scholars have often regarded this as one of the major causes of Macmillan’s failed bid for Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community (EEC).22 With this experience in mind, Britain in the post-Macmillan years intentionally avoided publicly taking diplomatic initiatives on the German question.23 This, however, did not mean that Britain totally refrained from making any moves on the German question in the 1960s and 1970s. Instead, it acted in a less visible manner: via Bonn Group consultation processes. Therein, Britain often acted to coordinate views and formulate joint positions between the FRG and the three Allies in a way that was supportive of Brandt’s Ostpolitik.24 British officials and ministers did not disregard the existence of the risk entailed in Brandt’s Ostpolitik that Nixon, Kissinger, and Pompidou feared: Soviet efforts to disentangle West Germany from the Western alliance. But the British thought that such a risk might well be contained, generally by strengthening the Western alliance (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] and the EEC), and specifically by developing Bonn Group consultations.25 As Brandt repeatedly stressed, the FRG’s Ostpolitik always had to be matched with its Westpolitik. This approach fit well with the British policy on intra-alliance relations in the 1960s and 1970s. Recent studies on Britain and Ostpolitik have stressed that while London was generally more supportive than Washington or Paris concerning Brandt’s policy approach, it always worried that it might not be informed or consulted sufficiently by Bonn.26 These studies are correct in the sense that British policy makers occasionally expressed such concerns. What these studies have ignored, however, is that British policy makers––generally supportive of Ostpolitik but recognizing the necessity of safeguarding Allied rights in Germany and Berlin even before the start of the Brandt government––indeed steered first the Bonn Group consultations and later the Four Power Berlin talks with the Soviets toward the conclusion of the Berlin agreement with enough safeguards on quadripartite rights.27 Britain started the drafting of a possible Berlin quadripartite agreement years earlier than did Bonn, Washington, and Paris. Naturally, then, Britain was much better prepared than both its Bonn Group peers and the Soviets when the Berlin Four Power talks started in March 1970. As a result, Western positions vis-à-vis the Soviet Union were generally formulated along the line Britain had envisioned. The Berlin Four Power Talks and Britain (1968–1971) While Brandt and Bahr advanced their Ostpolitik by concluding Eastern treaties with the Soviet Union and East European countries, they needed a quadripartite agreement on Berlin among the three Western Allied powers and the Soviet Union as a correlate of those treaties. From March 1970 to September 1971, the ambassadors of the four powers negotiated the Berlin agreement. The talks concerned the rights and responsibilities of the four powers and concessions to be made by the FRG and the GDR. However, the two Germanys were not direct participants in this stage of the discussions. Their interests were represented by the three Western Allied powers and the Soviet Union respectively. Both the negotiations between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies and the consultations between them and their respective German clients were complicated, and the talks were prolonged. There were two central issues in the quadripartite talks. First was the total ban (or limitation) on official and political activities in West Berlin carried out by the FRG government, parliament, and political parties, which the Soviet Union demanded. Second was the guarantee of freedom of movement on the land access route between the FRG and West Berlin, which the Western Allies demanded.28 After the construction of the Wall in 1961, Berlin was no longer a prime theater of global Cold War confrontations. However, several mini-crises occurred during the rest of the 1960s in West Berlin and on the FRG–West Berlin land access routes running through GDR territory. Formerly, West Berlin was a special area that was not territory of the FRG but was still occupied by the three Western Allied powers. But politically, the legal distinction between West Berlin and the FRG had been blurred since the late 1940s, both from a need to lift the morale of West Berliners who were living in isolation in the middle of the GDR and from the context of the FRG’s domestic politics. The FRG therefore engaged in a number of visible political acts in Berlin to highlight West Berlin’s political ties with the FRG, such as convening cabinet meetings, holding a parliamentary special session to elect the president of the FRG (Bundesversammlung), holding plenary and committee meetings of the Bundestag, and setting up the federal government’s agencies there. The FRG’s political parties also held party caucuses in the city.29 These FRG activities were unacceptable to the Soviet Union and East Germany. In retaliation, the GDR took a series of steps designed to impede overland civilian travel between West Berlin and the FRG. The three Western Allied powers protested to the Soviet Union about these acts of intimidation, maintaining that the Soviet Union, which jointly held Four Power responsibilities, was accountable for preventing such actions. The Soviet Union responded that it was no longer responsible for the access routes because it had concluded a formal treaty with the GDR in 1955 which ended the Soviet Union’s occupation of the eastern part of Germany, and transferred the responsibility for access routes to the GDR. The three Western Allied powers refuted such claims, maintaining that the Soviet Union continued to shoulder Four Power joint rights and responsibilities regarding Germany and Berlin until the four powers concluded a final peace treaty with all of Germany; therefore, the Soviet Union was responsible for preventing harassment by the GDR on the access routes.30 In June 1968, Brandt called for the Berlin talks in the Bonn Group foreign minister meeting. He calculated that the start of these Four Power talks might well assist the FRG–GDR negotiations in normalizing intra-German relations. Nixon, who became U.S. president in January 1969, made the next major initiative for the talks. In February, he visited West Berlin, where the FRG and the GDR were preparing for the Bundesversammlung and for retaliatory harassment on the access route passage, respectively. Amid the mini-crisis, Nixon called on Moscow to start negotiations to prevent the escalation of tensions in Berlin. In July, Moscow publicly stated that it was prepared to begin the Four Power talks on Berlin. In March 1970, the talks started among four ambassadors: Pjotr Abrasimov of the Soviet Union, Kenneth Rush of the United States, Roger Jackling of Britain, and Roger Seydoux of France, who was succeeded by Jean Sauvagnargues in May.31 Kissinger recalled in his memoirs that the ambassadorial discussions moved at a desultory pace as the ambassadors—just as their predecessors had done over the years—encrusted the negotiations by haggling over legalisms. It was not until he initiated his back-channel negotiations with Dobrynin in January 1971 that the Berlin talks finally started to advance. In April, Bahr proposed to Kissinger the so-called Bahr formula: a draft Berlin agreement that bypassed the wording and the legal complications that had stalled the ambassadorial talks. With Kissinger’s approval, Bahr, Rush, and Falin, the Soviet ambassador to Bonn, secretly negotiated this draft, and they reached an agreement at the end of July. In August, Rush brought up this covert agreement at the ambassadorial talks and succeeded in concluding the talks. On September 3, the ambassadors initialed the Four Power Berlin agreement.32 In 1972, the FRG and the GDR signed the Treaty on the Basis of Relations in December, while the Four Powers had issued the Quadripartite Declaration on Berlin beforehand in November.33 In this widely-held narrative of the Berlin Four Power Talks, historians have assigned no substantial role to Britain. What different perspectives, then, do the UK and U.S. declassified documents present about the British role in the Berlin Talks? We now move back a little earlier to March 1968 and begin to explore the role Britain played in the process toward the conclusion of the Berlin Four Power Agreement of September 1971. A tangible beginning to Britain’s preparation for the Berlin Quadripartite talks can be traced back to a much earlier time than the calls by Brandt and Nixon. In March 1968, Frank Roberts, Her Majesty’s (HM) ambassador to Bonn, sent his valedictory dispatch to London. Roberts was an old hand on Germany and the Cold War. During the First Berlin Crisis, he was principal private secretary to Ernest Bevin, the foreign secretary, and served in Moscow as Bevin’s personal representative to negotiate with Joseph Stalin about the lifting of the Berlin blockade. During the Second Berlin crisis, he dealt with Nikita Khrushchev as British ambassador to Moscow. After a year at NATO, he moved to Bonn in 1963, his last diplomatic post.34 Roberts’s dispatch was focused on Bonn’s Ostpolitik and its possible risks for the Western position in West Berlin. While reviewing the FRG’s policy in a favorable manner, Roberts warned London that the FRG’s de facto recognition of the GDR, which he saw as one of the consequences of the Bonn policy, might lead to the infringement of the stationing rights of the Western Allied troops in West Berlin. He also suspected that Brandt was moving forward with his policy of normalization of FRG–GDR relations without understanding its possible repercussions for West Berlin and the land access routes. Roberts pointed out that the Bonn Group powers should have enough policy coordination to prevent damage to the Four Power status due to Bonn’s recognition of the GDR.35 Roberts’s dispatch made an impact on the British Foreign Office. It started a study of Bonn’s move toward the recognition of the GDR and the Four Power Berlin talks, which would be needed in that process. In June, the study concluded that it was both necessary and desirable to negotiate and conclude a new Four Power Berlin agreement with the Soviet Union, to maintain the Western position in West Berlin, and to preserve freedom of movement over the land access routes.36 The Czech crisis in the summer of 1968 resulted in London suspending its discussion for a few months. But as West Germany, the United States, and France soon resumed their respective détente diplomacies with the Soviet bloc, HM government also resumed its study. By the end of 1969, HM embassy in Bonn and the British Military Government Office in Berlin had prepared basic blueprints for a final Four Power agreement on Berlin and a scenario for long and hard-bargaining quadripartite talks with the Soviet Union.37 The Bonn Group later adopted these blueprints for its joint position paper of March–May 1970 that set the Western strategy on the Berlin talks, as well as the basic framework and ideas for the Berlin Four Power agreement, which were to be realized in August 1971. In autumn 1968, Wilson and Stewart wished to have a U.S.–UK policy consultation regarding possible FRG–GDR normalization and the consequent Berlin talks. But Washington, in the final months of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, was not well prepared to hold such consultations. London thus decided to wait until the new Nixon administration was ready for such meetings.38 Although Nixon called for the Berlin quadripartite talks with the Soviet Union in February 1969, the White House quickly lost interest in the idea. Kissinger, according to his staff, initially expected that it would be possible to negotiate with the Soviets on concrete issues related to Berlin, the progress of which would be “a significant signal” of improvement in superpower relations. But he soon concluded that “in almost any discussions on Berlin, the Western powers and Bonn suffer from [a] certain negotiating weakness” vis-à-vis Moscow, and that it would be better to leave the status quo as it was.39 For the rest of 1969, the United States, Britain, and France made several public calls directed to the Soviet Union about starting the Four Power Berlin talks. The Western Allies made these proposals, however, because of British and West German initiatives in the Bonn Group that overcame U.S. and French reluctance.40 Washington was reluctant to initiate the Berlin talks for three reasons. First, Nixon and Kissinger were mostly preoccupied with issues such as the Vietnam War and the U.S.–Soviet Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (SALT) negotiations, which were of much higher policy priority than was the Berlin question.41 Second, due to the well-known tug-of-war between Kissinger’s National Security Council (NSC) and the State Department concerning the control of the foreign policy-making process, the administration did not make much headway on the coordinated formulation of foreign policy, including Ostpolitik and the Berlin talks.42 Third, as the State Department had long regarded talk about the FRG’s recognition of the GDR as taboo, American policy makers did not see a need to start the Berlin talks in such a context.43 In September 1969, Brandt became chancellor and proclaimed his government’s intention to normalize relations with the GDR. While generally welcoming Brandt’s Ostpolitik approach, the British FCO worried that Brandt, Bahr, and even the FRG’s Foreign Office had not paid much attention to the risks Bonn’s policy might entail for Western Allied rights and responsibilities in Berlin. Furthermore, London was concerned that not only Bonn but also Paris and Washington were unaware of such risks.44 Hence Britain urged its Bonn Group peers to pay attention to such possible challenges and called for consultations to avoid such consequences. In October, British officials held bilateral consultations with their French and German counterparts. In these meetings, London demanded awareness on the part of Paris and Bonn about the potential impact of Ostpolitik on Berlin.45 The long-awaited U.S.-UK consultation took place in December. The British pointed out that Bonn was moving toward de facto recognition of the GDR, and that the West had to negotiate with the Soviet Union to maintain Western rights and responsibilities in Berlin and freedom of passage along the FRG–West Berlin land access routes running through GDR territory. They maintained that after long and hard bargaining with the Soviets, the Western powers had a considerable chance of obtaining a Four Power agreement that would be satisfactory from the Western viewpoint.46 It seems, however, that the consultation did not make much impact on Washington. Even at the end of 1969 and in early 1970 when the three Western Allied powers had agreed with the Soviet Union to start the Four Power talks, both the State Department and the White House were reluctant to do so. Washington anticipated that there was neither the necessity to begin the talks nor the possibility of their resulting in a successful conclusion for the West. It was thus at the strong urging of the FRG and Britain that the United States reluctantly decided not to object to the initiative raised by its allies.47 The first U.S. position paper on the Berlin talks was formulated by State Department officials in February and March 1970. Later, they recalled that this U.S. paper generally constituted the Western joint position paper, which the Bonn Group agreed upon in March and May of that year.48 In fact, however, the Bonn Group paper was mostly comprised of xeroxes of British papers.49 It should also be noted that the U.S. position paper did not have a plan for the substantial talks, as the Americans were so dismissive about the prospect of any meaningful negotiations with the Russians. The best possible outcome the State Department expected was “a minor improvement” for the situation of West Berliners, such as the restoration of telephone connection or visiting passes to East Berlin. The State Department expected that, more than likely, the talks would be suspended without any meaningful achievement or would collapse due to the unacceptable Soviet demands. Since substantial results, such as the improvement of civilian German land access, were an “unlikely event,” the United States did not consider such a prospect.50 In Paris, both President Pompidou and officials in Quai d’Orsay feared that the Four Power talks could erode the Western Allied position on Berlin. Paris also believed that the Western Allies could not “ask the Russians to agree that there should be certain political and legal ties between West Berlin and the Federal Republic.”51 In contrast to Paris and Washington, the British saw considerable prospect for a substantial deal with the Russians. A British paper for the Bonn Group discussion in October 1969, “Proposal for a Negotiating Position in Berlin,” presented a likely course of the Four Power talks, with an idea of opening positions, arguments, concessions, and final agreement between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. It maintained that the Western Allied powers had a reasonable chance of reaching satisfactory agreements with the Soviet side on access, in return for two Western concessions. The first was the limitation of the FRG’s political activities in West Berlin. The second was that the Western Allies would acknowledge the East German measures and controls of the civilian access route, if the Soviet Union would acknowledge its responsibility for the orderly and equitable administration of these measures by the GDR.52 British diplomats in Bonn and London concluded that a new Four Power Berlin Agreement on such a basis would benefit Western powers by improving, or by maintaining, the Western status quo on the Berlin issue. As a British official in Berlin commented, “the Russians will continue to wish to avoid trouble over Berlin as part of their general policy of détente with the West.”53 And in the context of the FRG-USSR modus vivendi and the FRG’s move towards the de facto recognition of the GDR, the new arrangements would “stand a better chance of being upheld by the Eastern side.”54 While Washington and Paris were guarded about planning for substantial Four Power talks, Britain pushed them to formulate a joint Western position paper for the talks in the Bonn Group.55 Britain presented its papers, “Access to Berlin” and “Association between the Federal Republic and Berlin,” to its Bonn Group peers. The former defined the major Western objective of the Four Power talks as obtaining “the improvements in the security of German civilian access to Berlin, if possible by inducing the Russians to accept a measure of responsibility for civilian access.” The latter envisioned limiting some of the FRG’s political activities in the city, such as Bundestag committee meetings or party congresses, in exchange for a comparable Soviet concession. These British papers figured largely in the Bonn Group joint paper.56 So even while Washington and Paris did not favor, or were not prepared for, substantial negotiations on Berlin with the Soviets, Britain succeeded in persuading their American and French peers in the Bonn Group to agree to its agenda setting for the Berlin Four Power talks. British planning for the quadripartite talks also appeared well ahead of the Soviets. When Juri Kvitsinki, the Soviet counselor at the East Berlin embassy, prepared for the Four Power talks, he found that the Soviet Foreign Ministry archive contained few of the previous and original documents on the Berlin problem. Former Soviet officials had possibly deemed the old documents on Berlin as unnecessary and thrown them away. As a result, the Soviet negotiators did not possess key original documents on the Berlin Four Power system, while the other side had everything at hand. Because Western diplomats could develop their legal arguments on Berlin with the support of their document files, the Soviet arguments seemed to do little to convince them.57 An example of the way in which British leadership had a significant impact on the course of the Berlin talks concerns the most important topic of these discussions: the Soviet acknowledgment of the four powers’ guarantee of the free movement of civilians and goods through the FRG–West Berlin land access routes. In the first two months of the talks, from March to May, Britain was the only one among the three Western Allies maintaining that this item should be negotiated with the Soviets. Both the Americans and the French were reluctant to raise the issue of the access routes in negotiations with the Soviets, fearing that there was little possibility the Soviets would accept Western demands regarding these issues. They thought this matter was the weakest point of the Western position and were afraid that if the Western Allies addressed this issue in the talks, the Western position would be diminished further. As Jim Sutterlin, the State Department’s Country Director for Germany, wrote to Jonathan Dean, counsellor of the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, “We agree completely that German civilian access is the most important subject to be