740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–3048: Telegram

The United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy) to the Secretary of State


256. Personal for Saltzman and Hickerson. Eyes Only. Lengthy meeting was held Frankfurt January 28 between representatives US/UK military governments and German Ministers President and German representatives Economic Council re draft proclamation on bizonal reorganization. Discussion was detailed and comprehensive with Germans submitting many suggestions and proposals on proposed plans.

There was substantial difference of opinion with German committee on almost every subject. The issues most emphasized were those of Laenderrat authorities versus Economic Council, taxation powers, the veto and the method of overriding it, and the appointment and powers of the chairman of the executive committee. It may be said that in general the SPD Ministers President were willing to weaken the position of the Laenderrat, while the southern Germans, led by Ehard, were highly vocal and emphatic in desiring to strengthen the position of the Laender. The Economic Council representatives inclined, in general, to approve the project as presented.

After further consultation between US and UK authorities in Berlin, it is planned to present the following issues to Generals Clay and Robertson for decision within the next two days:

The Germans ask that uniformity be obtained in the two zones; on the question of whether a person enjoying civil service status may sit as a member of the Economic Council. In the British zone a civil [Page 52] servant is not permitted to sit in a legislative body, while it is possible in the American zone.
The Germans wish to know whether a member of a Landtag may sit as a member of the Economic Council.
The Ministers President asked that the borrowing power be restricted to cases of extraordinary need and for productive purposes only.
The Germans suggested that the paragraph authorizing the establishment of lower bizonal courts be deleted in any case, this provision will be coordinated with the charter for the high court which is still under discussion.
The German representatives desired that a Minister President he permitted to instruct the other land representatives and also be permitted to be represented by a deputy.
The Germans discussed at great length the powers and method of selection of the chairman of the Executive Committee and the Executive Committee members. There was no unanimity of view on their part, but they raised the following questions:
May the chairman be a minister without portfolio;
Shall the chairman have powers of direction and coordination or shall he be only “primus inter pares”;
Shall the chairman be selected by the Executive Committee or by the Economic Council;
Shall the members of the Executive Committee be selected by the Economic Council instead of appointed by the chairman;
Shall the Laenderrat participate in the appointment of the Executive Committee members; and
Shall the Laenderrat continue to participate in the removal process.

In addition to the foregoing, the Germans laid great stress on the Council power to override a Laenderrat veto and made several proposals which would extend the time, or which would eliminate overriding a veto in some types of legislation, such as finance bills. Furthermore, several Ministers President were strongly opposed to the powers granted to Economic Council to establish field reporting, inspecting and enforcing agencies on the grounds that this would cut across the jurisdiction of the Laender. There were also protests over the power given to Economic Council to take a percentage of the Lander revenue from income, wage and corporation taxes. However, I understand that these issues are regarded as largely settled and wil not be presented to Generals Clay and Robertson.

When final decision on these issues is taken we shall hope to inform Dept promptly in order that appropriate reply may be made to the French note.