740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–2145: Telegram

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

1066. 1. Twelfth meeting of Control Council, Russian member presiding, disposed of a short agenda. Places of General Eisenhower, Field Marshal Montgomery and General Koenig were taken by their respective deputies.

2. British representative expressed following reservations which, however, he stated he would not insist upon, with respect to draft law on punishment of war criminals and similar offenders. (See my 919 November 2, 5 p.m.34 and despatch 1284 November 9.35) He held that trial by military tribunal of crimes against peace (article II, 1 B36) was open to objection and suggested that such trials in any event should not be held until Nuremberg verdict37 was known. He expressed similar doubts with respect to provision regarding crimes against humanity (article II, 1 C38). Concerning groups or organizations declared criminal (article II 1 D39). British member pointed out that numbers involved may exceed 100,000, which might prove far larger than could be handled under article II, 3.40 He suggested that pending Nuremberg decisions, zone commanders should have wide discretion [Page 853] to determine extent to which prosecutions should take place under this clause.

Draft law was referred to Coordinating Committee for more careful study.

3. Russian chairman expressed thanks to General Clay for his statement that, recognizing the interests of other nations, US had made no claims for reparations. (See my 1049 of November 17, 5 [8] p.m.41) With respect to Russian claim to 50 percent on advance deliveries, British member stressed that readjustment to 25 percent figure must be made in future allocations within a short period of time. He announced that he had received bids from Norway, Yugo, Egypt and Greece which he was forwarding to Economics Directorate.

French member reiterated that while he concurred in 50 percent allocation to the Russians, his Govt had always insisted that looted material be withdrawn from such advance deliveries and that he had asked for new instructions in the light of discussion in last Coordinating Committee meeting.

Zhukov stated he personally sympathized with French member’s proposal and was sure it would be considered by Coordinating Committee which will be directed to establish first list.

4. Control Council approved report on transfer of German populations42 (see my 1049 of November 17, 8 p.m.43) and agreed to immediate publicity for report which will be forwarded formally to the Govts of Czecho and Poland and to the ACC for Austria and Hungary.

5. Coordinating Committee’s report on German coastal and inland shipping (see my 1049 of November 17, 8 p.m.) establishing interim figure of 175,000 tons carrying capacity, was noted and its conclusions will be referred to Tripartite Maritime Commission pending further action by Transport Directorate.44

6. Soviet member referred to a note he had circulated to Control Council members just before the meeting protesting against the continued existence of German military units in British zone. Note, which was in sharp terms, alleged that the British were permitting the continued operation of a German army group, two corps groups, numerous local units, as well as Hungarian, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian formations which had fought against the United Nations. It claimed that many of the German units were carrying on military [Page 854] training and personnel were receiving promotions. Note stressed that the British action contradicted the decisions of the Potsdam Conference and the declaration on the defeat of Germany and it proposed the despatch of a commission from the Control Council to the British zone to investigate the question of disarmament and liquidation of German armed forces. General Zhukov stressed orally at the meeting that the Soviets in their zone had not tolerated the existence of a single enemy unit.

British member declined discussion pending reference of the matter to Field Marshal Montgomery.

General Clay proposed that if the principle of a commission were accepted, such a commission should be sent to examine the disbandment of German forces in all zones and he mentioned that the US would welcome an inquiry in its zone. His proposal was approved but it was agreed to defer discussion of question to next meeting of Control Council in order to afford Field Marshal Montgomery an opportunity to comment on Soviet note.

Repeated to Paris for Angell as 132, to London as 150 and Moscow as 73.

  1. Not printed; it reported discussions in the Coordinating Committee of the draft law on the punishment of war criminals. In the Legal Directorate prior to this discussion the British member had insisted upon obtaining the specific approval from his Government of the definitions of crimes against peace and crimes against humanity contained in the draft law. The British member of the Coordinating Committee had suggested that the draft law be passed on to the Control Council without discussion in the hopes that British reservations would be clarified by the time the draft law was considered in the Control Council. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–245)
  2. Not printed; this despatch transmitted the minutes and papers of the eighteenth meeting of the Coordinating Commitee, November 1 (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–945).
  3. The draft law under discussion was considered in the Control Council as CONL/P(45)53, sent to the Department in despatch 1369, November 26, from Berlin, not printed. Article II, 1 B defining crimes against peace is the same as article II, 1 A in the law as finally enacted. See Control Council Law No. 10, Berlin, 20 December 1945, Official Gazette of the Control Council for Germany, No. 3 (31 January 1946), p. 50.
  4. Reference is to the International Military Tribunal for the Trial of the Major War Criminals which met in Nuremberg from November 14, 1945, to October 1, 1946. For documentation, see pp. 1151 ff.
  5. Same as article II, 1 C in the law as finally enacted.
  6. Same as article II, 1 D in the law as finally enacted.
  7. Same as article II, 3 in the law as finally enacted.
  8. This telegram reported discussions in the Coordinating Committee November 17. During the consideration of the problem of advance deliveries on account of reparations, General Clay announced that he was authorized to accept the Soviet reservation claiming 50% of such deliveries of plants from the western zones; for pertinent extracts of the text, see p. 1390.
  9. See telegram 1147, November 30, from Berlin, vol. ii, p. 1316.
  10. See ibid., footnote 72, p. 1308.
  11. For documentation relating to disposition of the German Navy and Merchant Marine, see pp. 1506 ff.