740.00119 Control (Germany) /9–2545: Telegram

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

623. Judging by recent issues Berlin newspapers (telegram No. 589, September 2272), the Communists may be preparing the ground, now that land reform issue has been carried through, for the realization of their general objectives in the field of industry, which in the first instance will presumably consist of the establishment of works councils to participate in industrial management. SPD contacts report that Communists have not yet raised this question with the other three parties. However, we know of at least one case in American sector of Berlin where following sudden appearance of an outsider trade union Communist leader last week and his lengthy speech to the workers in the National-Krupp-Registrier-Kassen plant, a new Betriebsrat73 was at once “elected” after speaker had told workers that in future not a single decision would be taken by the management without the concurrence of their works council.

Recent speech by Wilhelm Pieck and other items included in my 613 to Department74 summarize well the present Communist line. Pieck’s speech indicates that land reform has now been decreed for entire Russian occupation zone, even though we have not seen decrees for either land Saxony or Thuringia in the press. KPD (German paper) emphasis on necessity of liquidating power of capitalist monopoly interests is worth noting, as is also the continuing call for closest cooperation between the two leftist workers parties. Thus [Page 1060] general united front tactics are still demanded, and ground being prepared for possible subsequent merger with Social Democrats, though an actual merger has not yet been suggested.

  1. Not printed; this telegram transmitted a digest of the Berlin press for September 15–19.
  2. Works council.
  3. Not printed; this telegram transmitted a digest of the Berlin press for September 20.