740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–1846: Telegram

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


204. Following is Dept reaction to British steel position reported in urtel 159 of Jan 18.

Two totally independent technical calculations by U.S. experts have indicated that annual steel production as low as 5.0 to 5.5 million tons would adequately serve needs of initial post-war German economy proportioned as a whole to provide capacity for standard of living equal to European average post-war. 5.8 million tons as planning figure therefore seems a reasonable reflection of strict Potsdam terms.
In any case we regard British unjustified in regarding difference between 5.8 and 7.5 million tons as margin which will determine starvation, misery, slavery and the transformation of Germany into a wilderness. Similarly we doubt whether this difference will determine German capabilities to wage a new war, as suggested by U.S.S.R.
U.S. policy like that of U.K. and, presumably, U.S.S.R. is concerned to balance punitive and constructive aspects of Potsdam settlement. Dept regards it as unfortunate that quantitative differences of this order of magnitude be made occasion for imputing basic differences of interpretation of Potsdam terms.

Sent to Berlin as 204, repeat[ed] to Moscow as 128, and to London as 757 for personal attention of Secretary.