The Secretary of State to the French Foreign Minister (Bidault)56

Dear Monsieur Bidault : In agreement with the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs I send you herewith the pro-proposals for a sliding scale for coal exports from the three Western Zones as at present constituted which have been prepared as a result of conversations which have taken place during the past few days between your representatives and those of Mr. Bevin and myself.

In my conversation with the President of the Republic, M. Auriol,57 I gave him assurance of the desire of my Government to make every [Page 487]effort to assist France in meeting her requirements for coal. We have now made the fullest efforts possible to meet the requirements for coal of France and the countries represented in the European Coal Organization, bearing in mind the necessity for rehabilitating the peaceful industries of Germany with the object of bringing the German economy into balance as quickly as possible in accordance with the American and British programs.

I hope to learn that you accept the proposals made at the production levels shown in the sliding scale. It is the intention that the percentages of the sliding scale shall apply for the second half of 1947. At the end of the year the position can be examined again in the light of the conditions then prevailing.

Faithfully yours,

George C. Marshall

Projected Scale of Export and Internal Allocation of Coal for the Three Western Zones of Germany, in Relation to Future Level of Coal Production

(Thousands of metric tons)
Daily Output Ruhr–Aachen plus Saar. Percent Allocated to Export. Estimated Monthly Export Tonnage. Estimated Monthly Internal Tonnage.
(net merchantable coal, excluding raw brown coal, in terms of hard coal equivalent).
280 21. 0 1187 4465
290 21. 5 1262 4608
300 21. 5 1309 4778
310 22. 0 1387 4917
320 22. 5 1467 5055
330 22. 5 1516 5223
340 23. 0 1602 5365
350 23. 5 1691 5505
360 24. 0 1782 5642
370 25. 0 1913 5739

Notes: 1. Monthly figures are for calendar months of 25 working days.

2. Exports represent total exports (including exports to Austria, to countries belonging to the European Coal Organization and bunker coal).

3. It is anticipated that allocations will be made quarterly with later adjustments as required. Assistance may be required [Page 488]from the importing countries to move the contemplated tonnages of export coal.

  1. The source text, an unsigned copy, was transmitted to the Department as enclosure 2 to despatch 110, April 22, 1947, from Moscow, not printed. A similar letter was addressed to Foreign Minister Bidault by Foreign Secretary Bevin.
  2. For the minutes of Secretary Marshall’s conversation with President Auriol on March 6, 1947, see p. 190.