Department of the Army Files

No. 884
The President to the Secretary of War (Stimson)1

My Dear Mr. Secretary: The following objectives to which a program of minimum required imports for Germany should contribute [Page 822] are laid down in principle No. 14 approved by the Foreign Ministers at the present Tripartite Conference:2

to carry out programs of industrial disarmament and demilitarization, of reparations, and of approved exports and imports.
to assure the production and maintenance of goods and services required to meet the needs of the occupying forces and displaced persons in Germany and essential to maintain in Germany average living standards not exceeding the average of the standards of living of European countries. (European countries means all European countries excluding U. K. and U. S. S. R.)
to ensure in the manner determined by the Control Council the equitable distribution of essential commodities between the several zones so as to produce a balanced economy throughout Germany and reduce the need for imports.
to control German industry and all economic and financial international transactions, including exports and imports, with the aim of preventing Germany from developing a war potential and of achieving the other objectives named herein.3

The War Department is directed to assume procurement and initial financing responsibilities with respect to all imports into Germany for which the Government of the United States assumes responsibility in accordance with the above principles, whether or not an agreed program is4 formulated and carried out by the Control Council. The War Department, moreover, is directed to assume responsibility for the entire share of the United States of any combined [Page 823] financing which may be undertaken in concert with the occupying powers.5

In accordance with the memorandum of July 5 from the Secretary of State,6 you will ensure insofar as practicable, that advances for such imports should be a first charge against exports of German current production, facilities, or stocks on hand from your zone or from Germany as a whole.

Harry S. Truman
  1. Printed from a copy with an authenticated typed signature.
  2. An earlier draft of this letter, attached to the draft memorandum referred to in footnote 3 to document No. 883, opened with the following three paragraphs:

    “The following principle with respect to the establishment of a program of minimum required imports for Germany as a whole, and for the sharing by the occupying powers of responsibility for the procurement and financing of improved [approved] imports has been agreed at the present Tripartite Conference:

    “‘The Control Council shall formulate as soon as possible a program of minimum required imports for Germany as a whole. Such a program shall include provision for equitable inter-zonal distribution of supplies available within Germany, so as to minimize the net deficit for, and imports into, Germany as a whole. Responsibility for the procurement and financing of approved imports for Germany as a whole shall be shared on a basis to be negotiated in the Control Council. Reimbursement for all net advances made for approved imports into Germany shall be a first charge against the proceeds of both exports of capital equipment and of current production and stocks of goods from Germany.’ (Agreement on this principle has not been reached in the Economic Sub-Committee and the matter has been referred to the Foreign Ministers for determination. This draft must be revised in the light of further action at this conference).

    “The objectives to which such an import program should contribute are laid down in principle No. 14:”.

  3. In the draft referred to in the preceding footnote, subparagraph (d) contained the following additional sentence: “For the same purpose no grant of credit to Germany or Germans by any foreign persons or Governments shall be permitted except with the approval of the Control Council.”
  4. The draft referred to in footnote 2, ante, contains the additional words “in fact” at this point.
  5. The draft referred to in footnote 2, ante, ends at this point, and space is indicated for the signature of the Secretary of State rather than the President.
  6. document No. 346, printed in vol. i.