740.00119 Control (Germany)/3–3048: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy)

top secret   us urgent

561. For Murphy—Eyes Only. Without making formal representations here or in Paris, French FonOff in casual conversation with US official expressed its concern that US representative on Berlin working party presented proposal for creation of a provisional western government by Sept 15, announcement to this effect on May 18, and constituent assembly in Oct of this year.1 Dept and Ambassador Douglas are likewise concerned about this proposal. Project to set up a provisional western government in advance of a constituent assembly is new to us. Without fuller info it seems to us to possess disadvantage of further dislocating continuity of authority since provisional government would soon be displaced by one formed by constituent assembly. Although we realize working party agreements represent tentative recommendations, proposal if correctly reported seems to go too far in above respect as well as in suggesting accelerated time schedule which may tie our hands too closely at this time as regards many still uncertain factors including US position in Berlin. French indicate their willingness to proceed with integration of western Germany with western Europe and their readiness to strengthen the local authority of the German states and Economic Council with a view to establishment of a provisional government, probably early next year. We share French opinion that matters such as those suggested in US proposal above should be left to next Ambassadors’ conference.

For your info Dept is further concerned that working party seems on point of recommending decisions on all issues of government, leaving little for a German constituent assembly to determine. We understand this is in accordance with French wishes. We suggest that a certain moderation on our part as to timing of steps toward establishment of a government might help obtain lesser French insistence on precise form of a future government.

Sent to Berlin as 561; repeated to London for Reber Eyes Only as 1091.

  1. Regarding the proposal under reference here, see footnote 2 to telegram 1628, March 27, from Paris, p. 151.