740.00119 Control (Germany)/7–2846: Telegram

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


1813. Long and acrimonious debate took place sixty-seventh meeting Coordinating Committee July 27th on terms of reference Committee of Coal Experts which owing to lack of agreement were reported to Coordinating Committee in following two parts:

US, British and French proposal that Experts Committee should confine itself to essentials relating to coal production which would enable it to submit report to Council Foreign Ministers by September first; and
Soviet proposal that Experts Committee should undertake critical investigation of zone commanders efficiency in operating mining plants, analysis of financing and control mining enterprises, such should be completed by October 10th for presentation of CFM in November.

Soviet Chairman Coordinating Committee,10 without mentioning that Soviets themselves, owing to lack of instructions, had been responsible for delay in getting experts started, referred to short time available to make report by end of August which he argued would preclude investigations on the spot in the various zones as envisaged by CFM. (My telegram 1785, July 24 and 1769, July 2011 He claimed that CFM had set earlier date for report before they fixed meeting for November and that they would wish comprehensive material envisaged in Soviet terms of reference. British and French members insisted that Control Council and Experts Committee were bound by CFM instructions to submit report by September 1st. US member states that in view of Europe’s crying need for coal control, Council and CFM would welcome an investigation of all factors bearing on increased production in Germany and he thought points suggested by Soviets should be examined. As compromise he proposed that Experts Committee should present preliminary report in late August as called for by CFM and should then continue work on comprehensive report for completion by October 10th.

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British member referred to specific task of Experts Committee and said he would have to see report requested under CFM instructions before agreeing to necessity of further comprehensive examination. General Clay states that in that case he would support terms of reference for Committee suggested by Soviets and proposed that minutes of discussion reflecting disagreement be referred to CFM. While he did not object to Experts Committee continuing this work, he doubted they could accomplish useful purpose owing to lack of agreed directive.

Coordinating Committee decided to refer question to next meeting Control Council July 30th but agreed that Experts Committee should in meantime proceed with their work.

For what it may be worth. A member of British delegation in informal conversation after meeting expressed considerable bitterness about Soviet stalling procedure and claimed that comprehensive examination was suggested for purpose of making political capital out of social conditions in Ruhr. He justified British reservation on grounds that their zone would be primarily affected since only minimal coal production took place in other zones, excepting of course Polish area which Soviets would presumably exclude from investigation.

He expressed surprise at the sudden change over to support of the Soviet program, particularly in view of the fact that consideration is being actively given to joint economic arrangements for the American and British zones.

Repeated to Moscow as 119. (Dept please relay this message to Moscow). Sent London as 260 and Paris as 217.

  1. Col. Gen. Pavel Alekseevich Kurochkin.
  2. Reference to telegram 1769 is presumably incorrect, since the content of this telegram is not related to German coal. The pertinent portion of telegram 1785 reported that at the 66th Coordinating Committee meeting, July 23, the governments named their representatives on the Committee of Coal Experts and agreed that they should begin work as soon as possible and maintain contact with the Economic Directorate (740.00119 Control (Germany)/7–2446). For that part of the text of telegram 1785 dealing with reparations and disarmament, see p. 581.