740.00119 Control (Germany)/9–1245: Telegram

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

507. Urtel 506, Sept. 12. Dept is pleased to learn of plans for holding of local elections in American-occupied zone in Germany. Following suggestions are submitted for your consideration:

We believe that Gemeinde elections should be held as soon as possible. In view of possible adverse weather conditions in January, it is suggested that, if electoral plans and stage of organization of political parties were to permit Gemeinde elections should be held in November. Otherwise Gemeinde elections should be held as soon as preparations and weather conditions permit, by March at the latest.
If in certain Stadtkreise circumstances permit the holding of elections at the same time as in the Gemeinde, it might be useful to hold such Stadtkreise elections at that time rather than several months later. Since the political composition of the electorate in Stadtkreise is likely to differ considerably from that in the Gemeinde, simultaneous elections would enable us to ascertain more readily the present political state of mind of the German population in our zone.
We would appreciate further information on the matter of registration of electors. We would suggest that qualifications be introduced excluding from suffrage (a) all persons who are clearly transients in the community, and (b) all persons liable to arrest or removal from office under the denazification program.
We assume that the possibility of determining election results in accordance with method of proportional representation, similar to that used under Weimar Republic, has been under consideration. It is believed that use of proportional representation at present time might help bring about that: (a) no one party acquire too predominant position, (b) no party assume in any way role of opposition to occupation administration, (c) no bloc of parties be formed under coercion.
It would obviously be desirable if similar elections using similar electoral methods were to take place in the other zones at approximately the same time. If feasible, you should seek correlated action on the part of occupation authorities in other zones and adapt your own election plans thereto.