740.00119 European Advisory Commission/63: Telegram

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

726. Comea86 19. It was stated in my Comea 1887 that a separate message would follow on the discussion, which took place at yesterday’s [Page 41] session of the Commission,88 concerning participation of other governments in the Commission’s work.

I expressed the view that every consideration should be given to the interests of our Allies in the work we were performing, but that we would have to bear in mind the great need for speed and security in our deliberations.

Strang89 reported to the Commission that the Czechoslovak Government had filed with the British Government a request to participate in the drafting of surrender terms for Germany and Hungary;90 furthermore that the Netherlands and Belgium had complained that in the drawing up of the surrender terms for Italy,91 that [they?] had not been informed or consulted, and had expressed the hope that this would not be a precedent for the future. In reply to a question as to whether the United States Government had received similar approaches, I said that I did not know but would try to find out.

I would appreciate any information you could give me on this subject.

Strang further reported that the Committee of Allied Foreign Ministers, comprising representatives of the Norwegian, Dutch, Belgian, Luxembourg, Greek, Yugoslav, Czechoslovak and Polish Governments and the French Committee of National Liberation, had also drafted a number of points they wished to see considered in the preparation of armistice terms for Germany, and stated that these had been taken into consideration in a general way in the preparation of the British document.92 To this Gousev93 observed that he had no official knowledge of the existence of that Committee.

In general, Gousev considered that the question of the participation of other governments should be taken up as it might arise in specific instances in the course of the work, and considered that any previous discussion on this subject would be undesirably abstract. Strang agreed, but felt that we must examine whether our Governments should not be asked to take steps at once to inform at least some of the other United Nations’ Governments of the work we are undertaking [Page 42] and to see that their suggestions are made available to us for use in our work.

(Incidentally I learn from the Mission to the Allied Governments in exile that the Dutch Government has prepared and transmitted to that Mission a list of points which it considers should be embodied, in the interests of the Netherlands Government, in any surrender terms for Germany, but this document94 has not been brought officially before the Commission.)

It was decided to hold a general discussion on this subject at a later meeting of the Commission.95

  1. Series designation for telegrams from London dealing with the work of the European Advisory Commission.
  2. Telegram 725, January 27, 4 p.m., from London, p. 163.
  3. The second formal session of the Commission.
  4. Sir William Strang, United Kingdom Representative to the European Advisory Commission; Assistant Under Secretary of State in the British Foreign Office.
  5. For correspondence regarding the consideration by the European Advisory Commission of the terms of surrender for Germany, see pp. 100 ff. The Hungarian surrender terms were, in fact, never discussed in the European Advisory Commission. For correspondence regarding an armistice with the Hungarian Government signed at Moscow, January 20, 1945, see vol. iii, pp. 847 ff.
  6. For correspondence regarding the Allied armistice with Italy, September 3, 1943, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. ii, pp. 314 ff.
  7. “Summary of Draft German Armistice”, p. 116.
  8. Fedor Tarasovich Gousev, Soviet Ambassador in the United Kingdom and Soviet Representative to the European Advisory Commission.
  9. A 38-page report, dated December 22, 1943, on “Armistice and Peace Terms and Relations with the Enemy after the War”, which was prepared by a Committee of the Netherlands Study Group for Reconstruction Problems, transmitted to the Department by the Chargé to the Netherlands Government in Exile at London as an enclosure to his despatch 123, February 7, 1944 (neither printed).
  10. At the fourth formal meeting of the Commission, held on March 3, 1944, the United Kingdom Representative raised the question of consultation with the other Allies. The Soviet Representative stated that his delegation was not in a position to discuss the question and pointed out that the Commission already had before it the very important and urgent task of drafting the terms of surrender for Germany. The United Kingdom Representative stated that while the drafting of German surrender terms was the important matter before the Commission, this task could not be finally accomplished without consultation with at least some of the other Allied Governments at some stage in the discussions. The United States Representative expressed agreement with the views of the United Kingdom Representative. The matter of consultation with other Allied Governments was not raised again in the Commission until May 1944.