discussed with the USSR; but it also strikes us as being the least likely area for progress within a quadripartite forum.” In Paris, Claude Arnaud, Quai’s Director of European Affairs, believed that the West should seek “concessions in the commercial, economic and not seek political concessions which would certainly be refused.”58 British diplomats argued, however, that the Western Allies should not avoid this issue for three reasons. First, the talks were intended to address this matter. As the Bonn Embassy saw it, “the achievement of some form of explicit Soviet reaffirmation of Quadripartite Responsibility for civilian access would be the most valuable single achievement which we could hope to get from these talks.”59 According to the British, “the Americans feel that there is no point in trying to get the Russians explicitly to accept the principle of Four-Power responsibility for access to Berlin primarily because they fear that the Russians not only will not agree but may also repudiate such agreements as there are. Our attitude is that we should not lose anything by trying, since the ultimate basis of our position rests on occupation rights.”60 Second, as the FRG’s de facto recognition of the GDR was approaching, the West had to confirm that the Soviets intended to honor the Western legal and political positions on West Berlin and the access routes even after recognition of the GDR took place.61 Third, the British thought that the Soviets also wished to reach an access route agreement because they did not want to deal with the recurring East–West tensions related to Berlin while pursuing their détente diplomacy with the United States and Western Europe.62 It was not until April, almost a month after the start of the Four Power ambassadorial talks in Berlin, that the United States and France concurred with the British argument that the access issue should be negotiated with the Soviets as the most important topic in the talks for the Western powers.63 The Four Power ambassadorial talks began in Berlin on March 26. In the first meeting, the ambassadors made their prepared statements, presenting their respective legal views without much hint on practical improvements in the Berlin situation. From that point on, the talks were held once a month. Kissinger noted that these discussions did not make any substantial advances because Pjotr Abrasimov, the Soviet ambassador, adopted a firm stance toward his three Western counterparts.64 Declassified British documents, however, provide a different picture. In the three talks that took place from April to May, Abrasimov repeatedly expressed that the Soviet Union did not intend to change the current status of West Berlin, unlike during the Second Berlin crisis of 1959–62 when it demanded the West neutralize the city or that the city be absorbed into the GDR. He made clear that both the Soviet Union and the three Western Allies should honor their respective legal and political positions in relation to each other and reach agreement on practical improvements in the current situation. He also expressed the view that the most important issue for the Soviet Union was to ban political activities and demonstrations by the government and political parties of the FRG in West Berlin. Concerning the access issue, furthermore, Abrasimov hinted from an early stage of the talks that the Soviets were prepared to make some sort of guarantee for the unhindered movement of people and goods via the land access route, in a way that respected the sovereignty of the GDR.65 Naturally, Abrasimov’s statements contained some small print and some sticking points. But basically, this was the quid pro quo that Britain had been envisioning and proposing to its Bonn Group colleagues. Both Britain and West Germany saw the above-mentioned Soviet positions “as positive as could be expected” in this early stage of the talks.66 The French embassy in Bonn, with the arrival of Jean Sauvagnargues as the new ambassador, moved closer to the British and West German positions. But the U.S. embassy in Bonn continued to see the Soviet positions as rigid and nonnegotiable.67 Based on the embassy’s reports, the State Department and the White House believed that there was no prospect for the Berlin talks to make any movement forward.68 With the development of the talks up to the fourth ambassadorial meeting in June, the Bonn Group decided that the three Western Allies should hand the Soviets a Western position paper at the July ambassadorial meeting. The paper would outline the framework of deals between the Soviet guarantee on the access issues and the Western offer to ban several political activities by the FRG in West Berlin. The British prepared its draft, which was not much different from the final Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin in 1971.69 While the British draft could readily win German and French approval, the Americans strongly opposed the idea of presenting Western concessions on the limitation of the FRG’s political presence in Berlin in the paper.70 The Americans’ obstinacy irritated the British. Jackling regarded Rush as “a thoroughly inexperienced diplomat who needed to be kept on a tight rein” and “a lawyer rather than a professional diplomatist by background … who lacks a sureness of touch.” Christopher Audland, the counselor for political affairs at HM embassy in Bonn, regarded Jonathan Dean, his American counterpart, as “a pretty mercurial character who kept flogging personal initiatives often of a dubious nature.” He pressed Dean to stop employing “‘take it or leave it’ tactics with the Russians at every stage” as the negotiation was moving to “a serious stage.”71 However, after tense intra-allied consultations in Bonn and Washington, the three ambassadors gave Abrasimov a Western position paper, with the Western concessions omitted from its text but orally presented by Jackling.72 As mentioned above, Washington and the U.S. embassy in Bonn continued to perceive the development of the Berlin talks negatively. The Americans did not see much point in going ahead with these talks because it did not appear that Brandt’s Ostpolitik was making any headway, the progress of which the Berlin talks were supposed to help. The FRG–GDR normalization negotiations had been suspended since May, and the FRG–Soviet Moscow talks were supposed to be continued over several months. As Sutterlin commented to a British diplomat in Washington, “Since the German talks [in Moscow] were going rather slowly there was no time pressure on the Allies over Berlin.”73 This perspective was different from the views of Britain, the FRG, and France. They anticipated an early conclusion to the Moscow negotiations and recognized the urgency of coordination among the Bonn Group powers.74 In the Bonn Group meeting of July 10, British, French, and FRG representatives commented that Washington’s assumption on the slow FRG-Soviet talks was “no longer tenable” and “antiquated,” as the FRG-Soviet talks were moving toward Scheel-Gromyko talks.75 Contrary to the Americans’ expectations, the final stage of the Moscow talks starting at the end of June made quick progress, and the FRG-USSR Moscow Treaty was agreed upon on August 7. In the negotiations, the FRG moved the Soviets to accept a significant linkage between the successful conclusion of the Berlin talks and the ratification of the Moscow treaty by the FRG’s Bundestag, without which the treaty would not become valid.76 This linkage led the Soviets to accelerate the Berlin talks after its summer recess.77 As the Berlin talks were set to resume in September, the four ambassadors agreed to start working-level negotiations to speed up their discussions. Accordingly, negotiations between the political counselors, who were the aides of the four ambassadors, began in October. By this time, Rush, the U.S. ambassador, came to accept the necessity of moving forward with the talks, after months of objecting to such an action and isolating himself from his Bonn Group colleagues.78 Later, he would assume his role in the U.S.–USSR–FRG back-channel talks, in which he basically adopted the positions that had long been proposed by the U.S. allies in the Bonn Group consultations, rather than those of Dean or officials in Washington. In the counselor talks, the British and Soviet counselors––Audland and Kvitsinski respectively––went ahead with negotiations. Audland, in his handling of the proceedings, adopted the technique of using a blackboard: writing down both the Western and the Soviet position, adding several alternatives and amendments to them, and forming compromise texts (which were more often than not closer to the Western positions). He also made the most use of coffee break chats with Kvitsinski. He and his Western colleagues could probe possible compromise solutions with Kvitsinski much more frankly in such informal conversation than in the negotiation rooms. Eating together soon became a habit, and personal relations grew steadily closer.79 For his part, Kvitsinski usually took more flexible positions than those of Abrasimov in the ambassadorial talks. Although he was officially under the control of Abrasimov, he was also receiving instructions from Valentin Falin, then the head of the Third European Department (in charge of Germany and Berlin) in the Soviet Foreign Office. Falin, in turn, was officially under the control of his minister, Andrei Gromyko, but also had direct contact with Leonid Brezhnev. Gromyko often opposed Soviet concessions to the Western Allied powers that might damage the GDR’s interests. However, under the tutelage of Brezhnev, who put a higher priority on the Soviet–FRG modus vivendi than did Gromyko, Falin could instruct Kvitsinski to promote agreements with the Western counselors.80 In the counselor talks from October to December 1970, the concrete framework of the access-FRG political activities deal surfaced. Regarding the access issue, the Western Allied powers had been demanding that the Soviet Union give approval to the text of an agreement clearly stating that the four powers were responsible for guaranteeing the freedom of unhindered passage along the access route. The Soviet side had been asserting that this Four Power guarantee plan was unacceptable because the land access route ran through GDR territory and the route was under the jurisdiction of the sovereign GDR. The counselors came to a compromise arrangement. After consultation and agreement with the GDR, the Soviet Union would notify the three powers that the freedom of access route passage would be guaranteed by both the Soviet Union and the GDR. While the French thought it was essential for the Soviets to unambiguously guarantee the freedom of civil access, and the Americans tended to agree, Britain promoted this Soviet–GDR guarantee plan and succeeded in bringing it into the February 1971 Western draft agreement, which later developed into the Four Power agreement.81 Concerning the FRG’s political activities in West Berlin, the three Allied powers had proposed at the July 21 ambassadorial talks that the following activities be banned: official activities by the federal president and chancellor, cabinet meetings, the Bundesversammlung, and plenary sessions by the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. The Soviet side, however, had been demanding two more bans: Bundestag committee meetings and the party caucus meetings of the FRG’s political parties in the city. In the counselor talks, the Western allies had tacitly accepted that those two types of meetings should be put under certain limits restricting the way such meetings were held.82 Later, American officials recalled the British were weak-kneed against the Soviets in the Berlin talks. They saw Jackling as the prey of Abrasimov, as someone who had problems coping with, and often retreated, under the latter’s lambasting.83 But because the British had been well prepared in advance for the possible final agreement and collateral quid pro quo with the Soviets, and could use most of the counselor talks to make the Soviets accept the Allied text as a basis for negotiation, Jackling and Audland could afford to conduct negotiations with their Soviet counterpart in a much more flexible manner than their U.S. peers could. On the FRG side, Brandt and Bahr also supported the British formula. However, Bonn regarded those two items in this formula as highly sensitive issues in the context of West German domestic politics that had to be discussed first among the parliamentary groups before the Allies could concede them to the Russians. Thus, it was not until spring 1971 that the Brandt government succeeded in persuading the leaders of the opposition party, the Christian Democrats, to accept these items in return for improvement in movement on the access route.84 The emergence of possible compromise formulas in the counselor talks brought significant progress in the Quadripartite Talks in autumn and winter 1970. At the final ambassadorial meeting of that year, on December 10, Abrasimov presented to the three ambassadors the first concrete Soviet proposals on the access route issue, based on the tentative formula Kvitsinski had discussed with his counterparts.85 Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Sir Roger Jackling (right), the HM Ambassador to Bonn, and Christopher Audland (left), Counsellor at the Embassy, at the Berlin talks, 1970. Courtesy of Sir Christopher Audland and the Memoir Club. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Sir Roger Jackling (right), the HM Ambassador to Bonn, and Christopher Audland (left), Counsellor at the Embassy, at the Berlin talks, 1970. Courtesy of Sir Christopher Audland and the Memoir Club. British and French negotiators regarded this as a sign that the Four Power talks were advancing to the stage of drafting agreed-upon language for the quadripartite accord. During the Christmas holidays, the British and French embassies in Bonn produced their respective drafts of the agreement, which they discussed in early January 1971.86 In their studies on France and the Berlin Talks, Wilkens and Soutou have concluded that this French draft was the origin of the February 5 Western draft and, in the end, the final Quadripartite Agreement of September 1971.87 Declassified British documents, however, explain that the British saw that there were several points in the French draft that needed to be tightened up by incorporating British ideas. The French draft was aimed at concluding a quadripartite declaration on Berlin, which was cast in a communiqué style and less formal than a Four Power agreement. It also did not include the tentative formula on the access issue that had been discussed in the counselors’ talks: the Soviet-GDR guarantee of freedom of movement along the access route. While the British saw this formula as acceptable for the Western Allies, the French side was afraid that it could weaken the quadripartite rights on the access route by enhancing the status of the GDR. Quai’s note on this point urged that the Western draft should not contain anything “that could formally devote for the future the competence of Pankow as regards civil access.”88 In short, the French draft was a description of the Western minimum position on the style of agreement, and the maximum position on the access issue, which needed much improvement to be turned into the February 5 draft that described the Western negotiating basis vis-à-vis the Russians. Although aware of these problems, the British decided that only the French draft should be submitted to the Bonn Group because circulating two drafts could complicate the Bonn Group discussions. However, the British could draw on its draft in the discussion and amend the French draft generally to align with its own. After several revisions of the French draft, the final Western draft agreement was much closer to the British draft.89 At the Bonn Group, the British also had to press the Americans to submit the Western draft to the Soviets. Washington, according to Rush, was reluctant about presenting the draft since “it would give [the draft] undue importance.” After Jackling’s persuasion, Rush agreed to go along with the Bonn Group peers.90 On February 5, the three Western counselors handed Kvitsinski the Western draft agreement.91 The Soviets made their counterproposal on March 26.92 Starting in May, the counselors entered “three-column” negotiations, in which both sides jointly prepared “a three-column working paper, consisting of the Western and Soviet drafts with a third column of possible compromises,” with several squares and bracketed portions that were left for decisions by ambassadors. The counselors made certain headway by the end of the month.93 While there was progress in Berlin, Brezhnev had long been waiting for an early conclusion to the Berlin agreement, which would bring the Federal German ratification of the FRG–Soviet Moscow treaty and the FRG–Polish treaty. To speed up the negotiation process, the Kremlin decided to bypass the ambassadorial talks in Berlin, where the U.S. negotiators were not willing to give an inch, and to initiate direct back-channel negotiations among the top levels of Moscow, Washington, and Bonn.94 By the end of 1970, Bahr and Falin, who were negotiating partners on the Moscow treaty and who had been resuming contacts since October with a shared interest in accelerating the Berlin talks, came to agree that it was necessary to involve Kissinger in the Berlin negotiations.95 On January 6, 1971, the Kremlin sent a note to Nixon that proposed beginning back-channel negotiations between the Kremlin and White House on the Berlin issues.96 Kissinger, who had been skeptical about the necessity of the Berlin negotiations, had not been substantially engaged in these discussions. But as Jussi Hanhimaki has summarized, “the need to regain American leadership and initiative [on détente in Europe] was becoming an increasingly pressing concern for the White House” by autumn 1970. While Moscow and Bonn had concluded the Moscow treaty, the U.S.–Soviet negotiations for SALT, the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, and the U.S.–Soviet summit meeting had been stalling.97 Kissinger accepted Dobrynin’s proposal, and their negotiations started in January 1971.98 The direct bargaining between the Kremlin and the White House, however, became stuck by the end of March. Kissinger was not quite familiar with the details of Berlin affairs, and he did not have much grasp of the quid pro quo of his dealings with Dobrynin. Thus, every time Dobrynin made proposals, Kissinger had to relay them to Rush and Bahr and ask for their evaluations and the proper responses he should make to his counterpart. As a result, the Kissinger-Dobrynin talks did not bring many new elements to the Berlin negotiations at this stage.99 As the Kissinger-Dobrynin negotiations came to a halt, Falin and Bahr tried to make progress on Berlin by transferring the access issue negotiations from the Four Power ambassadorial talks to the FRG–GDR talks. Bahr thought that the inflexible positions of the four ambassadors on the issue had prevented early progress in the Berlin negotiations. He was not interested in the legal discussions and wording, which the three Western Allied powers, as well as the FRG Foreign Office, regarded as the fundamental basis of the Western position on the access issue. He thought that concrete agreements with the GDR on practical improvements for the use of the access routes, leaving complicated legal disputes untouched, would be enough for the West Germans and West Berliners. Accordingly, he wished to resolve the issue by presenting more flexible compromises to his East German counterpart, whom Falin would persuade to accept the proposals. Bahr repeatedly proposed to the three Western Allied ambassadors that they accept the start of the FRG–GDR access negotiations. But he met strong resistance from the three ambassadors and finally gave up on this plan in March.100 After Bahr’s failure to transfer the access negotiations to the inner-German talks, another scheme was born in the Bahr–Falin talks, which involved adding Rush to their talks and going ahead with secret negotiations among the three in Bonn.101 During Brandt’s visit to Washington in late April, Bahr had a secret meeting with Kissinger and proposed the so-called Bahr formula to him. It was based on the February 5 Western draft, but Bahr had removed some legal wording from the draft that was in dispute with the Soviet position and introduced “neutral” wording instead. While this was not far from what the four counselors had been negotiating in Berlin by then, it was “an ingenious suggestion” for Kissinger. He accepted Bahr’s proposal that this draft be negotiated among Bahr, Rush, and Falin in Bonn.102 In May, Falin transferred to Bonn as the new Soviet ambassador to the FRG. Secret negotiations among the three men started that month, and by the end of July they substantially reached accord on the Berlin agreement.103 While the secret U.S.