740.00119 Council/5–1048: Telegram

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

top secret   us urgent

2017. Delsec 1725. Of the principal issues still remaining unsolved in the current talks on Germany, i.e. control of the Ruhr, political organization of Germany and security, it seems likely that agreement may be reached in respect of the first two early this week leaving only the question of security to be dealt with before the talks conclude. The French in particular are insistent that some agreement on security be announced as a result of these talks since otherwise it may be made to appear in France that they have made all concessions without compensation in the field so important to them. In the past few days there has been considerable publicity given to this French fear in the London press which also reflects a growing concern that the US is planning to reconstitute heavy German industry without adequate international control.

The security measures which the French have in mind may be divided into three major fields: disarmament and demilitarization including control of industry (prohibited industries and limited industries), continuation of Allied occupation and a treaty for consultation and guarantee among the Allies.

Under disarmament and demilitarization, the French expect to achieve tripartite agreement upon the prohibition of war industries as well as limitation of certain key industries. In this respect it might be possible to give satisfaction to the French if agreement could be reached here and announced regarding the establishment of some machinery to discuss and deal with this question of prohibited industries. The French also have asked for tripartite agreement that the General Staff and German armed forces should remain disbanded and that during the period of occupation an inspection service be established to carry out the necessary supervision and control of agreements reached. I should welcome your views as to the possibility of agreement in principle on the foregoing. The means of insuring compliance could be elaborated elsewhere.

With respect to the French desire to include permanent level of industry as a security measure, we have grave doubts as to the possibility or desirability or [of?] maintaining permanent economic controls over Germany and to fix its productive capacity for an indefinite future in which a wide variety of economic and technological developments cannot be foreseen.

It would be most helpful if in connection with the question of continued allied occupation we could agree to include in the final protocol [Page 231] or communiqué resulting from these meetings a reiteration of the assurances contained in the President’s statement of March 17 in respect of continued US occupation. Although the French are desirous of reaching agreement here and now upon occupation of the Rhineland and other critical areas in Germany after the general withdrawal of Allied troops, it would seem that this question was premature and should only be dealt with at the end of Allied occupation.

I shall request further clarification of the French desire to obtain some assurances in respect to a treaty of consultation and guarantee which in my opinion should more properly be dealt with in the overall arrangements for western European security. In this connection I assume however that the instructions contained in the Dept’s 691 February 281 still apply and that we may discuss the establishment of a military security board. Has the Dept any views in respect of the form of consultation envisaged in Delsec 1595 March 2.2

As we shall endeavor to conclude the discussions by May 13, leaving the communiqué to be prepared and issued over the week end, I should be grateful for the earliest possible expression of your views.

  1. Ante, p. 101.
  2. Ante, p. 110.