740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–1645: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

12033. We have today received from Foreign Office copy of agreed record of Franco-British discussions on Ruhr and Rhineland (Embassy’s 11579, November 558) and are sending copies to Paris, Moscow and Berlin. As Dunn took back French record and as copies of agreed record have been sent to British Embassy Washington59 for and taken to Washington by French negotiators we will not telegraph summary unless requested. We have been promised copies of two additional annexes: a British statement on French economic memorandum and a French counterstatement as soon as they are ready. Foreign Office reiterates that agreed record makes clear conversations were designed merely to elucidate French proposals and that no British view concerning their substance was expressed.

We are told that agreed record is now before Bevin with request for instructions as to how he wishes matter handled from here on. Preliminary and tentative Foreign Office thought is that the proposals bristle with difficulties but that this is true of whole subject of control of Germany’s military economic potential and would be true of any other proposals for dealing with Ruhr and Rhineland. They are accordingly prepared to give these proposals serious consideration. They believe proposals open to serious economic objections not so much with respect to Ruhr as to Germany as a whole but are prepared to consider whether political advantages would be sufficient to offset them. One question said to have been in minds of both sides but to have been carefully kept out of record in view of prospect that it would eventually be shown to Russians was that of having Russians participate in administration of territory so far west so strategically located and so industrially important. French thought is stated to be that administrative body would be very small and would not include [Page 895] Russians who would be represented only on larger advisory body. British realize this unlikely to satisfy Russians. British also feel that control of German industry would be ineffective unless control of separate industries were supplemented by some form of political control over such areas as Ruhr.

As to problem of Irredentism they sympathize with French statement that Germans will be discontented with any possible settlement of Germany and will inevitably harbor feelings of revenge and that best solution is to deprive Germany by [of?] means of giving that desire for revenge practical expression in new outbreak of aggression.

Sent Department as 12033, repeated to Moscow as 389, Paris as 736 and Berlin 296.

  1. Not printed.
  2. See footnote 41, p. 886.