–Soviet–FRG back-channel negotiations were advancing in Bonn, Kissinger and Rush artificially stalled the Four Power ambassadorial and counselor talks in Berlin.104 Although the counselors had made substantial progress in their “three-column” negotiations by the end of May, the quadripartite negotiations in Berlin were slowed down in June and July. HM embassy in Bonn, which had taken several initiatives to advance the Berlin talks, was irritated by their slow development. Jackling and Audland repeatedly attempted to persuade both the U.S. representative and London to speed up the pace of the negotiations.105 But by mid-1971, London’s position on the Berlin talks had begun to change—from full support for Jackling’s stances to putting the brakes on him. One of the turning points for London was Edward Heath’s visit to Washington in December 1970. At the White House, Nixon repeatedly expressed to Heath his deep suspicion of Brandt’s Ostpolitik. When Harold Wilson, Heath’s predecessor, had met with Nixon in March of that same year, he had consistently defended Brandt and Ostpolitik.106 Heath, in contrast, readily agreed with Nixon’s comments. Brandt’s tactical handling of Ostpolitik, in particular Bahr’s secret negotiations with the Soviets in the Moscow talks, had incurred Heath’s personal suspicion toward Ostpolitik in general and toward the Brandt–Bahr pleas for accelerating the Berlin talks in particular.107 In dire need of Brandt’s support for Britain’s entry into the EEC, the Heath government did not change its general position on supporting Ostpolitik in 1971.108 But in London, the reluctance concerning the early progress of the Berlin talks gained a foothold after the Heath–Nixon talks, particularly as it observed that the Nixon administration was reluctant to see an early conclusion to the Berlin talks. This led London to reject calls from HM embassy in Bonn for the acceleration of, and an early end to, the talks.109 Furthermore, UK–Soviet friction concerning the massive presence of intelligence officers in the Soviet trade delegation in Britain made Heath and FCO officials very suspicious about one of the quid pro quos in the Berlin talks: the Western acceptance of the Soviet Consulate-General in West Berlin in return for Soviet acceptance of West Berliners holding FRG passports while traveling in the Soviet bloc. Indeed, this was a trade-off that HM embassy had been promoting in the Berlin talks since October 1970, despite strong U.S. objections.110 However, since that October, Britain had also been asking the Soviet Union to remove some one hundred intelligence officers in London, to which the Soviet response was muted. Between May and early August, the Heath government came to the decision to expel these officers after the conclusion of the Berlin talks. London made the final decision on September 3, and “Operation Foot” began on September 24 with the expulsion 105 Soviet officers.111 This development made London suspicious about the quid pro quo in the final weeks of the Berlin talks, although it had been giving general support for HM embassy’s proposals on them until June.112 London’s change in its stance on the Berlin talks was mostly concerned with tactical aspects related to the handling of the talks, but it deprived HM embassy in Bonn of the leeway to take a flexible negotiating position in the talks. On July 28, Rush, Falin, and Bahr reached agreement on the text of the quadripartite agreement.113 From August 10 to 18, the four ambassadors held a final series of concentrated sessions in which Rush and Abrasimov brought the secretly accepted agreement into the ambassadorial talks.114 As Rush hastened the negotiations toward a conclusion, Jackling, strictly under London’s instructions, objected to this high-speed tactic. He maintained that there were several points of major importance, mostly related to wording problems, which remained open in the agreed-upon text. He (and London) did not know about the U.S.–FRG–Soviet secret agreement, which had already resolved those points. Jackling urged the participants to take a break in the talks to ensure careful consideration in the national capitals and consultation among the Bonn Group powers. However, he was largely ignored by Rush and Abrasimov, and was sarcastically portrayed by Kissinger as “the British Ambassador, who had a low boiling point.”115 The four ambassadors concluded the quadripartite agreement on August 23 and initialed it on September 3. It was mostly based on the February 5 Western draft of the agreement. The ambassadors added some Western concessions to the draft, including the limiting of the political activities of Bundestag committees and party caucuses in West Berlin and the establishment of the Soviet Consulate-General in West Berlin. But there also were sufficient Soviet concessions to the West, including a Soviet guarantee (after consultation with and agreement by the GDR) on the freedom of movement of goods and persons on the FRG–West Berlin land access routes, tacit Soviet acceptance of the Bundestag committees and party caucuses, and the use of FRG passports by West Berliners in the Soviet bloc countries. In sum, it was “a fair bargain” for the Western powers, as Alec Douglas-Home, the Foreign Secretary, reported to Heath.116 Conclusion In the final months of the Berlin talks, the British role was peripheralized into a shadow of the Kissinger–Rush–Bahr–Falin back-channel diplomacy. This led to the understanding that the British role in the birth of the Berlin quadripartite agreement was marginal and secondary, highlighting Britain’s decaying power on the international stage.117 As the present essay has demonstrated, however, Britain played a leading role in the process of the Berlin talks. In the Bonn Group, Britain steered the discussions, ironed out differences, and developed new ideas. In the Four Power talks, Britain promoted the development of common ground with the Soviets without weakening the Western position. While Britain was bypassed in Kissinger’s back-channel diplomacy, the final quadripartite agreement was not much different from the drafts Britain had envisioned and promoted earlier in Berlin and Bonn. Britain left forgotten but unmistakable footprints on the Berlin Four Power agreement. As had consistently been the case since the late 1950s, Britain avoided acting unilaterally in the Berlin talks. Britain, be it in the Bonn Group or in the Four Power talks, always acted within multilateral frameworks. As a result, Britain’s moves in the Berlin talks have been largely overlooked to date. One of the reasons why the British role in the Berlin talks has largely remained unnoticed until now is that it was mostly played at the official-level talks and consultations, the stages which have not been studied much since the publication of Kissinger’s “back-channel diplomacy” account. Even within the well-studied area of Ostpolitik and détente in Europe, the need remains for further studies. Finally, the diplomatic history of the Berlin quadripartite talks also shows the difference between the British and Kissinger concerning their methods of intra-alliance diplomacy. The British preferred consensus building via intra-allied consultations, while Kissinger relied on secret and personal back-channel diplomacy with a few counterparts.118 This difference was repeatedly shown in the years that followed. In 1971, Britain was upset by Nixon’s dollar shocks and Kissinger’s secret visit to China. These unilateral American moves, undertaken without prior consultation and consensus building with allies, harmed London’s trust in the Nixon White House.119 The year ended with an effort at repairing damaged relations through a Nixon–Heath summit meeting in Bermuda, but as Heath’s Britain entered the European Community (EC) in January 1972, the distance between London and Washington continued to increase. While Nixon and Heath agreed to revitalize U.S.–UK nuclear cooperation, the U.S. conduct of the U.S.–Soviet SALT talks, which could affect British nuclear deterrence, repeatedly caused anxiety in London. In 1972, Kissinger tried to assuage British concern on the U.S.–Soviet superpower détente by asking top British officials to secretly draft a proposal to the Soviet Union on the Prevention of Nuclear War Agreement. This secret drafting, code-named “Operation Hullabaloo,” embarrassed British officials: it put Britain at risk of criticism from its new EC allies in Paris and Bonn, who were unaware of the secret British engagement.120 In 1973, as U.S.–European relations turned into turmoil with Kissinger’s “Year of Europe” initiative, London repeatedly found Kissinger’s personal and secret diplomacy a cause of intra-alliance discord.121 In contrast, Britain pursued multilateral alliance diplomacy in NATO and the EC. Already in the second half of the 1960s, Britain had promoted East–West détente by supporting joint and united positions among the NATO powers, as could be seen in its efforts in NATO’s Harmel Report exercise in 1966 and 1967. In the first half of the 1970s, Heath, Home, and senior FCO officials took a much less forthcoming stance on the Conference of Security and Cooperation of Europe (CSCE) than did Wilson, Stewart, and Stewart’s officials in the second half of the 1960s. Nonetheless, again in the formative process of the CSCE in the 1970s, Britain pursued a diplomacy of consultation and consensus building both in NATO and in the EC’s European Policy Cooperation mechanism to maintain Western unity in relation to the Soviet Union.122 As it had been on the German question in the previous decades, Britain’s approach was “to go steadily but not too fast towards one” in the case of the CSCE.123 In the years of the Gerald Ford presidency, 1974–77, Britain, as well as the FRG and France, would see a growing pattern of multilateral consultations with the United States, most notably with the advance of regular Western summit meetings.124 With such a historical context in mind, the British role in the Berlin talks should be understood not as a marginal act on the part of a declining world power but as a typical example of British alliance diplomacy in the years of détente and of transatlantic upheavals in the early 1970s. Footnotes 1 National Security Archives interview with Abba Eban, George Washington University, May 13, 1997, accessed September 25, 2016, http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/coldwar/interviews/episode-17/eban1.html. I am grateful to Mr. Herman Wouk for introducing me this episode. Wouk, The Hope (Boston, MA, 1993), 659. 2 Carole Fink and Bernd Schaefer, eds., Ostpolitik, 1969–1974: European and Global Responses (New York, 2009); Documents on British Policy Overseas (hereafter DBPO), Series III, vol. 6, Berlin in the Cold War, 1948–1990 (London, 2009). 3 Henry Kissinger, The White House Years (Boston, MA, 1979), 805–10, 823–33. 4 Honoré Catudal, The Diplomacy of the Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin: A New Era in East-West Politics (Berlin, 1978). Concerning the Bonn Group, see Helga Haftendorn, “The ‘Quad’: Dynamics of Institutional Change,” in Imperfect Unions: Security Institutions over Time and Space, ed. Helga Haftendorn, Robert Keohane, and Celeste Wallander (Oxford, UK, 1999), 162–94. 5 David C. Geyer, “The Missing Link: Henry Kissinger and the Back-Channel Negotiations on Berlin,” German Historical Institute Bulletin, Supplement 1 (2003): 80–97; Werner D. Lippert, The Economic Diplomacy of Ostpolitik: Origins of NATO’s Energy Dilemma (New York, 2011), 91–92. 6 Mary E. Sarotte, Dealing with the Devil: East Germany, Détente, and Ostpolitik, 1969–1973 (Chapel Hill, NC, 2001). 7 Gottfried Niedhart, “The British Reaction towards Ostpolitik: Anglo-German Relations in the Era of Détente, 1967–1971,” accessed September 25, 2016, http://detente.de/ostpolitik/publications/download/article7.pdf; Luca Ratti, Britain, Ost- and Deutschlandpolitik and the CSCE (1955–1975) (Bern, SWZ, 2008), 82–86, 125, 140–42. 8 J. K. Drinkall to T. Brimelow, ‘Ostpolitik,’ June 11, 1970, FCO33/1022, The National Archives of the UK (hereafter TNA). 9 Andreas Wilkens, Der unstete Nachbar: Frankreich, die deutsche Ostpolitik und die Berlin Vier-Mächte Verhandlungen, 1969–1974 (Munich, 1998); Georges-Henri Soutou, “La France et l’Accord Quadripartite sur Berlin du 3 Septembre 1971,” Revue d’Histoire Diplomatique 118, no. 1 (2004): 45–73.  10 Kissinger, White House Years, 831. 11 Catudal, Quadripartite Agreement, 96. 12 Edward Heath, The Course of My Life: The Autobiography of Edward Heath (London, 1998), 474. 13 Nicholas Henderson, Inside the Private Office: Memoirs of the Secretary to British Foreign Ministers (Chicago, IL, 1987), 97–110. 14 Wolfram Hanrieder, Germany, America, Europe: Forty Years of German Foreign Policy (New Haven, CT, 1989), 141–70; William Glenn Gray, Germany’s Cold War: The Global Campaign to Isolate East Germany, 1949–1969 (London, 2003), 1–86; Timothy Garton Ash, In Europe’s Name: Germany and the Divided Continent (New York, 1993), 48–53, 216–27; James S. Sutterlin and David Klein, Berlin: From Symbol of Confrontation to Keystone of Stability (New York, 1989), 1–49. 15 Hanrieder, Germany, America, Europe, 170–94; Ash, In Europe’s Name, 58–67, 170–83; Marc Trachtenberg, A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945–1963 (Princeton, NJ, 1999), 400. 16 This essay uses the term Ostpolitik in a similar manner as Sarotte has used it, referring “to the broad range of West German initiatives toward the GDR, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union” under the guidance of Brandt. Sarotte, Dealing with the Devil, xv–xvi. See also Ash, In Europe’s Name, 34–38, 126. 17 Willy Brandt, People and Politics: The Years 1960–1975 (Boston, MA, 1978), 167–68, 367; Arne Hoffmann, The Emergence of Détente in Europe: Brandt, Kennedy and the Formation of Ostpolitik (London, 2007), 99–152; Gottfried Niedhart, “Ostpolitik: Phases, Short-Term Objectives, and Grand Design,” German Historical Institute Bulletin, Supplement 1 (2004): 118–20. 18 Harold Wilson–Richard Nixon Talks Memcon, January 27, 1970, PREM13/3546, TNA; Freeman to Greenhill, January 31, 1970, PREM13/3546, TNA; Nixon–Georges Pompidou Talks Memcon, February 26, 1970, Presidential/HAK Memcons, box 1023, National Security Council (hereafter NSC), Nixon Presidential Materials Project (hereafter NPMP), United States National Archives (hereafter USNA); Henry Kissinger (Helmut Sonnenfeldt) to Richard Nixon, “Brandt’s Eastern Policy,” Foreign Relations of the United States (hereafter FRUS), 1969–1976, vol. XL, Germany and Berlin, 1969–1972, ed. David C. Geyer (Washington, DC, 2007), doc. 55; NSC Senior Review Meeting, August 31, 1970, FRUS, vol. XL, doc. 111. 19 C(68)42, “Foreign Policy,” February 23, 1968, FCO49/14, TNA. 20 Robert Gerald Hughes, Britain, Germany and the Cold War: The Search for a European Détente, 1949–1967 (London, 2007), 150–99; Antonio Varsori, “Britain as a Bridge between East and West,” in Europe, Cold War and Coexistence, 1953–1965, ed. Wilfried Loth (London, 2003), 7–22; Klaus Larres, “Britain, East Germany and Détente: British Policy toward the GDR and West Germany’s ‘Policy of Movement’, 1955–65,” in Europe, Cold War and Coexistence, 116–24. 21 Sabine Lee, Victory in Europe?: Britain and Germany since 1945 (Harlow, UK, 2001), 86–87; Hope M. Harrison, Driving the Soviets up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, 1953–1961 (Princeton, NJ, 2005), 118; Daniel Gossel, Briten, Deutsche und Europa: Die Deutsche Frage in der britischen Auaenpolitik, 1945–1962 (Stuttgart, 1999), 225. 22 John Gearson, Harold Macmillan and the Berlin Wall Crisis, 1958–62: The Limits of Interest and Force (New York, 1998), 199–204. 23 John Young, “West Germany in the Foreign Policy of the Wilson Government, 1964–67,” in Controversy and Compromise: Alliance Politics Between Great Britain, Federal Republic of Germany, and the United States of America, 1945–1967, ed. Saki Dockrill (Regensburg, GER, 1998), 176; Robert Gerald Hughes, Britain, Germany and the Cold War, 111–14. 24 J. K. Drinkall to T. Brimelow, “Ostpolitik,” June 11, 1970, FCO33/1022, TNA; Roger Jackling to T. Brimelow, “Ostpolitik: Allied/F.R.G. Attitudes,” July 29, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 25 Alec Douglas-Home to Edward Heath, PM/71/13, “Ostpolitik,” February 2, 1971, PREM15/1579, TNA. 26 Ratti, Britain, Ost- and Deutschlandpolitik, 69–70, 109–12; Niedhart, “The British Reaction towards Ostpolitik.” 27 Christopher Audland, Right Place—Right Time (Stanhope, UK, 2004), 191–95; The British Diplomatic Oral History Programme interview with Sir Nicholas Bayne on March 2, 2016, accessed March 1, 2018, https://www.chu.cam.ac.uk/media/uploads/files/Bayne.pdf. 28 Kissinger, White House Years, 824–25. 29 Draft of the Bonn Group working paper by HM embassy in Bonn, “Federal Presence in West Berlin,” attached to R. Hanbury-Tenison’s memorandum, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” March 12, 1970, FCO33/1123, TNA. 30 Draft of the Bonn Group working paper by HM embassy in Bonn, “Access to Berlin,” FCO33/1123, TNA; Julij A. Kwizinskij, Vor dem Sturm: Erinnerungen eines Diplomaten (Berlin, 1993), 219–20. 31 Catudal, Quadripartite Agreement, 48–68, 88–110. On Moscow’s preparation for the talks, Kwitzinskij, Vor dem Sturm, 223–28, 233–36. 32 Kissinger, White House Years, 797–810, 823–33; Geyer, “The Missing Link,” 80–97; Sarotte, Dealing with the Devil, 71–75; Egon Bahr, Zu Meiner Zeit (Munich, 1996), 360–71; Valentin Falin, Politische Erinnerungen (Munich, 1995), 126–41, 144–61, 165–79. 33 I am grateful to Sir Christopher Audland for his comments on the final draft of this essay concerning the significance of the Quadripartite Declaration on Berlin in November 1972. Sir Audland’s comment to the author, February 18, 2018. 34 Frank Roberts, Dealing with Dictators: The Destruction and Revival of Europe, 1930–1970 (London, 1991). 35 Frank Roberts to Michael Stewart, “Developments in Federal German Reunification Policy,” March 19, 1968, FCO33/224, TNA. 36 “Recognition of the DDR: Possibilities and Implications,” undated, FCO33/225, TNA. 37 N. P. Bayne to D. A. Gladstone, “Allied Approach over Germany and Berlin,” October 13, 1969, FCO33/665, TNA; G. Etherington-Smith to F. Brooks Richards, “East Germany and European Security,” October 16, 1969, FCO33/476, TNA; R. Hanbury-Tenison to H. T. Morgan, December 1, 1969, FCO33/477, TNA; “Consequences for Berlin If Some Form of Recognition Were Accorded to the DDR,” December 6, 1969, FCO33/477, TNA. 38 Morgan to Lord Hood, “Recognition of East Germany,” October 17, 1968, FCO33/475, TNA; Lord Hood to D. S. Laskey, “Recognition of East Germany,” October 18, 1968, FCO33/475, TNA; Lord Hood-Martin Hillenbrand Talks Memcon, February 27, 1969, FCO33/475, TNA. 39 NSC, “Soviet Negotiating Interest in Berlin,” March 11, 1969, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc 18. 40 Richard Merritt and Anna Merritt, eds., Living with the Wall: West Berlin, 1961–1985 (Durham, NC, 1985), 92; William Rogers to Richard Nixon, “Tripartite Initiative with the Soviets Concerning Berlin and Inter-German Matters,” October 31, 1969, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry Kissinger, “Handling of Secretary Rogers’ Memoranda on Berlin and European Security Conference,” November 5, 1969, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Henry Kissinger to Richard Nixon, “Secretary Rogers’ Memorandum on Berlin,” November 17, 1969, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 42. 41 Catudal, Quadripartite Agreement, 89. 42 Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry Kissinger, “The Status of Ostpolitik and the Berlin Talks,” June 2, 1970, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; G. E. Millard to T. Brimelow, “U.S. Attitude towards the Ostpolitik,” August 11, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 43 “US Policy Assessment for West Berlin,” Berlin A-1007, December 27, 1968, POL GER W-US, State Department Central Files (hereafter SDCF), 1967–69, box 2137, RG 59, USNA; Doherty, “Berlin and the German Problem,” January 22, 1969, box 301, Lot Entry 5026, RG 59, USNA; “Developing Relations between the Two Parts of Germany: Their Effect on American Interests,” Bonn A-720, July 22, 1969, POL GER E-GER W, SDCF, 1967–69, box 2116, RG 59, USNA; “Possible Federal German Recognition of East Germany: Potential Consequences for U.S. Policy,” July 22, 1969, Bonn A-723, POL GER E-GER W, SDCF, 1967–69, box 2116, RG 59, USNA. 44 Hanbury-Tenison to Etherington-Smith, November 19, 1969, FCO33/476, TNA. 45 Brimelow-Jacques de Beaumarchais Talks, October 25, 1969, FCO33/669, TNA; N. P. Bayne to D.A. Gladstone, November 24, 1969, FCO33/476, TNA. 46 J. Freeman to Michael Stewart, December 18, 1969, FCO33/477, TNA; US State Department’s record of the talks, December 17, 1969, SDCF, 1967–69, box 2116, RG 59, USNA. 47 William Rogers to Richard Nixon, “Tripartite Initiative with the Soviets Concerning Berlin and Inter-German Matters,” October 31, 1969, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry Kissinger, “Handling of Secretary Rogers’ Memoranda on Berlin and European Security Conference,” November 5, 1969, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kissinger to Nixon, “Secretary Rogers’ Memorandum on Berlin,” November 17, 1969, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA. 48 Sutterlin and Klein, Berlin, 102. 