Department of State
Policy With Respect to the Administration of the Danube
The underlying recommendation of a provisional arrangement for the administration of the Danube has been prompted by a telegram from Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces ( Scaf 471, July 3, 1945).2
This telegram is summarized as follows: Before surrender of German forces, Danube shipping under German control was moved into the United States area; Soviet officers claim that some of the vessels did not reach the United States area before surrender and ask to have them delivered. Reply has been made that restitution of such property is under consideration by the Governments.
Soviet commanders contiguous to the United States area have no authority to enter local agreement for the use of Danube shipping, which in large proportion belongs to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and other riparian states.
SHAEF recommends initial measure in restoration of international control of the Danube to be the creation of an interim Danube Navigation Agency on which initially would be represented the United [Page 330] States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union; membership subsequently would be expanded to include all states interested in Danube navigation. This problem has appeared so urgent to SHAEF that it has suggested discussion at the meeting of the three heads of states.
So far as is known in the Department of State, the War Department has taken no action on this telegram. A copy of the attached recommendation is being sent to the Pentagon.
This recommendation was prepared by an ad hoc committee of interested divisions of the Department and has been cleared with Major Kindleberger of the White House Staff.