740.00119 Council/5–748: Telegram

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


1987. Delsec 1722. Re Delsec 17061 and Secdel 15612 and 1570.3 Continued informal discussion reparations allocations and deliveries has resulted following developments.

Strang reported that there is now some disposition on part of British to meet US and French proposals regarding further allocations and deliveries to Soviets. With careful reservations he indicated that British now willing consider resumption allocations on joint three power basis very similar to that we proposed in March, namely, allocation 75% available plants to IARA; allocation 25% USSR upon understanding that 15% deliverable only on basis current exchange for reciprocal commodities and 10% withheld from delivery pending satisfactory resolution other outstanding disagreements under Potsdam. British probably willing make allocations to Soviet “provisional,” specifying that such allocations are not definitive or final but are conditioned upon Soviet willingness accept 15% on current exchange basis and upon compliance by Soviet other provisions Potsdam with respect to 10%. Both British and French feel that at least provisional allocations Soviet share necessary in order establish basis for offer current reciprocal deliveries and provide best possible defense against accusations arbitrary action and violation Potsdam. Apparently both British and French consider joint tripartite allocation preferable direct allocation by individual zone commanders although their position this aspect not maintained with particular force so far. USDel considers it advisable comply with British French desire this point if they press it and unless Dept has objection. USDel further believes [Page 229] that since current British proposal resembles so closely proposal advanced by US in March it will be extremely difficult insist now that there be no reciprocal deliveries even on current exchange basis. This point probably academic, however, since Soviets expected to reject offer current reciprocal deliveries even on current reciprocal deliveries [apparent garble] particularly when informed that delivery 10% to be indefinitely postponed. In any case plants offered for reciprocal deliveries would be subject careful selection by three military governments.

Regarding allocation and deliveries to IARA satellite nations British and French still favor full allocation and formal delivery. They expressed willingness to consider specific proposals regarding efforts regulate IARA allocations in such manner as to avoid allocations types plants which would significantly contribute satellite Soviet war potential although expressing doubts as to feasibility attempts prevent allocation all plants in any specified categories. French stressed point that there is no legal basis for denying allocations or deliveries to satellites and question our ability in all cases muster and maintain sufficient voting strength within IARA to guarantee Soviet [non] allocation objectionable plants. Any specific recommendations or additional thoughts which Department or Dorr can provide would be most useful.

General Clay believes Department’s formula satellite deliveries would be feasible but only if he is provided with list of specific plants and equipment or clean-cut definitive list of categories. He does not consider it practicable for him attempt to apply broadly expressed formula and does not wish to be placed in position of having to defend his interpretation and application such formula to satellite deliveries.

It would be helpful to have here lists of plants available for immediate allocation as suggested last paragraph Secdel 1570.4

Sent Department 1987; repeated Brussels for Dorr 78, and USPolAd Berlin 121.

  1. London telegram 1882, May 1, p. 214.
  2. Department telegram, April 30, p. 211.
  3. Department telegram 1601, May 4, p. 222.
  4. Telegram 1689, Secdel 1575, May 10, to London, not printed, informed Ambassador Douglas of the Department of State’s general satisfaction with the new British proposal summarized here. The Department did express the view that allocation should be made through formal notices of availability from the individual zone commanders rather than through a formal tripartite allocation body which would be in conflict with the quadripartite mechanism for the administration of Germany. Furthermore, the Department was opposed to the allocation of 25% of the available plants to the U.S.S.R. to be delivered only on fulfillment by the Russians of specific conditions. The Department preferred an informal “set-aside” which would not include plants or items denied export licenses from the United States or likely to be especially useful for the European Recovery Program (740.00119 Council/5–748).