740.00119 EAC/89: Telegram

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

1310. Comea 29. We have just received the Russian text of a draft surrender document99 which the Russians have circulated to the Commission. This is a relatively brief instrument of 20 paragraphs, to be signed by representatives of the German High Command and Government, as well as by the Allied Commanders. It is based on an acknowledgment of complete defeat and unconditional surrender. It is a strictly military document, evidently designed to assure first and foremost that German armed forces are immediately and effectively rendered powerless to resume hostilities. However, it binds the Germans, in its last paragraph, to comply unconditionally with supplementary demands, political, economic, military or otherwise, which may follow.

The instrument refers to zones of occupation as being established for the purpose of disarming Germany. It contains, in contrast to the British document and ours, the geographic description of these zones. These zones appear to be the same as those set forth in the British document on military occupation circulated to the Commission on January 15. Joint occupation is specified for Austria and for the Berlin district.

[Page 173]

The document presumes throughout unified action by “representatives of the Allied Supreme Command” in the issuance of directives to German authorities.

Our first general impression is that this document, which is brief, business-like and broad in scope, is encouragingly close to our own ideas.

As soon as the official English translation of the document is received, which will probably be tomorrow, it will be telegraphed to the Department, and further details can be treated when the Department has received this text.

I should like to point out at once, however, that since the Russians and the British have now advanced similar proposals for zones of occupation, and since this point is of wide importance, the United States delegation will certainly be expected to express views on this subject at an early date. The President spoke to me on this subject when I was in Cairo and I want to follow his wishes; but would appreciate being informed as to our present position on this question.

Winant
  1. Post, p. 174.