740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–1148: Telegram

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


4825. Ruhrto 1. Ruhr talks: Preliminary conversations with British held November 10 to discuss organization of conference and principal issues.1 British offered new draft (being pouched despatch 2235) containing minor revisions of draft received from British Embassy Washington.2 No major differences with British have yet emerged.

Anticipated French position. British anticipate strong French effort to expand talks beyond Annex C of London agreement3 in line with French note June 19. British favored holding to Annex C and attempting to minimize French discussions of extraneous issues. British particularly anticipating strong French effort to extend maintenance of control of coal and coke management beyond end of control period.
Timing. British expressed view that authority should not be organized with attendant publicity at time of referendum on German constitution. Suggested first organization meeting two weeks before referendum and anticipated Ruhr authority would actually begin to function some time after provisional government established. USDel indicated this would require further study although agreed that publicity factor should be taken into account.
Ruhr area. British anticipated French would wish to extend [Page 476] Ruhr area south of Cologne and München-Gladbach and suggested we might compromise if necessary by agreeing to include München-Gladbach provided French agree to exclude Geldern and Moers.
Accession. British explained article on accession was intended to provide protection against Soviet and other criticism of exclusive nature of Ruhr authority but do not feel strongly.
Designation of instrument. After explanation USDel position re calling document agreement British stated preferred statute since it could then be confined to matters relating strictly to establishment and immediate powers of authority and protect against insertion of extraneous matters. Under this theory Annex C would continue in effect, merely being supplemented by statute. USDel expressed concern that such procedure would lead to numerous complications and questions of interpretation particularly where statute overlaps provisions Annex C. British contemplated putting statute into effect by short agreement to which statute would be annexed. Matter to be discussed further with British.
Definition of Germany. USDel pointed out need for defining Germany. British agreed this required further study.
Access to Ruhr. USDel indicated desire to protect right of access to Ruhr resources for countries not participating in OEEC. British agreed.
Property. British did not expect Paris meeting would result in any agreement which would relieve Ruhr authority of responsibility re protection foreign property interests.
Agreed that further informal meetings would be held with British.
US draft agreement4 discussed with OMGUS representatives and number of points cleared up.

Sent Department 4825, repeated Berlin 586.

  1. A copy of the U.S. Delegation minutes of this meeting (document USDel/Min/Inf/L/R/1, November 10, 1948) was transmitted to the Department of State as an enclosure to despatch 2243, November 12, from London, neither printed. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–1248)
  2. Neither the despatch under reference here nor the enclosed copy of the British draft statute on the Ruhr, subsequently circulated to the London Conference on the Ruhr as document RC/1, November 11, is printed. An earlier version of the British draft statute, dated October 28, had been given to the Department of State where it was circulated by the Informal Working Group on the Ruhr as document ICR D–20, November 3, not printed.
  3. Annex C of the Report of the London Conference on Germany, June 1, 1948 (p. 309) is the same document as TRI/16 (Final), May 26, p. 285.
  4. Subsequently circulated to the Conference as document RC/3, November 12, p. 484.