740.00119 Council/4–2248: Telegram

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


1699. Delsec 1688. Third meeting resumed German talks1 continued discussion item B. Massigli stated his Government after considering limitations of paper on international control of Ruhr2 authorized him to agree to the draft subject to satisfactory measures being taken re security. Furthermore, French delegation wanted 2 points incorporated in order to complete text:

Amendment to provide necessary safeguards and protection for allied owners.
In order assure association of Ruhr agency with objective of integrating Western Germany with Western Europe, agency should cooperate not only with local German authorities but also with ERP authorities.

Douglas commenting on Massigli’s 2 points felt it unwise to draw line between proprietary interests of Allied nationals holding properties in the Ruhr and those with interests elsewhere in Germany. He also questioned intent of Massigli’s second point which seemed to imply that Ruhr agency would assume elements of sovereignty which actually should be exercised by occupying powers or German Government. He was unwilling consider this agency having seat on ERP continuing organization which French proposal implied. No more reason having Ruhr so represented than Lorraine or other areas of great concentration of industry.

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Massigli replied re his point 1 that he was not asking preferential treatment for Allied properties in Ruhr. It happened control of Ruhr industry rather than industry of all Germany was under discussion and since many Allied interests there it was desirable to protect them. He referred to agreed report of Berlin Working Party number 63 which had accepted principle that no discriminatory action should be taken against Allied properties. Re his point 2 he said Ruhr not other regions of industrial concentration has been used as starting point for aggressive war; many Europeans unconvinced all Germany desires rapprochement with west; some day it may be possible to organize European economy rationally for peace but in meantime it was necessary adopt measures to prevent use of Ruhr for aggression.

Douglas also hoped ERP would lead to closely welded European economic system but felt this purpose would not be served by bifurcating Germany or setting it up as sovereign entity apart from whatever German Government may exist. (Massigli later in reply to question by Strang indicated he did not intend agency should sit on CEEC as 19th member but he did not clarify just what French intended by suggestion in point 2.) Re Massigli’s point 1 Douglas pointed out Berlin Working Party’s report, though agreed at working level, had not been approved by military governors and had been submitted to London for information only. He indicated that until paper had approval of US Delegation he could not accept it as basis for discussions. However, he had no objection considering general problem protecting Allied interests in Germany but felt it would be difficult consider separately their interests in Ruhr.

Van Verduynen stated Benelux accepted March 5th paper and favored setting up agency soon as possible. Benelux attached importance to safeguard rights of foreign owners particularly since they [are?] experiencing difficulties now in Ruhr. It was his view that guarantees for this purpose would bring about closer coordination of all interested powers. (De Gruben later emphasized problem had been raised at last session by Benelux as result of measures taken by occupying powers which caused Benelux owners certain losses.)

It was agreed defer further discussion and decisions on how to handle problem of safeguarding Allied interests until tomorrow’s meeting.

Meeting then considered draft amendments circulated by US delegation. (Text given in concluding paragraphs this message.) Douglas explained US delegation would have additional suggested amendments tomorrow and that his suggestions were put forward, as explained yesterday, to clarify important principles and would be ambiguities. [Page 202] He wanted it be understood US delegation was not insisting upon exact language of new proposal but that it hoped principles contained in drafts would be found acceptable and then could be referred to Working Party for any drafting changes which might be found desirable. There was little discussion re proposed changes in preamble and paragraphs 1 and 2 but considerable discussion re amendment to paragraph 5(A). For Department’s information revised paragraph 5(A) embodies change discussed in connection paragraph 8 in position paper on Ruhr. After discussing with General Clay and US Delegation staff question of best means assuring adequate protection to US during period when it is providing major share of financial support for Germany, it was decided advance strongest statement of principle as amendment to paragraph 5(A). This tactic deemed advisable particularly in view anticipated French intransigeance. US delegation is, however, prepared in forthcoming discussions to retreat somewhat from this strong statement if necessary although no departure from principle will be considered.

In reply to question by Strang, Douglas made clear intent of paragraph 5(A) was that Ruhr agency would be advisory body during lifetime of JEIA or its successor organization and that only after that period would agency assume authority to determine allocations. He also told Strang in reply to question that in effect agency will not do allocating until Germany self-sustaining, i.e. until US no longer providing financial support to Germany. He added it is nevertheless conceivable that US might withdraw financial support prior to time Germany became self-sustaining. He took occasion to point out that it would be somewhat anomalous if on one hand US was supporting Germany while others were in position to increase US financial responsibility by controlling German exports.

There was some discussion whether US amendments should be referred to Working Party. Strang commented while principle raised in paragraph 5(A), had been mentioned by Douglas before, mechanism to achieve results desired was not known until today. This mechanism involved questions of principle (agency initially to be merely advisory with JEIA actually in control). He felt it would be better to defer submitting proposals to Working Party until these principles were discussed further and until remaining US proposed amendments received.

Amendments proposed by US Delegation to TRI/7 (final):

Begin preamble as follows:

Whereas international security and general economic recovery require

That the resources of the Ruhr shall be used in the interests of the economic well-being and peace of Europe:

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That access to the coal, coke and steel of the Ruhr shall be guaranteed to the countries of Europe cooperating in the common economic good;

That access to these products for the benefit of the economic life of such European cooperating countries shall be without discrimination, and,

(Last 2 paragraphs of preamble unchanged).

Paragraph 1. An international control shall be set up in the Ruhr; it will be organized and ready to function at the time that a provisional German Govt is established.

Paragraph 2. The International Commission for the Ruhr, hereinafter referred to as “the Commission” shall be composed of representatives of the US, UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.

Paragraph 3. Begin “The Commission shall”.

Paragraph 4. No changes.

Paragraph 5. The functions of the Commission shall, in the light of existing and future international agreements, be as follows:

To advise the allied Joint Import-Export Agency and its allied successor agency during their existence as to, and thereafter to determine, the allocations of coal, coke and steel from the Ruhr as between German consumption and export, in order to insure adequate access to supplies of these products taking into account the needs of Germany in order to become and to remain economically self-sustaining; and subject to the provisions of paragraph 8 below, to insure the fulfillment of the terms of such allocations.

Sent Dept 1699; repeated USPolAd Berlin 101, Paris 170, Moscow 66, The Hague 35, Brussels 54, Brussels please keep Luxembourg informed, Oslo 32, Copenhagen 27, Stockholm 44, Rome 104.

  1. This was the 15th Meeting of the London Conference on Germany.
  2. Document TRI/7 (Final), March 5, p. 135.
  3. The Report tinder reference is not printed, but for a summary of its contents, see telegram 845, April 13, from Berlin, p. 177.