740.00119 Council/4–2148: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Douglas) to the Secretary of State

top secret   us urgent

1665. Delsec 1684. Personal for Saltzman from Douglas.

1. I agree with your cable completely except on one point about which I have some doubt. (Deptel 1397, April 20.1)

2. While I agree that the report of the technical mission should not be the subject of discussion, comment and criticism in London, if we are to negotiate on the matter of reparations covering the second phase to which reference is made in Delsec 1678, sent as Embtel 1625, April 19,2 we cannot escape, it seems to me, using the facts as determined by that commission.

You will recollect that one of the reasons for sending the technical mission to Germany was to provide us with the facts without which it is impossible to negotiate. You will recall, also, that it was our inability to indicate the number of plants which would, in our judgment, better serve European recovery in Germany than elsewhere, that made it impossible to carry the negotiations on reparations to a conclusion at the last meeting.

Unless we are free to use the evidence provided by the technical mission, we will again be negotiating in vacuo. If you agree, this may make it necessary to make some reference to the technical mission’s report and any comments which General Clay or the cabinet committee may have to make on the subject.

3. Certainly, experience has indicated that we cannot negotiate without the facts. If, therefore, the findings of the technical mission are not to be used for negotiation in London, then I suggest that the question of reparations, excepting delivery to the Soviet, be not discussed here.

4. In this connection, the technical mission has indicated that it will be able to submit its findings by the end of this month which would afford time for the negotiations to be conducted here. If, however, the findings of the mission together with such comments as General Clay and the cabinet committee may have, to make are not completed before this meeting adjourns, then obviously, the negotiations on the subject of reparations, with exception noted in three above, cannot proceed at this session and may better be conducted either here at a later time, or elsewhere.

  1. Ante, p. 194.
  2. Ante, p. 190.