740.00119 Council/5–648: Telegram

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


1978. Delsec 1721. Fifth plenary meeting resumed German talks this morning1 discussed Benelux memo of March 2, 1948 on role of German economy in European economy2 and Working Party report on protection of allied interests involving recommendations on procedure for dealing with report of Berlin Working Party No. 6.3 (Last plenary meeting took place April 23.4 In meantime work of conference has been proceeding by private meetings of heads of delegations and meetings of Working Parties.)

Hirschfeld (Netherlands), speaking for Benelux, proposed set up group to study long term aspects role of German economy in European economy. Problems to be studied in relation to effects future German economic developments would have on other countries.

Douglas emphasized German economic environment depends not on Germany alone but on general economic environment created by collective action other nations. In this connection he cited US attempts have MFN treatment applied to Germany and other occupied areas, proposal which had met considerable resistance.5 In general, he did not think this was appropriate place to study these complicated questions, [Page 227] many of which being studied in connection ITO Charter and OEEC.

Massigli raised population problem, suggesting Germany can export products or people as way out of its difficulties. He indicated French Government would in very near future approach allies with proposal to study this question which involved security as well as economic considerations.

Douglas pointed out this problem, like those raised by Benelux representative, depended on others than Germans, in this case on inclination of other countries to accept German immigrants.

Strang agreed with Douglas observations that Benelux proposal to set up study group would tend duplicate work of other groups.

Van Verduynen expressed willingness abide by decision of other delegates on this but stated he would examine exact nature of problems being studied elsewhere. He recognized that root many these matters might be taken up through OEEC and others with Military Government in Germany in accordance new arrangements made for consultation with Benelux representatives in Germany.

Meeting then discussed Working Party draft on protection allied interests (text appended). Discussion was limited to consideration Paragraph 1 since Benelux immediately suggested its revision to include principle of “equity for” as well as “non-discrimination against allied interests in Germany”. Van Verduynen felt strongly principle of non-discrimination did not go far enough and made it plain he had in mind principle of protection, which, under questioning by Douglas, appeared to mean privilege.

Douglas stated it was impossible accept principle beyond non-discrimination such as equity or protection since these expressions might be easily misinterpreted. In fact Benelux conception seemed to involve more than protection proprietary interests and to include claims, which not within scope of present discussion. Principle of non-discrimination appeared to afford fair treatment. He emphasized US also concerned with protection US property interests in Germany which probably greater than those of any other country.

Van Verduynen commented principle of non-discrimination meant that Dutch interests would be in no better position than German interests and stated plainly his government wanted more than that.

Strang stated Britain also concerned with protecting their interests and satisfied with principle non-discrimination. He too believed it unwise to add principle protection since meaning that term unclear. He felt clarification of term might result from studies proposed in Paragraph 4.

Douglas indicated US Delegation not prepared engage in joint studies since US position not yet established.

[Page 228]

Meeting adjourned, discussions to be resumed later.

Verbatim text Working Party report follows:

[Here follows the text of document TRI/18, May 5, not printed. For the final text of this document, TRI/18 (Final) (Amendment), May 31, see page 307.]

Sent Department 1978, repeated USPolAd Berlin 120, Paris 203, Moscow 74, The Hague 39, Brussels 67 (Brussels please keep Luxembourg informed), Oslo 36, Copenhagen 30, Stockholm 47, and Rome 122.

  1. This was the 17th Meeting of the London Conference on Germany.
  2. The Benelux paper under reference here, entitled “The Role of German Economy in European Economy,” dated March 2, is not printed.
  3. Under reference here is document TRI/18, May 5, entitled “Report of the Working Party set up to make recommendations on the procedure for dealing with the Report of Working Party No. 6,” not printed. The final report of Working Party No. 6 of the Military Governors’ Conference at Berlin is not printed, but a summary is contained in telegram 845, April 13, from Berlin, p. 177.
  4. For a report on the previous plenary meeting of the Conference, see telegram 1720, April 23, from London, p. 203.
  5. Documentation on the attempts of the United States to have most favored treatment applied to Germany is included among materials dealing with European Recovery Program in volume iii .