840.811/5–2046: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State


Subject: Central Rhine Commission

2456. From Merchant and Radius for Cook53 and Fussell.54 Re-Deptel 1756, April 19.55 In agreement with British and French Foreign Offices we propose the following text of invitation to the Governments of Belgium, Holland and Switzerland to join in strengthening the Rhine Interim Working Committee. Please notify U.S. Missions in Brussels, The Hague and Bern to transmit the following agreed text simultaneously in concert with their French and British colleagues:

“The Central Rhine Commission has succeeded in establishing satisfactory arrangements for dealing with engineering questions on the Rhine by the setting up of its technical committee at Eltville, in liaison with the Tripartite Rhine Engineering Committee representing Germany.

“Rhine traffic questions have so far been handled by the Interim Rhine Working Committee which was established at Duisburg at the invitation of the British military authorities in September 1945. This committee was adequate in the early days when traffic was beginning to revive. The committee is composed of representatives of the British and the United States zones and representatives of the Rhine Missions sent by France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.

[Page 258]

“In the interests of the more effective coordination of traffic on the Rhine while emergency conditions last, the Governments of France, the United Kingdom and the United States invite the blank government to join in strengthening the Rhine Interim Working Committee. It is proposed that this name should be changed to Temporary Committee for Rhine Traffic and that it should be composed of accredited representatives of the Governments of Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Switzerland, and of the French, British and United States occupation zones of Germany, who would be empowered to take decisions on matters within their competence. German interests on the Rhine will be represented by the appropriate authorities of the three zones. The European Central Inland Transport Organization and the Central Rhine Commission would be invited to be represented at all meetings of the organizations. Its scope would include all traffic on the Rhine. Its terms of reference would include:

Assessment of traffic capacity of waters within its jurisdiction.
To receive traffic forecasts and effect any necessary coordination of operating.
To ensure the execution of agreed traffic programmes.
To provide the means for discussion of freight rates, charges and conditions of carriage for international traffic with due regard to other forms of transport.
To represent the operating aspect in any discussion on currency and other clearing arrangements.” [Merchant and Radius.]

  1. Richard F. Cook of the Office of Transportation and Communications.
  2. Frances R. Fussell of the Office of Transportation and Communications.
  3. Not printed. In this telegram the Department informed the Embassy that it had approved the draft of a joint invitation to the Dutch, Belgian, and Swiss Governments. (840.811/4–346)