49 POL39-1(a), “Bonn Group Paper Mar 70,” box 2, Lot Entry 5555, RG 59, USNA. 50 William Rogers to Richard Nixon, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” February 13, 1970, Country Files, Germany, box 690, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Rogers to Nixon, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” March 3, 1970, Country Files, Germany, box 690, NSC, NPMP, USNA. 51 J. K. Drinkall to R. J. Spencer, March 2, 1970, FCO33/1122, TNA; A. M. Palliser to D. V. Bendall, “Soviet/German talks and Berlin,” March 4, 1970, FCO33/1123, TNA; Soutou, “La France et l’Accord Quadripartite sur Berlin,” 51. 52 N. P. Bayne to D. A. Gladstone, “Proposal for a Negotiating Position in Berlin,” October 13, 1969, FCO33/665, TNA. 53 Etherington-Smith to F. Brooks Richards, October 19, 1969 FCO33/476, TNA. 54 British Embassy in Bonn, “The Consequences for the Allies particularly in Berlin for various forms of West German Recognition of the GDR,” February 10, 1970, FO1042/394, TNA. 55 FCO to Bonn, “Consultation on German Policy,” January 2, 1970, FO1042/394, TNA. 56 HM embassy in Bonn, “Draft Tripartite Working Paper: Access to Berlin” and “The Association between Berlin and the Federal Republic,” March 12, 1970, FCO33/1123, TNA; N. P. Bayne to R. J. Spencer, March 18, 1970, FCO33/1124, TNA. 57 Kwitzinskij, Vor dem Sturm, 218–19. 58 James Sutterlin to Jonathan Dean, February 4, 1970, box 2, Lot Entry 5555, RG 59, USNA; Paris to Washington, Paris 2070, February 23, 1970, box 2, Lot Entry 5555, RG 59, USNA; Bonn to FCO, Telegram No. 319, March 20, 1970, FCO33/1124, TNA 59 Bonn to FCO, Telegram 331, March 24, 1970, FCO33/1125, TNA; FCO to Washington, Telegram 706, March 25, 1970, FCO33/1125, TNA. 60 J. K. Drinkall to D. V. Bendall and T. Brimelow, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” April 14, 1970, FCO 33/1127. 61 British Embassy in Bonn, “The Consequences for the Allies particularly in Berlin for various forms of West German Recognition of the GDR,” February 10, 1970, FO1042/394, TNA. 62 “Draft Tripartite Working Paper: Access to Berlin” and “The Association between Berlin and the Federal Republic,” attached to N. P. Bayne to R. J. Spencer, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” March 18, 1970, FCO33/1123, TNA. 63 Washington to FCO, “Berlin and German Policy,” Telegram No. 1067, April 9, 1970, FCO33/1123, TNA; FCO to Bonn, April 22, 1970, Telegram No. 273, FCO33/1128, TNA; “Points of Conflict with U.S. and the French Including Outstanding Issues in the Berlin Talks,” Brief No. 6 for the Allied Senior Talks of May 1970, FCO33/1146, TNA; “Bonn Group Paper on Four-Power Berlin Talks,” June 1, 1970, box 3, Lot Entry 5547, RG 59, USNA. 64 Kissinger, White House Years, 824–25. 65 Berlin to FCO, March 26, 1970, Telegrams No. 101 and 102, FCO33/1125, TNA; Berlin to FCO, April 28, 1970, Telegrams No. 138, FCO33/1129, TNA; Roger Jackling to T. Brimelow, “Ostpolitik: Allied/F.R.G. Attitudes,” July 29, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 66 Berlin to FCO, March 26, 1970, Telegrams No. 101 and 102; Records of Meetings of HM Representatives in Eastern Europe, May 4, 1970, FCO28/917, TNA. 67 Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, “France, Ostpolitik and the Work of the Bonn Group,” July 16, 1970, FCO33/1023, TNA; Roger Jackling to T. Brimelow, “Ostpolitik: Allied/F.R.G. Attitudes,” July 29, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 68 Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry Kissinger, July 10, 1970, Henry A. Kissinger Office Files, Europe, Germany (hereafter HAK Germany) Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; William Rogers to Richard Nixon, “Your Meeting with FRG Foreign Minister Scheel,” July 16, 1970, Germany, Country Files, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Washington to FCO, July 29, 1970, Telegram No. 2718, FCO33/1135, TNA; G. E. Millard to T. Brimelow, “U.S. Attitude towards the Ostpolitik,” August 11, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA; Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, “Ostpolitik: U.S. Attitude,” July 24, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA . 69 Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, “Draft Instruments about Berlin,” June 24, 1970, FCO33/1133. 70 Bonn to FCO, “Berlin Talks––Preparation for 21 July Session,” Telegram 796, July 9, 1970, FCO33/1133, TNA. 71 J. K. Drinkall to D. V. Bendall, July 10, 1970, FCO 33/1035, TNA; Drinkall to Bendall, “Ostpolitik: U.S. Attitude,” July 10, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA; Christopher Audland to Roger Jackling, July 23, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 72 Bonn to FCO, “Future Tactics,” July 4, 1970, FCO33/1133, TNA; Bonn to FCO, “Preparations for 21 July Session,” July 9, 1970, FCO33/1133, TNA; Washington to FCO, July 9, 1970, Telegram No. 2060, FCO33/1133, TNA; Bonn to FCO, July 11, 1970, Telegram No. 818, FCO33/1133, TNA; Bonn to FCO, July 13, 1970, Telegram No. 824, FCO33/1133, TNA; Bonn to FCO, July 17, 1970, Telegram No. 855, FCO33/1134, TNA; Berlin to FCO, July 21, 1970, Telegram No. 214, FCO33/1134, TNA; State Department to U.S. embassy in London, July 10, 1970, STATE 10962, POL39.1 JUL (2), box 3, Lot Entry 5555, RG 59, USNA; Jonathan Dean to James Sutterlin, July 10, 1970, STATE 10962, POL39.1 JUL (2), box 3, Lot Entry 5555, RG 59, USNA. 73 Washington to FCO, July 9, 1970, Telegram No. 2060, FCO33/1133, TNA; Henry Kissinger to Richard Nixon, “The Berlin Talks,” July 17, 1970, Germany, Country Files, box 690, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Washington to FCO, July 29, 1970, Telegram No. 2218, FCO33/1135, TNA; Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, “Ostpolitik: U. S. Attitude,” July 24, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA; G. E. Millard to T. Brimelow, “U. S. Attitude towards the Ostpolitik,” August 11, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 74 FCO to Bonn, July 15, 1970, Telegram No. 463, FCO33/1023, TNA; Washington to FCO, July 9, 1970, Telegram No. 2060, FCO33/1133, TNA; Bonn to FCO, July 11, 1970, Telegram No. 818, FCO33/1133, TNA. 75 Bonn to FCO, July 11, 1970, Telegram No. 818, FCO33/1133, TNA. 76 Hanrieder, Germany, America, Europe, 203; Michael J. Sodaro, Moscow, Germany and the West from Khrushchev to Gorbachev (Ithaca, NY, 1990), 185. 77 Berlin to FCO, September 30, 1970, Telegram No. 286, FCO33/1137, TNA. 78 Bonn to US State Department, “Scheel Visit—Connection between German-Eastern Policy and Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” July 15, 1970, box 2285, SDCF, 1970–73, USNA; Russell Fessenden to Kenneth Rush, July 9, 1970, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 95. 79 Berlin to FCO, October 7, 1970, Telegram No. 297, FCO33/1138, TNA; Christopher Audland, “Quadripartite Meeting of Counselors, October 7, 1970—Analytical Summary of Discussion,” October 7, 1970, FCO33/1139, TNA; Berlin to FCO, October 9, 1970, Telegram No. 302, FCO33/1138, TNA; Audland, Right Place––Right Time, 199–200; Kwizinskij, Vor dem Sturm, 240; “Berlin Talks: 10 December: Check-List of Allied and Soviet Formulation,” December 8, 1970, FCO33/1143, TNA. 80 Egon Bahr to Henry Kissinger, June 30, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 264; Falin, Politische Erinnerungen, 111–12, 122–25, 135–36. 81 “Négociation quadripartite de Berlin,” January 4, 1971, Documents Diplomatique Français, 1971, Tome I (Brussels, 2015), doc. 3; N. H. R. A. Broomfield to P. Unwin, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” January 14, 1971, FCO33/1525, TNA; Bonn to Washington, “Berlin Negotiations: Draft Agreement,” Bonn 1156, POL Germany 1970–73, box 2288, RG 59, USNA. 82 “Interpreter’s Record of Counselors’ Meeting,” October 30, 1970, FCO33/1140, TNA; “Analytical Summary of Discussion at Quadripartite Counselors’ Meeting in Berlin on November 13, 1970,” attached to Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, November 17, 1970, FCO33/1142, TNA; Bonn to FCO, November 17, 1970, Telegram No. 1391, FCO33/1142, TNA; Berlin to Bonn, December 10, 1970, Telegram No. 370, FCO33/1143, TNA; N. H. R. A. Broomfield to P. Unwin, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” January 14, 1971, FO1042/408. 83 Sutterlin and Klein, Berlin, 126. 84 Van Well’s record of the Bonn Group meeting, January 30, 1971, Auswärtigen Amts, Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (hereafter AAPD), 1971 (Munich), dok. 38; Bonn to State Department, “Berlin Talks—Draft Agreement,” February 3, 1971, box 2288, SDCF, 1970–73, RG 59, USNA; Egon Bahr to Henry Kissinger, February 15, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 182; Home-Brandt Talks Memcon, February 23, 1971, FCO33/1436, TNA. 85 Berlin to FCO, December 10, 1970, Telegram No. 370, FCO33/1143, TNA. 86 P. Unwin to D. V. Bendall, “Berlin Talks: French Views,” January 1, 1971, FCO33/1548, TNA; Bonn to FCO, “Berlin Talks: French Views,” January 11, 1971, Telegram No. 16, FCO33/1548, TNA. 87 Wilkens, Der unstete Nachbar, 145–50; Soutou, “La France et l’Accord Quadripartite sur Berlin,” 73. 88 “Négociation quadripartite de Berlin,” January 4, 1971, Documents Diplomatiques Français, 1971, I, doc. 3. 89 Bonn to FCO, “Berlin Talks: French Views,” January 11, 1971, Telegram No. 16, ibid. 90 Jackling’s report of the Bonn Group Ambassadorial Lunch, February 1, 1971, FO1042/410, TNA. 91 Berlin to FCO, February 5, 1971, Telegram No. 37, FCO33/1525, TNA; Berlin to FCO, February 8, 1971, Telegram No. 48, FCO33/1525, TNA. 92 Berlin to FCO, March 26, 1971, Telegram No. 96, FCO33/1526, TNA; Anatoly Dobrynin to Henry Kissinger, March 18, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 201; Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, March 21, 1971, FRUS, vol. XL, doc. 203. 93 Bonn to FCO, May 29, 1971, Telegram No. 705, FCO33/1528, TNA. 94 Kissinger-Dobrynin Memcon, December 22, 1970, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kissinger-Dobrynin Memcon, January 9, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Falin, Politische Erinnerungen, 135–36. 95 Bahr’s record of talks with Valentin Falin, October 22, 1970, AAPD, 1970, dok. 485; Falin, Politische Erinnerungen, 128–41. 96 Soviet Note on January 6, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kissinger-Dobrynin Memcon, January 9, 1971, ibid.; Editorial Note, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 160. 97 Jussi Hanhimaki, The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy (Oxford, 2004), 90–91. 98 Kissinger-Dobrynin Talks, January 28, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA. 99 Henry Kissinger to Kenneth Rush, February 26, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kissinger-Dobrynin Talks Memcon, March 25, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Dobrynin’s Memcon of the March 24, 1971 talks with Henry Kissinger, in Soviet-American Relations: The Détente Years, 1969–1972, ed. Edward Keefer, David C. Geyer, and Douglas Selvage (Washington, DC, 2007), doc. 138. 100 Roger Jackling to Christopher Audland, February 19, 1971, FO1042/412, TNA; Bonn to FCO, February 21, 1971, Telegram No. 234, FCO33/1340, TNA; Bonn to FCO, March 1, 1971, Telegram No. 283, FCO33/1340, TNA. 101 Henry Kissinger to Kenneth Rush, March 31, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA. 102 Kissinger, White House Years, 828; Bahr, Zu Meiner Zeit, 359–61; Kissinger-Dobrynin Talks, April 26, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, April 28, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, April 30, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 286. 103 Kissinger, White House Years, 828–30; Bahr, Zu Meiner Zeit, 362–66; Falin, Politische Erinnerungen, 144–46. 104 Henry Kissinger to Kenneth Rush, May 24, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, June 29, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Nixon, Kissinger, Rush Memcon on June 15, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 253. 105 Christopher Audland, “Berlin Talks,” June 11, 1971, FCO33/1528, TNA; Bonn to FCO, “Next Steps,” June 14, 1971, FCO33/1528, TNA; Record of Tripartite Ambassadorial Meeting on July 15, 1971, FCO33/1529, TNA. 106 Wilson-Nixon Talks, January 27, 1970, PREM13/3546, TNA; Kissinger, White House Years, 416. 107 Heath-Nixon Talks, December 17, 1970, PREM15/161, TNA. 108 J. A. Thomson to B. Trend, “Ostpolitik and Its Risks,” December 22, 1970, PREM15/1579, TNA; Alec Douglas-Home to Edward Heath, PM/71/13, “Ostpolitik,” February 2, 1971, PREM15/1579, TNA. 109 “US Approach to the Berlin Talks,” March 25, 1971, FCO33/1548, TNA; T. Brimelow to Roger Jackling, April 13, 1971, FCO33/1548, TNA; Brimelow-Hillenbrand Talks, July 20, 1971, FCO33/1529, TNA; FCO to Bonn, “General Assessment,” July 21, 1971, FCO33/1529, TNA; J. K. Drinkall to T. Brimelow, “Berlin Negotiations,” July 7, 1971, FCO33/1550, TNA. 110 “Bonn Group Meeting 4 December: Summary of Main Points—Further Development of Berlin Talks,” attached to Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, December 7, 1970, FCO33/1143, TNA; B. Crowe to M. E. MacGlashan, “Berlin Talks,” December 10, 1970, FCO33/1144, TNA; HM Bonn embassy, “Berlin Talks: Soviet Representation in West Berlin,” December 17, 1970, FCO33/1144, TNA. 111 Geraint Hughes, “Giving the Russians a Bloody Nose: Operation Foot and Soviet Espionage in the United Kingdom, 1964–71,” Cold War History 6, no. 2 (2006): 229–49. 112 Bonn Group Dinner Meeting at NATO Lisbon Ministerial Meetings, June 2, 1971, FCO33/1558, TNA; J. K. Drinkall to Christopher Audland, July 5, 1971, FO1042/423, TNA; N. P. Bayne to Christopher Audland, “Soviet Consulate-General in the Western Sectors,” July 6, 1971, and Audland’s Comment to Jackling, July 7, 1971, FO1042/423, TNA. 113 Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, July 29, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA. 114 Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, August 6, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 281. 115 FCO to Berlin, August 17, 1971, Telegram No. 169, FCO33/1530, TNA; T. Brimelow to Roger Jackling, August 17, 1971, FCO33/1530, TNA; Wiggin to Garrod, “Berlin,” August 27, 1971, FCO33/1530, TNA; Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, August 13, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kissinger, White House Years, 831. 116 Alec Douglas-Home to Edward Heath, PM/71/77, “Berlin Talks,” August 1971, PREM15/2096, TNA. 117 Ratti, Britain, Ost- and Deutschlandpolitik, 152–57. 118 For a critical analysis of Kissinger’s diplomacy, see Stanley Hoffmann, Primacy or World Order: American Foreign Policy Since the Cold War (New York, 1978), 33–100. 119 Andrew Scott, Allies Apart: Heath, Nixon and the Anglo-American Relationship (Basingstoke, UK, 2011), 50–79. 120 Scott, Allies Apart, 108–39; Stephen R. Twigge, “Operation Hullabaloo: Henry Kissinger, British Diplomacy, and the Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War,” Diplomatic History 33, no. 4 (September 2009): 689–701; Thomas Robb, A Strained Partnership? US-UK Relations in the Age of Détente, 1969–77 (Manchester, UK, 2013), 210. 121 Heath, Course of My Life, 492–93; DBPO, Series III, vol. 4, The Year of Europe: America, Europe and the Energy Crisis, 1972–1974 (London, 2006), 1–19. 122 DBPO, Series III, vol. 2, The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1972–1975 (London, 1997), v. 123 Ratti, Britain, Ost- and Deutschlandpolitik, 207–32. 124 N. Piers Ludlow, “The Real Years of Europe? U.S.–West European Relations during the Ford Administration,” Journal of Cold War Studies 15, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 136–61. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Diplomatic History Oxford University Press

In the Shadow of Back-Channels: Britain and the Berlin Four Power Talks, 1968–1971

Diplomatic History , Volume Advance Article – May 29, 2018

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Abstract

In May 1967, Abba Eban, Israel’s foreign minister, visited Washington. Israel was on the brink of the Third Arab–Israeli War, and Eban’s mission was to secure U.S. support for Israel in the coming war. Before coming to Washington, he had met with President Charles de Gaulle in Paris, who, fearing that the conflict might start World War III, proposed to Eban the idea of convening talks among “the four great powers” to prevent the war. When Eban explained de Gaulle’s proposal, President Lyndon B. Johnson irritably retorted, “What did he mean by ‘the four great powers’? Who the hell are the other two?”1 Britain was one of “the other two” both in this episode and in the Four Power system (with the United States, France, and the Soviet Union) established for Germany and Berlin after World War II. In the historiography of Ostpolitik and the birth of the Berlin Quadripartite Agreement of 1971, however, historians have treated Britain much like Johnson did. In 2009, Carole Fink and Bernd Schaefer published a collection of essays on European and global responses to Ostpolitik, and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office released an official volume of Cold War-era British documents on Berlin. In the former, Britain was the only Four Power state that was not featured in the essays. In the latter, there was no chapter on the 1970–1971 Four Power talks.2 For almost four decades, the historiography of the Berlin negotiations has been predominantly based on the account by Henry Kissinger, President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser. In 1979, he provided the account of his “back-channel” diplomacy with Anatoly Dobrynin, the Soviet ambassador to Washington; Egon Bahr, an aide to Willy Brandt, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG); Kenneth Rush, the U.S. ambassador to Bonn; and Valentin Falin, a Soviet diplomat in charge of German affairs.3 A year before Kissinger, Honoré Catudal published the first overview of the Berlin Quadripartite Talks and the consultation process in the Bonn Group between the three Western Allies and the FRG, from the perspective of the State Department.4 His account, however, has been overshadowed by Kissinger’s “back-channel” diplomacy narrative, and with the declassified Nixon White House documents, historians have confirmed Kissinger’s story.5 Even Mary E. Sarotte’s groundbreaking study of Ostpolitik and the Berlin Talks from the perspective of the Eastern side followed Kissinger’s narrative on the Western side of the story.6 In the accounts of Kissinger, Catudal, and others, Britain has been treated as a minor participant in the Berlin Talks. Recent studies on Britain and Ostpolitik have explained that while prime ministers, ministers, and senior officials in London were generally supportive of Brandt’s policy approach, Britain did not have a very active role and, as always, worried that it was not being well informed and consulted by Bonn.7 These studies, however, have overlooked the British diplomats’ leading role in the Berlin Four Power talks and the Bonn Group. As the head of the Western Department of British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) commented, the British approach to the Ostpolitik was to “do our best to make constructive suggestions, mostly at [an] official level only, about how in practice the policy can most effectively be implemented.”8 Unfortunately, the official-level diplomacy at the Berlin Four Power talks and the Bonn Group consultations has been left largely uninvestigated since Catudal’s study, except studies on French aspects by Andreas Wilkens and George-Henri Soutou.9 This has made Britain’s role in the Berlin Talks invisible. In his memoirs, Kissinger admitted that he “was describing a complex multilateral negotiation from the perhaps inadequate perspective of a single participant,” and he had “to wait for the memoirs of the other participants” for a fuller picture of the negotiations.10 So, what pictures do the now-declassified British and American documents provide about the British role in the Berlin Quadripartite talks, which so far has been in the shadow of Kissinger’s back-channel diplomacy? This essay examines the British response to FRG’s Ostpolitik under Brandt by exploring the British role in the Berlin Four Power talks from March 1970 to September 1971. Catudal has commented that “it was a very real fact of life” that the Americans “would play the dominant role among the Allies in the Berlin Four Power negotiations.”11 In contrast, this essay argues, using archival evidence, that Britain played leading roles both in the Berlin Quadripartite negotiations and in the Bonn Group. Furthermore, the role Britain played in the Berlin talks also shows the role it played in intra-alliance relations in the decades of the Cold War and détente in Europe. As former British prime minister Edward Heath wrote, Britain was “conspicuously lagging behind our European partners in the ‘bicycle race’” to Moscow.12 Both Heath and his predecessor, Harold Wilson, appeared less active than their European or American peers in pursuing détente in Europe generally and in Germany and Berlin in particular. However, as this essay explains, Britain had a significant, if inconspicuous, role in coordinating the intra-alliance diplomacy that took place in the era of détente in Europe. It might be symbolic that the principal private secretary of Michael Stewart, Wilson’s foreign secretary who maintained supportive stances toward European détente and Brandt’s Ostpolitik, recalled Stewart as an “unsung Foreign Secretary”––quiet, unobtrusive, unprovocative in manner, but uncompromising.13 “The policy we have long advocated”: Ostpolitik and Britain After World War II, the former Third Reich was occupied by four powers––the United States, Soviet Union, Britain, and France. Germany and its capital Berlin were divided into four sectors by these powers. The four powers agreed to hold joint rights and responsibilities for Germany and Berlin, and they were to continue this arrangement until a new state for all of Germany was born with the conclusion of a peace treaty among the four powers and the Germans. With the start of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and its three Western counterparts, however, Germany was divided into two regimes: the FRG and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). A series of major Cold War crises ensued concerning the divided Germany and Berlin, including the First and Second Berlin crises of 1948–1949 and 1957–1962. The Western Allies publicly called for an early reunification of Germany, essentially through the FRG’s absorption of the GDR. