740.00119 Control (Germany)/6–148

Report of the London Conference on Germany1

top secret

Talks on Germany

I. In accordance with the instructions of their Governments, Delegations of the United States, France, and the United Kingdom have [Page 310] met in London from 23rd February–6th March 1948 and again from 20th April–1st June in order to discuss matters affecting Germany. On 26th February they were joined by a Delegation representing the Governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg which participated in the discussions of all items on the agenda, except those dealing with administrative matters which are the direct responsibility of the Occupying Powers controlling the three Western Zones. During the recess between 6th March and 20th April, certain matters were further discussed by working parties in Berlin.

II. The Conference submits the following report:—

a. association of benelux countries in policy regarding germany

At the conclusion of the first part of the Talks the United States, French and United Kingdom Delegations addressed a letter to the Benelux Delegation on this subject; this letter is contained in Annex A.2

In connexion with paragraph 4 of this letter, a working party in Berlin submitted a report concerning arrangements for a close association between the Military Governors and the Benelux representatives in Germany. The report, which is attached as Annex B,3 was accepted by the Conference.

These two papers therefore constitute the recommendations of the Conference on this subject.

b. international control of the ruhr

The recommendations of the Conference are contained in Annex C.4 An agreed minute is attached as Annex D.5

c. protection of foreign interests in germany

The recommendations of the Conference are attached as Annex E.6

The United States, French and United Kingdom Delegations also agreed to recommend that the Military Governors should offer an early opportunity to the Governments and nationals of the Benelux countries and of the three Occupying Powers to discuss measures that can be taken with a view to the resumption of normal management of their property interests in Germany. The Benelux Delegation expressed approval of this recommendation.

[Page 311]

d. evolution of the political and economic organization of germany

The recommendations of the Conference relating to procedure for modification of Laender boundaries, and to the convening of a Constituent Assembly with a view to the drafting of a constitution and the establishment of a German Federal Government, are attached as Annex F.7

In connexion with paragraph 2 of Annex F there was some discussion on the meaning of the words “affected areas” and agreement was reached on the procedure to be followed in the specific case of North Rhine/Westphalia. This agreement is contained in an agreed minute appended to Annex F as Annex G.8

With reference to paragraph 4 of Annex F, it is recommended that the procedure and regulations for the choice of delegates to the Constituent Assembly should provide either for popular elections in individual states or for election by the respective legislative bodies of individual states, as will be determined by such legislative bodies. If any state chooses the latter procedure, delegate need not be elected from among members of the legislative body, and in any event must be elected in a manner which will truly reflect political opinion in the state.

The above recommendations were, after preliminary examination by the Delegations of the three Occupying Powers, discussed with the Benelux Delegation, who concurred therein.

The United States, French and United Kingdom Delegations also reached agreement on two letters of advice which it is recommended should be sent to the Military Governors in amplification of paragraphs 6 and 10 of Annex F. These letters of advice, which were subsequently discussed with and approved by the Benelux Delegation, concern the German Constitution and the powers to be reserved by the occupying authorities. These letters are attached as Annex H9 and Annex I.10

e. trizonal export/import policy

The recommendations of the United States, French and United Kingdom Delegations are attached as Annex J.11

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f. provisional territorial arrangements

The recommendations of the United States, French and United Kingdom Delegations are attached as Annex K.12 The Benelux Delegation agreed to submit these recommendations to their Governments.

g. security

The recommendations of the Conference are attached as Annex L.

During the discussions leading to the agreement on the recommendations contained in Annex L,13 the United States Delegation called attention to certain significant recent developments in United States foreign policy in the field of security—including particularly the President’s statement on 17 March, 1948, and the resolution unanimously approved on 20 May, 1948, and subsequently submitted to the United States Senate by its Committee on Foreign Relations.

III. It is recommended that upon acceptance of this programme the three Occupying Powers jointly give consideration, in such manner as developments might require, to all aspects of the situation in Germany, which may result from the announcement or the implementation by the Governments of the programme recommended by this conference.

IV. In submitting this report the Conference invites the attention of the Governments concerned to the fact that the main recommendations contained in it are mutually dependent and that acceptance by Governments of all the main recommendations is necessary for acceptance of any one of them. The Conference strongly recommends that the Governments concerned take their decisions on these recommendations without delay.

for the United Kingdom Delegation.

for the French Delegation.

for the United States Delegation.

for the Benelux Delegation.

  1. Telegram 2391, Delsec 1774, June 1, from London, not printed, reported that at its meeting that morning, the Conference had agreed to the text of the Report as printed here (740.00119 Council/6–148). Telegram 2404, Delsec 1775, June 1, from London, not printed, reported that this Report was signed at 5:30 p. m. on June 1 “in atmosphere of complete amity” (740.00119 Council 6–448). The signed copy of the Report taken to Washington has not been found. The source text has not been signed. The signatories presumably were Douglas for the United States, Strang for the United Kingdom, Massigli for France, and Michiels van Verduynen for Benelux. Telegram 2357, May 29, from London, not printed, reported that the Conference had agreed that day that this Report would transmit texts of Conference recommendations for approval by the governments concerned and would not be made public (740.00119 Council/5–2948).

    The Annexes to the Report are not printed here. The Conference documents included as Annexes are identified in annotations at the appropriate places.

  2. Document TRI/10, March 6, p. 114.
  3. The text of the Final Report of Working Party No. 1 of the Military Governors’ Conference is included as Appendix B to document MGC/P(48) 16, April 14, p. 181.
  4. Document TRI/16 (Final), May 26, p. 285.
  5. Document TRI/23 (Final), May 26, p. 290.
  6. Document TRI/18 (Final), May 31, p. 307.
  7. Document TRI/13 (Final), May 31, p. 305.
  8. Document TRI/19 (Final), May 26, included as an annex to document TRI/13 (Final), p. 305.
  9. Document TRI/15 (Final), Letter of Advice to Military Governors Regarding German Constitution, May 12, p. 240.
  10. Document TRI/17 (Final), Letter of Advice to Military Governors Regarding Powers of Civil and Military Governments, May 19, p. 260.
  11. Document TRI/22 (Final), May 26, p. 289.
  12. Document TRI/20 (Final), May 26, p. 288.
  13. Document entitled “Report on Security”, May 26, p. 291.