740.00119 Control (Germany)/8–3145

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

No. 896

Sir: With reference to my despatch 626 of July 13 forwarding a copy of the directive of July 780 regarding the Administration of Military Government in the US Zone in Germany, I have the honor to enclose a copy of a circular instruction dated August 2781 issued [Page 959] by Headquarters, USFET, amending certain sections of the July 7 directive.

These amendments were made to bring the July 7 directive into accord with the decisions of the Potsdam Conference, and it is suggested the Department will wish to give them close study. Particular attention is invited to amended Section III of the directive (Encl 2 attached circular82) which lays down the policies and procedures to be applied with respect to the revival of authorized German political activity in the US Zone. The amended Section III was prepared in consultation with me.

The Department will also find of interest the provisions of the following numbered paragraphs of the USFET circular directive:

Paragraph 3, on questions of policy relating to decentralization, the development of local responsibility and the progressive reintroduction of local self-government.83

Paragraph 9, on coordination between the Lander with respect to uniformity of civil service regulations, procedures and operations.84

Paragraph 7, stating that all practical measures will be taken to reopen all eight grades of the elementary schools by not later than October 1, 1945.

Paragraph 8, providing that any member of the German clergy engaging in unauthorized political activity should in principle be treated in the same manner as any other person guilty of such activity.

Paragraph 9b, stating that the resumption of the civilian postal service in the US Zone should be conducted to facilitate coordinated operation, under central control, of the Reichspost for all of Germany.

Paragraph 12, regarding trade union activity.85

The Department will also be interested in the amended Section I of the July 7 directive in which is set forth a re-statement of the [Page 960] objectives of Military Government in the light of the Potsdam Conference decisions.86

Respectfully yours,

Robert Murphy
  1. Neither despatch nor directive printed, hut for the substance of section III of the July 7 directive, see footnote 73, p. 955.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed. In brief, the amended section III authorized local Military Government officials to permit formation of democratic political parties on the Kreis level. For a fuller analysis of this question, see J. F. J. Gillen, State and Local Government in West Germany, 1945–1953 (Office of the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, 1953), pp. 57.
  4. This paragraph provided that: “a. The Administration of affairs in Germany should be directed towards the decentralization of the political structure and the development of local responsibility, with a view to the eventual reconstruction of German political life on a democratic basis, b. Local self-government shall be restored throughout Germany on democratic principles and in particular through elective councils as rapidly as is consistent with military security and the purposes of military occupation. …”
  5. To insure such coordination, these civil service processes had to be channeled and cleared successively by German civil service officials through the Regional Military Government Detachment and then through G–5, USFET.
  6. Paragraph 12 specified that, subject to military security considerations, permission for formation of free trade unions was to be granted. Such unions could be authorized by the appropriate military government officials on the Kreis, Regierungsbezirk, or Regional Military Government Detachment levels, depending on the jurisdiction of the proposed union. Unions with jurisdiction beyond the regional level would have to be authorized by USFET Headquarters. Reports on permission or denial of applications of trade unions were to be forwarded to USFET Headquarters.

    Paragraph 13 rescinded trade union provisions contained in War Department telegram SC–6037, August 7, p. 954.

  7. The new amendment of section I involved no fundamental change in the general and principal objectives of the occupation which were reiterated to be those of governing a defeated nation and the assurance that Germany would never again threaten her neighbors or the peace of the world. The August 27 directive did elaborate upon certain subjects such as denazification and demilitarization, punishment of war criminals and Nazi leaders, and preparation for a democratic Germany.