740.00119 Control (Germany)/7–2145

No. 1026
Memorandum by the Director of Political Affairs, United States Group, Control Council, Germany (Heath)1



Subject: Creation of Ruhr–Rhineland State.

The American Delegation has discussed and the Russian Delegation has tentatively put forward orally (through Maisky at Economic Subcommittee meeting2) a proposal to create a separate Ruhr–Rhineland state including possibly the remainder of Westphalia.

As I understand it, our study3 contemplated that this state would be under the immediate supervision of the French, Belgian, and Dutch Governments and the general supervision of the council of the world security organization. International government of this territory would begin coincidentally with the cessation of quadripartite military occupation of Germany which it was assumed would terminate within a few years. While initially there would be direct international government of the Ruhr–Rhineland state, a local government would be fostered and international control eventually limited to indirect measures backed up by an international garrison.

The Russian tentative proposal contemplates the immediate creation of a state to be supervised by the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the United States, and France. While it is believed possible that some form of international control might later be applied to the Ruhr area, which contains Germany’s basic war-making potential, the following considerations to my mind make it undesirable at this time to enter into any commitments for either special international control of the Ruhr area or for the establishment of a separate state including that area:

The basic thesis that we have been advocating before and at this Conference is that Germany should be treated as an economic unit. It would be hard to reconcile either of the two proposals concerning the Ruhr with our previously maintained position.
To propose a plan which would exclude Russia from direct participation in the government of the new state except through her membership in the world security organization council would have the effect of justifying and even encouraging Russian attempts to assume control over Eastern Germany.
If the Russian proposal were accepted, the net result would be to leave the Russians in effective control of the Upper Silesian industrial [Page 1000] area and, in addition, to give them a direct participation in the government of the Ruhr area which they do not at present have. In other words something for nothing.
The American position up to the present has been to stand upon the agreed zones for the government of Germany. We have recently refused a British suggestion for certain changes in the Russian zonal boundaries. It would appear unjustifiable if we were now to accept a Soviet proposal, especially one which would remove the most valuable part of the British zone from British control.
Any imposed partition of Germany is bound to evoke a spirit of irredentist nationalism which will thwart our program of German re-education and, in the end, overthrow the partition arrangement itself.
Forcible partition in the proposed instance would react against the embryonic tendencies toward separatism which although weak do exist in Bavaria and other regions and which under other circumstances might conceivably develop.
Insufficient study has as yet been given to the economic and political problems incident to the formation of the proposed state nor have we as yet had sufficient experience in military government or quadripartite cooperation to reach final conclusions on the suggested plans.
We cannot as yet judge the stability and strength of France which, under our plan, would be the most important element in the international rule of the area.
Furthermore, Russia might interpret such a proposal as an effort of the Western Allies to increase their war potential as against her own.

  1. Printed from an unsigned carbon copy.
  2. Ante, p. 183.
  3. No “study” along the lines described has been found. Cf. document No. 1021.