740.00119 Control (Germany)/8–3045

Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Truman

On July 16 at Potsdam you approved a memorandum reading substantially as follows:

“…79 that the Department of State and the War Department be authorized to carry out, pursuant to basic policies determined by the President the necessary direction of our activities and negotiations pertaining to treatment of Germany and Austria. The Department of State, by reason of its responsibility to the President for carrying out the foreign policy of the United States, would deal primarily with the policy aspects of the questions which will arise. The War Department, by reason of the military responsibility for control of Germany and Austria, would deal primarily with the executive and administrative aspects of such questions. Any proposed modifications in basic policy would be submitted to the President for consideration.

“The above recommendation would terminate the existing Informal Policy Committee on Germany. It would be the responsibility of the Department of State to consult with other civilian departments and agencies on matters of appropriate concern to them.”

In order to make certain that my understanding on this matter is clear, and that we have a formal indication of your approval for our records, I would appreciate it if you would indicate your approval below.

James F. Byrnes

Approved: Harry Truman.

  1. Omission indicated in the original memorandum.