740.00119 EAC/12–2744

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

No. 5023

With reference to the Department’s telegram No. 502 of January 23, 1 p.m., informing the Ambassador of the approval by this Government of the agreement reached in the European Advisory Commission for control machinery for Germany, the Secretary of State encloses herewith a copy of a letter addressed to the Secretary by the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy under date of December 27, 194.

It will be observed that both the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy recommended approval of the agreement for control machinery. In addition, they set forth their views on the course of planning for the occupation of Germany under the agreement, with the suggestion that they be placed before the governments of the United Kingdom and the U.S.S.R.37

The Ambassador will note that the final approval of this Government of the agreement for control machinery for Germany is given without reservation. The views of the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy are submitted for the Ambassador’s information and guidance and for informal discussion with the members of the European Advisory Commission. These views are not, however, to [Page 175] be considered as reservations of this Government to the control machinery agreement as recommended by the Commission.


The Secretary of War (Stimson) and the Secretary of the Navy (Forrestal) to the Secretary of State 38

Dear Mr. Secretary: The Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy have considered the proposed agreement on control machinery for Germany transmitted by your letters dated November 25, 194439 and recommend approval of the agreement. However, they suggest that the Department of State give consideration to the desirability of expressing the following views to the governments of the United Kingdom and the U.S.S.R. on the course of planning for the occupation of Germany under this agreement, at the time that the United States approval is given:

The United States does not at present consider it probable that there will be a German government or other central administrative authority in existence at the time of the surrender or for a considerable period thereafter, which it would be practicable or desirable for the Control Council to deal with as the central German authority or administration. Planning, therefore, should not proceed solely on the basis that such an acceptable central authority will exist but should proceed with full recognition that many different circumstances may be encountered.
Accordingly, it is desirable that planning be undertaken on the basis that the Control Council, acting under instructions from the three governments, will determine, in the light of conditions as they may exist at the time of surrender or complete defeat:
What, if any, central administration or administrative structures in Germany, staffed by Germans, it is desirable and practicable to permit to continue;
What, if any, such central administration and administrative structures, not then existing, it is desirable to bring into existence; and
The nature and scope of the functions, authority and operations of any such central administration or administrative structures.
Although it is highly desirable that agreement be reached as rapidly as possible on the major policy problems of the occupation, [Page 176] planning for the administration of the several zones must proceed during the period while such agreement is being sought. This is necessary because, under the agreement, subject to any policies which may be agreed upon by the Control Council and in the absence of agreement on particular policies, the Commanders in Chief in their respective zones have full responsibility and will exercise authority in all matters. Of course to the extent that agreement in the Control Council is achieved, the agreed policies of the Control Council will be determinative throughout the three zones.
To expedite agreement on occupation policies, it is desirable that each of the three governments promptly designate at least temporary members of the Control Council or the Coordinating Committee, as well as the principal members of the Control Staff, and charge them with responsibility for formulating and agreeing upon occupation policies, subject to any agreements upon such policies which may be reached by the governments concerned, in the European Advisory Commission or elsewhere.

Sincerely yours,

Henry L. Stimson

Secretary of War
James Forrestal

Secretary of the Navy
  1. A marginal note dated April 26 appearing on the Embassy copy of this instruction indicates that Ambassador Winant had discussed informally with the British and the Soviet Representatives on the European Advisory Commission the contents of the enclosure printed below (Mosely Files)
  2. Filed separately in Mosely EAC Lot File
  3. Not printed; they transmitted copies of the agreement reached in the European Advisory Commission with regard to control machinery in Germany and asked for the approval of the agreement by the War and Navy Departments (740.00119 EAC/11–2544). For a parallel letter to President Roosevelt, see Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, p. 124