Mr. Loyd V. Steere, Counselor of Mission in the Office of the United States Political Adviser for Germany, to the Secretary of State

904. After a 9-hour session on October 30, the Fuel Subcommittee has reached an impasse on December coal allocations and has referred the entire matter to the Economic Directorate.

The Soviet representative has asked for an increase of Ruhr hard coal and coke from the November allocation of 150,000 tons to 350,000 tons. The Soviet does not contemplate any increase of its November allocation of 200,000 tons brown coal briquetts to the American Zone in Germany and the American-French Zones Austria.

The American representative pointed out that, based upon calories (BTUs95) the Soviet Zone would have a consumption of coal for all purposes over twice that of the American Zone and 25 percent over the British Zone despite the greater population and industry in the British Zone.

The bottleneck on coal distribution remains transport and not production. A 6-million ton stock pile exists in the Ruhr. Accordingly, even if production could be increased, it would not serve to satisfy the Soviet needs. The Soviet reaction is that the increase should be obtained from coal that would otherwise be exported to the Western European nations. The Soviet representative argued that the “economic unit” formula requires that needs for all zones be satisfied prior to export.96

The French position was to request an increase of exports from one to one and one-half million tons and to repeat—in terms of economic unit formula—that France does not feel bound by the Potsdam Declaration.97

Inform Ambassador Murphy.97a

Sent Department as 904, repeated London as 133.

  1. British thermal units.
  2. The Department’s reply, contained in telegram 806, November 5, 8 p.m., to Berlin, reads in part as follows: “In principle Department approves free interzonal movement of goods in accordance with spirit of provisions Berlin Protocol. In practice, Department does not approve shipment to Russian Zone of commodities in short supply like coal unless Russians likewise permit free movement of commodities out of their zone.” (861.6362/10–3145)
  3. See paragraph 14 of section II of the Protocol of the Proceedings of the Berlin Conference, Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. ii, p. 1484.
  4. Mr. Murphy was temporarily in Washington at this time.