840.50 Recovery/4–1348: Telegram

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


845. Following is summary of final report dated April 10 of Working Party number 6 of Military Governor’s Conference:1 British member regarded himself bound by recorded results of recent London tripartite talks, interpreted that present conversations should be restricted to studying question of safeguarding foreign interests in coal and steel industries in context of future international Ruhr control, and consequently refrained from comment on certain points of discussion.

Item 1. France–Benelux proposed allied property should not be subject of measures affecting ownership rights, such as deconcentration, expropriation, decartelization, nationalization and land reform. US delegation while giving assurance to general principle that foreign interests would be safeguarded and pointing out that selection of final list of plants for reparations from US zone required reparations be taken first from German owners, took position measures referred to are not imposed on Germans as punishment for war guilt but imposed as sound and healthy basis for future German peacetime economy and [Page 178] that it would be impracticable to attempt to establish special economic conditions for limited and specified interests. British reserved position.

Item 2. France–Benelux after pointing out limitation at present imposed on powers of owners by virtue of appointment of custodians and control exercised by coal control and management authorities asked that allied owners be permitted to recover full enjoyment of their rights as soon as possible. US delegation considered foreign manager could not at this time be appointed because of lack of supplies and accommodations, pointed out conflicts of authority with coal control and management authorities involved in proposal, and recommended matter be referred to US/UK coal control group for study. British reserved position.

Item 3. France–Benelux proposed in exports of coal from Germany to allied countries concerned priority be given to collieries belonging to nationals of those countries wherever technically possible and that as soon as economic and financial conditions permit, allied owners should have disposal of fuel produced by their mines or at least part thereof. US held it would be impractical and would lead to confusion to inject the additional consideration of ownership of the delivering mine into the already complicated allocation process. British reserved position.

Item 4. It was agreed “allied enterprises should be in a position to operate with facilities at least equal to those of the German enterprises, both from the production and from the marketing aspect, and in a general way should not be the object of any inequitable discriminatory measure by the responsible administrations,” particularly in certain specified fields.

Item 5. France–Benelux proposed that under existing conditions of exploitation, with sales prices fixed by higher authority, allied mines should be put in a position to insure financial equilibrium, involving if necessary supplementary financing in form of subsidies. US delegation pointed out economic council legislation provided for price increase and subsidy adequate to cover charges except for capital account (which it is contemplated will be sought from private capital market) and in view of this action no further steps now necessary. British reserved position.

Item 6. Regarding French–Benelux proposal for discontinuing allegedly discriminatory measures in Aix-la-Chapelle mines it was agreed France and Benelux should take part in investigation being conducted by US/UK control group as a result of requests presented to obtain receipts per ton sold by the Aix mines different from those of the Ruhr, but US delegation considered remainder of proposal should fall under working party 2 (British reserved position in this regard).

Item 7. France–Benelux proposed control of implementation of [Page 179] measures to be taken to insure protection of allied enterprises with special reference to discrimination. Insofar as framework of future organization is concerned, agreement was reached to assure against discriminatory measures. With respect to measures within framework of present organization, US delegation considered this subject one to be discussed under terms of reference of working parties 2 and 4 (British reserved position).

See also OMGUS cable to Army Department CC–3809, April 10.2

  1. The text of the Final Report summarized here, which was designated document MGC/P(48) 12, is not printed. At their Fourth and final meeting on April 12, the American, British, and French Military Governors agreed to submit the report to the London Conference on Germany.
  2. Not printed.