Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers, 1944, General, Volume I
Memorandum by the United Kingdom Representative to the European Advisory Commission (Strang)71
Allied Control Machinery in Germany during the period of Occupation
In compliance with the invitation issued to Delegations by the European Advisory Commission at its first meeting on January 14th, I circulate to my colleagues, for the consideration of the Commission, some proposals on the Allied control machinery which would operate in Germany during the period of occupation.
Memorandum by the United Kingdom Delegation to the European Advisory Commission
MACHINERY IN GERMANY DURING THE PERIOD OF OCCUPATION
[Note.—For the purpose of this Memorandum the following definitions have been used:—
- Three Powers=United Kingdom, United States and U.S.S.R.
- Allied=United Kingdom, United States, U.S.S.R, plus those Allied countries, including the Dominions, directly concerned with the European settlement.
- United Nations=All members of the United Nations.
- Control Commission=The body charged with supervising the execution of the terms of surrender or of the appropriate sections of any unilateral proclamations or declarations issued by the Commanders-in-Chief.]71a
1. The European Advisory Commission set up at the Moscow Conference has been instructed to take into account as material for its work the Memorandum of which a copy is set out in Appendix “A” to this paper.72
2. Taking that Memorandum as a basis, the machinery required for Germany during the period of occupation will now be considered in detail.
3. Germany will be entered by more than one army each with a separate Commander-in-Chief and distinct administrative organisations. The country will be divided, for the purposes of occupation, first into two and subsequently into three zones. Some central machinery will, therefore, be needed to introduce an element of uniformity in the systems of occupation carried out by the three armies in the three zones, and to handle any subjects which must be dealt with centrally.
II.—Possible Central Organisation for Europe
4. German problems can only be solved in relation to wider European problems. Once hostilities have ceased and the period of disorder following on the cessation of hostilities has passed, some Central Body dealing with European affairs will, it is hoped, be set up for the purpose of directing the activities of the Allied authorities, military [Page 156] and civil. This body will need to be furnished with subordinate organs designed to ensure that it has accurate knowledge of the problems of Europe.
III.—High Commission for Germany
5. It will, however, in any case be necessary to set up under any Central Body some further machinery to handle German problems on the spot. What seems to be required is an Allied High Commission for Germany, sitting in Berlin and acting as the representative of the Central Body, which can work out and direct the application to Germany as a whole of the approved policy.
6. If Allied action in Germany is to proceed from the start on the right lines, and if the necessary preliminary planning is to take place, it is necessary that a framework from which this High Commission for Germany might eventually develop should be established as soon as possible, even though it will probably not be possible for this body to enter fully on its functions until the immediate post-hostilities period has passed, and some measure of order has been restored.
A. Organisation During the Period of Active Hostilities.
7. The High Commission for Germany cannot operate fully until hostilities end, but it is necessary, nevertheless, to consider how its constitution will be affected by earlier events. As we see the position either of the following conditions may exist:—
- parts of Germany may be occupied, while in other parts active hostilities continue; or
- the surrender of Germany may occur before any allied troops have set foot on German soil.
8. Whichever condition exists the primary tasks of the Allied armed forces will be:—
- to extinguish any remaining resistance;
- to restore law and order; and
- to effect the initial disarmament of the German armed forces.
9. As long as fighting continues, and until these three primary tasks have been performed, the authority of Commanders-in-Chief must be supreme. It will, nevertheless, be important that an embryo High Commission shall be in existence to help Commanders-in-Chief by providing guidance to them on economic and political masters (including the purge of the German administration).
This body should, therefore, be established before the final collapse, so as to be in a position to provide the necessary guidance for communication through the appropriate channels to the Commanders-in-Chief as soon as they are in a position to make use of it.[Page 157]
B. Organisation during the “Middle Period,” i.e., the Aftermath of Hostilities.
10. During this transitional period, the ultimate responsibility must, as in the period of active hostilities, rest with the respective Commanders-in-Chief, although it may be hoped that the field covered by the advisory functions of the embryo High Commission will be progressively extended throughout the period. The questions how long this period will last and how soon it will be possible to hand over direction to the High Commission must largely depend on the internal state of Germany, and on the progress achieved in organising the occupying forces.
During this period control of the German Central Government (if it exists) and of the central German administrative machine would be exercised by representatives of the three Commanders-in-Chief. These representatives would sit together as a body and would have such subordinate political, military, economic and administrative staffs as might be found convenient. Together with their staffs they would, no doubt, be absorbed later into the High Commission: see paragraph 16(c) below.
