Truman Papers

Thompson Minutes

top secret

Inland Waterways

Mr. Byrnes said that the President had drawn attention at the morning meeting of the Heads of Government to the American paper [Page 398]on Inland Waterways.2 He suggested that they appoint a committee to consider it.

Molotov said he had not thought the matter had been referred to them, but after the Secretary had assured him that it was,3 it was agreed to set up a committee consisting of Messrs. Ward, Dean, Riddleberger, Russell, Labrishchev and Gereschenko.

Transfer of Populations

Mr. Byrnes pointed out that they had also been asked to deal with the question of the transfer of populations in respect to Czechoslovakia3 and he inquired what suggestions his colleagues had.

Cadogan pointed out that it was not only the Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia that were involved. It was also the question of the transfer of Germans from western Poland. It was true that they had been told that a large majority had fled from the territory now claimed by Poland, but this did not entirely dispose of the question if these people were to transfer their domicile permanently. There were a number of arrangements to be made. There was a similar question on a smaller scale in connection with Hungary. The Hungarians wished to transfer to Germany a certain number of people. The British have no detailed plan but they thought that in view of the difficulty that would be caused by this movement the matter should be under the Allied Control Council, acting with the cooperation of the governments concerned.

The Secretary agreed that the Control Council was about the only body competent to regulate the matter. If there were a gradual removal it would not aggravate the food problem, but he assumed that the difficulty was that of unilateral action in trying to force the removal at one time of all of these people. Could they not agree to instruct the Control Council to provide for the orderly removal of these people.

Molotov inquired if anybody had complete and detailed information on the question.

The Secretary said it seemed to him that the Control Council was the only body that could regulate it. If they could agree to direct them to prevent the wholesale removal of these people and on the contrary to arrange for their gradual transfer, it would be a great help.

Molotov said that of course the Control Council could deal with it, but he pointed out that these people were coming from other [Page 399]countries. The Control Council could only close the frontier. It could not take any action in Czechoslovakia.

Cadogan inquired if they could not ask the Control Council to look into the problem as it already existed. If many were already gone they could examine the existing situation and give an estimate of the rate at which others could be received. Could they not at the same time tell the three governments concerned that this was being done so that they might hold up while they were considering the matter. With regard to Hungary he thought the Allied Control Commission could deal with the matter.

The Secretary suggested that they authorize the Control Commission in Germany, Czechoslovakia and Hungary accordingly.

Molotov pointed out that until now the Control Commission had not been authorized to confer with other governments. He thought that someone should draw up concrete proposals.

The Secretary agreed and said he had been impressed by Mr. Molotov’s statement that the Control Commission could only stop them from coming in and they might avoid a very bad situation by authorizing the Control Commission to consult with the governments in order to avoid such a situation occurring. He agreed that a draft could be drawn up by a sub-committee and with the approval of his colleagues a committee was appointed consisting of Messrs. Cannon, Harrison, Sobolev and Semenov. The Secretary proposed also that they set up committees to deal with the drafting of the protocol and the communiqué.

After some discussion as to whether there should be one committee or two, it was decided that there should be two separate committees which however could consult together. The following persons were appointed to these committees:

  • Communiqué: Mr. Brown
    • Mr. Foote
    • Mr. Sobolev
    • Mr. Galunski
  • Protocol: Mr. Dunn
    • Mr. Matthews
    • Mr. Cohen
    • Mr. Gromyko
    • Mr. Kausurev
    • Mr. Gribanov

Cadogan named Sir E. Bridges, Mr. Brook, Mr. Hayter and Mr. Dean to cover both committees and said that they would arrange to divide the duties between themselves.

It was agreed to adjourn until Friday morning, at which time the sub-committees which would continue their work would report.

  1. See ante, p. 387, footnote 12.
  2. See ante, p. 387.
  3. See ante, p. 387.