Frankfurt USPolAd Files—820 Military Government Germany: Telegram

No. 430
The Deputy Military Governor, United States Zone in Germany ( Clay ) to the War Department
top secret
operational priority

From USFET Main, from Clay, signed Bradley, to AGWar for WarCAD, passed to US Group CC for info, ref No S–96126.

At Saturday conference with Zhukov in Berlin agreements were reached for governing City of Berlin by Kommandatura and formal paper is being prepared for signature at Berlin on Tuesday. The proposed arrangement provides for a Tripartite Government of Berlin as a unit in all respects with French liaison until French Zone is defined, except that each Commander within his sector of Berlin will retain responsibility for law and order. The governing of the city will be in 18 Departments to include such matters as education, religion, press et cetera. While this number of Departments [Page 634] seems large, the Kommandatura can make such consolidations and changes as may be necessary. The Commandant rotating each 2 weeks will be Executive Officer for the running of the city. If this arrangement is a pattern for Group Council Control of Germany as a whole it is most encouraging.

However, the Russians demanded United States and United Kingdom accept proportionate responsibility for bringing in food and coal for Berlin. While we argued that Berlin had always been fed from Eastern Germany and had always received a large proportion of its coal from Silesia, Zhukov insisted that Russia did not have either the food or the coal. He claimed that those portions of Pomerania and Prussia which had fed Berlin in the past had been the scene of bitter fighting and that Germans had moved out of the area in such large numbers that there is little agriculture remaining for this season. He also claimed that Silesia had been turned over to the Polish Government and that Russia had no access to this coal except by payment. He stated that next year’s harvest conditions may be much better but that at present his own commitments in Berlin were being met from Red Army stocks.

Since we must accept his statements as correct in the absence of confirming information it leaves us with no choice but to provide food and coal for Berlin. The food requirements for United States and United Kingdom zones are about the same and will total approximately 40,000 tons per month for both zones for a population of about 1,700,000. The coal supply required only for utilities will approximate 6,000 tons a day of hard coal which of course can come only from the Ruhr. The Russians will provide 1,500 tons a day of lignite.

To meet the existing food demand it will be essential until the harvest season to use imported wheat. Later it may be possible in part to supply Berlin from this year’s harvest although all indications are that the harvest in Western Germany will not suffice for Western Germany exclusive of Berlin. However, we would propose to use this year’s harvest to supply Berlin to the fullest extent compatible [sic], using imported stocks only as Germany’s own resources are fully utilized. We cannot however gather sufficient stocks before the harvest to supply Berlin and must begin immediately to use imported stocks now presently available for both United States and United Kingdom. Our rail line into Berlin will be completed about July 25th and will carry the necessary tonnage.

It is our view that we must accept commitment for food and coal to Berlin as an interim measure until Allied Control Council machinery has had further opportunity to investigate and we propose to do so at tomorrow’s meeting in Berlin.