The Department of State to the British Embassy
The Department of State has given consideration to the British Embassy’s Aide-Mémoire of April 15, 1944 relative to the participation of other United Nations in the preparation of surrender terms to be imposed upon Germany and its satellites now under discussion in the European Advisory Commission.
The Department is gratified to learn that the British Foreign Office agrees that the European Advisory Commission offers, at present, the most convenient channel through which the Allied Governments may be associated with the formulation of surrender terms. In the view of this Department, the most practical method of dealing with the question of the participation of other United Nations would be to arrange for such participation in several stages. These stages, it is suggested, might be as follows:
- Agreement on all essential points of the surrender terms should be reached by the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics before any formal approach is made to other United Nations. This plan, however, would not exclude consideration by the European Advisory Commission of any views which might be submitted to it by governments of other United Nations in the course of arriving at agreement among the three Powers. It is recognized by both the American and British Governments that those United Nations which have been the victims of German [Page 57]aggression have special interests which they will no doubt desire to call to the attention of the European Advisory Commission. It was for this very reason that this Government suggested that those be given an opportunity to present their views. It is understood that certain material of this nature has been, or will be, presented shortly to the European Advisory Commission for its consideration. In this connection, reference is made especially to a proposed program for German disarmament drafted by the Inter-Allied Armistice Study Commission. The European Advisory Commission will no doubt be prepared to take such reports into account in the course of its deliberations, and the American representative on the European Advisory Commission has been instructed to lay before the Commission any such studies as may be submitted to him. In this manner, the Department of State believes that the views of those European states with special interests can be considered as the European Advisory Commission formulates its recommendations on surrender terms.
- Following agreement by the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on essential points of the surrender terms, the other United Nations who have primary interests in this matter could be notified of the recommendations agreed upon, and a request could be made for their formal acquiescence. If their views had been considered in the manner described in paragraph one above, this formal acquiescence would probably not be difficult to obtain.
- With respect to United Nations of the Latin American or Middle Eastern regions, this Department shares the view of the Foreign Office that formal agreement by these United Nations is not required for the presentation of surrender terms; this Government, however, would presumably desire to inform these Governments of the terms at some later date to be decided upon. In this connection, the Department assumes that Greece would be considered as coming within paragraph two, as would Turkey in the event that Turkey should become one of the United Nations and actively participate in the war.
The foregoing views are set forth as the tentative opinion of this Department which believes that before any decision on this question is reached, the recommendations of the European Advisory Commission should be sought. This Department will therefore instruct the American Representative on the European Advisory Commission to bring this question to the attention of the Commission with a request for its recommendations respecting the manner and time at which consultation with other United Nations could best be effected.24
Instruction 4067, May 13, 1944, to London, read in part as follows:
“In accordance with the concluding paragraph of the Department’s aide-mémoire, the Ambassador is requested to bring this question before the European Advisory Commission and to explain the Department’s point of view as set forth therein. After discussion, the Department would welcome the recommendations of the Commission respecting the manner and time in which the proposed consultations with other United Nations could best be effected.” (740.00119 EAC/109)