740.00119 Council/4–1447: Telegram

The United States Military Governor for Germany (Clay) to Major General William H. Draper at Moscow36


CC–8766. For Draper. Reference your memorandum of April 9.37 I cannot see why the questions raised by Robertson need to be decided in Moscow as the decisions involved cannot be carried out until after the completion of Moscow Conference. The questions require careful consideration and mutual discussion between American and British Military Government. I believe that the basic difficulties in making the bizonal economic agencies effective are more fundamental than appear on the surface and require considerable reconciliation of American and British viewpoints. I have no objection in principle to the concentration of bizonal agencies in one city, subject to being able to provide the requisite facilities and communications. I also agree that the bizonal agencies should be required to insure their efficiency. However, I do not believe that this can be done without considerable difference in present thinking. The tendency of the Germans is to an almost complete regimentation of German economy and they have considerable British sympathy for this purpose. Having been intimately connected with war time controls, I know that many thousand people would be required and these people are not available. The present German agency is much too large for broad policy actions and yet many times too small for detailed controls. My own view is that allocations are going to have to be made either on laender basis or broad industry basis with priorities limited to the Import Export Program and with procurement from outside sources directed to Import Export Agencies if the program is to really gain momentum. The effort now being made to direct materials by plant and to control distribution of many commodities cannot possibly succeed without months if not years of effort to establish the requisite organization. I agree as to the desirability of some political body being established for both zones subject, of course, to the consent of both governments. I have no confidence whatsoever in an advisory council and I am unwilling to establish the [Page 473]precedent of giving political responsibility to such a council which includes representatives of political parties and trade unions not responsible or elected by the German people. If we later succeed in getting quadripartite government, we may well have established a precedent for communist control. I do not see how we can establish a bizonal revision of the level of industry based on any specific figure without more study than we have as yet given to it and even this revision must be tentative until we know what is to happen to Germany as a whole. Of course, I had already agreed with Robertson to study the level of industry required for our 2 zones only and to list and publish the reparations plants above such a level of industry for evaluation and allocation. I have no objection to this although I would not be prepared to make further deliveries to USSR unless desired by our government as in the event of failure to agree on a United Germany, such deliveries should be offset by the production already taken out of Germany by the USSR. With due regard to the feeling with respect to reparations deliveries, McJunkins advises me that many of the war plants already allocated have not yet been called for by the recipient countries and that furthermore it will tax all available transport to deliver during the remainder of this calendar year the tonnage now under allocation. I believe that any foreign commitments should await Robertson’s return and full discussion here in Berlin after which we can make such recommendations jointly to our governments as appear desirable. I urge that no bilateral agreements be made in Moscow until they have been studied here to determine their full implications. I am even more concerned than Robertson with obvious failure of bizonal agencies to get under way satisfactorily. However, I am sure this results from an effort to centralize far beyond the capacity and competency of any German administration which we can hope to build up now and that we can be successful only by decentralization. All major contracts to date have resulted from initiative at land level and have been in spite of rather than because of bizonal agency.

  1. The source text, a copy included among the papers of the United States Delegation to the Moscow Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, is initialed by Secretary of State Marshall.
  2. The memorandum under reference here has not been found. It apparently reviewed earlier discussions with the British regarding measures to improve the efficiency of German bi-zonal agencies. Gen. Robertson’s views on this issue were summarized in his conversation with Gen. Draper on April 15; see Draper’s memorandum to the Secretary of State, April 15, p. 333.