740.00119 EAC/68: Telegram

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

818. Comea 20. In my Comea 18,89 it was stated that a separate message would follow on “dismemberment”.

The terms of reference proposed by Strang at Wednesday’s meeting of the Commission are as follows:

  • “1. Assuming a decision to dismember Germany—to consider (a) into what units the country would best be divided; (b) at what stage dismemberment would best be effected; (c) what measures would be required to prevent the new states from reuniting; (d) what would be the relative advantages and disadvantages to the United Nations of such dismemberment.
  • 2. These problems to be examined from the political, military and economic aspects.”

I have examined these terms carefully, and assuming that they correspond to the ideas advanced at Tehran (I do not have before me the records of that Conference) I propose to accept them with the proviso that nothing in them should be interpreted in such a way as to imply any a priori opinion of the Commission as to the merits or disadvantages of the general idea of dismemberment.

I hope that it will be possible for the sub-committee to begin its work at an early date. I propose to designate Kennan90 and General Wickersham to serve on it.

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We have at present only limited material on this question; and I do not know whether any has been prepared in our Government. I hope that the Working Security Committee will take steps to see that we are supplied soon with whatever materials the various research agencies of our Government can produce on these questions, together with any similar materials from outside sources which might be of use to us.91

  1. Telegram 725, January 27, supra.
  2. George F. Kennan, Counselor of the United States delegation to the European Advisory Commission.
  3. Telegram 854, February 3, midnight, to London, stated that the Department fully concurred in the establishment of the sub-committee on dismemberment and on its terms of reference; it also stated that a considerable documentation on the question of the partition of Germany had been prepared in the Department and was being sent to the Ambassador for his background information (740.00119 EAC/68).