740.00119 Council/4–1447

Memorandum for the Secretary of State47

We have talked with General Robertson who has decided to return to Berlin on Saturday48 in order to discuss bi-zonal arrangements with General Clay. Mr. Bevin hopes that he can see you tomorrow to discuss three or four questions of policy before General Robertson goes to Berlin.49 He further hopes that you will be able to discuss the bi-zonal arrangements with General Clay and General Robertson in Berlin on your return trip and he will do the same. Under his doctor’s orders he cannot fly and so presumably will not reach Berlin until you have left there. Apparently both he and General Robertson attach great importance to a memorandum agreement between you and Mr. Bevin concerning operation of our two zones following the Moscow Conference. General Robertson has been informed of General Clay’s view that no formal agreement is needed at this time and that joint recommendations could be made by the two Zone Commanders to their respective governments after the level of industry has been revised for the bi-zonal areas. General Robertson is hoping to reach agreement with General Clay in Berlin on the several questions involved in order to make joint recomendations to you and Mr. Bevin.
In the preliminary talk with you tomorrow, Mr. Bevin will probably raise three points: First, division of powers between the central administration and the Länder; second, basing the new level of industry on 10,000,000 tons steel production; and, third, allocation [Page 484]and delivery of reparations plants to both IARA and USSR. Our comments on each of these follow:
Division of Powers. This is covered in paragraph 2 of the attached memorandum prepared by General Robertson50 and on which you have already received General Draper’s comments.51 The agreement reached in the CFM was subject to the general U.S. reservation that the new proposed constitution provides a sufficient decentralization and was intended to define broadly the powers of the provisional German government. The British are now asking that we extend this agreement to the bi-zonal operation even though no provisional government but only bi-zonal agencies are involved. The real question is whether the two governments are prepared to authorize political as well as economic fusion of the two zones. If this is authorized, the two Zone Commanders could agree on the necessary steps to that end. We believe that the U.S. Delegation here supports the view that political fusion is necessary and should gradually be achieved in view of the failure to attain the economic unity of all four zones. We believe the British may not be ready to authorize political fusion and we believe the agreement they suggest in paragraph 2 would not be really meaningful without such authorization. Our suggestion is that the question be discussed fully but that no decision be taken until General Clay and General Robertson have made their joint recommendation.
An agreement on steel production should be reached as a result of the study of the level of industry and not before it is undertaken. We do not believe there will be great difficulty in reaching agreement on this question soon after these studies are begun. Again, General Clay and General Robertson may reach a joint agreement shortly.
The question of reparations deliveries to the Soviets is a high political decision. We have suggested to General Robertson the possibility of delaying this decision for 6 or 8 weeks to give time for proper evaluation after the Moscow Conference is over. The point might be made with Mr. Bevin that reparations in the form of current production have been taken illegally from the Soviet zone and that deliveries of capital equipment from the western zones should be offset by these illegal reparations from current production and so deliveries of plant held until the amount of such reparations is known.
It is recommended that the talks tomorrow be limited to policy discussion and that decisions await recommendations from General Clay and General Robertson.
The program for discussions in Berlin suggested by General Robertson would mean your staying at least a day or two in Berlin. If this is impossible for any reason we should let Mr. Bevin know promptly. We have explained that you had not answered Mr. Bevin’s letter52 sooner as you were awaiting the result of the discussions with [Page 485]General Robertson, but you might wish to make this point personally also with Mr. Bevin.
  1. This memorandum was prepared by Edward S. Mason and Major General Draper. The source text is initialed by the Secretary of State.
  2. April 19.
  3. Regarding the Secretary’s meeting with Foreign Secretary Bevin on April 18, see telegrams 1469, Delsec 1445 and 1470, Delsec 1446, April 19, from Moscow, pp. 356 and 357.
  4. The memorandum prepared by General Robertson is printed ante, p. 479.
  5. General Draper’s comments are set forth in the paper printed supra.
  6. Ante, p. 475.