740.00119 Council/3–2047: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State at Moscow

top secret

586. Secdel 1349. Personal for Secretary from Acheson. March 13 I attended meeting in Secretary Anderson’s office with Secretaries Commerce,40 War,41 Navy,42 Budget Director43 and Herbert Hoover to hear latter’s views on Germany.44 These were:

Prospects for economic unification of Germany very slight because Russians will not agree to give up their control of German industries their zone and to unify Germany without such agreement would be to grave disadvantage of British and ourselves and might soon result in Russian control of all of Germany.
Therefore, only sound course is to proceed to make Germany self-supporting and remove the load from British and American taxpayers by concentrating our efforts on British and American zones and, if possible, on French.
This means that level of industry agreement should be regarded as having been set aside by Russian breaches of the Potsdam conception of an economically unified Germany and we should develop German heavy industry.
Development of German heavy industry is necessary to support Germany because Germany cannot furnish necessary exports by products of light industry. Light industry in Germany would have to be developed to do this with disastrous result to international trade. Furthermore, it would not be successful.
Heavy industry development necessary not only for Germany to support itself but necessary if Europe, particularly that part not under Soviet control, is to get the necessary steel and machinery. U.S. cannot with its present plant capacity supply this steel and machinery and it could never be paid for if supplied.
It was recognized that program suggested by Hoover would produce some complications arising out of competing demands of France for Ruhr coal.
Denazification procedures should permit employment German technicians at their skills.

Cabinet officers present seemed to concur in the views expressed. I told them nothing in this analysis unfamiliar to you and your advisers. Discussion reported for information and not with idea that action contemplated your absence.

  1. W. Averell Harriman.
  2. Robert P. Patterson.
  3. James V. Forrestal.
  4. James E. Webb.
  5. For Secretary Forrestal’s account of this meeting, see The Forrestal Diaries, pp. 255–256.