740.00119 EAC/45a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

8108. Advisory Commission. I thought it would be helpful if I were to give you my impressions and thoughts with regard to the European Advisory Commission.

When the establishment of the Commission came up at Moscow, Mr. Eden proposed terms of reference and jurisdiction for it which were of a most comprehensive character. It was perfectly obvious in the discussions that the Soviet Government had no intention of giving the Commission the wide jurisdiction proposed by Mr. Eden, and in the drafting of the terms of reference the Soviet Government insisted upon restricting the Commission’s work to the preparation of terms of surrender of the enemy countries in Europe and the devising of machinery for insuring the execution of those terms. The restriction of the Commission’s work to this limited field was entirely in line with the policy of this Government as it seemed to us that the whole question of the occupation and treatment of the enemy countries should be separated in the first instance from general European political questions. We are of course interested in not having any kind of regional council or regional control set up in such a manner that it would precede or supersede the functions of the general organization for the maintenance of peace and security on a world-wide basis. We are therefore desirous of not having any body which deals with European questions set up in a form which might be construed or interpreted as paving the way for a European control body at this time. We feel that the coordination of organizations dealing in the European field should be within the framework and control of any contemplated organization.

We would prefer, therefore, that you keep the work of the Commission within the field of drawing up terms of surrender and machinery for control of the enemy countries, with the exception, of course, of the consideration of those papers directly referred to it by the Conference for its advice.

With respect to the latter, I wish to give you my thoughts on the paper entitled “Civil Affairs for France”36 referred to the Commission by the Moscow Conference. This paper which was dated October 6, 1943, received the agreement of the United States and the British Governments.37 It purports to lay down a set of principles upon which the participation of the French will be provided for in [Page 813] the administration of Civil Affairs in France when the Allied military operations begin in that country with a view to the defeat of Germany. There is no attempt in this document to go into any great detail with regard to the methods by which these principles will be carried out. The further development of the document and the application of the principles is intended to be worked out in COSSAC38 where the military planning for operations in France is taking place. The British and American Governments having agreed to this document, it remained but for the Combined Chiefs of Staff to send it in the form of a directive to COSSAC in order to start discussions with the French military authorities in planning the operation. However, as agreement between the two Governments was only reached on the eve of the Moscow Conference, it was thought best by the two Governments to present it at Moscow for the information of and clearance with the Soviet Government. As the paper came up toward the end of the Conference in Moscow there was not sufficient time for it to be discussed, and the Foreign Ministers sent it on to the Advisory Commission for consideration. It is not contemplated that the paper need be discussed in any great detail as the spirit and attitude expressed in the document is obvious, and, as the operational planning and application for the putting into effect of these principles is left for further elaboration at the planning stage, it is preferable not to introduce into this basic document any more detail than is therein contained. There should be no need for any rewriting of the document, nor of making any great changes in it as it now stands. If any suggestions of major change are brought forward, you may explain that this is merely a basic document of statement of principles, and that operational details and discussion of its application shall take place at a later stage when the French authorities will be represented and when consideration will be given to their views. It is important at this time that the clearance of this document not be further delayed as any further delay is impeding the necessary planning in COSSAC which has already been retarded through not having any directive on the subject from the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Under item 14 of the protocol of the Moscow Conference, it is stated that an exchange of views took place on a proposal put forward by the United Kingdom on “policy regarding Allied territory liberated through the advance of the Allied forces”, and that this question was referred to the European Advisory Commission.39

The paper on this subject which was presented by Mr. Eden is on the same subject which was agreed to between the British and American [Page 814] Governments at Quebec last summer.40 The text of the agreed statement of last summer is contained in the Department’s no. 5417, September 4, 1943, midnight, to Biddle.41 This Government is still ready to subscribe to a statement in the terms as agreed upon at Quebec.

The text of the proposed statement as put forward by Mr. Eden at Moscow was submitted to the Department just prior to the Delegation’s departure. After reference to the President the British were informed that it was not acceptable to this Government as drafted. It was, however, submitted by the British at Moscow. If any consideration is given to a statement to be made on this subject, you will be guided by the text as agreed upon at Quebec, and will not accept any changes therein without reference to this Government as the Quebec text has received the approval of the President.

  1. Annex 5 to the Secret Protocol, p. 760.
  2. See telegram No. 1012, October 18, 6 p.m., from the Acting Secretary of State to the American delegation to the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers, p. 565.
  3. Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander (designate).
  4. For text of the British proposal, see p. 738. For the record of discussion of the subject at the ninth session of the Moscow Conference on October 27, 1943, see pp. 651652.
  5. The First Quebec Conference, between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, with their advisers, was held August 17–24, 1943. The records of this Conference are scheduled for publication in a subsequent volume of Foreign Relations.
  6. Vol. iii, p. 458.