C. Organisation during the Period of Effective Allied Control.
11. As soon as conditions have been established which make it possible to set up an effective central Allied authority in Germany, the way will have been paved for the High Commission to take charge; and it should do so at the earliest possible moment, at a time to be decided by the Governments of the Three Powers on the recommendation of their Commanders-in-Chief.
12. The High Commission will then become the supreme Allied authority in Germany, and its task will be to control the German administration, to see that the terms of surrender are carried out, to supervise political and economic developments in that country, and to attempt to mould them in directions favourable to the fulfilment of the aims of the United Nations.
13. If an acceptable central German Government exists, the High Commission will act as the channel through which the policy of the United Nations will be imposed on that Government. In the absence of such a German Government, it may be necessary for the High Commission to assume considerable administrative responsibilities. Even so, it will have to use existing German machinery and personnel as far as possible.
14. The High Commission would consequently direct, in accordance with the policy of the Allied Governments—
The Forces of Occupation, charged
- the maintenance of order throughout Germany;
- protection of the High Commission and other United Nations authorities;
- the provision of the necessary force to ensure that the requirements of the United Nations are met; and
- in any areas where it may become necessary to exercise military government for a time, the supervision and, where necessary, the actual conduct of local administration through Civil Affairs staffs.
- The Control Commission, charged with supervising the execution of the terms of any Instrument concluded with the German Government or High Command, or, in the absence of such an Instrument, of the appropriate sections of any unilateral Proclamations or Declarations issued by the respective Commanders-in-Chief on behalf of the United Nations.
- Any United Nations Agencies charged, in Germany, with the problems of relief, repatriation, transport, &c.
- The Central Civil Administration, if it should be decided to keep this distinct from the Control Commission.
15. The Commanders-in-Chief should continue to have the right—
- to appeal direct to their respective Governments; and
- to declare a state of martial law in any area in their respective zones, should they consider this necessary.
IV.—Composition of the High Commission
16. The composition of the High Commission and its staffs would be as follows:—
- The High Commission itself.—This would initially consist of one representative each of the United Kingdom, United States and U.S.S.R. The Presidency of the Commission might be held by each of the three representatives in turn.
- Political, Economic and Administrative Staffs.—The personnel would be drawn mainly, though not exclusively, from the Three Powers.
- Military Staff.—This Staff would, at any rate at the outset, consist of representatives of the Three Powers only, who would advise the High Commission on military questions and act as a link between the High Commission and the three Commanders-in-Chief.
The question of the association of France and of the other Allies with the High Commission will require separate study.
17. The following conclusions have therefore been reached:—
- During the period of active hostilities and their
- Each Commander-in-Chief would exercise supreme authority in the areas controlled by his own forces.
- An Allied High Commission for Germany would coordinate policy on economic and political matters (including the purge of the German administration) by providing guidance to the Commanders-in-Chief through the appropriate channels.
- Control of the central German Government (if any) or the central German administrative machine would be exercised by the representatives of the three Commanders-in-Chief, sitting together as a body.
- During the period of effective Allied control:—
- As soon as the military situation permits, the High Commission would become the supreme Allied authority in Germany.
- The High Commission would initially consist of representatives of the United Kingdom, the United States and the U.S.S.R., and would have political, military, economic and administrative staffs.
- The High Commission would direct:—
- The Armies of Occupation;
- A Control Commission;
- Any Agencies dealing with relief, repatriation, transport, &c.
- The Central Civil Administration, if it should be decided to keep this distinct from the Control Commission.
- The three Commanders-in-Chief would retain the
- To appeal direct to their respective Governments; and
- To declare a state of martial law in any area in their respective zones should they consider this necessary.
Two Charts illustrating respectively the proposals for the machinery required during the immediate aftermath of hostilities and during the period of effective Allied control will be found in Appendices “B” and “C” to this paper.73
- Copy transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in the United Kingdom in his despatch 13325, January 15; received January 20.↩
- Brackets appear in the original.↩
- Appendix “A”, a copy of the British memorandum of July 1, 1943, regarding the treatment of Germany, not printed. A British memorandum of essentially the same content was circulated at the Moscow Conference as Conference Document No. 7, printed in Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 708.↩
- Neither printed.↩