740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–2248: Telegram

The Acting United States Political Adviser for Germany ( Riddleberger )1 to the Secretary of State


190. Personal for Saltzman and Hickerson. Remytel 178, January 21.2 St. Hardouin sent Seydoux to see me late today respecting text of bizonal reorganization plan. After thanking me for text given them yesterday, Seydoux stated that he was not authorized to give any official reaction of his government at this time, but text is being transmitted to Paris for study and the French authorities here may later have some observations to make in Berlin.

Seydoux then questioned me on procedure which was envisaged to put the proposed reorganization plan into effect and seemed to be far more interested in this than in the substance of the text. I replied to this question in a general way and stated that the text is still tentative and is today being discussed with Germans. I told him that only subsequent to these discussions would final approval be given. He was very much interested to know whether after discussing it with the Germans the document would be submitted to Washington, and London for final governmental approval. I replied this would no doubt depend upon the nature of the changes and particularly whether the German representatives suggested anything that might constitute a departure from the overall instructions given Clay and Robertson. I continued in stating that, as he no doubt would recall from the reply given in Washington on January 17 to the French protest on bizonal reorganization, we are endeavoring to carry out [Page 40] in Berlin the promises set forth in our note. (Re Deptel 90, January 17, paragraph 53)

Seydoux then made a few observations on the substance of the plan, constantly reiterating that they were his personal observations and not those of his government. His objections in brief related to powers of the Economic Council re inland waterways, re revenues, particularly income, wage, and corporation taxes, re the proposed bizonal courts, and re the authority to override a Laenderrat veto. He also made some general observations to the effect that the powers granted to the Economic Council appeared to go beyond our ideas on the separation of Laender from federal powers as expressed at Moscow. He concluded in stating that he would inform me later whether the French Government should submit its observations on the plan in Berlin or at some other place.

Sent Department as 190, repeated London as 26, Paris as 36.

  1. Between January 20 and 27, Ambassador Murphy was in Washington for consultation.
  2. Not printed. It reported that the text of the bizonal reorganization plan was given to St. Hardouin on January 21. The plan was in the form of a draft proclamation by the U.S. Military Government rather than in the form of an American-British agreement. It was expected that in the course of the coming week the plan would be approved by British authorities, discussed with German representatives in Frankfurt, and receive final approval by the Bipartite Board (740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–2148). For the text of the U.S. Military Government Proclamation on bizonal reorganization as eventually issued on February 9, 1948, see Germany 1947–1949, pp, 466–479.
  3. Not printed; it transmitted the text of the Secretary of State’s note of January 17 to Ambassador Bonnet, p. 34.