740.00119 EW/4–1848: Telegram

The United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy) to the Embassy in the United, Kingdom

us urgent

137. For Douglas and Reber. Your 93, April 16.1 Berlin party now plans depart for London 6:30 GMT, 20 April.

I have discussed contents your telegram with Clay who has sent personal wire to Draper as follows:

“I am advised by Ambassador Douglas that British desire to enlarge agenda of London discussions to include questions of reparations, adding to general question of allocation, the question of German machine tools and preliminary report of US technical mission. I do not believe that these two additions should be discussed at London and certainly not until US position is fixed. I would like to see technical mission’s2 report and have opportunity make appropriate recommendations [Page 189] prior to its discussion at governmental level.

“Another new item proposed by British is German assets in Italy. I do not know what the subject of discussion is; however, since as far as we are concerned these assets are no longer German property, I of course have no objection to the discussion. It would not appear to be within our purview here at all.

“British also propose to discuss Berlin situation. I see no advantage in a discussion of this situation at London. It is primarily situation which must be dealt with by commanders-in-chief. Obviously they must operate under instructions from their Governments; nevertheless, questions involved seem to me to more properly pertain to commanders-in-chief than to London Conference.

“Another proposal offered by British for discussion is aspects of German trade, particularly German-Danish and German-Italian. This is clearly question to be decided in Germany where US has a predominant voice, and I would object very strongly to it being on agenda for discussion London Conference. It is unquestionably a desire of British to evade the decisions being made in JEIA. It is another evidence of British desire to “shop around” in order secure better terms. Moreover, British here have raised no objections to present policy.

“Finally, British propose to add question of German steel scrap. This question is entirely within competence of JEIA where American voice is predominant, and there is no reason for this to be discussed London Conference level. Moreover, no British objections to present policy have been raised here.

“There is an increasing tendency discuss day to day problems in Germany at London Conference or in governmental-level discussions, when in fact there have been no discussions in Germany between the military governors. This can only lead to confusion and division of responsibility which will prove disastrous.

“It would appear to me that conference might well be held to original terms of reference, as in fact it appears likely that much difficulty will be experienced in resolving the questions still to be settled under these original terms of reference.

“In any event, I do object to discussion in tripartite conference those matters which under bizonal fusion agreement must be settled by JEIA with US representatives having final say. This is particularly true in matters which either pertain to day to day operations or which have not been reported by me to Department of Army for clarification of US position with State Department. Any deviation from this position on our part is certain to lead to increasing difficulties in future. I would appreciate it if you would bring these views to attention of State Department. I have sent copy this message to Ambassador Douglas.” End Clay’s message.

I had hoped that principal emphasis would be placed on items C, F and D of agenda adopted at first meeting and that fresh instructions relating particularly to C and D would be received from Department.

Sent London 137, repeated Department 914, Paris 168.

  1. Same as telegram 1597, Delsec 1674, April 16, from London, supra.
  2. The reference here is to the Cabinet Technical Mission on Reparations; for documentation regarding the Mission, see pp. 741 ff.