740.00119 Control (Germany)/9–145: Telegram

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


434. Fifth meeting of the Coordinating Committee95 took place this afternoon, with General Robertson96 presiding.

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The letter of the Berlin Kommandatura,97 stating that the Berlin banks could no longer extend credit to the German railroads, and that the latter were in urgent need of funds, was sent to the Finance Directorate in consultation with the Transport Directorate. Specific instruction was sent as to the urgency of the matter and specific reference was made to the Potsdam agreements providing for central administrations of finance and transport. During the discussion, General Robertson said that British favored the financing being done on a central basis as soon as practicable. General Clay made a strong statement to effect that Potsdam decided in favor of central administrations of transport and finance; that the logical conclusion from this is that the railways be run and financed on a central and not on a zonal basis, that the armies pay the railways for their use, paying in German marks rather than in Allied occupation currency; and thus that the railways be put on a self-supporting basis. General Sokolovsky98 raised the question of some lines incurring deficits and others making profits; he suggested that the railways be run zonally to the extent of seeing that deficits were not incurred by zones, but thought matter must be studied by experts. General Robertson suggested that in view of the immediacy of the problem, the Soviets might be requested to extend immediate financial aid as they had done in other similar matters, and that the method of eventual repayment be determined by the Financial Directorate. General Clay again stressed the Potsdam decisions; he warned against resorting to expedients without facing the fundamental decision of Potsdam in favor of central administrations. He stated that this was related to the reparations problem99 and to other problems, and they all should be faced promptly and all together, and not some at the expense of others. General Koeltz1 said the French view with respect to the central authorities would be stated in the Directorate.

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  1. The Coordinating Committee was the second level in the Allied Control structure for Germany. It was composed of the four Deputy Military Governors of the occupying forces.
  2. Lt. Gen. Sir Brian H. Robertson, British Deputy Military Governor in Germany.
  3. The so-called Allied Kommandatura, the inter-Allied governing authority for Greater Berlin. It was composed of the four commanders of the respective sectors of Berlin. For documentation on the activities of the Kommandatura, see pp. 1033 ff.
  4. Army General Vassily Danilovich Sokolovsky, Soviet Deputy Military Governor in Germany.
  5. For documentation on reparations from Germany, see pp. 1169 ff.
  6. Lt. Gen. Louis Koeltz, French Deputy Military Governor in Germany.