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, asserted that Germany should remain perpetually divided, and Berlin, which comprised the Western sectors of Greater Berlin and was in the middle of the GDR, should be absorbed into the GDR.14 The construction of the Berlin Wall in the summer of 1961 put an end to this phase of the East–West confrontation. The Wall had shown both sides that the status quo of a divided Germany could not be altered in the way either side wished. Thereafter, the focus of the German and Berlin questions shifted. For the FRG and the Western Allies, a German reunification would not be possible for several decades. Thus, during this long period before the final reunification, the Western side had to promote provisional agreements with the Soviet side on how to stabilize the status quo and prevent the escalation of tensions; how to promote an East–West détente; and how to preserve the possibility of a final reunification that could be attained after decades of improvement in East–West relations.15 It was in this context that Willy Brandt, who was governing mayor of West Berlin during the Second Berlin crisis, and Egon Bahr, his aide, proposed their Ostpolitik.16 The FRG would not be able to recognize de jure the GDR because that would mean the end of the Four Power system whose goal was a reunified Germany. But for the period until the reunification, the FRG would be able to recognize de facto the GDR as a provisional regime governing part of a single German state and promote the normalization of relations between the two German regimes. By effectively putting an end to the FRG’s policy of nonrecognition of the GDR, which prevented improvement in the FRG’s relations with the Soviet bloc in general, Brandt and Bahr expected that the door would open for the FRG’s modus vivendi with the Soviet Union as well as its East European neighbors, most notably Poland and Czechoslovakia. They hoped that, through a generation-long rapprochement with the Soviet bloc, a path toward ending the division of Germany could be built, little by little.17 Brandt became the vice chancellor and the foreign minister of the Christian Democrats-Social Democrats Grand Coalition government in 1966 and the chancellor of the Social Democrats-Free Democrats coalition government in 1969. In the years that followed, Brandt and Bahr, who became minister of state in the Chancellor’s Office in charge of Ostpolitik, realized their vision in a series of diplomatic successes: the FRG–Soviet Moscow Treaty (August 1970), the Warsaw Treaty with Poland (December 1970), the Four Power Berlin agreement (September 1971), the Quadripartite Declaration on Berlin (November 1972), and the FRG–GDR Treaty on the Basis of Relations (December 1972). Despite these diplomatic successes, Nixon, Kissinger, and French president Georges Pompidou, held grave doubts about Brandt’s Ostpolitik. They believed that it would, intentionally or unintentionally, end in a German–Soviet rapprochement, the weakening of the West German commitment to the Western alliance system, and the neutralization of West Germany in search of reunification.18 In contrast, Britain welcomed Brandt’s Ostpolitik. As a March 1968 Cabinet memorandum on British foreign policy noted, it was “the policy we have long advocated and we can wholly support.”19 The basic ideas of Brandt’s Ostpolitik––including the FRG’s provisional acceptance of a divided Germany and the development of long-term East–West détente to end the division of Germany and Europe after several decades––paralleled the proposals that successive British prime ministers, from Winston Churchill to Harold Macmillan, had put forth since the early 1950s. While publicly supporting the FRG’s call for the early reunification of Germany, British policy makers also thought that it was neither possible nor desirable to try to reunify the country in the short term. Reunification should instead be pursued as a long-term goal for the Western alliance by provisionally accepting the status quo and calming down the tense atmosphere surrounding East–West relations, promoting détente in Europe, and seeking a peaceful change in Soviet attitudes toward the West. Accordingly, British prime ministers sought East–West agreements for provisional acceptance of the status quo on Germany, without closing the door on the West pursuing the end of the division of Germany and Europe in the distant future.20 Such stances on the German and Berlin questions often isolated Britain from its Bonn Group allies. In particular, Macmillan’s diplomatic initiatives during the Second Berlin crisis, including his decision in January 1959 to visit Moscow immediately after Khrushchev’s ultimatum on Berlin, led to the severe deterioration of UK–FRG political relations.21 Scholars have often regarded this as one of the major causes of Macmillan’s failed bid for Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community (EEC).22 With this experience in mind, Britain in the post-Macmillan years intentionally avoided publicly taking diplomatic initiatives on the German question.23 This, however, did not mean that Britain totally refrained from making any moves on the German question in the 1960s and 1970s. Instead, it acted in a less visible manner: via Bonn Group consultation processes. Therein, Britain often acted to coordinate views and formulate joint positions between the FRG and the three Allies in a way that was supportive of Brandt’s Ostpolitik.24 British officials and ministers did not disregard the existence of the risk entailed in Brandt’s Ostpolitik that Nixon, Kissinger, and Pompidou feared: Soviet efforts to disentangle West Germany from the Western alliance. But the British thought that such a risk might well be contained, generally by strengthening the Western alliance (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] and the EEC), and specifically by developing Bonn Group consultations.25 As Brandt repeatedly stressed, the FRG’s Ostpolitik always had to be matched with its Westpolitik. This approach fit well with the British policy on intra-alliance relations in the 1960s and 1970s. Recent studies on Britain and Ostpolitik have stressed that while London was generally more supportive than Washington or Paris concerning Brandt’s policy approach, it always worried that it might not be informed or consulted sufficiently by Bonn.26 These studies are correct in the sense that British policy makers occasionally expressed such concerns. What these studies have ignored, however, is that British policy makers––generally supportive of Ostpolitik but recognizing the necessity of safeguarding Allied rights in Germany and Berlin even before the start of the Brandt government––indeed steered first the Bonn Group consultations and later the Four Power Berlin talks with the Soviets toward the conclusion of the Berlin agreement with enough safeguards on quadripartite rights.27 Britain started the drafting of a possible Berlin quadripartite agreement years earlier than did Bonn, Washington, and Paris. Naturally, then, Britain was much better prepared than both its Bonn Group peers and the Soviets when the Berlin Four Power talks started in March 1970. As a result, Western positions vis-à-vis the Soviet Union were generally formulated along the line Britain had envisioned. The Berlin Four Power Talks and Britain (1968–1971) While Brandt and Bahr advanced their Ostpolitik by concluding Eastern treaties with the Soviet Union and East European countries, they needed a quadripartite agreement on Berlin among the three Western Allied powers and the Soviet Union as a correlate of those treaties. From March 1970 to September 1971, the ambassadors of the four powers negotiated the Berlin agreement. The talks concerned the rights and responsibilities of the four powers and concessions to be made by the FRG and the GDR. However, the two Germanys were not direct participants in this stage of the discussions. Their interests were represented by the three Western Allied powers and the Soviet Union respectively. Both the negotiations between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies and the consultations between them and their respective German clients were complicated, and the talks were prolonged. There were two central issues in the quadripartite talks. First was the total ban (or limitation) on official and political activities in West Berlin carried out by the FRG government, parliament, and political parties, which the Soviet Union demanded. Second was the guarantee of freedom of movement on the land access route between the FRG and West Berlin, which the Western Allies demanded.28 After the construction of the Wall in 1961, Berlin was no longer a prime theater of global Cold War confrontations. However, several mini-crises occurred during the rest of the 1960s in West Berlin and on the FRG–West Berlin land access routes running through GDR territory. Formerly, West Berlin was a special area that was not territory of the FRG but was still occupied by the three Western Allied powers. But politically, the legal distinction between West Berlin and the FRG had been blurred since the late 1940s, both from a need to lift the morale of West Berliners who were living in isolation in the middle of the GDR and from the context of the FRG’s domestic politics. The FRG therefore engaged in a number of visible political acts in Berlin to highlight West Berlin’s political ties with the FRG, such as convening cabinet meetings, holding a parliamentary special session to elect the president of the FRG (Bundesversammlung), holding plenary and committee meetings of the Bundestag, and setting up the federal government’s agencies there. The FRG’s political parties also held party caucuses in the city.29 These FRG activities were unacceptable to the Soviet Union and East Germany. In retaliation, the GDR took a series of steps designed to impede overland civilian travel between West Berlin and the FRG. The three Western Allied powers protested to the Soviet Union about these acts of intimidation, maintaining that the Soviet Union, which jointly held Four Power responsibilities, was accountable for preventing such actions. The Soviet Union responded that it was no longer responsible for the access routes because it had concluded a formal treaty with the GDR in 1955 which ended the Soviet Union’s occupation of the eastern part of Germany, and transferred the responsibility for access routes to the GDR. The three Western Allied powers refuted such claims, maintaining that the Soviet Union continued to shoulder Four Power joint rights and responsibilities regarding Germany and Berlin until the four powers concluded a final peace treaty with all of Germany; therefore, the Soviet Union was responsible for preventing harassment by the GDR on the access routes.30 In June 1968, Brandt called for the Berlin talks in the Bonn Group foreign minister meeting. He calculated that the start of these Four Power talks might well assist the FRG–GDR negotiations in normalizing intra-German relations. Nixon, who became U.S. president in January 1969, made the next major initiative for the talks. In February, he visited West Berlin, where the FRG and the GDR were preparing for the Bundesversammlung and for retaliatory harassment on the access route passage, respectively. Amid the mini-crisis, Nixon called on Moscow to start negotiations to prevent the escalation of tensions in Berlin. In July, Moscow publicly stated that it was prepared to begin the Four Power talks on Berlin. In March 1970, the talks started among four ambassadors: Pjotr Abrasimov of the Soviet Union, Kenneth Rush of the United States, Roger Jackling of Britain, and Roger Seydoux of France, who was succeeded by Jean Sauvagnargues in May.31 Kissinger recalled in his memoirs that the ambassadorial discussions moved at a desultory pace as the ambassadors—just as their predecessors had done over the years—encrusted the negotiations by haggling over legalisms. It was not until he initiated his back-channel negotiations with Dobrynin in January 1971 that the Berlin talks finally started to advance. In April, Bahr proposed to Kissinger the so-called Bahr formula: a draft Berlin agreement that bypassed the wording and the legal complications that had stalled the ambassadorial talks. With Kissinger’s approval, Bahr, Rush, and Falin, the Soviet ambassador to Bonn, secretly negotiated this draft, and they reached an agreement at the end of July. In August, Rush brought up this covert agreement at the ambassadorial talks and succeeded in concluding the talks. On September 3, the ambassadors initialed the Four Power Berlin agreement.32 In 1972, the FRG and the GDR signed the Treaty on the Basis of Relations in December, while the Four Powers had issued the Quadripartite Declaration on Berlin beforehand in November.33 In this widely-held narrative of the Berlin Four Power Talks, historians have assigned no substantial role to Britain. What different perspectives, then, do the UK and U.S. declassified documents present about the British role in the Berlin Talks? We now move back a little earlier to March 1968 and begin to explore the role Britain played in the process toward the conclusion of the Berlin Four Power Agreement of September 1971. A tangible beginning to Britain’s preparation for the Berlin Quadripartite talks can be traced back to a much earlier time than the calls by Brandt and Nixon. In March 1968, Frank Roberts, Her Majesty’s (HM) ambassador to Bonn, sent his valedictory dispatch to London. Roberts was an old hand on Germany and the Cold War. During the First Berlin Crisis, he was principal private secretary to Ernest Bevin, the foreign secretary, and served in Moscow as Bevin’s personal representative to negotiate with Joseph Stalin about the lifting of the Berlin blockade. During the Second Berlin crisis, he dealt with Nikita Khrushchev as British ambassador to Moscow. After a year at NATO, he moved to Bonn in 1963, his last diplomatic post.34 Roberts’s dispatch was focused on Bonn’s Ostpolitik and its possible risks for the Western position in West Berlin. While reviewing the FRG’s policy in a favorable manner, Roberts warned London that the FRG’s de facto recognition of the GDR, which he saw as one of the consequences of the Bonn policy, might lead to the infringement of the stationing rights of the Western Allied troops in West Berlin. He also suspected that Brandt was moving forward with his policy of normalization of FRG–GDR relations without understanding its possible repercussions for West Berlin and the land access routes. Roberts pointed out that the Bonn Group powers should have enough policy coordination to prevent damage to the Four Power status due to Bonn’s recognition of the GDR.35 Roberts’s dispatch made an impact on the British Foreign Office. It started a study of Bonn’s move toward the recognition of the GDR and the Four Power Berlin talks, which would be needed in that process. In June, the study concluded that it was both necessary and desirable to negotiate and conclude a new Four Power Berlin agreement with the Soviet Union, to maintain the Western position in West Berlin, and to preserve freedom of movement over the land access routes.36 The Czech crisis in the summer of 1968 resulted in London suspending its discussion for a few months. But as West Germany, the United States, and France soon resumed their respective détente diplomacies with the Soviet bloc, HM government also resumed its study. By the end of 1969, HM embassy in Bonn and the British Military Government Office in Berlin had prepared basic blueprints for a final Four Power agreement on Berlin and a scenario for long and hard-bargaining quadripartite talks with the Soviet Union.37 The Bonn Group later adopted these blueprints for its joint position paper of March–May 1970 that set the Western strategy on the Berlin talks, as well as the basic framework and ideas for the Berlin Four Power agreement, which were to be realized in August 1971. In autumn 1968, Wilson and Stewart wished to have a U.S.–UK policy consultation regarding possible FRG–GDR normalization and the consequent Berlin talks. But Washington, in the final months of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, was not well prepared to hold such consultations. London thus decided to wait until the new Nixon administration was ready for such meetings.38 Although Nixon called for the Berlin quadripartite talks with the Soviet Union in February 1969, the White House quickly lost interest in the idea. Kissinger, according to his staff, initially expected that it would be possible to negotiate with the Soviets on concrete issues related to Berlin, the progress of which would be “a significant signal” of improvement in superpower relations. But he soon concluded that “in almost any discussions on Berlin, the Western powers and Bonn suffer from [a] certain negotiating weakness” vis-à-vis Moscow, and that it would be better to leave the status quo as it was.39 For the rest of 1969, the United States, Britain, and France made several public calls directed to the Soviet Union about starting the Four Power Berlin talks. The Western Allies made these proposals, however, because of British and West German initiatives in the Bonn Group that overcame U.S. and French reluctance.40 Washington was reluctant to initiate the Berlin talks for three reasons. First, Nixon and Kissinger were mostly preoccupied with issues such as the Vietnam War and the U.S.–Soviet Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (SALT) negotiations, which were of much higher policy priority than was the Berlin question.41 Second, due to the well-known tug-of-war between Kissinger’s National Security Council (NSC) and the State Department concerning the control of the foreign policy-making process, the administration did not make much headway on the coordinated formulation of foreign policy, including Ostpolitik and the Berlin talks.42 Third, as the State Department had long regarded talk about the FRG’s recognition of the GDR as taboo, American policy makers did not see a need to start the Berlin talks in such a context.43 In September 1969, Brandt became chancellor and proclaimed his government’s intention to normalize relations with the GDR. While generally welcoming Brandt’s Ostpolitik approach, the British FCO worried that Brandt, Bahr, and even the FRG’s Foreign Office had not paid much attention to the risks Bonn’s policy might entail for Western Allied rights and responsibilities in Berlin. Furthermore, London was concerned that not only Bonn but also Paris and Washington were unaware of such risks.44 Hence Britain urged its Bonn Group peers to pay attention to such possible challenges and called for consultations to avoid such consequences. In October, British officials held bilateral consultations with their French and German counterparts. In these meetings, London demanded awareness on the part of Paris and Bonn about the potential impact of Ostpolitik on Berlin.45 The long-awaited U.S.