740.00119 EW/11–645

Minutes of Meeting of the Secretaries of State, War, and Navy, Held at Washington, November 6, 1945, 10:30 a.m.

Present: The Secretary of State
The Secretary of War,51 accompanied by Assistant Secretary of War Mr. McCloy and Colonel McCarthy52
The Secretary of the Navy53 accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel Correa54
Mr. Matthews

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[Page 893]

Attitude of France on the Allied Control Council of Germany

Mr. Patterson said that he understood that General Clay had talked to Mr. Byrnes55 about the French tactics of blocking everything that comes up in the Control Council tending toward the establishment of any central German agencies. He said that General Clay believes that the French have no right to obstruct the work of the Council and that irrespective of the decisions on the question of separating the Ruhr and Rhineland he felt pressure should be brought on the French to cooperate in the establishment of central agencies in accordance with the provisions of the Potsdam Agreement. He said that the whole system of Allied Control Council administration was in danger of breaking down and read from a paper outlining the present situation. Mr. Byrnes pointed out that the French are very touchy owing to the fact that they had not been invited to Potsdam and did not feel themselves in any way obligated by the decisions taken by the three powers there. He agreed, however, that some action would have to be taken. By way of illustration of the difficulties he read a State Department cable just received from Ambassador Caffery56 giving de Gaulle’s very strong views on the vital necessity to France of not creating a centralized Germany and in favor of separating the Ruhr and Rhineland.

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  1. The omitted portions of this minute deal with the discussion of other subjects by the Secretaries. The section dealing with the transfer of responsibility for the administration of Germany from military to civilian authority is printed on p. 999.
  2. Robert P Patterson.
  3. Col. Charles W. McCarthy, U.S.A., Secretary of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee.
  4. James V. Forrestal.
  5. Lt. Col. Mathias F. Correa, U.S.M.C.R., Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy.
  6. Ambassador Murphy and General Clay were in Washington November 1–9 for discussions with the State and War Departments of matters relating to military government and Control Council policy in Germany. No record of these discussions found in Department files.
  7. See telegram 6383, November 3, 4 p.m., from Paris, p. 890.