740.00119 Control (Germany)/10–3145: Telegram

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

896. The tenth meeting of the Control Council was held on October 30 with the French member presiding.

The Council discussed the law on formation, control and functions of trade unions, which had failed to obtain the approval of the Coordinating Committee on account of the unwillingness of the French Delegation to give approval now to the federation of unions on a national scale. The French member of the Council repeated his attempt to get approval of an amendment requiring special Control Council permission for national unionization.20 Marshal Montgomery stated that delay in this matter is causing embarrassment in his zone, and asked that the urgency of the matter be brought to the attention of the French Govt in the hope they would change their position. General Eisenhower stated that with the French amendment added, the law does not change the existing state of affairs. He wished to encourage national unionism now. Marshal Zhukov asked that the French position be given out to the world press as blocking the efforts of the other three in favor of unions. In the light of the French member’s promise to submit the matter again to his Govt and to have an answer by the November 10 meeting, and in view of the opinions of the other members that matter should not be given to the press while in the discussion stage, it was decided not to publish this until after the next meeting. General Eisenhower stated that he is generally of the opinion that a course of complete honesty with the press is best.

[Page 849]

The Council approved the law on the reorganization of the German judicial system,21 and the law vesting and marshalling German assets abroad22 (see Mission’s telegrams on the prior consideration of these laws in the Coordinating Committee). The members stated that they all had misgivings as to the effect of the latter law.23

The Coordinating Committee had approved a paper delegating to the Economics Directorate considerable power24 in connection with obtaining information and issuing directives. The British and French members approved and General Eisenhower suggested that the Council empower the Coordinating Committee to make any delegations within the control machinery which it may see fit. Marshal Zhukov, however, did not agree25 and asked that the entire matter be postponed until such time as the proposed central administrations had been set up and the Economics Directorate had had further experience. This was agreed and the matter adjourned.

The main discussion was in regard to the paper on advance deliveries on account of reparations,26 (see Mission telegram 883, October 30, 5 p.m.27). The US and British members stated that they were not authorized to agree to allocations of substantially more than 25% to the Soviet Union and that the Soviets should take the matter up on a governmental level if they wanted more than the Potsdam percentage.28 They were both in sympathy with the plan to get deliveries moving as promptly as possible and promised full cooperation.29 [Page 850] Marshal Montgomery offered the Krupp Plant at Essen to the Soviets at once, to correspond to the US offer of two plants. Marshal Zhukov then stated that he had to insist on 50% by evaluation of the plants now listed as available for advance delivery. (The Soviets had previously asked for allocation by quantity of plants.) The basis of his insistence was that Soviet losses on an economic basis were more serious than those of any other Ally and her need is greatest; and that the Council had authority under Potsdam to make advance deliveries in any proportion it desires if the total at the end does not exceed 25% to the Soviets. General Eisenhower replied that he could not now agree to any percentage substantially greater than 25% as he had instructions to allocate 75% to the other claimant countries, but he promised to present the Soviet position sympathetically to his Government. The British member so stated also. The French member reiterated the French argument that reparations should not be considered independently of restitutions but all agreed that this consideration should not delay the commencement of advance deliveries of reparations.

The meeting then approved the Soviet paper for the rearming of the German police,30 the British delegation having withdrawn its insistence on giving full discretion to the zone commanders.

Marshal Zhukov announced to the meeting that anti-Fascist Women’s Committees are being set up in the Soviet zone to help with democratic education programs. These committees are under the Burgomeisters and former party members are excluded.31

The chairman announced that the first number of the official Control Council Journal will appear on October 31. It will be in four languages.

  1. The amendment to the draft law desired by the French provided for the establishment of trade unions on a wider than zonal scale on condition that, in each specific case, their establishment should be examined and approved by the Control Council. According to the minutes of the 10th meeting (CONL/M(45)10), transmitted to the Department in despatch 1253, November 5, from Berlin, General Koenig indicated his willingness to sign the law immediately if this amendment were included (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–545).
  2. Control Council Law No. 4, Berlin, 30 October 1945, Official Gazette of the Control Council for Germany, No. 2 (30 November 1945), p. 26.
  3. Control Council Law No. 5, Berlin, 30 October 1945, ibid., p. 27. For discussion of this law in the Coordinating Committee, see telegram 869, October 28, 1 p.m., from Berlin, p. 1566; for documentation on the application of this law outside of Germany, see vol. ii, pp. 852 ff.
  4. In the official minutes of the meeting (CONL/M(45)10), Field Marshal Montgomery is recorded as having pointed out “that his government still had the same objections regarding the draft before them. He had, however, been authorized to sign it.” General Koenig while stating that he too was authorized to sign “recalled that the French Government likewise had objections to the text as submitted.” No objections from either General Eisenhower or Marshal Zhukov are recorded. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–545)
  5. CONL/P(45)51, transmitted to the Department in despatch 1253, November 5, from Berlin, not printed.
  6. CONL/M(45)10 Marshal Zhukov’s remarks are reproduced as follows: “He believed it useless to revise the responsibilities assigned to different Control organizations. He observed that at present there is no central German administrative agency to which the Economic Directorate might issue directives. The contemplated delegation of authority would therefore be useless.” (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–545)
  7. CONL/P(45)52 transmitted to the Department in despatch 1253, November 5, 1945, from Berlin, not printed.
  8. Post, p. 1364.
  9. See chapter IV, paragraph 4 of the “Report on the Tripartite Conference of Berlin”, Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. ii, pp. 1499, 1506.
  10. In CONL/M(45)10 General Eisenhower’s remarks are reproduced as follows: “As soon as his Government allowed him further leeway, there would be no lack of cooperation from the U.S. delegation, because it was very important that this process of dismantling and distribution be started as soon as possible.” (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–545)
  11. Control Council Directive No. 16, Berlin, 6 November 1945, Official Gazette of the Control Council for Germany, No. 3 (31 January 1946), p. 42.
  12. For further documentation on developments in the Soviet zone of Germany and in Berlin, see pp. 1033 ff.