740.00119 European Advisory Commission/38: Telegram

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

175. As I mentioned in my HI, January 6, 5 p.m.,41 I envisage that the Advisory Commission will probably begin its work with the question of surrender terms and controls for Germany and that documentation will be requested for presentation to the second formal meeting. So far the only material on these subjects specified for handling by the Commission is that mentioned in the Commission’s terms of reference42 which referred to the British memorandum of July 143 and to such information as may be available regarding the experience gained in the application of the Italian terms of surrender44

I think that our authorities ought to know that present indications are that British thinking, and indeed planning on certain levels, is already taking shape and may attain early formulation not only regarding armistice terms but also means of control and the general treatment of enemy countries. In particular we have been informed confidentially by our British colleagues of the existence of a 70-paragraph British draft German armistice instrument.45 I understand also that the British have given considerable thought to such questions as the operation of Inter-Allied machinery in Germany during the period of occupation, a possible central organization for Europe, the nucleus of a high commission first to guide the Commanders in Chief and subsequently to assume ultimate authority, as well as an effective armistice or control commission to enforce execution of any instrument of surrender. While not all of. these are subjects that may be dealt with specifically by the Advisory Commission, they may nevertheless indirectly bear upon the Commission’s field of work. As regards an armistice commission, we are informed that the British are already considering the selection of personnel to start advance planning even though changes may be made later. It has been intimated that they would probably, welcome our doing the same and joining them in a combined group in London.

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I mention these trends, which have been reported to me, in order to urge that our delegation be provided as soon as possible with information on such planning and ideas on these related subjects as may now have been cleared in their various stages by the American authorities concerned. I would suggest for example that a study be made and forwarded to us at once of the points covered in the Italian armistice and their actual effectiveness in application. From the standpoint of obtaining acceptance of our line of thinking and planning, I need not stress the importance of our being given definite material to present during this early and perhaps critical phase of the Commission’s work and I earnestly hope that the Department will be able to clear and to send us by courier or by telegram the material we need to work on.

This together with my 171 [131], January 6, 10 p.m. and 130, January 6, 10 p.m.,46 completes the review of the subjects proposed for consideration by the Commission, as mentioned in the last paragraph of my 82, January 4, 10 p.m.47

  1. Ante, p. 5.
  2. See Annex 2 to the Secret Protocol Of November 1, 1943, of the Tripartite Conference of Foreign Ministers at Moscow, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 756.
  3. See Moscow Conference Document No. 7, ibid., p. 708.
  4. For text of the Italian armistice’ signed September 3 but not announced until September 8, 1943, see United States and Italy, 1936–1946: Documentary Record (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1946), p. 51, or 61 Stat. (pt. 3) 2740. For correspondence regarding the overthrow of the Fascist regime in Italy and the Italian surrender, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. ii, pp. 314 ff.
  5. Post, p. 121.
  6. Ante, pp. 8 and 6, respectively.
  7. Ante, p. 1.