740.00119 EAC/22: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )
8210. Strang’s proposal to clear the Anglo-Norwegian agreement with the Department through the British Embassy and then to place it on the agenda of the opening meeting of the European Advisory Commission (your 8837, December 2049) does not harmonize with our views with regard to the jurisdiction of the Commission.
This agreement has not yet been officially communicated to us by the British Embassy, nor, in fact, by the Norwegian Government. However, under date of October 1550 the Secretary of War transmitted to the Department a copy of the Anglo-Norwegian agreement and stated that at their meeting that day the Combined Chiefs of Staff had approved the agreement subject to concurrence by the State Department. The Department replied on October 1951 that it had no comment to make thereon. Since then, the Netherlands and Norwegian Ambassadors52 and the Belgian Chargé d’Affaires53 have raised with the Department the question of the procedure to be followed in taking up the question of a military agreement with this Government as well as matters relating to civilian administration and jurisdiction in their respective national territories liberated by an Allied expeditionary force. The Netherlands Ambassador informed us for the first time that an agreement had been concluded between his Government and the British Government and, on instructions from his Government, expressed the hope that the American Government would approve the agreement as it stood. He was told that the agreement to which he referred appeared to be one between the British Government and his Government only and that if his Government desired to conclude a similar agreement with the American Government, the question should be opened in a written communication addressed to the Chief, Civil Affairs Division, War Department, who would later take up with the State Department any political phases of the Netherlands proposals. Similar information as to the wishes of this Government regarding the procedure to be followed in negotiating with it agreements of the character mentioned has been given to the Norwegian Ambassador and to the Belgian Chargé d’Affaires. Accordingly, in our view, consideration of an Anglo-Norwegian agreement of the character referred to by Strang would not lie within the jurisdiction of the European Advisory Commission.[Page 818]
The British Embassy has indicated that Mr. Eden is under the impression that at Moscow I gave assent to a suggestion by him that the Norwegian agreement be transmitted to the London Commission. Our records of the minutes of the meetings make no mention of such a suggestion, nor do I recall any, though of course it might have been made. In any event, as far as the liberated countries were concerned I only had in mind reference to the Advisory Commission of the proposed statement on liberated areas which was presented by the British Delegation.
Of course, we desire to keep the Soviet Government informed of arrangements such as the proposed Norwegian and Belgian agreements after they are arrived at, but this could best be done by transmission directly to the Soviet Government rather than have them laid before the Advisory Commission for discussion and recommendations.
Please bring the foregoing to the attention of Mr. Phillips54 for His information.