Truman Papers

No. 403
Memorandum by the Joint Strategic Survey Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1
top secret

Internationalization of the Ruhr and the Saar

Internationalization of the Ruhr and the Saar, however established, would eventually involve the World Organization,2 presumably as represented by the Security Council. Such an arrangement could not but inject Russia into the affairs of Western Europe to an undesirable degree, which might well require larger United States commitments [Page 596] in the areas internationalized and for longer periods of time. For these reasons, the internationalization of the Ruhr and the Saar is not favorably considered.

. . . . . . .

With respect to the Ruhr area, if Germany loses Silesia and the Saar, her future economic stability is in danger unless the Ruhr area is eventually restored to her. It would appear highly desirable, however, that the British occupational period of that area should extend until such time as an acceptable German Government is established. It should be noted in this connection that permanent loss by Germany of Silesia and of the Saar will reduce her war potential of strategic material to such a degree as to practically eliminate her, while acting alone, as a menace to the future peace of Europe. Under these conditions, it would seem desirable that the Ruhr area be eventually restored to Germany.

  1. This memorandum was prepared in response to a request from Leahy (document No. 155) for recommendations which would be “useful to the President in preparing himself for the [Berlin] conference”. It was forwarded to Leahy by the Secretary of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on June 26, together with other reports, under cover of a memorandum which stated explicitly: “These reports represent the views of the committees only and have not been approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” Leahy subsequently passed it to Truman.
  2. i. e., the United Nations.