Truman Papers

Rapporteur’s Report 1

Rapporteur’s Report of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers, Wednesday Morning, July 18, 1945

The Foreign Ministers agreed that they would recommend to the Heads of Governments that the subjects for discussion at the meeting this afternoon, July 18th, should be the following:

(1)
The question of procedure and machinery for peace negotiations and territorial settlements.
(2)
The question of the authority of the Control Council for Germany in political questions.
(3)
The Polish question, particularly the problems having to do with the liquidation of the former London Polish Government and with the implementation of the Yalta Agreement on Poland.

I

procedure for peace settlements

(1)
The draft proposal for the establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers,2 presented by the United States, was approved in principle.
(2)
The following redraft of paragraph 3 of the United States draft was approved:
[Here follows the text of paragraph (3) as printed in document No. 712, post.]
(3)
The Soviet Delegation reserved the right to suggest a change in the first paragraph of the United States draft.
(4)
It was agreed that the meetings of the three Foreign Ministers approved at the Yalta Conference would not be affected by the establishment of the new Council of Foreign Ministers, though they might at times be held simultaneously with meetings of the Council.
(5)
It was agreed that the functions of the European Advisory Commission would, after agreement with France, be transferred to the Allied Control Councils (for Germany and Austria).3

II

political authority of the control council for germany

(1)
The political section of the proposed agreement,4 presented by the United States, on the political and economic principles to govern the treatment of Germany in the initial control period was discussed by the Foreign Ministers. A number of amendments were suggested which were referred to a drafting subcommittee named by the Foreign Ministers. The subcommittee has not yet completed its work but the Foreign Ministers agreed that it would be desirable for the Heads of Governments at this afternoon’s meeting to have a preliminary and exploratory discussion of the authority of the Control Council for Germany in political matters.
(2)
The Foreign Ministers agreed that the economic questions connected with Germany are of such a difficult nature that they should be referred in the first instance to a subcommittee of experts. This subcommittee will at the earliest possible time report back to the Foreign Ministers those questions upon which the subcommittee is unable to reach agreement. The Foreign Ministers will then determine which of these questions they will recommend that the Heads of Governments will discuss and decide.5
(3)
The Foreign Ministers agreed that, while they would not discuss today the question of the disposition of the German fleet and merchant ships, they would take up this question at an early date.

III

polish question

The Foreign Ministers agreed that they would recommend that the Heads of Governments discuss at this afternoon’s meeting the Polish question. They suggested two aspects of this question as requiring consideration: (1) all of the various problems connected with the liquidation of the former London Polish Government; and (2) the questions connected with the continued implementation of the Yalta [Page 79] Declaration on Poland, especially the arrangements for the early holding of free and unfettered elections.6

  1. Byrnes acted as Rapporteur for this meeting and read sections of his report at the afternoon meeting of Heads of Government (see post, pp. 8991).
  2. Document No. 711, post.
  3. At this point is the following manuscript notation by Truman: “Agreed to for further discussion of No 3 other sections approved HST”. This and the notations quoted in the following footnotes to this document were presumably made in the course of the Second Plenary Meeting on the afternoon of July 18.
  4. Document No. 852, post.
  5. At this point is the following manuscript notation by Truman: “(1937) boundary agreed to”.
  6. Following this paragraph are the following manuscript notations by Truman:

    “Poles should go back to Poland.”

    “Agreed to for change in Soviet wording.”