740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–1345: Telegram

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

1010. The eleventh meeting of the Control Council was held on November 10, with the Russian member presiding.

The principal discussion concerned the law on formation, control and functions of trade unions, which had been discussed at the last [Page 851] Council meeting (see my 896, October 31, 6 p.m.). The French member had then promised to resubmit the question of federation of German unions on a national basis to his Government and to have the answer by the November 10 meeting.

At this meeting, the French member stated that his position was in effect unchanged. He argued: (1) that the World Federation of Trade Unions wanted to send a delegation to Germany to study German unions and that this delegation should give its opinion on the matter before decision was reached by the Control Council; (2) that the question should be adjourned until the manpower directorate had discussed this question with the delegation; (3) that the French were strongly in favor of unionism and that they wished unions to be formed and to amalgamate within the zones at once; (4) that unions should be formed from the bottom up in order to be truly democratic; (5) that this is a slow process and the time for national federation is still some months off; and (6) France is only opposing the national organization for the present but not as a permanent matter.

The other members answered: (1) That unions are already organizing within each zone and need no further permission from the Control Council; (2) that the matter should no longer be deferred; (3) that a national organization is needed to coordinate union organization in the 4 zones; (4) that there is no connection between the question of national federation now and the visit of the Trade Union delegation to Germany; (5) since the French position is unchanged, it is necessary to give a statement to the press to the effect that 3 members now favor a national organization of unions and Council authorization for this is only blocked by the French position. The US member invited the British and Soviet members to meet with US manpower authorities to set up an inter-zonal organization.

After some objection on the part of the French member to the giving out of press releases in matters where the Council disagrees, it was agreed that the press should be informed by a release as suggested above. It was made clear that although the individual members could make their own statements to the press, the official release must be confined to the facts of the matter.

As to advance deliveries on account of reparations, it was decided to postpone the matter to the next Coordinating Committee meeting since neither the US nor the British members had had further instructions from their Governments as to the Soviet claim to receive 50 percent of the factories now available. The French member made a formal statement that his Government could not agree to the inclusion of looted goods in any shipments on account of reparations, even in the case of the proposed advance deliveries.

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The Council also approved the law on safeguarding of documents and delivery of conformed copies.33

  1. Control Council Law No. 6, Berlin, 10 November 1945, Official Gazette of the Control Council for Germany, No. 2 (30 November 1945), p. 31.