740.00119 EAC/9–1144

The British Embassy to the Department of State


With reference to their communication of August 14th92 regarding proposed conversations in London between Mr. Eden and Monsieur Massigli, His Majesty’s Embassy is instructed to communicate to the State Department the outcome of these conversations.

Monsieur Massigli discussed the attitude of the French Committee to the European Advisory Commission as well as towards security against renewed German aggression. He also discussed the [Page 89] position in Indo-China and the Levant and the French attitude towards the combined boards and towards rubber and oil questions.
Enclosed are three notes giving the substance of views expressed at these talks on respectively the combined boards, rubber and oil, Indo-China, and the European Advisory Commission and security against German aggression.93 As regards the Levant States, a general exchange of views took place without any particular decisions having been reached.

European Advisory Commission and Security Against German Aggression

Monsieur Massigli said that the French Committee had decided to reply to invitation from European Advisory Commission that it did not meet vital interests of France merely to send written views about terms of surrender without any previous knowledge of the conclusions which had been reached by the Commission. They accordingly proposed formally to ask the Commission to allow a French representative to take part in oral discussion of terms of surrender, within the Commission. In the French view it was impossible to draw up terms of surrender for Germany without French participation. They attached the greatest importance to terms of surrender effacing Armistice of 194094 and this meant that Germany must not be able to say that she had only surrendered to the Three Powers.

It was suggested to Monsieur Massigli that it would be better to begin by giving French written views as requested by Commission, but he maintained that this would be useless until there had been an opportunity for discussion. The Secretary of State94a told him he thought that in view of strong French feeling on this subject he was entitled to put his alternative proposal to Commission, particularly [Page 90] as the latter was authorized by its charter to consult representatives of other countries when their interests were specially concerned.

Monsieur Massigli also expressed the view that importance of France in European affairs generally entitled her to full membership in European Advisory Commission. He was advised not to raise this question before a French Government had been established in France.

Security against renewed German aggression. Monsieur Massigli took the line that all planning for future security in Europe must be closely linked with policy of proper occupation and control of Germany. In the French view long-term policy must govern occupation plans from the outset, or the latter would achieve nothing, as last time. He developed in general terms the idea of placing under permanent international control what he described as Rheno-Westphalian Basin, the heart of Germany’s war potential. Although this area would remain under German administration and would not necessarily be completely severed from the rest of Germany, it would be permanently kept under Allied political, military and economic control. The special area would include industrial regions around Frankfurt and Mannheim. Monsieur Massigli also thought it essential that there should be permanent Allied military control of a stretch in the eastern bank of the Rhine running between southern boundary of special area and Switzerland.

The Secretary of State took note of this suggestion, which appears to be an alternative to dismemberment, and promised to have it examined by experts. Meanwhile the Secretary of State indicated arrangements which we had in mind would provide for complete disarmament both military and economic of Germany and for Allied military control of the whole country so long as required for this purpose. The powers which we proposed taking would be continuing and comprehensive. We were alive to the defects of the Armistice and control arrangements made at the end of last war.

  1. See memorandum by the Director of the Office of European Affairs dated August 14, p. 85.
  2. The note on the European Advisory Commission is printed as Annex below. The note on Combined Boards, rubber and oil, and the note on Indo-China are not printed. For information on the establishment and function of the Combined Boards (Anglo-American and Anglo-American-Canadian) for raw materials, food, production and resources, and shipping adjustment, see Department of State Bulletin, January 16, 1943, pp. 67–69. For correspondence regarding the Combined Boards, see vol. ii, pp. 16 ff, passim. For correspondence regarding the Anglo-American petroleum discussions and agreement of August 8, 1944, see vol. iii, pp. 94 ff. For correspondence regarding the discussions on the future status of French Indo-China, see ibid., pp. 769 ff.
  3. For text of the German-French Armistice Treaty of June 22, 1940, see Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, series D. vol. ix (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1956), p. 671. For correspondence regarding the invasion of France by Germany and the collapse of French resistance, see Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. i, pp. 217 ff.
  4. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.