740.00119 Council/5–348: Telegram

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

secret
us urgent

1909. Delsec 1712. Department will note that the only remaining difference of substance with respect to guiding instruction to military governor on German constitution, regarding Delsec 1704, May 1,1 turns on the issue of whether there should be specific limitation of the powers of the Central Government in fields of public health, public welfare and police. We shall endeavor to avoid specific mention of these limitations or prohibitions leaving the initiative in the distribution of specific powers to the Germans as provided in Department’s position paper on political organization for Germany.

British and French, however, have expressed preference for specification of these limitations in the letter of instruction. The latter in particular are insistent that the Central Government shall not be granted police, public health, and public welfare powers. As Department will see, we have proposed alternate language for this paragraph. Because of the necessity of granting the Federal Government a restricted measure of enforcement powers and to provide against the possibility that the Communists might obtain control of a single Land, General Clay urges that the Federal Government be granted limited police powers sufficient to take care of emergencies. In the field of public health and public welfare it was also considered desirable that some standardization be provided and sufficient latitude granted the Federal Government to accomplish this purpose.

It is understood the Department’s previous position was that these powers should not be granted the Federal Government but I understand [Page 221] there may be a modification of this position as regards the police powers under discussion in the Department of the Army.

Urgent instructions requested.

Douglas
  1. Not printed, but see the editorial note, p. 213.