840.414/9–2145: Telegram

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

564. Dept is taking up with the War Dept. questions raised urtel 575, September 21,88 concerning archives held at ministerial collecting center. Dept feels that for present Foreign Office archives as well as archives of other ministries dealing with German overseas activities should continue to be exploited under present British-American investigative procedure. This is also true of records of such German agencies as Ausland Organization, Auslands Institut, Ibero-American Institute, NSDAP89 and intelligence records of German commercial firms such as Farben, Telefunken, North German Lloyd, Hamburg-American and others. It is believed more desirable and practicable to work out during the next few months a document sharing program based upon actual needs and genuine reciprocity. To date Dept has no evidence of reciprocity in this matter on part of either the French or Russians.

It seems highly questionable whether any useful purpose would be served at this time by making German Foreign Office documents relating to British-German and American-German pre-war activities available to other Allied Governments. Dept is nevertheless fully aware of the needs on the part of the Allied Control Commission to centralize for administrative purposes those records which are essential to the successful administration of German domestic affairs.

Foreign Office archives and archives of other German organizations, public and private, operating overseas as mentioned above should be exploited fully with the view to uncovering all remnants of the German political, military, commercial and propaganda penetration machine in foreign countries. No plans should be made to return these archives to the Germans or to make them available for other secondary purposes until the primary objective has been reached. Dept will request War to prolong guarding of archives until such time as the investigative utility of the archives has ceased to [Page 1119] exist and a policy for their ultimate disposition has been fully agreed upon by all governments concerned.

Materials collected by political division investigators from Foreign Office, DAI and related files and transmitted by you have been invaluable to Dept in dealing with Argentina and neutral governments on Pan-German penetration problems. Any relaxation in the exploitation, protection and guarding of these archives at this time will have an extremely adverse effect on Dept’s program dealing with the German threat abroad.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei.