740.00119 Council/7–1246: Telegram

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


3462. This is Delsec 704. Am forwarding by pouch record99 of informal discussion on German coal held Paris at request of French July 4, 5 and 8. As main subject was question increasing coal production in Ruhr and Saar only French, British and US participated. Russians were informed such talks taking place and were handed copy of report on July 9. Hall-Patch,1 Robertson, Brigadier Marley2 and Mark Turner represented British; Alphand, Sargent, Baraduc3 and other experts represented French; General Draper,4 Forester and Lightner5 represented US.

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All agreed necessity for rapid increase coal production Germany and that special group investigators should examine on spot ways and means of accomplishing this. Suggested terms of reference, drawn up for possible use of any committee appointed. Since questions to be investigated involved matters which could only properly be implemented by four occupying powers it was agreed to recommend that ACC Germany handle investigation with object covering all Germany. French Delegation reserved right raise question at CFM.

At meeting CFM July 10,6 Bidault, after discussing broad German problems, raised question of coal. He stated it was essential have assurance that considerable portion German coal be put at disposal Allied Powers and not at the exclusive and principal disposition of reconstruction German industrial power. It was not necessary to talk about long term measures to be taken but it was important to agree now on arrangements which would enable occupation authorities to take into account needs for restoration of neighboring countries, notably France. French efforts to this end so far unsuccessful. Bidault circulated paper7 providing that committee experts of four powers be instructed report to CFM by August 10 on steps to be taken to increase coal output and general principle re allocation of output as between domestic consumption and exports. Bidault stated he felt this was question of broad policy which CFM should consider rather than ACC Berlin, which he said was merely an executing body.

Molotov in commenting on Bidault’s statement briefly stated he had no objection discussing coal problem in CFM.

As indicated in report of informal coal discussions British and US position is that problem this kind should be implemented through ACC Germany, whose representatives would, of course, submit investigating committee’s report and their own comments to their governments.

In CFM meeting July 12, resolution8 was adopted to instruct ACC appoint committee experts who submit report by August 10. Report to be considered by ACC Berlin who will report to CFM before September 1.

Bevin indicated that in agreeing to resolution he had to make reservation that CFM failure reach agreement in carrying out Article 15, Potsdam Agreement9 must be taken into account when considering coal situation in Ruhr.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Edmund L. Hall-Patch, Deputy Under-Secretary, British Foreign Office.
  3. Brig. Cuthbert D. Marley, Controller General, North German Coal Control.
  4. Pierre Baraduc, Office of Economic Affairs, French Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
  5. Brig. Gen. William H. Draper, Chief, Economic Division, OMGUS.
  6. E. Allan Lightner, Acting Assistant Chief, Division of Central European Affairs.
  7. For a record of this meeting, see volume ii.
  8. For text, see ibid.
  9. For text, see ibid.
  10. Reference is to paragraph 15 of section II of the Potsdam Protocol, dealing with limitations on Allied controls to be exercised over the Germany economy. The preceding paragraph indicated that Germany was to be treated as an economic unit. For texts, see Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, vol. ii, p. 1484.