740.00119 Council/4–2148: Telegram

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


1669. Delsec 1686. At second meeting resumed German talks.1 Item A regarding association of Benelux countries in policy regarding Germany was promptly disposed of, meeting accepting report of Working Party number 1 as submitted by Military Governors.2

Item B was then discussed with particular reference to previous paper on international control of the Ruhr (TRI/7).3 Douglas made several general observations emphasizing close relation between all subjects under discussion, fact that purpose of setting up International Control Agency was not only security but also to effect integration of economy of Western Germany with Western Europe. He mentioned that Ruhr paper had been drafted in some haste, which was one reason for including final paragraph. Without proposing any specific language Douglas suggested several points seemed to require clarification by amendment or additions. He recalled making 3 points at last session on March 64 which he felt should now be resolved. He mentioned 4 additional points which while less important from American point of view also should be taken into account in any redrafting of present paper in order to overcome ambiguities.

While explanation was given at last session regarding time International Control Agency would start operating, paragraph one was not clear and should be revised to state exactly what was intended.
Language should be included in paper to take into account US responsibilities deriving from magnitude its financial contributions to Germany, responsibilities which must be protected.
Account should also be taken in paper of necessity to protect Germany from abuse of power vested in control agency. As drafted, paper guards against discriminatory practices by Germany but there is no protection for Germany against possible discriminatory practices of other powers.
In line with intent to convince Western Germany her interest lay with Western Europe rather than with Eastern Europe, US Delegation would propose preamble be changed to sound slightly less punitive.
There was some question in paragraph 7 regarding period of supreme authority but without going into this point there was also question regarding intent of paragraph. It did not seem to envisage possibility that certain controls might be relaxed during this period.
Paper does not provide for appeal from actions of International Control Agency (this point not unrelated to point 3 above).
Paper did not appear to be sufficiently precise regarding enforcement of decisions of control agency.

In addition to foregoing, US Delegation had several other points of drafting and of minor nature which might be of use later to working party.

Massigli emphasized paper worked out last session was compromise between different views; that his government felt French Delegation had gone pretty far in original paper and therefore not likely give him much latitude for further amendments. He warned that Germans would use present international situation to obtain utmost advantages for themselves; that he realized importance obtaining German cooperation for benefit Western Europe but felt it was just as important to consider susceptibilities of peoples formerly occupied by Germany who subject to propaganda campaign urging alignment with East, In short he raised familiar French line of importance consider psychological reaction of French people.

Douglas recalled for Massigli’s benefit that his first 3 points, which were most important ones, were not new, that they were deeply embedded in US thinking, and that he would not have approved paper even as a draft if he had felt there was any question their acceptance. It was now important to make sure paper clearly covered these points. He did not feel that other points raised, even though new ones, should present difficulties. While appreciating dangers of potential German aggressive power Douglas vigorously asserted we face choice at present time of either taking all reasonable steps to consolidate Western Germany with Western Europe, or admitting this couldn’t be done and letting Western Germany move eastward.

Van Verduynen commented that steps required to bolster morale of Germans will also encourage their nationalistic tendencies. Benelux Delegation nevertheless glad to give most sympathetic consideration any proposed changes in paper.

Strang stated British Delegation found paper generally acceptable but recognized it had been hastily drafted and believed improvements should be made, particularly in paragraphs 5, 8, and 10. He suggested that in considering points raised by Douglas it would be useful if US Delegation presented specific proposals for suggested amendments. He confirmed that 3 points had been mentioned by Douglas first session and stated that UK Delegation is prepared consider these as well as 4 new points. However, he emphasized that British well pleased with measure of accord represented by present draft and expressed hope that there be no significant departure from the fundamental principles therein embodied.

[Page 199]

Same subject will be discussed tomorrow when US Delegation expects present drafts on several points.

Sent Department 1669; repeated USPolAd Berlin 99, AmEmbassy Paris 168, Moscow 64, The Hague 34, Brussels 52, Brussels please keep Luxembourg informed, Oslo 31, Copenhagen 26, Stockholm 43, and Rome 102.

  1. This was the 14th meeting of the London Conference on Germany.
  2. The Report under reference here is included as Appendix “B” to the Report by the U.S., U.K. and French Military Governors, April 14, p. 185.
  3. Ante, p. 135.
  4. For a brief report on the meeting under reference here, see telegram 906, Delsec 1620, March 6, from London, p. 140.