840.811/10–1445: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy), at Berlin

785. Reur 782 Oct 14 repeated to Vienna. Original conception of an interim Rhine Control Organization recommended in London’s 140 of Sept 2639 was to establish a single agency to act for Germany in control of traffic and enforcement of navigation regulations in German sections of Rhine. Informal Rhine Committee for traffic control at Duisburg appears from your cable to have power to regulate traffic throughout entire Rhine. Dept needs full information regarding terms of reference and activities of this Committee. Functions of this Committee appear closely related to those agreed upon for ECITO. It is desirable that Duisburg Committee and ECITO collaborate in control and coordination of international traffic.

Negotiations are proceeding for early establishment of Central Rhine Commission on provisional basis with US participation and riparian zones in Germany represented by liaison officers. This will be continuation of prewar Commission to maintain principles of free navigation and international cooperation in regulation and development of river.40 The functions and work of this Commission are fully described in part (6) Dept’s Rhine River memorandum handed Rainey by Padelf ord.41 These include:

Examining complaints regarding application treaty provisions;
Reviewing treaties and navigation regulations with a view to recommending necessary changes;
Hearing appeals from national navigation tribunals regarding infractions navigation regulations;
Surveying river conditions making recommendations to riparian authorities for correction or improvement;
Gathering and publishing information concerning river traffic and problems.

Activities Central Rhine Commission will cover matters other than those relating to traffic control which are within scope of Duisburg Committee and ECITO. These two types of functions are separate, therefore there should be no conflict or overlapping jurisdiction between Central Commission on one hand and ECITO and Duisburg Committee on the other.

Erhardt’s unnumbered Oct 26 re Danube situation just received.42

Sent to Berlin repeated to London and Vienna.43

  1. See footnote 15, p. 1367.
  2. For details regarding composition and jurisdiction of this Commission, see Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, vol. xiii, pp. 669678.
  3. Presumably the memorandum of October 22, p. 1373.
  4. Not printed.
  5. As telegrams 9643 and 231, respectively.