740.00119 EAC/5–3045: Telegram

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

5418. Special German Series 14. For Act Secy and Matthews. Ref paragraph 1 my 5417, May 19 [29], 9 p.m. On Sun5 night on [Page 317] receiving Dept’s 4216, May 26 I at once contacted Mr. Eden on change of procedure since quick action on US proposal would require UK support or at least minimum of argumentation in EAC.

On morning May 28 I found Strang unwilling to proceed in EAC in accordance with US proposal since Foreign Office was anxious to receive Dept’s reaction to UK communication of May 27, particularly concerning proposal to delay withdrawal of Allied forces to assigned zones of occupation, before committing itself to approach Soviet and French Govts either direct or through EAC.

During rest of May 28 I succeeded in convincing Eden that it was essential to proceed in EAC along the lines proposed by US, without attempting first to decide the timing of withdrawal of the US and UK forces into their zones. I pointed out that using slow withdrawal for bargain purposes in new top level meeting would depend not only on the timing of the withdrawal but on the timing of that meeting; except with grave risk to the Big Three cooperation in Germany, the delay in that withdrawal could not be longer than could be justified on military and logistical grounds.

By late Mon Eden had adopted the point of view on this question and brought Strang in line. It was then too late to arrange a meeting of the EAC for May 28 and hence proposal advanced by Dept was presented as reported in my 5417 at May 29 meeting.

Winant
  1. May 27.