740.00119 Control (Germany)/4–2748: Telegram

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

top secret   us urgent

1750. The Secretary’s and Lovett’s eyes only from Douglas.

In regard to the Ruhr, the fundamental issue has been raised by Clay whose views are at least implicitly endorsed by Murphy. The issue [Page 206] is whether, in view of the changed conditions, we still endorse the principle stated by the Secretary on November 17 in his Chicago speech,1 and agreed to in the working paper, however much it needs modification and amendment, at the session on Germany which adjourned on March 6.
Clay and Murphy would like to sink the principle without a trace.
My opinion is that an agreement on the Ruhr can be reached which will give us protection during the period in which we are assuming financial responsibility, be generally acceptable to Germany and reasonably satisfy the French position. Moreover, I doubt that we can carry the French on the German problem as a whole without a satisfactory agreement both to us and to them on the Ruhr, based upon the principles agreed to at the previous session in London, modified as was stated then and confirmed since so as to protect our position during the period which we are carrying the financial burden.
Would appreciate your views. Sorry to bother you with “eyes only” communication, but think it desirable, for obvious reasons, that this cable does not have wide circulation.
  1. The reference here is to the Secretary of State’s address on problems of European revival and German and Austrian peace settlements, delivered at Chicago, November 18, 1947; for the text, see Germany 1947–1949, p. 9 or Department of State Bulletin, November 30, 1947, p. 1024.