862.60/8–1347: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in France

top secret

3031. For Clayton and Caffery.

French preoccupations concerning the Ruhr as set forth by Bidault and Monnet have repeatedly been explained to us by the French and constitute the reasons for our willingness to agree to tripartite discussions requested by Bidault (Refurtel 323984). In his recent conversations at the Dept Bonnet has set forth the same preoccupations in similar detail.
The US is fully aware of the French concern with respect to the objectives set forth in paragraphs 2(a) and (b) of your telegram under reference. For the period prior to the establishment of a German govt accepted by the occupying powers these objectives are assured through Allied occupation of Germany. Furthermore, during the occupation period the fusion of the French zone with the US-UK zones would enable France to participate in the attainment of these objectives.
The US is in sympathy with the French objective set forth in paragraph 2(a) and has proposed a method of dealing with the problem of military security through controls established under the terms of the disarmament and demilitarization treaty. The terms of this treaty are currently under review in the light of discussions which [Page 1036] took place at the CFM meeting in Moscow and in the expectation of renewed discussions at the forthcoming CFM meeting. The United States is convinced that this or some other method must be devised to accomplish this end.
We likewise understand the French concern with respect to 2(b) for the period following the establishment of a German govt. At Moscow on April 10, 1947 the Secretary of State recognized the necessity of taking appropriate measures to resolve the question of how to assure the equitable employment of Ruhr resources in the interests of European states including Germany, and of considering special provisions for the overseeing of these resources.85 At that time he pointed out that the economic questions raised by the Ruhr concentration are equally relevant to the Silesian concentration and indeed to others. He put these questions as follows: (1) during periods of acute shortages how are basic commodities such as coal and steel to be equitably shared; and (2) how are countries within whose boundaries concentrations of basic resources are to be found to be prevented from imposing restrictions which limit the access of other countries to these resources. This explanation of the US position was made during discussions dealing with a united Germany, but these questions still remain unresolved and continue to be a matter of concern to this country. We must obviously consult with the British at appropriate time concerning French proposal set forth in urtel 326386 supplemented by urtel 327087 and see no useful purpose in pursuing this matter further in Paris at this time after you have indicated view set forth this telegram. If the French desire to raise this matter we have no objection to hearing their views during London talks and prior to announcement of level of industry provided presentation of their views would not delay discussion and announcement of level of industry. Since this question involves the matter of treaty which will be negotiated at undetermined time in the future no decision on French proposal can be made during the London talks. At the appropriate time in the future we shall be glad to continue discussion of this matter with the French. For your info our policy in respect to control of the Ruhr in the latter period has not yet been resolved.
With respect to paragraph 2(c), the withholding of the publication of the level of industry until the CFM meeting, we cannot agree to this delay for the reasons set forth by you in paragraphs 4(a), [Page 1037] (b) and (c). In our opinion it is essential that decision in this respect be taken as promptly as possible and announcement of new level of industry be made.
Furthermore we cannot understand the necessity of postponing the tripartite discussions which we hoped could be held in London without delay. We had agreed to these discussions at the urgent request of M. Bidault in order to afford the French govt an opportunity to put forward their views both to the US and UK as both govts share responsibility for the bizonal area. We feel ample opportunity would be provided by these discussions for full consideration of the French views as explained to you by Bidault and Monnet. We had further been given to understand by the French Ambassador that it was the view of the French govt that agreement in substance would be possible as a result of these discussions. We therefore expect that the French will now agree to the earliest possible date for these talks in London which should take place not later than early next week. For your info as you recall Douglas has been informed that we expect to announce the level of industry agreement by Sept first, so time is of the essence.

Repeated to London for the Ambassador.88

  1. Ante, p. 1029.
  2. The statement by the Secretary of State under reference here was made at the 25th Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, Moscow, April 10, 1947; for the Secretary’s report on that meeting, see telegram 1297, Delsec 1414, April 10, from Moscow, p. 323.
  3. Ante, p. 1031.
  4. Supra.
  5. Repeated to London as telegram 3499.