-UK consultation took place in December. The British pointed out that Bonn was moving toward de facto recognition of the GDR, and that the West had to negotiate with the Soviet Union to maintain Western rights and responsibilities in Berlin and freedom of passage along the FRG–West Berlin land access routes running through GDR territory. They maintained that after long and hard bargaining with the Soviets, the Western powers had a considerable chance of obtaining a Four Power agreement that would be satisfactory from the Western viewpoint.46 It seems, however, that the consultation did not make much impact on Washington. Even at the end of 1969 and in early 1970 when the three Western Allied powers had agreed with the Soviet Union to start the Four Power talks, both the State Department and the White House were reluctant to do so. Washington anticipated that there was neither the necessity to begin the talks nor the possibility of their resulting in a successful conclusion for the West. It was thus at the strong urging of the FRG and Britain that the United States reluctantly decided not to object to the initiative raised by its allies.47 The first U.S. position paper on the Berlin talks was formulated by State Department officials in February and March 1970. Later, they recalled that this U.S. paper generally constituted the Western joint position paper, which the Bonn Group agreed upon in March and May of that year.48 In fact, however, the Bonn Group paper was mostly comprised of xeroxes of British papers.49 It should also be noted that the U.S. position paper did not have a plan for the substantial talks, as the Americans were so dismissive about the prospect of any meaningful negotiations with the Russians. The best possible outcome the State Department expected was “a minor improvement” for the situation of West Berliners, such as the restoration of telephone connection or visiting passes to East Berlin. The State Department expected that, more than likely, the talks would be suspended without any meaningful achievement or would collapse due to the unacceptable Soviet demands. Since substantial results, such as the improvement of civilian German land access, were an “unlikely event,” the United States did not consider such a prospect.50 In Paris, both President Pompidou and officials in Quai d’Orsay feared that the Four Power talks could erode the Western Allied position on Berlin. Paris also believed that the Western Allies could not “ask the Russians to agree that there should be certain political and legal ties between West Berlin and the Federal Republic.”51 In contrast to Paris and Washington, the British saw considerable prospect for a substantial deal with the Russians. A British paper for the Bonn Group discussion in October 1969, “Proposal for a Negotiating Position in Berlin,” presented a likely course of the Four Power talks, with an idea of opening positions, arguments, concessions, and final agreement between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. It maintained that the Western Allied powers had a reasonable chance of reaching satisfactory agreements with the Soviet side on access, in return for two Western concessions. The first was the limitation of the FRG’s political activities in West Berlin. The second was that the Western Allies would acknowledge the East German measures and controls of the civilian access route, if the Soviet Union would acknowledge its responsibility for the orderly and equitable administration of these measures by the GDR.52 British diplomats in Bonn and London concluded that a new Four Power Berlin Agreement on such a basis would benefit Western powers by improving, or by maintaining, the Western status quo on the Berlin issue. As a British official in Berlin commented, “the Russians will continue to wish to avoid trouble over Berlin as part of their general policy of détente with the West.”53 And in the context of the FRG-USSR modus vivendi and the FRG’s move towards the de facto recognition of the GDR, the new arrangements would “stand a better chance of being upheld by the Eastern side.”54 While Washington and Paris were guarded about planning for substantial Four Power talks, Britain pushed them to formulate a joint Western position paper for the talks in the Bonn Group.55 Britain presented its papers, “Access to Berlin” and “Association between the Federal Republic and Berlin,” to its Bonn Group peers. The former defined the major Western objective of the Four Power talks as obtaining “the improvements in the security of German civilian access to Berlin, if possible by inducing the Russians to accept a measure of responsibility for civilian access.” The latter envisioned limiting some of the FRG’s political activities in the city, such as Bundestag committee meetings or party congresses, in exchange for a comparable Soviet concession. These British papers figured largely in the Bonn Group joint paper.56 So even while Washington and Paris did not favor, or were not prepared for, substantial negotiations on Berlin with the Soviets, Britain succeeded in persuading their American and French peers in the Bonn Group to agree to its agenda setting for the Berlin Four Power talks. British planning for the quadripartite talks also appeared well ahead of the Soviets. When Juri Kvitsinki, the Soviet counselor at the East Berlin embassy, prepared for the Four Power talks, he found that the Soviet Foreign Ministry archive contained few of the previous and original documents on the Berlin problem. Former Soviet officials had possibly deemed the old documents on Berlin as unnecessary and thrown them away. As a result, the Soviet negotiators did not possess key original documents on the Berlin Four Power system, while the other side had everything at hand. Because Western diplomats could develop their legal arguments on Berlin with the support of their document files, the Soviet arguments seemed to do little to convince them.57 An example of the way in which British leadership had a significant impact on the course of the Berlin talks concerns the most important topic of these discussions: the Soviet acknowledgment of the four powers’ guarantee of the free movement of civilians and goods through the FRG–West Berlin land access routes. In the first two months of the talks, from March to May, Britain was the only one among the three Western Allies maintaining that this item should be negotiated with the Soviets. Both the Americans and the French were reluctant to raise the issue of the access routes in negotiations with the Soviets, fearing that there was little possibility the Soviets would accept Western demands regarding these issues. They thought this matter was the weakest point of the Western position and were afraid that if the Western Allies addressed this issue in the talks, the Western position would be diminished further. As Jim Sutterlin, the State Department’s Country Director for Germany, wrote to Jonathan Dean, counsellor of the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, “We agree completely that German civilian access is the most important subject to be discussed with the USSR; but it also strikes us as being the least likely area for progress within a quadripartite forum.” In Paris, Claude Arnaud, Quai’s Director of European Affairs, believed that the West should seek “concessions in the commercial, economic and not seek political concessions which would certainly be refused.”58 British diplomats argued, however, that the Western Allies should not avoid this issue for three reasons. First, the talks were intended to address this matter. As the Bonn Embassy saw it, “the achievement of some form of explicit Soviet reaffirmation of Quadripartite Responsibility for civilian access would be the most valuable single achievement which we could hope to get from these talks.”59 According to the British, “the Americans feel that there is no point in trying to get the Russians explicitly to accept the principle of Four-Power responsibility for access to Berlin primarily because they fear that the Russians not only will not agree but may also repudiate such agreements as there are. Our attitude is that we should not lose anything by trying, since the ultimate basis of our position rests on occupation rights.”60 Second, as the FRG’s de facto recognition of the GDR was approaching, the West had to confirm that the Soviets intended to honor the Western legal and political positions on West Berlin and the access routes even after recognition of the GDR took place.61 Third, the British thought that the Soviets also wished to reach an access route agreement because they did not want to deal with the recurring East–West tensions related to Berlin while pursuing their détente diplomacy with the United States and Western Europe.62 It was not until April, almost a month after the start of the Four Power ambassadorial talks in Berlin, that the United States and France concurred with the British argument that the access issue should be negotiated with the Soviets as the most important topic in the talks for the Western powers.63 The Four Power ambassadorial talks began in Berlin on March 26. In the first meeting, the ambassadors made their prepared statements, presenting their respective legal views without much hint on practical improvements in the Berlin situation. From that point on, the talks were held once a month. Kissinger noted that these discussions did not make any substantial advances because Pjotr Abrasimov, the Soviet ambassador, adopted a firm stance toward his three Western counterparts.64 Declassified British documents, however, provide a different picture. In the three talks that took place from April to May, Abrasimov repeatedly expressed that the Soviet Union did not intend to change the current status of West Berlin, unlike during the Second Berlin crisis of 1959–62 when it demanded the West neutralize the city or that the city be absorbed into the GDR. He made clear that both the Soviet Union and the three Western Allies should honor their respective legal and political positions in relation to each other and reach agreement on practical improvements in the current situation. He also expressed the view that the most important issue for the Soviet Union was to ban political activities and demonstrations by the government and political parties of the FRG in West Berlin. Concerning the access issue, furthermore, Abrasimov hinted from an early stage of the talks that the Soviets were prepared to make some sort of guarantee for the unhindered movement of people and goods via the land access route, in a way that respected the sovereignty of the GDR.65 Naturally, Abrasimov’s statements contained some small print and some sticking points. But basically, this was the quid pro quo that Britain had been envisioning and proposing to its Bonn Group colleagues. Both Britain and West Germany saw the above-mentioned Soviet positions “as positive as could be expected” in this early stage of the talks.66 The French embassy in Bonn, with the arrival of Jean Sauvagnargues as the new ambassador, moved closer to the British and West German positions. But the U.S. embassy in Bonn continued to see the Soviet positions as rigid and nonnegotiable.67 Based on the embassy’s reports, the State Department and the White House believed that there was no prospect for the Berlin talks to make any movement forward.68 With the development of the talks up to the fourth ambassadorial meeting in June, the Bonn Group decided that the three Western Allies should hand the Soviets a Western position paper at the July ambassadorial meeting. The paper would outline the framework of deals between the Soviet guarantee on the access issues and the Western offer to ban several political activities by the FRG in West Berlin. The British prepared its draft, which was not much different from the final Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin in 1971.69 While the British draft could readily win German and French approval, the Americans strongly opposed the idea of presenting Western concessions on the limitation of the FRG’s political presence in Berlin in the paper.70 The Americans’ obstinacy irritated the British. Jackling regarded Rush as “a thoroughly inexperienced diplomat who needed to be kept on a tight rein” and “a lawyer rather than a professional diplomatist by background … who lacks a sureness of touch.” Christopher Audland, the counselor for political affairs at HM embassy in Bonn, regarded Jonathan Dean, his American counterpart, as “a pretty mercurial character who kept flogging personal initiatives often of a dubious nature.” He pressed Dean to stop employing “‘take it or leave it’ tactics with the Russians at every stage” as the negotiation was moving to “a serious stage.”71 However, after tense intra-allied consultations in Bonn and Washington, the three ambassadors gave Abrasimov a Western position paper, with the Western concessions omitted from its text but orally presented by Jackling.72 As mentioned above, Washington and the U.S. embassy in Bonn continued to perceive the development of the Berlin talks negatively. The Americans did not see much point in going ahead with these talks because it did not appear that Brandt’s Ostpolitik was making any headway, the progress of which the Berlin talks were supposed to help. The FRG–GDR normalization negotiations had been suspended since May, and the FRG–Soviet Moscow talks were supposed to be continued over several months. As Sutterlin commented to a British diplomat in Washington, “Since the German talks [in Moscow] were going rather slowly there was no time pressure on the Allies over Berlin.”73 This perspective was different from the views of Britain, the FRG, and France. They anticipated an early conclusion to the Moscow negotiations and recognized the urgency of coordination among the Bonn Group powers.74 In the Bonn Group meeting of July 10, British, French, and FRG representatives commented that Washington’s assumption on the slow FRG-Soviet talks was “no longer tenable” and “antiquated,” as the FRG-Soviet talks were moving toward Scheel-Gromyko talks.75 Contrary to the Americans’ expectations, the final stage of the Moscow talks starting at the end of June made quick progress, and the FRG-USSR Moscow Treaty was agreed upon on August 7. In the negotiations, the FRG moved the Soviets to accept a significant linkage between the successful conclusion of the Berlin talks and the ratification of the Moscow treaty by the FRG’s Bundestag, without which the treaty would not become valid.76 This linkage led the Soviets to accelerate the Berlin talks after its summer recess.77 As the Berlin talks were set to resume in September, the four ambassadors agreed to start working-level negotiations to speed up their discussions. Accordingly, negotiations between the political counselors, who were the aides of the four ambassadors, began in October. By this time, Rush, the U.S. ambassador, came to accept the necessity of moving forward with the talks, after months of objecting to such an action and isolating himself from his Bonn Group colleagues.78 Later, he would assume his role in the U.S.–USSR–FRG back-channel talks, in which he basically adopted the positions that had long been proposed by the U.S. allies in the Bonn Group consultations, rather than those of Dean or officials in Washington. In the counselor talks, the British and Soviet counselors––Audland and Kvitsinski respectively––went ahead with negotiations. Audland, in his handling of the proceedings, adopted the technique of using a blackboard: writing down both the Western and the Soviet position, adding several alternatives and amendments to them, and forming compromise texts (which were more often than not closer to the Western positions). He also made the most use of coffee break chats with Kvitsinski. He and his Western colleagues could probe possible compromise solutions with Kvitsinski much more frankly in such informal conversation than in the negotiation rooms. Eating together soon became a habit, and personal relations grew steadily closer.79 For his part, Kvitsinski usually took more flexible positions than those of Abrasimov in the ambassadorial talks. Although he was officially under the control of Abrasimov, he was also receiving instructions from Valentin Falin, then the head of the Third European Department (in charge of Germany and Berlin) in the Soviet Foreign Office. Falin, in turn, was officially under the control of his minister, Andrei Gromyko, but also had direct contact with Leonid Brezhnev. Gromyko often opposed Soviet concessions to the Western Allied powers that might damage the GDR’s interests. However, under the tutelage of Brezhnev, who put a higher priority on the Soviet–FRG modus vivendi than did Gromyko, Falin could instruct Kvitsinski to promote agreements with the Western counselors.80 In the counselor talks from October to December 1970, the concrete framework of the access-FRG political activities deal surfaced. Regarding the access issue, the Western Allied powers had been demanding that the Soviet Union give approval to the text of an agreement clearly stating that the four powers were responsible for guaranteeing the freedom of unhindered passage along the access route. The Soviet side had been asserting that this Four Power guarantee plan was unacceptable because the land access route ran through GDR territory and the route was under the jurisdiction of the sovereign GDR. The counselors came to a compromise arrangement. After consultation and agreement with the GDR, the Soviet Union would notify the three powers that the freedom of access route passage would be guaranteed by both the Soviet Union and the GDR. While the French thought it was essential for the Soviets to unambiguously guarantee the freedom of civil access, and the Americans tended to agree, Britain promoted this Soviet–GDR guarantee plan and succeeded in bringing it into the February 1971 Western draft agreement, which later developed into the Four Power agreement.81 Concerning the FRG’s political activities in West Berlin, the three Allied powers had proposed at the July 21 ambassadorial talks that the following activities be banned: official activities by the federal president and chancellor, cabinet meetings, the Bundesversammlung, and plenary sessions by the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. The Soviet side, however, had been demanding two more bans: Bundestag committee meetings and the party caucus meetings of the FRG’s political parties in the city. In the counselor talks, the Western allies had tacitly accepted that those two types of meetings should be put under certain limits restricting the way such meetings were held.82 Later, American officials recalled the British were weak-kneed against the Soviets in the Berlin talks. They saw Jackling as the prey of Abrasimov, as someone who had problems coping with, and often retreated, under the latter’s lambasting.83 But because the British had been well prepared in advance for the possible final agreement and collateral quid pro quo with the Soviets, and could use most of the counselor talks to make the Soviets accept the Allied text as a basis for negotiation, Jackling and Audland could afford to conduct negotiations with their Soviet counterpart in a much more flexible manner than their U.S. peers could. On the FRG side, Brandt and Bahr also supported the British formula. However, Bonn regarded those two items in this formula as highly sensitive issues in the context of West German domestic politics that had to be discussed first among the parliamentary groups before the Allies could concede them to the Russians. Thus, it was not until spring 1971 that the Brandt government succeeded in persuading the leaders of the opposition party, the Christian Democrats, to accept these items in return for improvement in movement on the access route.84 The emergence of possible compromise formulas in the counselor talks brought significant progress in the Quadripartite Talks in autumn and winter 1970. At the final ambassadorial meeting of that year, on December 10, Abrasimov presented to the three ambassadors the first concrete Soviet proposals on the access route issue, based on the tentative formula Kvitsinski had discussed with his counterparts.85 Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Sir Roger Jackling (right), the HM Ambassador to Bonn, and Christopher Audland (left), Counsellor at the Embassy, at the Berlin talks, 1970. Courtesy of Sir Christopher Audland and the Memoir Club. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Sir Roger Jackling (right), the HM Ambassador to Bonn, and Christopher Audland (left), Counsellor at the Embassy, at the Berlin talks, 1970. Courtesy of Sir Christopher Audland and the Memoir Club. British and French negotiators regarded this as a sign that the Four Power talks were advancing to the stage of drafting agreed-upon language for the quadripartite accord. During the Christmas holidays, the British and French embassies in Bonn produced their respective drafts of the agreement, which they discussed in early January 1971.86 In their studies on France and the Berlin Talks, Wilkens and Soutou have concluded that this French draft was the origin of the February 5 Western draft and, in the end, the final Quadripartite Agreement of September 1971.87 Declassified British documents, however, explain that the British saw that there were several points in the French draft that needed to be tightened up by incorporating British ideas. The French draft was aimed at concluding a quadripartite declaration on Berlin, which was cast in a communiqué style and less formal than a Four Power agreement. It also did not include the tentative formula on the access issue that had been discussed in the counselors’ talks: the Soviet-GDR guarantee of freedom of movement along the access route. While the British saw this formula as acceptable for the Western Allies, the French side was afraid that it could weaken the quadripartite rights on the access route by enhancing the status of the GDR. Quai’s note on this point urged that the Western draft should not contain anything “that could formally devote for the future the competence of Pankow as regards civil access.”88 In short, the French draft was a description of the Western minimum position on the style of agreement, and the maximum position on the access issue, which needed much improvement to be turned into the February 5 draft that described the Western negotiating basis vis-à-vis the Russians. Although aware of these problems, the British decided that only the French draft should be submitted to the Bonn Group because circulating two drafts could complicate the Bonn Group discussions. However, the British could draw on its draft in the discussion and amend the French draft generally to align with its own. After several revisions of the French draft, the final Western draft agreement was much closer to the British draft.89 At the Bonn Group, the British also had to press the Americans to submit the Western draft to the Soviets. Washington, according to Rush, was reluctant about presenting the draft since “it would give [the draft] undue importance.” After Jackling’s persuasion, Rush agreed to go along with the Bonn Group peers.90 On February 5, the three Western counselors handed Kvitsinski the Western draft agreement.91 The Soviets made their counterproposal on March 26.92 Starting in May, the counselors entered “three-column” negotiations, in which both sides jointly prepared “a three-column working paper, consisting of the Western and Soviet drafts with a third column of possible compromises,” with several squares and bracketed portions that were left for decisions by ambassadors. The counselors made certain headway by the end of the month.93 While there was progress in Berlin, Brezhnev had long been waiting for an early conclusion to the Berlin agreement, which would bring the Federal German ratification of the FRG–Soviet Moscow treaty and the FRG–Polish treaty. To speed up the negotiation process, the Kremlin decided to bypass the ambassadorial talks in Berlin, where the U.S. negotiators were not willing to give an inch, and to initiate direct back-channel negotiations among the top levels of Moscow, Washington, and Bonn.94 By the end of 1970, Bahr and Falin, who were negotiating partners on the Moscow treaty and who had been resuming contacts since October with a shared interest in accelerating the Berlin talks, came to agree that it was necessary to involve Kissinger in the Berlin negotiations.95 On January 6, 1971, the Kremlin sent a note to Nixon that proposed beginning back-channel negotiations between the Kremlin and White House on the Berlin issues.96 Kissinger, who had been skeptical about the necessity of the Berlin negotiations, had not been substantially engaged in these discussions. But as Jussi Hanhimaki has summarized, “the need to regain American leadership and initiative [on détente in Europe] was becoming an increasingly pressing concern for the White House” by autumn 1970. While Moscow and Bonn had concluded the Moscow treaty, the U.S.–Soviet negotiations for SALT, the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, and the U.S.–Soviet summit meeting had been stalling.97 Kissinger accepted Dobrynin’s proposal, and their negotiations started in January 1971.98 The direct bargaining between the Kremlin and the White House, however, became stuck by the end of March. Kissinger was not quite familiar with the details of Berlin affairs, and he did not have much grasp of the quid pro quo of his dealings with Dobrynin. Thus, every time Dobrynin made proposals, Kissinger had to relay them to Rush and Bahr and ask for their evaluations and the proper responses he should make to his counterpart. As a result, the Kissinger-Dobrynin talks did not bring many new elements to the Berlin negotiations at this stage.99 As the Kissinger-Dobrynin negotiations came to a halt, Falin and Bahr tried to make progress on Berlin by transferring the access issue negotiations from the Four Power ambassadorial talks to the FRG–GDR talks. Bahr thought that the inflexible positions of the four ambassadors on the issue had prevented early progress in the Berlin negotiations. He was not interested in the legal discussions and wording, which the three Western Allied powers, as well as the FRG Foreign Office, regarded as the fundamental basis of the Western position on the access issue. He thought that concrete agreements with the GDR on practical improvements for the use of the access routes, leaving complicated legal disputes untouched, would be enough for the West Germans and West Berliners. Accordingly, he wished to resolve the issue by presenting more flexible compromises to his East German counterpart, whom Falin would persuade to accept the proposals. Bahr repeatedly proposed to the three Western Allied ambassadors that they accept the start of the FRG–GDR access negotiations. But he met strong resistance from the three ambassadors and finally gave up on this plan in March.100 After Bahr’s failure to transfer the access negotiations to the inner-German talks, another scheme was born in the Bahr–Falin talks, which involved adding Rush to their talks and going ahead with secret negotiations among the three in Bonn.101 During Brandt’s visit to Washington in late April, Bahr had a secret meeting with Kissinger and proposed the so-called Bahr formula to him. It was based on the February 5 Western draft, but Bahr had removed some legal wording from the draft that was in dispute with the Soviet position and introduced “neutral” wording instead. While this was not far from what the four counselors had been negotiating in Berlin by then, it was “an ingenious suggestion” for Kissinger. He accepted Bahr’s proposal that this draft be negotiated among Bahr, Rush, and Falin in Bonn.102 In May, Falin transferred to Bonn as the new Soviet ambassador to the FRG. Secret negotiations among the three men started that month, and by the end of July they substantially reached accord on the Berlin agreement.103 While the secret U.S.–Soviet–FRG back-channel negotiations were advancing in Bonn, Kissinger and Rush artificially stalled the Four Power ambassadorial and counselor talks in Berlin.104 Although the counselors had made substantial progress in their “three-column” negotiations by the end of May, the quadripartite negotiations in Berlin were slowed down in June and July. HM embassy in Bonn, which had taken several initiatives to advance the Berlin talks, was irritated by their slow development. Jackling and Audland repeatedly attempted to persuade both the U.S. representative and London to speed up the pace of the negotiations.105 But by mid-1971, London’s position on the Berlin talks had begun to change—from full support for Jackling’s stances to putting the brakes on him. One of the turning points for London was Edward Heath’s visit to Washington in December 1970. At the White House, Nixon repeatedly expressed to Heath his deep suspicion of Brandt’s Ostpolitik. When Harold Wilson, Heath’s predecessor, had met with Nixon in March of that same year, he had consistently defended Brandt and Ostpolitik.106 Heath, in contrast, readily agreed with Nixon’s comments. Brandt’s tactical handling of Ostpolitik, in particular Bahr’s secret negotiations with the Soviets in the Moscow talks, had incurred Heath’s personal suspicion toward Ostpolitik in general and toward the Brandt–Bahr pleas for accelerating the Berlin talks in particular.107 In dire need of Brandt’s support for Britain’s entry into the EEC, the Heath government did not change its general position on supporting Ostpolitik in 1971.108 But in London, the reluctance concerning the early progress of the Berlin talks gained a foothold after the Heath–Nixon talks, particularly as it observed that the Nixon administration was reluctant to see an early conclusion to the Berlin talks. This led London to reject calls from HM embassy in Bonn for the acceleration of, and an early end to, the talks.109 Furthermore, UK–Soviet friction concerning the massive presence of intelligence officers in the Soviet trade delegation in Britain made Heath and FCO officials very suspicious about one of the quid pro quos in the Berlin talks: the Western acceptance of the Soviet Consulate-General in West Berlin in return for Soviet acceptance of West Berliners holding FRG passports while traveling in the Soviet bloc. Indeed, this was a trade-off that HM embassy had been promoting in the Berlin talks since October 1970, despite strong U.S. objections.110 However, since that October, Britain had also been asking the Soviet Union to remove some one hundred intelligence officers in London, to which the Soviet response was muted. Between May and early August, the Heath government came to the decision to expel these officers after the conclusion of the Berlin talks. London made the final decision on September 3, and “Operation Foot” began on September 24 with the expulsion 105 Soviet officers.111 This development made London suspicious about the quid pro quo in the final weeks of the Berlin talks, although it had been giving general support for HM embassy’s proposals on them until June.112 London’s change in its stance on the Berlin talks was mostly concerned with tactical aspects related to the handling of the talks, but it deprived HM embassy in Bonn of the leeway to take a flexible negotiating position in the talks. On July 28, Rush, Falin, and Bahr reached agreement on the text of the quadripartite agreement.113 From August 10 to 18, the four ambassadors held a final series of concentrated sessions in which Rush and Abrasimov brought the secretly accepted agreement into the ambassadorial talks.114 As Rush hastened the negotiations toward a conclusion, Jackling, strictly under London’s instructions, objected to this high-speed tactic. He maintained that there were several points of major importance, mostly related to wording problems, which remained open in the agreed-upon text. He (and London) did not know about the U.S.–FRG–Soviet secret agreement, which had already resolved those points. Jackling urged the participants to take a break in the talks to ensure careful consideration in the national capitals and consultation among the Bonn Group powers. However, he was largely ignored by Rush and Abrasimov, and was sarcastically portrayed by Kissinger as “the British Ambassador, who had a low boiling point.”115 The four ambassadors concluded the quadripartite agreement on August 23 and initialed it on September 3. It was mostly based on the February 5 Western draft of the agreement. The ambassadors added some Western concessions to the draft, including the limiting of the political activities of Bundestag committees and party caucuses in West Berlin and the establishment of the Soviet Consulate-General in West Berlin. But there also were sufficient Soviet concessions to the West, including a Soviet guarantee (after consultation with and agreement by the GDR) on the freedom of movement of goods and persons on the FRG–West Berlin land access routes, tacit Soviet acceptance of the Bundestag committees and party caucuses, and the use of FRG passports by West Berliners in the Soviet bloc countries. In sum, it was “a fair bargain” for the Western powers, as Alec Douglas-Home, the Foreign Secretary, reported to Heath.116 Conclusion In the final months of the Berlin talks, the British role was peripheralized into a shadow of the Kissinger–Rush–Bahr–Falin back-channel diplomacy. This led to the understanding that the British role in the birth of the Berlin quadripartite agreement was marginal and secondary, highlighting Britain’s decaying power on the international stage.117 As the present essay has demonstrated, however, Britain played a leading role in the process of the Berlin talks. In the Bonn Group, Britain steered the discussions, ironed out differences, and developed new ideas. In the Four Power talks, Britain promoted the development of common ground with the Soviets without weakening the Western position. While Britain was bypassed in Kissinger’s back-channel diplomacy, the final quadripartite agreement was not much different from the drafts Britain had envisioned and promoted earlier in Berlin and Bonn. Britain left forgotten but unmistakable footprints on the Berlin Four Power agreement. As had consistently been the case since the late 1950s, Britain avoided acting unilaterally in the Berlin talks. Britain, be it in the Bonn Group or in the Four Power talks, always acted within multilateral frameworks. As a result, Britain’s moves in the Berlin talks have been largely overlooked to date. One of the reasons why the British role in the Berlin talks has largely remained unnoticed until now is that it was mostly played at the official-level talks and consultations, the stages which have not been studied much since the publication of Kissinger’s “back-channel diplomacy” account. Even within the well-studied area of Ostpolitik and détente in Europe, the need remains for further studies. Finally, the diplomatic history of the Berlin quadripartite talks also shows the difference between the British and Kissinger concerning their methods of intra-alliance diplomacy. The British preferred consensus building via intra-allied consultations, while Kissinger relied on secret and personal back-channel diplomacy with a few counterparts.118 This difference was repeatedly shown in the years that followed. In 1971, Britain was upset by Nixon’s dollar shocks and Kissinger’s secret visit to China. These unilateral American moves, undertaken without prior consultation and consensus building with allies, harmed London’s trust in the Nixon White House.119 The year ended with an effort at repairing damaged relations through a Nixon–Heath summit meeting in Bermuda, but as Heath’s Britain entered the European Community (EC) in January 1972, the distance between London and Washington continued to increase. While Nixon and Heath agreed to revitalize U.S.–UK nuclear cooperation, the U.S. conduct of the U.S.–Soviet SALT talks, which could affect British nuclear deterrence, repeatedly caused anxiety in London. In 1972, Kissinger tried to assuage British concern on the U.S.–Soviet superpower détente by asking top British officials to secretly draft a proposal to the Soviet Union on the Prevention of Nuclear War Agreement. This secret drafting, code-named “Operation Hullabaloo,” embarrassed British officials: it put Britain at risk of criticism from its new EC allies in Paris and Bonn, who were unaware of the secret British engagement.120 In 1973, as U.S.–European relations turned into turmoil with Kissinger’s “Year of Europe” initiative, London repeatedly found Kissinger’s personal and secret diplomacy a cause of intra-alliance discord.121 In contrast, Britain pursued multilateral alliance diplomacy in NATO and the EC. Already in the second half of the 1960s, Britain had promoted East–West détente by supporting joint and united positions among the NATO powers, as could be seen in its efforts in NATO’s Harmel Report exercise in 1966 and 1967. In the first half of the 1970s, Heath, Home, and senior FCO officials took a much less forthcoming stance on the Conference of Security and Cooperation of Europe (CSCE) than did Wilson, Stewart, and Stewart’s officials in the second half of the 1960s. Nonetheless, again in the formative process of the CSCE in the 1970s, Britain pursued a diplomacy of consultation and consensus building both in NATO and in the EC’s European Policy Cooperation mechanism to maintain Western unity in relation to the Soviet Union.122 As it had been on the German question in the previous decades, Britain’s approach was “to go steadily but not too fast towards one” in the case of the CSCE.123 In the years of the Gerald Ford presidency, 1974–77, Britain, as well as the FRG and France, would see a growing pattern of multilateral consultations with the United States, most notably with the advance of regular Western summit meetings.124 With such a historical context in mind, the British role in the Berlin talks should be understood not as a marginal act on the part of a declining world power but as a typical example of British alliance diplomacy in the years of détente and of transatlantic upheavals in the early 1970s. Footnotes 1 National Security Archives interview with Abba Eban, George Washington University, May 13, 1997, accessed September 25, 2016, http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/coldwar/interviews/episode-17/eban1.html. I am grateful to Mr. Herman Wouk for introducing me this episode. Wouk, The Hope (Boston, MA, 1993), 659. 2 Carole Fink and Bernd Schaefer, eds., Ostpolitik, 1969–1974: European and Global Responses (New York, 2009); Documents on British Policy Overseas (hereafter DBPO), Series III, vol. 6, Berlin in the Cold War, 1948–1990 (London, 2009). 3 Henry Kissinger, The White House Years (Boston, MA, 1979), 805–10, 823–33. 4 Honoré Catudal, The Diplomacy of the Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin: A New Era in East-West Politics (Berlin, 1978). Concerning the Bonn Group, see Helga Haftendorn, “The ‘Quad’: Dynamics of Institutional Change,” in Imperfect Unions: Security Institutions over Time and Space, ed. Helga Haftendorn, Robert Keohane, and Celeste Wallander (Oxford, UK, 1999), 162–94. 5 David C. Geyer, “The Missing Link: Henry Kissinger and the Back-Channel Negotiations on Berlin,” German Historical Institute Bulletin, Supplement 1 (2003): 80–97; Werner D. Lippert, The Economic Diplomacy of Ostpolitik: Origins of NATO’s Energy Dilemma (New York, 2011), 91–92. 6 Mary E. Sarotte, Dealing with the Devil: East Germany, Détente, and Ostpolitik, 1969–1973 (Chapel Hill, NC, 2001). 7 Gottfried Niedhart, “The British Reaction towards Ostpolitik: Anglo-German Relations in the Era of Détente, 1967–1971,” accessed September 25, 2016, http://detente.de/ostpolitik/publications/download/article7.pdf; Luca Ratti, Britain, Ost- and Deutschlandpolitik and the CSCE (1955–1975) (Bern, SWZ, 2008), 82–86, 125, 140–42. 8 J. K. Drinkall to T. Brimelow, ‘Ostpolitik,’ June 11, 1970, FCO33/1022, The National Archives of the UK (hereafter TNA). 9 Andreas Wilkens, Der unstete Nachbar: Frankreich, die deutsche Ostpolitik und die Berlin Vier-Mächte Verhandlungen, 1969–1974 (Munich, 1998); Georges-Henri Soutou, “La France et l’Accord Quadripartite sur Berlin du 3 Septembre 1971,” Revue d’Histoire Diplomatique 118, no. 1 (2004): 45–73.  10 Kissinger, White House Years, 831. 11 Catudal, Quadripartite Agreement, 96. 12 Edward Heath, The Course of My Life: The Autobiography of Edward Heath (London, 1998), 474. 13 Nicholas Henderson, Inside the Private Office: Memoirs of the Secretary to British Foreign Ministers (Chicago, IL, 1987), 97–110. 14 Wolfram Hanrieder, Germany, America, Europe: Forty Years of German Foreign Policy (New Haven, CT, 1989), 141–70; William Glenn Gray, Germany’s Cold War: The Global Campaign to Isolate East Germany, 1949–1969 (London, 2003), 1–86; Timothy Garton Ash, In Europe’s Name: Germany and the Divided Continent (New York, 1993), 48–53, 216–27; James S. Sutterlin and David Klein, Berlin: From Symbol of Confrontation to Keystone of Stability (New York, 1989), 1–49. 15 Hanrieder, Germany, America, Europe, 170–94; Ash, In Europe’s Name, 58–67, 170–83; Marc Trachtenberg, A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945–1963 (Princeton, NJ, 1999), 400. 16 This essay uses the term Ostpolitik in a similar manner as Sarotte has used it, referring “to the broad range of West German initiatives toward the GDR, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union” under the guidance of Brandt. Sarotte, Dealing with the Devil, xv–xvi. See also Ash, In Europe’s Name, 34–38, 126. 17 Willy Brandt, People and Politics: The Years 1960–1975 (Boston, MA, 1978), 167–68, 367; Arne Hoffmann, The Emergence of Détente in Europe: Brandt, Kennedy and the Formation of Ostpolitik (London, 2007), 99–152; Gottfried Niedhart, “Ostpolitik: Phases, Short-Term Objectives, and Grand Design,” German Historical Institute Bulletin, Supplement 1 (2004): 118–20. 18 Harold Wilson–Richard Nixon Talks Memcon, January 27, 1970, PREM13/3546, TNA; Freeman to Greenhill, January 31, 1970, PREM13/3546, TNA; Nixon–Georges Pompidou Talks Memcon, February 26, 1970, Presidential/HAK Memcons, box 1023, National Security Council (hereafter NSC), Nixon Presidential Materials Project (hereafter NPMP), United States National Archives (hereafter USNA); Henry Kissinger (Helmut Sonnenfeldt) to Richard Nixon, “Brandt’s Eastern Policy,” Foreign Relations of the United States (hereafter FRUS), 1969–1976, vol. XL, Germany and Berlin, 1969–1972, ed. David C. Geyer (Washington, DC, 2007), doc. 55; NSC Senior Review Meeting, August 31, 1970, FRUS, vol. XL, doc. 111. 19 C(68)42, “Foreign Policy,” February 23, 1968, FCO49/14, TNA. 20 Robert Gerald Hughes, Britain, Germany and the Cold War: The Search for a European Détente, 1949–1967 (London, 2007), 150–99; Antonio Varsori, “Britain as a Bridge between East and West,” in Europe, Cold War and Coexistence, 1953–1965, ed. Wilfried Loth (London, 2003), 7–22; Klaus Larres, “Britain, East Germany and Détente: British Policy toward the GDR and West Germany’s ‘Policy of Movement’, 1955–65,” in Europe, Cold War and Coexistence, 116–24. 21 Sabine Lee, Victory in Europe?: Britain and Germany since 1945 (Harlow, UK, 2001), 86–87; Hope M. Harrison, Driving the Soviets up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, 1953–1961 (Princeton, NJ, 2005), 118; Daniel Gossel, Briten, Deutsche und Europa: Die Deutsche Frage in der britischen Auaenpolitik, 1945–1962 (Stuttgart, 1999), 225. 22 John Gearson, Harold Macmillan and the Berlin Wall Crisis, 1958–62: The Limits of Interest and Force (New York, 1998), 199–204. 23 John Young, “West Germany in the Foreign Policy of the Wilson Government, 1964–67,” in Controversy and Compromise: Alliance Politics Between Great Britain, Federal Republic of Germany, and the United States of America, 1945–1967, ed. Saki Dockrill (Regensburg, GER, 1998), 176; Robert Gerald Hughes, Britain, Germany and the Cold War, 111–14. 