800.414/5–2645: Circular telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to Diplomatic Representatives in the American Republics

Following is for your information and action when declaration37 is issued publicly or when you receive further instructions:

[Page 1145]

Terms of impending declaration with regard defeat of Germany provide that supreme authority with respect to Germany has been assumed by four Allied powers. Consequently German archives and public property outside Germany are under the control of the four Allied powers. If you have not already obtained access to archives you should point out foregoing to FonOff and protecting power where such power has not already turned archives over to Govt. This is legal basis for obtaining archives by US, UK, USSR and France and you should insist on behalf of four powers that archives and property be turned over to you or be held by host Govt as trustee with immediate access granted. You should inform your Brit, French and Russian colleagues.

Examination of archives and property should be conducted wherever possible in premises of former German embassies and consulates to avoid transportation. Charges should be incurred only when absolutely necessary and then responsibility for same is to be divided between all four Allied powers—in which case you should request Department for allotment covering your share.

  1. On June 5 the four Commanders in Chief of the occupying powers met in Berlin to sign and issue the declaration regarding the defeat of Germany and the assumption of supreme authority in Germany. Article 8 stated that there should be no destruction of records and archives wherever they might be situated except as directed by Allied Representatives. For text of declaration, see Department of State, Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1520, or 60 Stat. (pt. 2) 1649; regarding the meeting of the Commanders in Chief, see ante, pp. 323329, passim.

    In the “Additional Requirements” agreement between the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and the Provisional Government of the French Republic, signed ad referendum July 25, 1945, at a meeting of the European Advisory Commission at London, it was stated: “The control and disposal of the buildings, property and archives of all German diplomatic and other agencies abroad will be prescribed by the Allied Representatives.” For text of the agreement, see Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, vol. ii, p. 1011.