740.00119 Control (Germany)/8–1045: Telegram

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

The Allied Control Council held its second formal meeting today presided by Marshal Zhukov in the absence of General Eisenhower who was detained by bad weather at Frankfurt. This is the first meeting which was held in the new central building formerly the Kammergericht, which as the Dept knows is situated in the US sector close to the center of Berlin.

The meeting approved the American proposals regarding the activation of the Control Council and referred them to the Deputies for practical application.

There was further discussion of the coal and fuel supply for Berlin on the basis of the investigation made by the Kommandatura and by the Control Council. British delegation presented a report which pointed out that there are two aspects to this question: (1) assurance that food and fuel are available (and the report gives reasonable assurance that this will be the case); and (2) transportation to Berlin from the British zone is not moving satisfactorily. Two days are frequently necessary for a train to pass from the British zone to Berlin which is in part due to language difficulties and faulty organization resulting in serious congestion. British suggested that the transportation directorate should assume charge and that Marshal Zhukov issue orders giving priority to food and fuel trains. Zhukov promised that such orders would be issued and suggested that the British report be referred to the Coordinating Committee for further study and action. Zhukov demanded assurance that food and fuel would be loaded on time stating that he believes that some items were never loaded at all. General Robertson supplied the assurance.

There was a lengthy discussion regarding airfield requirements in greater Berlin. Zhukov inquired whether the British were prepared to take a final decision and receiving an affirmative answer Zhukov proposed that the Gatow airfield be turned over to the British to be shared by the French. The British accepted the allocation of Gatow but stated the opinion that sharing one airfield by two Allies speaking different languages would prove unsatisfactory. British agreed to afford temporary landing facilities to the French at Gatow. The Soviet delegation presented a paper suggesting certain minor alterations of the western boundary of the greater Berlin area which would place Gatow in the British sector and all of the Staaken airport in the Soviet sector. Zhukov also stated his personal opinion that the Americans should be allowed to use the Tempelhof airport alone in view of [Page 831] the heavier American traffic. It was finally agreed to refer the entire problem to the Coordinating Committee for a report at the next meeting, and General Clay emphasized that while we will wish to have the use of Tempelhof exclusively for American traffic our offer of temporary accommodation to the French stands.

Consideration was also given to the French proposal to prohibit wearing of military uniforms by members of the former German armed forces which was also referred to the Coordinating Committee for report at the next meeting.

Consideration was given to a paper outlining the responsibilities of the Control Council under the Potsdam decisions.70 The Soviet, British, and US delegations stated their concurrence but General Koenig for the French objected that he had not yet received any instructions from his Government which he understood had only yesterday replied to the communication received from the Ambassadors regarding the Potsdam decisions.71 The French stated that they were willing to exchange views with the governments but that General Koenig had no authority to discuss the Potsdam decision at the present time. The American suggestion assigning to the appropriate directorates “the task of making studies and recommendations with respect to the establishment of the following German administrative departments to be headed by State Secretaries: Finance, Transportation, Communications, Foreign Trade, and Industry” (paragraph 9(4)72 of the political principles) was amended, at French suggestion, to exclude the wording “to be headed by State Secretaries.” General Koenig said that he was obliged to reserve his opinion on these principles because his Government had not been a signatory to the Potsdam agreement.

At the request of Zhukov the US proposals on vesting and marshaling of external German property any that concerning Allied and neutral property, Germany will be held over to the next meeting.

General Clay and I suggested that there appeared to be no objection now to publication of completer details regarding the activation [Page 832] of the control machinery. Strang73 said that he would have to refer this question to the Foreign Office in view of the references in the paper to agreements approved by the European Advisory Commission which were still classified as secret. I would appreciate the Department’s advice whether it sees any objection now to such publication.

  1. Reference is to CONL/P(45)11, August 8, which was transmitted to the Department as an enclosure to despatch 797, August 16, from Berlin, not printed. The paper, a memorandum by the Deputy Military Governors, concluded that chapters II, III, IV, IX, and VIII of the Report on the Tripartite Conference of Berlin, delineated responsibilities of the Control Council which required implementation by that body. (740.00119 Control (Germany/8–1645) The full text of the Report on the Tripartite Conference of Berlin, August 2, is printed in Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. ii, p. 1499.
  2. On July 31 and August 1 a series of notes inviting French adherence to the decisions of the Berlin Conference was addressed by the Ambassadors in France of the U.S., the U.K., and the U.S.S.R. to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, M. Bidault. For texts of the communications by the American Ambassador, Mr. Caffery, to M. Bidault, see ibid., pp. 15431547. On August 7, M. Bidault replied. The notes received by Mr. Caffery are printed ibid., pp. 15511555. See also France, Ministère des Affaires-Étrangères, Documents français relatifs à l’Allemagne (Août 1945–Février 1947), (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1947), pp. 1–11.
  3. Chapter III, section A, 9(iv) of the Report on the Tripartite Conference of Berlin, Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. ii, p. 1503.
  4. Sir William Strang, Political Adviser to the Commander in Chief of British Force of Occupation in Germany.