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

794. From Clayton. Reurtel 833, Oct 23. I appreciate that lack of physical control over German coal resources makes it difficult for us to exert direct and effective influence on production and distribution of coal. However, fact that coal is of key importance to economy of Germany and liberated areas makes output and allocation matter of legitimate concern to all occupying powers. In this connection we must continue to stress that:

US, UK and France jointly issued coal directive, thus evidencing their common interest in problem;
Ruhr coal must be treated as a national rather than a zonal resource in the context of provision of Berlin Protocol calling for treatment of Germany as economic unit;
Coal is now and will continue for some time to be almost only German export, proceeds of which are earmarked for payment of imports into Germany to which US has made and is making large contribution;
US has substantial interest in volume of German coal exports to Western Europe owing to our own exports of coal to this area and our desire to speed economic recovery in Western Europe;
US as well as all other occupying powers have full right to participate in allocation of coal in Germany because of determining effects of such allocations on German standard of living and reactivation of German industry.

We agree, of course, that the administration of production in the Ruhr is and must remain primarily a British responsibility. We intend to offer, however, as much assistance as possible, although fully aware of the limitations under which that assistance must operate. We are proposing, as you know, to have appointed in each zone coal commissioners who together would constitute a tripartite coal commission for Western Germany.

With respect to transport of coal from the Ruhr, I hope that the most vigorous possible efforts will be made over the coming months to solve the difficulties which appear to limit the shipment of coal from the Ruhr. In this connection, I would appreciate knowing whether all possible effort is being made to mobilize railway cars immobilized on lines as result of destruction of track and bridges; also whether possible to assist British in clearing waterways with loan of US Army equipment. Please note also ECITO98 recommendations repeated to [Page 1539] you as London’s 620, Oct. 10.99 I hope you can supply more detailed analysis of the coal transport position with an evaluation of the relative importance of the various limiting factors in producing the present bottleneck.

Dept stressing once more to French importance of expeditious return of coal wagons to Ruhr, and Dept also pointing out that their unwillingness to approve central transport organization for Germany is obstacle to effective mobilization of transport for movement of coal. AmEmb, Paris has advised Dept, however, that French were until recently sending more wagons to Ruhr than they were receiving, and ECITO also reports wagons being returned more promptly from outside Germany than from Germany.

Sent to Berlin, repeated to London and Paris.1 [Clayton.]

  1. European Central Inland Transport Organization; for documentation on United States participation in this Organization, see vol. ii, pp. 1389 ff.
  2. No message corresponding to this number has been found in Department files.
  3. As Department’s 9666 and 5132, respectively: No. 5132 to Paris contained the following addition: “Please take up with FonOff questions mentioned last paragraph above cable and stress that assent to central transport organization need in no sense prejudice French position on Ruhr-Rhineland issue.” For documentation relating to United States interest in French proposals on the Ruhr, Rhineland, and Saar, see pp. 861 ff.