740.00119 E. W./7–345: Telegram

No. 424
The Secretary of State to the Representative on the Allied Commission on Reparations ( Pauley )
secret

1500. For Pauley.

For your information, this Government has received from the Potter Hyndley Mission a report on the coal situation in Northwest Europe.1 This report concludes that, unless immediate and drastic steps are taken, there will occur in Northwest Europe and the Mediterranean area next winter a coal famine of such severity as to destroy all semblance of law and order and thus delay any chance of reasonable stability in these areas. This Government concurs in the major findings of the report and in its recommendation for immediate action (1) to secure the early attainment of maximum coal production in Germany, (2) to export from Germany to Northwest Europe and the Mediterranean all coal in excess of German needs.

The President proposes to issue a directive to the American Commander-in-Chief in Europe to take all steps necessary to make available for export from Germany out of the production of the coal mines in western Germany a minimum of ten million tons in 1945 and an additional fifteen million tons by end of April 1946.

The President has sent to Prime Minister Churchill and to General de Gaulle copies of this proposed directive2 with a request that similar directives be sent by them to the appropriate British and French occupation authorities.

The priority to be accorded the steps contained in the President’s proposed directive will be subordinate only to requirements necessary to ensure the safety and health of the occupying forces and the speedy redeployment of Allied forces in Germany. It is recognized that the following of this policy during the period of critical coal shortage will delay the resumption of industrial activity in Germany.

Byrnes
W L C[layton]
  1. See enclosure 2 to document No. 421.
  2. See document No. 420.