CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 63: Correspondence

The United States Representative on the Austrian Treaty Commission (Dodge) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Occupied Areas (Hilldring)


Dear John: Frankly, I see little likelihood of the Soviets agreeing to anything under present conditions—facts or no facts. What may happen in a month is speculative. There is a tremendous amount of technical material still to analyze, to brief, to discuss and report on. This data is important for the C.F.M. whether we reach agreement here or not. Novikov’s family is reported just arrived and he is said to have taken a house out in the country for them. That suggests he is possibly planning a long stay.

For some time, it seems to me, we will be digging up facts, analyzing and briefing them. This may last another month. There is a large amount of work to be done particularly if it is done properly and completely. Our discussions could easily drag over well into September unless there is a definite break up or unless it just peters out.

Then there are summary reports to be written on each subject and recommendations to the C.F.M. It may well turn out to be advisable or necessary to leave at least part of the technical staff here for a month or more after the adjournment of the Commission to complete factual material and certain reports.

I have been at this now since May 12 (leaving Detroit May 5th), nearly three months (eleven weeks) and have attended all but one of our 34 meetings to date including the completion of our initial discussion of oil. Perhaps Novikov can stay until November but my personal commitments to the Bank and A.B.A. will not permit that. [Page 606] Incidentally, Rendel25 is slated to take his new post in Belgium on September 1st.

Both Ginsburg and myself expected to be able to leave here, at least early in August—three months would be August 12th. At this moment there appears little possibility of either of us doing that.

Neither of us want to do other than see the job through to completion, but the time element is a problem for both of us. Dave for his law business and me for the Bank and A.B.A. in which I am slated to become President at their annual convention, September 26, in Atlantic City—some convention preparations are necessary.

Both personally and for the Department I know Ginsburg is completely capable of continuing the Commission discussions and directing the work. In many ways more so than I am.

So what to do about it. My thought is to turn the work and the Commission over to Dave soon and return to the States for a few weeks. If the Commission breaks up or dies a natural death in that time, all right. If it comes to life in terms of the treaty I can come back when needed for a short time. Dave thinks he must get away close to September first.

[Here follow comments on personnel changes and needs in the Delegation to the Austrian Treaty Commission.]

I am going to try and book passage soon. The Queen Mary leaves on the 31st, the America leaves the 8th of August, the Elizabeth on the 9th, or a plane between these dates. Mrs. Dodge will stay here until I return or will return later with my son who is expected to arrive in Paris about August 2nd.

Very sincerely yours,

Joseph M. Dodge
  1. Sir George Rendel did not take up his post as British Ambassador in Belgium until November 1947.