24 J. K. Drinkall to T. Brimelow, “Ostpolitik,” June 11, 1970, FCO33/1022, TNA; Roger Jackling to T. Brimelow, “Ostpolitik: Allied/F.R.G. Attitudes,” July 29, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 25 Alec Douglas-Home to Edward Heath, PM/71/13, “Ostpolitik,” February 2, 1971, PREM15/1579, TNA. 26 Ratti, Britain, Ost- and Deutschlandpolitik, 69–70, 109–12; Niedhart, “The British Reaction towards Ostpolitik.” 27 Christopher Audland, Right Place—Right Time (Stanhope, UK, 2004), 191–95; The British Diplomatic Oral History Programme interview with Sir Nicholas Bayne on March 2, 2016, accessed March 1, 2018, https://www.chu.cam.ac.uk/media/uploads/files/Bayne.pdf. 28 Kissinger, White House Years, 824–25. 29 Draft of the Bonn Group working paper by HM embassy in Bonn, “Federal Presence in West Berlin,” attached to R. Hanbury-Tenison’s memorandum, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” March 12, 1970, FCO33/1123, TNA. 30 Draft of the Bonn Group working paper by HM embassy in Bonn, “Access to Berlin,” FCO33/1123, TNA; Julij A. Kwizinskij, Vor dem Sturm: Erinnerungen eines Diplomaten (Berlin, 1993), 219–20. 31 Catudal, Quadripartite Agreement, 48–68, 88–110. On Moscow’s preparation for the talks, Kwitzinskij, Vor dem Sturm, 223–28, 233–36. 32 Kissinger, White House Years, 797–810, 823–33; Geyer, “The Missing Link,” 80–97; Sarotte, Dealing with the Devil, 71–75; Egon Bahr, Zu Meiner Zeit (Munich, 1996), 360–71; Valentin Falin, Politische Erinnerungen (Munich, 1995), 126–41, 144–61, 165–79. 33 I am grateful to Sir Christopher Audland for his comments on the final draft of this essay concerning the significance of the Quadripartite Declaration on Berlin in November 1972. Sir Audland’s comment to the author, February 18, 2018. 34 Frank Roberts, Dealing with Dictators: The Destruction and Revival of Europe, 1930–1970 (London, 1991). 35 Frank Roberts to Michael Stewart, “Developments in Federal German Reunification Policy,” March 19, 1968, FCO33/224, TNA. 36 “Recognition of the DDR: Possibilities and Implications,” undated, FCO33/225, TNA. 37 N. P. Bayne to D. A. Gladstone, “Allied Approach over Germany and Berlin,” October 13, 1969, FCO33/665, TNA; G. Etherington-Smith to F. Brooks Richards, “East Germany and European Security,” October 16, 1969, FCO33/476, TNA; R. Hanbury-Tenison to H. T. Morgan, December 1, 1969, FCO33/477, TNA; “Consequences for Berlin If Some Form of Recognition Were Accorded to the DDR,” December 6, 1969, FCO33/477, TNA. 38 Morgan to Lord Hood, “Recognition of East Germany,” October 17, 1968, FCO33/475, TNA; Lord Hood to D. S. Laskey, “Recognition of East Germany,” October 18, 1968, FCO33/475, TNA; Lord Hood-Martin Hillenbrand Talks Memcon, February 27, 1969, FCO33/475, TNA. 39 NSC, “Soviet Negotiating Interest in Berlin,” March 11, 1969, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc 18. 40 Richard Merritt and Anna Merritt, eds., Living with the Wall: West Berlin, 1961–1985 (Durham, NC, 1985), 92; William Rogers to Richard Nixon, “Tripartite Initiative with the Soviets Concerning Berlin and Inter-German Matters,” October 31, 1969, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry Kissinger, “Handling of Secretary Rogers’ Memoranda on Berlin and European Security Conference,” November 5, 1969, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Henry Kissinger to Richard Nixon, “Secretary Rogers’ Memorandum on Berlin,” November 17, 1969, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 42. 41 Catudal, Quadripartite Agreement, 89. 42 Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry Kissinger, “The Status of Ostpolitik and the Berlin Talks,” June 2, 1970, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; G. E. Millard to T. Brimelow, “U.S. Attitude towards the Ostpolitik,” August 11, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 43 “US Policy Assessment for West Berlin,” Berlin A-1007, December 27, 1968, POL GER W-US, State Department Central Files (hereafter SDCF), 1967–69, box 2137, RG 59, USNA; Doherty, “Berlin and the German Problem,” January 22, 1969, box 301, Lot Entry 5026, RG 59, USNA; “Developing Relations between the Two Parts of Germany: Their Effect on American Interests,” Bonn A-720, July 22, 1969, POL GER E-GER W, SDCF, 1967–69, box 2116, RG 59, USNA; “Possible Federal German Recognition of East Germany: Potential Consequences for U.S. Policy,” July 22, 1969, Bonn A-723, POL GER E-GER W, SDCF, 1967–69, box 2116, RG 59, USNA. 44 Hanbury-Tenison to Etherington-Smith, November 19, 1969, FCO33/476, TNA. 45 Brimelow-Jacques de Beaumarchais Talks, October 25, 1969, FCO33/669, TNA; N. P. Bayne to D.A. Gladstone, November 24, 1969, FCO33/476, TNA. 46 J. Freeman to Michael Stewart, December 18, 1969, FCO33/477, TNA; US State Department’s record of the talks, December 17, 1969, SDCF, 1967–69, box 2116, RG 59, USNA. 47 William Rogers to Richard Nixon, “Tripartite Initiative with the Soviets Concerning Berlin and Inter-German Matters,” October 31, 1969, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry Kissinger, “Handling of Secretary Rogers’ Memoranda on Berlin and European Security Conference,” November 5, 1969, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kissinger to Nixon, “Secretary Rogers’ Memorandum on Berlin,” November 17, 1969, Country Files, Germany, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA. 48 Sutterlin and Klein, Berlin, 102. 49 POL39-1(a), “Bonn Group Paper Mar 70,” box 2, Lot Entry 5555, RG 59, USNA. 50 William Rogers to Richard Nixon, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” February 13, 1970, Country Files, Germany, box 690, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Rogers to Nixon, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” March 3, 1970, Country Files, Germany, box 690, NSC, NPMP, USNA. 51 J. K. Drinkall to R. J. Spencer, March 2, 1970, FCO33/1122, TNA; A. M. Palliser to D. V. Bendall, “Soviet/German talks and Berlin,” March 4, 1970, FCO33/1123, TNA; Soutou, “La France et l’Accord Quadripartite sur Berlin,” 51. 52 N. P. Bayne to D. A. Gladstone, “Proposal for a Negotiating Position in Berlin,” October 13, 1969, FCO33/665, TNA. 53 Etherington-Smith to F. Brooks Richards, October 19, 1969 FCO33/476, TNA. 54 British Embassy in Bonn, “The Consequences for the Allies particularly in Berlin for various forms of West German Recognition of the GDR,” February 10, 1970, FO1042/394, TNA. 55 FCO to Bonn, “Consultation on German Policy,” January 2, 1970, FO1042/394, TNA. 56 HM embassy in Bonn, “Draft Tripartite Working Paper: Access to Berlin” and “The Association between Berlin and the Federal Republic,” March 12, 1970, FCO33/1123, TNA; N. P. Bayne to R. J. Spencer, March 18, 1970, FCO33/1124, TNA. 57 Kwitzinskij, Vor dem Sturm, 218–19. 58 James Sutterlin to Jonathan Dean, February 4, 1970, box 2, Lot Entry 5555, RG 59, USNA; Paris to Washington, Paris 2070, February 23, 1970, box 2, Lot Entry 5555, RG 59, USNA; Bonn to FCO, Telegram No. 319, March 20, 1970, FCO33/1124, TNA 59 Bonn to FCO, Telegram 331, March 24, 1970, FCO33/1125, TNA; FCO to Washington, Telegram 706, March 25, 1970, FCO33/1125, TNA. 60 J. K. Drinkall to D. V. Bendall and T. Brimelow, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” April 14, 1970, FCO 33/1127. 61 British Embassy in Bonn, “The Consequences for the Allies particularly in Berlin for various forms of West German Recognition of the GDR,” February 10, 1970, FO1042/394, TNA. 62 “Draft Tripartite Working Paper: Access to Berlin” and “The Association between Berlin and the Federal Republic,” attached to N. P. Bayne to R. J. Spencer, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” March 18, 1970, FCO33/1123, TNA. 63 Washington to FCO, “Berlin and German Policy,” Telegram No. 1067, April 9, 1970, FCO33/1123, TNA; FCO to Bonn, April 22, 1970, Telegram No. 273, FCO33/1128, TNA; “Points of Conflict with U.S. and the French Including Outstanding Issues in the Berlin Talks,” Brief No. 6 for the Allied Senior Talks of May 1970, FCO33/1146, TNA; “Bonn Group Paper on Four-Power Berlin Talks,” June 1, 1970, box 3, Lot Entry 5547, RG 59, USNA. 64 Kissinger, White House Years, 824–25. 65 Berlin to FCO, March 26, 1970, Telegrams No. 101 and 102, FCO33/1125, TNA; Berlin to FCO, April 28, 1970, Telegrams No. 138, FCO33/1129, TNA; Roger Jackling to T. Brimelow, “Ostpolitik: Allied/F.R.G. Attitudes,” July 29, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 66 Berlin to FCO, March 26, 1970, Telegrams No. 101 and 102; Records of Meetings of HM Representatives in Eastern Europe, May 4, 1970, FCO28/917, TNA. 67 Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, “France, Ostpolitik and the Work of the Bonn Group,” July 16, 1970, FCO33/1023, TNA; Roger Jackling to T. Brimelow, “Ostpolitik: Allied/F.R.G. Attitudes,” July 29, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 68 Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry Kissinger, July 10, 1970, Henry A. Kissinger Office Files, Europe, Germany (hereafter HAK Germany) Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; William Rogers to Richard Nixon, “Your Meeting with FRG Foreign Minister Scheel,” July 16, 1970, Germany, Country Files, box 683, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Washington to FCO, July 29, 1970, Telegram No. 2718, FCO33/1135, TNA; G. E. Millard to T. Brimelow, “U.S. Attitude towards the Ostpolitik,” August 11, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA; Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, “Ostpolitik: U.S. Attitude,” July 24, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA . 69 Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, “Draft Instruments about Berlin,” June 24, 1970, FCO33/1133. 70 Bonn to FCO, “Berlin Talks––Preparation for 21 July Session,” Telegram 796, July 9, 1970, FCO33/1133, TNA. 71 J. K. Drinkall to D. V. Bendall, July 10, 1970, FCO 33/1035, TNA; Drinkall to Bendall, “Ostpolitik: U.S. Attitude,” July 10, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA; Christopher Audland to Roger Jackling, July 23, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 72 Bonn to FCO, “Future Tactics,” July 4, 1970, FCO33/1133, TNA; Bonn to FCO, “Preparations for 21 July Session,” July 9, 1970, FCO33/1133, TNA; Washington to FCO, July 9, 1970, Telegram No. 2060, FCO33/1133, TNA; Bonn to FCO, July 11, 1970, Telegram No. 818, FCO33/1133, TNA; Bonn to FCO, July 13, 1970, Telegram No. 824, FCO33/1133, TNA; Bonn to FCO, July 17, 1970, Telegram No. 855, FCO33/1134, TNA; Berlin to FCO, July 21, 1970, Telegram No. 214, FCO33/1134, TNA; State Department to U.S. embassy in London, July 10, 1970, STATE 10962, POL39.1 JUL (2), box 3, Lot Entry 5555, RG 59, USNA; Jonathan Dean to James Sutterlin, July 10, 1970, STATE 10962, POL39.1 JUL (2), box 3, Lot Entry 5555, RG 59, USNA. 73 Washington to FCO, July 9, 1970, Telegram No. 2060, FCO33/1133, TNA; Henry Kissinger to Richard Nixon, “The Berlin Talks,” July 17, 1970, Germany, Country Files, box 690, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Washington to FCO, July 29, 1970, Telegram No. 2218, FCO33/1135, TNA; Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, “Ostpolitik: U. S. Attitude,” July 24, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA; G. E. Millard to T. Brimelow, “U. S. Attitude towards the Ostpolitik,” August 11, 1970, FCO33/1036, TNA. 74 FCO to Bonn, July 15, 1970, Telegram No. 463, FCO33/1023, TNA; Washington to FCO, July 9, 1970, Telegram No. 2060, FCO33/1133, TNA; Bonn to FCO, July 11, 1970, Telegram No. 818, FCO33/1133, TNA. 75 Bonn to FCO, July 11, 1970, Telegram No. 818, FCO33/1133, TNA. 76 Hanrieder, Germany, America, Europe, 203; Michael J. Sodaro, Moscow, Germany and the West from Khrushchev to Gorbachev (Ithaca, NY, 1990), 185. 77 Berlin to FCO, September 30, 1970, Telegram No. 286, FCO33/1137, TNA. 78 Bonn to US State Department, “Scheel Visit—Connection between German-Eastern Policy and Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” July 15, 1970, box 2285, SDCF, 1970–73, USNA; Russell Fessenden to Kenneth Rush, July 9, 1970, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 95. 79 Berlin to FCO, October 7, 1970, Telegram No. 297, FCO33/1138, TNA; Christopher Audland, “Quadripartite Meeting of Counselors, October 7, 1970—Analytical Summary of Discussion,” October 7, 1970, FCO33/1139, TNA; Berlin to FCO, October 9, 1970, Telegram No. 302, FCO33/1138, TNA; Audland, Right Place––Right Time, 199–200; Kwizinskij, Vor dem Sturm, 240; “Berlin Talks: 10 December: Check-List of Allied and Soviet Formulation,” December 8, 1970, FCO33/1143, TNA. 80 Egon Bahr to Henry Kissinger, June 30, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 264; Falin, Politische Erinnerungen, 111–12, 122–25, 135–36. 81 “Négociation quadripartite de Berlin,” January 4, 1971, Documents Diplomatique Français, 1971, Tome I (Brussels, 2015), doc. 3; N. H. R. A. Broomfield to P. Unwin, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” January 14, 1971, FCO33/1525, TNA; Bonn to Washington, “Berlin Negotiations: Draft Agreement,” Bonn 1156, POL Germany 1970–73, box 2288, RG 59, USNA. 82 “Interpreter’s Record of Counselors’ Meeting,” October 30, 1970, FCO33/1140, TNA; “Analytical Summary of Discussion at Quadripartite Counselors’ Meeting in Berlin on November 13, 1970,” attached to Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, November 17, 1970, FCO33/1142, TNA; Bonn to FCO, November 17, 1970, Telegram No. 1391, FCO33/1142, TNA; Berlin to Bonn, December 10, 1970, Telegram No. 370, FCO33/1143, TNA; N. H. R. A. Broomfield to P. Unwin, “Quadripartite Talks on Berlin,” January 14, 1971, FO1042/408. 83 Sutterlin and Klein, Berlin, 126. 84 Van Well’s record of the Bonn Group meeting, January 30, 1971, Auswärtigen Amts, Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (hereafter AAPD), 1971 (Munich), dok. 38; Bonn to State Department, “Berlin Talks—Draft Agreement,” February 3, 1971, box 2288, SDCF, 1970–73, RG 59, USNA; Egon Bahr to Henry Kissinger, February 15, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 182; Home-Brandt Talks Memcon, February 23, 1971, FCO33/1436, TNA. 85 Berlin to FCO, December 10, 1970, Telegram No. 370, FCO33/1143, TNA. 86 P. Unwin to D. V. Bendall, “Berlin Talks: French Views,” January 1, 1971, FCO33/1548, TNA; Bonn to FCO, “Berlin Talks: French Views,” January 11, 1971, Telegram No. 16, FCO33/1548, TNA. 87 Wilkens, Der unstete Nachbar, 145–50; Soutou, “La France et l’Accord Quadripartite sur Berlin,” 73. 88 “Négociation quadripartite de Berlin,” January 4, 1971, Documents Diplomatiques Français, 1971, I, doc. 3. 89 Bonn to FCO, “Berlin Talks: French Views,” January 11, 1971, Telegram No. 16, ibid. 90 Jackling’s report of the Bonn Group Ambassadorial Lunch, February 1, 1971, FO1042/410, TNA. 91 Berlin to FCO, February 5, 1971, Telegram No. 37, FCO33/1525, TNA; Berlin to FCO, February 8, 1971, Telegram No. 48, FCO33/1525, TNA. 92 Berlin to FCO, March 26, 1971, Telegram No. 96, FCO33/1526, TNA; Anatoly Dobrynin to Henry Kissinger, March 18, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 201; Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, March 21, 1971, FRUS, vol. XL, doc. 203. 93 Bonn to FCO, May 29, 1971, Telegram No. 705, FCO33/1528, TNA. 94 Kissinger-Dobrynin Memcon, December 22, 1970, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kissinger-Dobrynin Memcon, January 9, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Falin, Politische Erinnerungen, 135–36. 95 Bahr’s record of talks with Valentin Falin, October 22, 1970, AAPD, 1970, dok. 485; Falin, Politische Erinnerungen, 128–41. 96 Soviet Note on January 6, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kissinger-Dobrynin Memcon, January 9, 1971, ibid.; Editorial Note, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 160. 97 Jussi Hanhimaki, The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy (Oxford, 2004), 90–91. 98 Kissinger-Dobrynin Talks, January 28, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA. 99 Henry Kissinger to Kenneth Rush, February 26, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kissinger-Dobrynin Talks Memcon, March 25, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Dobrynin’s Memcon of the March 24, 1971 talks with Henry Kissinger, in Soviet-American Relations: The Détente Years, 1969–1972, ed. Edward Keefer, David C. Geyer, and Douglas Selvage (Washington, DC, 2007), doc. 138. 100 Roger Jackling to Christopher Audland, February 19, 1971, FO1042/412, TNA; Bonn to FCO, February 21, 1971, Telegram No. 234, FCO33/1340, TNA; Bonn to FCO, March 1, 1971, Telegram No. 283, FCO33/1340, TNA. 101 Henry Kissinger to Kenneth Rush, March 31, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA. 102 Kissinger, White House Years, 828; Bahr, Zu Meiner Zeit, 359–61; Kissinger-Dobrynin Talks, April 26, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, April 28, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, April 30, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 286. 103 Kissinger, White House Years, 828–30; Bahr, Zu Meiner Zeit, 362–66; Falin, Politische Erinnerungen, 144–46. 104 Henry Kissinger to Kenneth Rush, May 24, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, June 29, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Nixon, Kissinger, Rush Memcon on June 15, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 253. 105 Christopher Audland, “Berlin Talks,” June 11, 1971, FCO33/1528, TNA; Bonn to FCO, “Next Steps,” June 14, 1971, FCO33/1528, TNA; Record of Tripartite Ambassadorial Meeting on July 15, 1971, FCO33/1529, TNA. 106 Wilson-Nixon Talks, January 27, 1970, PREM13/3546, TNA; Kissinger, White House Years, 416. 107 Heath-Nixon Talks, December 17, 1970, PREM15/161, TNA. 108 J. A. Thomson to B. Trend, “Ostpolitik and Its Risks,” December 22, 1970, PREM15/1579, TNA; Alec Douglas-Home to Edward Heath, PM/71/13, “Ostpolitik,” February 2, 1971, PREM15/1579, TNA. 109 “US Approach to the Berlin Talks,” March 25, 1971, FCO33/1548, TNA; T. Brimelow to Roger Jackling, April 13, 1971, FCO33/1548, TNA; Brimelow-Hillenbrand Talks, July 20, 1971, FCO33/1529, TNA; FCO to Bonn, “General Assessment,” July 21, 1971, FCO33/1529, TNA; J. K. Drinkall to T. Brimelow, “Berlin Negotiations,” July 7, 1971, FCO33/1550, TNA. 110 “Bonn Group Meeting 4 December: Summary of Main Points—Further Development of Berlin Talks,” attached to Christopher Audland to J. K. Drinkall, December 7, 1970, FCO33/1143, TNA; B. Crowe to M. E. MacGlashan, “Berlin Talks,” December 10, 1970, FCO33/1144, TNA; HM Bonn embassy, “Berlin Talks: Soviet Representation in West Berlin,” December 17, 1970, FCO33/1144, TNA. 111 Geraint Hughes, “Giving the Russians a Bloody Nose: Operation Foot and Soviet Espionage in the United Kingdom, 1964–71,” Cold War History 6, no. 2 (2006): 229–49. 112 Bonn Group Dinner Meeting at NATO Lisbon Ministerial Meetings, June 2, 1971, FCO33/1558, TNA; J. K. Drinkall to Christopher Audland, July 5, 1971, FO1042/423, TNA; N. P. Bayne to Christopher Audland, “Soviet Consulate-General in the Western Sectors,” July 6, 1971, and Audland’s Comment to Jackling, July 7, 1971, FO1042/423, TNA. 113 Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, July 29, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA. 114 Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, August 6, 1971, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XL, doc. 281. 115 FCO to Berlin, August 17, 1971, Telegram No. 169, FCO33/1530, TNA; T. Brimelow to Roger Jackling, August 17, 1971, FCO33/1530, TNA; Wiggin to Garrod, “Berlin,” August 27, 1971, FCO33/1530, TNA; Kenneth Rush to Henry Kissinger, August 13, 1971, HAK Germany, Country Files, box 57, NSC, NPMP, USNA; Kissinger, White House Years, 831. 116 Alec Douglas-Home to Edward Heath, PM/71/77, “Berlin Talks,” August 1971, PREM15/2096, TNA. 117 Ratti, Britain, Ost- and Deutschlandpolitik, 152–57. 118 For a critical analysis of Kissinger’s diplomacy, see Stanley Hoffmann, Primacy or World Order: American Foreign Policy Since the Cold War (New York, 1978), 33–100. 119 Andrew Scott, Allies Apart: Heath, Nixon and the Anglo-American Relationship (Basingstoke, UK, 2011), 50–79. 120 Scott, Allies Apart, 108–39; Stephen R. Twigge, “Operation Hullabaloo: Henry Kissinger, British Diplomacy, and the Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War,” Diplomatic History 33, no. 4 (September 2009): 689–701; Thomas Robb, A Strained Partnership? US-UK Relations in the Age of Détente, 1969–77 (Manchester, UK, 2013), 210. 121 Heath, Course of My Life, 492–93; DBPO, Series III, vol. 4, The Year of Europe: America, Europe and the Energy Crisis, 1972–1974 (London, 2006), 1–19. 122 DBPO, Series III, vol. 2, The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1972–1975 (London, 1997), v. 123 Ratti, Britain, Ost- and Deutschlandpolitik, 207–32. 124 N. Piers Ludlow, “The Real Years of Europe? U.S.–West European Relations during the Ford Administration,” Journal of Cold War Studies 15, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 136–61. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)

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Diplomatic HistoryOxford University Press

Published: May 29, 2018

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