740.00119 Potsdam/8–745: Telegram

No. 1411
The Ambassador in France ( Caffery ) to the Secretary of State

us urgent

4775. Following is translation of note handed me by Bidault this evening (my 4769, Aug 7.1)

Mr. Ambassador, by your letter No. 669, July 31,2 you were good enough to inform me on behalf of the Govt of |the US and in agreement with the Govts of the UK and the USSR of the text of an “arrangement” agreed upon between these govts on the subject of “political principles which would govern the treatment of Germany during the initial period of control.”

In view of the vital importance which the whole of the German problem assumes for France, the French Govt regrets that a text relating to the most important aspects of this problem has been established, without its participation, between three of its principal Allies when the French Govt itself is a party to the agreements elaborated by the European Consultative [Advisory] Commission and actually in force with regard to the occupation and control of Germany.3

Subject to a more thorough examination, it wishes to make a certain number of observations on the communication it has received.

It recognizes the necessity for a certain uniformity of treatment for the population of the whole of Germany.

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It can only approve the essential aims of the occupation such as they are presented: Complete and final disarmament and decentralization of Germany; complete uprooting of militarism; suppression of all armament industry; destruction of the German war potential; elimination of Nazi laws, organizations and institutions; adoption of all measures designed to prevent the rebirth of militarism and Nazism; the rapid punishment of war criminals; control of public education; reorganization of the judiciary machinery; administrative decentralization; the remolding of the administrative machinery beginning with autonomous municipalities, and on the basis of a representative and elective system; the impossibility of reconstituting at present a central German Govt.

The French Govt likewise believes it indispensable to consider now the proper means to favor the birth and the development of democratic ideas in Germany with a view to the future return of the German population into the community of peace-loving and democratic peoples.

On the other hand, some of the other principles which were presented called for reservations on the part of the French Govt.

Some of the measures advocated seem to assume that a given future political evolution of Germany will occur; while it is impossible to foresee at the present time whether such an evolution corresponds to the interests of European peace and to the wishes of the populations involved.

In this regard the French Govt has particularly in mind the reconstitution of political parties for the whole of Germany, and the creation of central administrative depts which would be directed by secretaries of state whose jurisdiction would cover, it seems, the whole of the German territory, which is not yet defined.

For its part the French Govt believes that it would be preferable before defining such conditions to take into account the experiences which the four occupying powers will not fail to gather during the initial phase of control.

On all of these points the French Govt is disposed to proceed to an exchange of views with the powers which share with it the responsibilities of the occupation and the control of Germany.

  1. Document No. 1405.
  2. Document No. 1396.
  3. Treaties and Other International Acts Series Nos. 3070 and 3071; United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, vol. 5, pt. 2, pp. 2062, 2078. See also document No. 1038.