740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–2648

The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Inverchapel)

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to His Excellency the British Ambassador and expresses appreciation of the views contained in His Excellency’s Aide-Mémoire of January 26, 19481 regarding the scope of the forthcoming tripartite talks in London about Germany. The United States Government is in broad agreement with Mr. Bevin’s suggestions, but has the following comments to offer.

While the United States Government naturally considers trizonal fusion desirable, this might well best be achieved by an evolutionary procedure in the course of which practices in the three zones would be brought into greater uniformity. The United States Government would consequently prefer a more general title for point (a) in His Excellency’s Aide-Mémoire, such as “Evolution of the political and economic organization of the three western zones”. The United States Government agrees with Mr. Bevin that the aim of the talks in London should be to explore the future policies of the three governments toward [Page 50] Germany and to reach the broadest possible agreement on common principles. A full explanation is thought desirable, even though it may not be possible at this stage to obtain a settlement of all the issues.

The United States Government is happy to note that the British Government advocates considering associating the Benelux countries in the formulation of policy respecting western Germany and assumes this refers to problems of long-term import. It is believed that this step should be taken at the earliest feasible date and possibly by inviting Benelux representatives to attend one of the meetings of the tripartite conference at which they could be furnished with a report and given an opportunity to present their views on subjects of particular concern to them. The United States Government suggests that the procedure for consulting the Benelux countries might be considered by the tripartite conference at the start, since this would enable the Benelux representatives to make necessary preparations.

It has occurred to the United States Government that, quite distinct from the technical problems now under discussion, consideration might be given to some of the long-range aspects of the Saar settlement, such as the political and constitutional status of the territory, the nationality of its citizens, et cetera. It is thought that these questions as well as those envisaged under heading (d) in His Excellency’s Aide-Mémoire might be dealt with under the general title: “Provisional territorial arrangements”.

It is the United States Government’s view that the question of the maintenance of Four-Power machinery in Berlin should not be formally discussed, since it can be assumed that the three western governments fully intend to continue their participation in the Allied Control Authority in Berlin. Unless the British Government has strong objections, it is recommended that this item be omitted.

The United States Government suggests that the relationship of western Germany to the European Recovery Program might appropriately be considered by the conference and it would like to see this subject included in the list of topics.

It is recognized that there should be a certain latitude in the order of discussion of the items on the agenda. For the convenience of the conference, however, the United States Government suggests that consideration might be given to the following tentative order of presentation:

Association of Benelux countries in long-term policy regarding western Germany;
Relationship of western Germany to the European Recovery Program;
Control of the Ruhr;
Security against Germany;
Reparations deliveries;
Evolution of the political and economic organization of the three western zones;
Provisional territorial arrangements.

The United States Government concurs with Mr. Bevin’s concluding remarks Aide-Mémoire and avails itself of his reference to the Saar to express the hope that the technical talks in Berlin will have achieved substantial success by the time the conference opens in London. The United States Government believes that the conference in London should endeavor to avoid discussion of technical questions which are being dealt with in Berlin and which can best be settled there.

  1. Ante, p. 42.