Memorandum by the United Kingdom Representative to the European Advisory Commission (Strang)4
E. A. C. (44) 6
London, 7 February, 1944.
Consultation With Other Allied Governments Concerning Terms of Surrender for Germany
- The European Advisory Commission at its meeting on January 26th, 1944, agreed to discuss further at a later meeting the question of consultation with other Allied Governments concerning the terms of surrender for Germany.
- At that meeting I gave my colleagues certain information showing the keen interest taken by the European Allied Governments in the proceedings of the Commission on this subject.
- The Commission’s responsibility as regards consultation with other United Nations is defined in paragraph 4 of the Commission’s Terms of Reference which says: “Representatives of the Governments of other United Nations will, at the discretion of the Commission, be invited to take part in meetings of the Commission when matters especially affecting their interests are under discussion”.
- In the view of the United Kingdom Delegation, the question of the terms of surrender for Germany is, as a whole, a matter especially affecting the interests of the European Allies. These countries are either neighbours of Germany or numbered among her principal victims. They are participating in military operations against Germany. They have an immediate interest in satisfying themselves that the terms of surrender take due account of their needs. The peoples of countries which have suffered so long under the German yoke will naturally expect their Governments to be adequately consulted on a matter which so closely concerns their future security and well-being.
- The United Kingdom Delegation do not suggest that the Representatives of the European Allies need be forthwith invited to take part in meetings of the Commission when the terms of surrender for Germany are under discussion. The Commission will be in a better position to decide upon the moment for the issue of such invitations when its own studies have made further progress. But the United Kingdom Delegation would propose that, as a first step towards such consultation, the European Allied Governments and the French Committee of National Liberation should now be informed that the European Advisory Commission is studying the question of terms of surrender for Germany, and invited to submit in writing for the consideration of the Commission any ideas which they may wish to express on the form and content of the terms of surrender which should be imposed on Germany. The United Kingdom Delegation think it desirable that the Commission should be in possession of this material as soon as possible, both in order to assist its own studies, and as a first step towards the discharge of the responsibility placed upon it by the three Governments for consulting other Governments whose interests are especially affected.
- The Commission is competent, at its discretion, to invite Representatives of other Governments to take part in its meetings; as the greater includes the less, it is equally competent, as a preparatory measure, to invite such Governments to submit their suggestions in writing for consideration by the Commission.
- The duty of approaching the Governments concerned could be entrusted by the Commission either to its Chairman or to one of its members. In making the approach, which would be secret, due regard would be paid to the interests of security. It could also be suggested to the Governments concerned that if they could, so far as possible, submit combined views, this would be of convenience to the Commission.
- The United Kingdom Delegation therefore propose that the
Commission should now decide:—
- to inform the Governments of Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Yugoslavia, Greece, Czechoslovakia and Poland, and the French Committee of National Liberation that the Commission is now considering the terms of surrender for Germany;
- to invite them to submit in writing for the consideration of the Commission any ideas they may wish to express on the form and content of the terms of surrender which should be imposed on Germany.
- Transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in the United Kingdom in his despatch 13820, February 10, 1944; received February 17.↩