740.00119 E.A.C./6–1145: Telegram

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

5899. Comea 285. For MacLeish. I have been giving thought to proposal for releasing to press IPCOG1/4 May 11 (former JCS 1067) reDepts 4641, June 9. I fully understand public’s eagerness for authentic information re US plans concerning Germany and have always sympathized with Dept’s desire inform public more fully.

In addition to method proposed for informing public, several alternative methods are available, including (1) public address by an Assistant Secretary of State, (2) prepared release setting forth basic US aims as further development of Secretary Stimson’s release of May 11,49 or (3) press conference by ActSecy or Assistant Secretary setting forth US program. Any of these methods has great advantages over proposed publication of IPCOG 1/4.

The three papers referred to in Depts 4641 are secret documents under consideration by EAC. IPCOG 1/4 was circulated as EAC 45/56, May 29 (my despatch 23472, June 5).50 JCS 1109 is secret document EAC 44/32 Nov 23, 1944 (my despatch 19592, Dec 1, 1944).50 JCS 1323 is secret document EAC 45/55 May 18 (my despatch 23459, June 4).50

EAC 45/56 May 29 is being actively studied by EAC delegations as basis for negotiation of US draft general directive EAC 45/30 April 6.51 EAC has already discussed 45/30 in considerable detail and expects to proceed shortly with its negotiation using EAC 45/56 as a basis for enlarging EAC 45/30 where necessary.

EAC 44/32 on control of Public information in Germany is also under negotiation. UK delegation has presented comments and draft amendments in EAC 45/17 Feb. 27 (my despatch 23093 May 16).50

EAC 45/55 May 18 is under active negotiation. Detailed exchange of views took place in EAC June 5. Soviet delegation has presented [Page 519] comments and draft amendments and UK delegation is preparing to do same within few days. Publication of this secret document at present would probably bring to complete stop negotiation of any four power agreement on status of foreign correspondents in Germany.

As Dept will recall from recent British protest against unilateral Soviet announcement re Soviet Zone in Germany, reported in mytel 5862, June 9,52 EAC has always operated on understanding that its discussions and documents will remain strictly secret except when announcements like those of June 5 are specifically agreed between the four Govts. Unilateral publication of three documents now under negotiation in EAC would undoubtedly bring sharp reaction from other Govts and might well result in immediate cessation of EAC work. Such a development would run directly counter to US Govt view which as I understand aims to secure as much agreement as possible with other three occupying powers. Until Control Council begins to function regularly EAC is instrument through which four Govts work to harmonize their views re Germany.

Even if EAC does not have time to complete negotiation of these three papers, publication of detailed eighteen page unilateral directive would I believe greatly handicap US Commander in Germany in attempting through Control Council to achieve substantial measure of uniform policy re Germany. Some policies laid down in detail in IPCOG 1/4 may eventually require modification in some particulars in order to promote major US interest in securing and maintaining Allied unity in treatment of Germany and to cope with future conditions now unforeseeable. The eighteen-page directive if published would thenceforth be cited continually by critics interested and disinterested alike, in opposition to actions which the US Commander might then consider essential to achieve broad purposes of his mission.

Unilateral publication of these detailed documents while they are under negotiation would create presumption in minds of our Allies that US is turning away from principle of joint responsibility and action in Germany and is preparing to proceed unilaterally within its zone without regard to the views of its Allies. While I have never, in course of 90 EAC meetings, underestimated difficulties of securing coordinated Allied action in Germany, I believe it is vital US interest to promote joint action by every means and to avoid in this crucial period any action that could be interpreted by other Govts as withdrawals from our pledge made at Moscow and renewed at Tehran and Yalta, to act jointly with our Allies in matters affecting Germany as a whole.

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I hope Dept will give further consideration to my suggestions above for issuing broad statement public address or press interview on US policy re Germany and will not in this period of uncertainties issue exact texts of secret documents which are under active negotiation with our Allies.53

Sent Dept as 5899, June 11; rptd to Paris as 354 for Murphy.

  1. See telegram 3657, May 9, to London, p. 282.
  2. Neither printed.
  3. Neither printed.
  4. Neither printed.
  5. Not printed; see footnote 28, p. 504.
  6. Neither printed.
  7. Not printed.
  8. Telegram 4979, June 21, to London, stated that after careful consideration of the arguments advanced by Ambassador Winant, it was decided not to publish for the time being IPCOG 1/4, EAC 44/32, and EAC 45/55 (740.00119 EAC/6–2045). The “Directive to Commander in Chief of United States Forces of Occupation Regarding the Military Government of Germany” was eventually released to the press on October 17, 1945, and was printed in Department of State Bulletin, October 21, 1945, p. 596.