840.6362/5–1546: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State, at Paris

secret
niact   us urgent

2334. For the Secretary from Acheson and Clayton. Monnet80 has urgently requested that we inform you of French concern over German coal production and export situation and request that you support favorable consideration of French position in CFM meeting today81 or take advantage of presence of principals for discussion with Bevin, Bidault,82 Clay.

Our view is that U.S. is vitally interested that immediate steps be taken to increase coal production in Ruhr. European coal production now limiting factor on entire European recovery and virtually equal in urgency to food supply to which it is intimately related. U.S. economic policy for Europe as expressed in our loan to France, our food program and our exports of coal and other supplies requires that increasing amounts of German coal be made available to help recovery in France and other Western European countries.

Efforts to increase production and exports fall into three groups.

1.
Steps to improve production through improvement of management, food rations, mine supplies and equipment. This depends [Page 780]largely on British. We believe they can and must immediately make greater, more concentrated effort.
2.
Saar proposal made by French which was described to you in ourtel 2109 to Paris of May 4.83
3.
Agreement on proportion of German production which should be exported. Last point cannot be settled at present. Detailed discussions being undertaken with OMGUS. However US position is clearly sympathetic to French request for increased exports, keeping in mind necessity for gradual revival of German industry at a lower rate than that of liberated areas. [Acheson and Clayton.]
Acheson
  1. Jean Monnet was a member of Leon Blum’s special economic mission to negotiate lend-lease and commercial agreements; for documentation, see pp. 399 ff.
  2. German coal was not treated as a separate topic of discussion at the 7th informal meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, May 15; for a record of that meeting, see volume n. Coal was subsequently given special consideration at the 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, July 10, ibid.
  3. Georges Bidault, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Provisional Government of the French Republic.
  4. Not printed, but see footnote 76, p. 778.