of State to the President
[ Washington ,] July 5, 1945.
Memorandum for the President
Subject: German Interim Financing
- There is full agreement among the Department of State, the Treasury Department, the War Department and the Foreign Economic Administration regarding proposals which should be made to the British, the French and the Soviets with respect to procurement and interim financing of essential German imports. Such proposals would, of course, state that the sum necessary to pay for imports into Germany should be a first charge on all German exports from current German production or stocks on hand. These proposals, as recently advanced to the British, are contained in the attached memorandum.
- In recent discussions the War Department has pointed out that up to the present its financial responsibility for supplies for Germany has not included imports necessary to meet all of the objectives of the Government of the United States included in the directive to General Eisenhower. In particular, the War Department has confirmed [confined?] its financing to imports for the consumption of occupying forces, displaced persons, and such minimum consumption by German civilians as is necessary to prevent disease and unrest. This would exclude imports necessary to effectuate approved programs of reparation, restitution and relief of Allied countries, and imports made necessary by reason of the elimination or restriction of particular German industries for disarmament purposes.
- The War Department has not indicated any unwillingness to accept any of these responsibilities but is of the view that it should do so only under explicit instruction from you.
- Since the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Army Forces in Germany in his dual capacity as United States member of the Control Council and Commander of the zone of occupation is entrusted with full responsibility for carrying out all objectives of United States policy in Germany, it is the Department’s view that the War Department should assume procurement and initial financing responsibilities with respect to all imports into Germany for which the Government of the United States assumes responsibility. In the view of this Department, moreover, the War Department’s responsibility should extend to the United States’ share of any combined financing which may be undertaken in concert with the other occupying powers.
J[ames] F. B[yrnes ]