740.00119 Control (Germany)/10–1145

Paper Submitted by the Allied Secretariat to the Control Council for Germany5


Establishment of a Central German Transport Department

Certain proposals for the Establishment of a Central German Transport Department were recently submitted by the Transport Directorate to the Coordinating Committee. These proposals were not unanimously agreed within the Directorate.
The Soviet, American and British Delegations consider that the decisions of the Potsdam Conference (Section III paragraphs 9 (iv) and 146) require that the railways, highways, inland waterways and transport thereon and ports in Germany and such coastal shipping as Germany is allowed to retain, must be treated as the transport unit of Germany’s economy and must be controlled as an individual unit for the whole of Germany by the Allied Control Authority through a Central German Administrative Transport Department. This Central Department must be given the executive functions necessary to secure, by means of approved subdepartments in each Zone, that the orders given on policy by the Directorate of Transport are carried out by the German agencies for each type of transport in the Zones.
The French Delegation dissent from the above proposal. The French Government have hitherto reserved their position on the Potsdam decisions. Even should that reserve be withdrawn, the French Delegation criticize the proposals made above, on the following counts: [Page 842]
Railways. To re-create a unified German railway system would tend to re-create war potential. The eventual German Central Department should therefore co-ordinate within the extent necessary to the carrying of interzone and international transportations, only the action of four networks independently constituted in each zone.
Inland Navigation. The eventual German Central Transport Department should not be allowed to control Navigation on rivers and canals considered as international.
Highway Transport. A central organisation would be useless since Highway Transport is only concerned with short-haul. Such an organisation would permit the Germans to reorganise a paramilitary system of mobilisation.
  1. Submitted to the Control Council, October 1; transmitted to the Department in despatch 1141, October 11, 1945, from Berlin, not printed.
  2. Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. ii, pp. 15031504.