740.00119 Potsdam/8–145

No. 1015
Report by the Technical Subcommittee on Disposition of the German Navy and Merchant Marine

Report of the Special Committee Designated To Prepare Recommendations for the Disposal of the German Navy and German Merchant Marine

Enclosure[s]: (A) Decisions of the Tripartite Conference on Distribution of the German Navy.
(B) Decisions of the Tripartite Conference on Distribution of the German Merchant Marine.
1.
The Committee met at 1030, 31 July, 1945, in consideration of above subject. The Committee’s recommendations, Enclosures [sic] (A) and Enclosure (B), are based upon tentative decisions reached during plenary sessions of the Tripartite Conference beginning 17 July, 1945. These enclosures are drafted in the form of decisions in order to facilitate final action in the plenary session of the Tripartite Conference. [For?] Those parts of the enclosures in which agreed recommendations could not be made the divergent views are set forth in each of the specific paragraphs involved.
2.
The Committee feel bound to draw the attention of the Conference [to] the possibility that any public announcement that German warships are to be divided amongst the Allies may result in the German crews scuttling ships which might be ordered to sail to Allied ports. It is therefore desirable that no announcement of the division of the German Navy be made, at any rate until the expert commission has completed its investigations, which should include the detailed arrangements for carrying out the transfer of ships. A similar delay is necessary before making any definite announcement about the division of the surrendered German merchant ships. The Committee accordingly recommend that the Conference might confine publicity to the following announcement:—

“The Conference agreed in principle upon arrangements for the use and disposal of the surrendered German Fleet and merchant ships. It was decided that the Three Governments would appoint experts to work out together detailed plans to give effect to the agreed principles. [Page 981]A further joint statement will be published simultaneously by the Three Governments in due course.”

Kyэheцob
2
Admiral of the Fleet,
C M Cooke Jr.

Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy.
E D B McCarthy
.
Rear Admiral, Royal Navy.
[Enclosure A]

Decisions of the Tripartite Conference on Distribution of the German Navy3

1. The Tripartite Conference agree upon the following principles for the distribution of the German Navy:—

(a)
The total strength of the German surface navy, excluding ships sunk and those taken over from Allied Nations, but including ships under construction or repair, shall be divided equally among the U. S. S. R., U. K., and U. S.

(1) (The British representatives expressed the view that a portion of the German Navy should be allotted to France and that, therefore, full agreement with the above principles must be subject to final decision of the Plenary Conference.)

(b)
Ships under construction or repair mean those ships whose construction or repair may be completed within three to six months, according to the type of ship. Whether such ships under construction or repair shall be completed or repaired shall be determined by the technical commission appointed by the Three Powers and referred to below, subject to the principle that their completion or repair must be achieved within the time limits above provided without any increase of skilled employment in the German shipyards and without permitting the reopening of any German shipbuilding or connected industries. Completion date means the date when a ship is able to go out on its first trip, or, under peace-time standards, would refer to the customary date of delivery by shipyard to the Government.
(c)
The larger part of the German submarine fleet shall be sunk. The Committee are not able to make a recommendation as regards the number of submarines to be preserved for experimental and technical purposes.
(1)
It is the opinion of the British and American members that not more than 30 submarines shall be preserved and divided equally between the U. S. S. R., U. K. and U. S. for experimental [Page 982]and technical purposes. Paragraph 1 (a) (1) also applies to submarines.
(2)
It is the view of the Russian members that this number is too small for their requirements and that U. S. S. R. should receive about 30 submarines for its own experimental and technical purposes.
(d)
All stocks of armaments, ammunition and supplies of the German Navy appertaining to the vessels transferred pursuant to subparagraphs (a) and (c) hereof shall be handed over to the respective powers receiving such ships.
(e)
The Three Governments agree to constitute a tripartite naval commission comprising two representatives for each Government, accompanied by the requisite staff, to submit agreed recommendations to the Three Governments for the allocation of specific German warships and to handle other detailed matters arising out of the agreement between the Three Governments regarding the German fleet. The Commission will hold its first meeting not later than August 15th., 1945, in Berlin, which shall be its headquarters. Each delegation on the Commission will have the right on the basis of reciprocity to inspect German warships wherever they may be located.
(f)
The Three Governments agree that transfers, including those of ships under construction and repair, shall be completed as soon as possible, but not later than February 15th., 1946. The Commission will submit fortnightly reports, including proposals for the progressive allocation of the vessels when agreed by the Commission.

[Enclosure B]

Decisions of the Tripartite Conference on Distribution of the German Merchant Marine

1. The Tripartite Conference agree upon the following principles for the distribution of the German Merchant Marine:—

(a) (1) It is proposed by the Soviet and American representatives: The German Merchant Marine, surrendered to the Three Powers and wherever located, shall be divided equally among the U. S. S. R., the U. K., and the U. S. The actual transfers of the ships to the respective countries shall take place as soon as practicable after the end of the war against Japan. This distribution shall not preclude any of the Parties from making such [sic] further allocation of part of its share to other Allied Nations.

(2) The British representatives considered it essential to allot a share of not less than one quarter to the lesser maritime Allied States whose merchant marines have lost so heavily in support of the common cause against Germany. Accordingly, the British Delegation proposed the following alternative draft of subparagraph (a) (1):—

“One quarter of the German merchant marine surrendered to the Three Powers and wherever located shall be allotted to the [Page 983]Soviet Union and the remainder shall be divided between the U. K. and the U. S. who will provide an appropriate share to the Allied States whose merchant marines have suffered substantial losses in support of the common cause against Germany. The actual transfers of the ships to the respective countries shall take place as soon as practicable after the end of the war against Japan.”

(b) The allocation, manning, and operation of these ships during the Japanese War period shall fall under the cognizance and authority of the Combined Shipping Adjustment Board and the United Maritime Authority.

(c) While actual transfer of the ships will be delayed until after the end of the war with Japan, a Tripartite Shipping Commission shall inventory and value all available ships and recommend a specific distribution in accordance with subparagraph (a) (as approved).

(d) The British and American representatives propose the following sub-paragraph:—

“German inland and coastal ships determined to be necessary to the maintenance of the basic German peace economy by the Allied Control Council of Germany shall not be included in the shipping pool thus divided among the Three Powers.”

The Soviet representatives do not agree to this inclusion.

(e) The Three Governments agree to constitute a tripartite merchant marine commission comprising two representatives for each Government, accompanied by the requisite staff, to submit agreed recommendations to the Three Governments for the allocation of specific German merchant ships and to handle other detailed matters arising out of the agreement between the Three Governments regarding the German merchant ships. The Commission will hold its first meeting not later than September 1st., 1945, in Berlin, which shall be its headquarters. Each delegation on the Commission will have the right on the basis of reciprocity to inspect the German merchant ships wherever they may be located.

(f) The British representatives suggested the need to add the following provision:—

“The shares of the various Allied States will be counted as reparation receipts.”

The Soviet Delegation considered that this was unnecessary in view of the new policy agreed by the Conference on reparations.

The American representatives took no position in this matter.

  1. So dated in a manuscript notation by Yost. This report was discussed at the Eleventh Meeting of the Foreign Ministers and at the Twelfth Plenary Meeting, August 1. See ante, pp. 558, 576.
  2. Kuznetsov.
  3. The file copies of this enclosure and the succeeding one were apparently used as working drafts in working out the language finally agreed upon (see document No. 1383, section iv ). The texts here printed are those of the typed report before any manuscript changes had been made in it.