740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–1248: Telegram

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


4853. Ruhrto 3. 1. At second meeting this afternoon1 Netherlands’ Representative,2 speaking for own country and not for Benelux, made statement reserving right of Netherlands, as was done at spring talks, to raise territorial and economic claims in peace settlement, in accordance with Annex I of memo of 5 November 1946,3 and presentation to CFM deputies. In particular, Netherlands Representative was concerned that any agreement reached here as to geographic area of Ruhr should not prejudice Dutch claims for territorial adjustments and concessions in area west of Rhine or Dutch Treaty rights and privileges in Aachen area which they are seeking to have recognized in connection Paris property conference.4

2. USDel and French introduced drafts agreement for circulation.5 US draft contained changes suggested ToRuhr 36 and other drafting changes agreed with OMGUS representatives. French draft based in part on original British document. Committee of four appointed to collate texts of US, UK and French drafts under appropriate subject headings, showing areas of agreement and disagreement, with instructions to make preliminary report Monday.

3. In outlining general position on geographic area Ruhr, Alphand stated French not concerned with Kreise or political boundaries but with location coal deposits. Believed British area failed to extend far enough north. Also, since IAR concerned with problem of German exports, French consider it essential to include Aachen and Cologne coal fields which contribute substantially toward German coal exports. Aachen, in particular, produces largely for export market. Finally, if IAR was to play useful role in protection foreign property interests, Aachen area should be included since foreign property interests principally found there. At request of chairman, Alphand undertook to provide statistical data in support his contentions Monday.7

[Page 483]

4. USDel, in commenting on Alphand statement yesterday referred to June 19 note,8 reserved position pending further study and instructions, but noted that French proposal was being studied in light of Annex C, which provided in Article VIII for control over management coal and coke during control period, in which French could participate through trizonal fusion and in Articles V and IX for protection foreign interests and disarmament, all of which might be objectives of French proposal. Benelux countries stated they had sought instructions. British noted French had served timely notice intention discuss question control management and matter under consideration. International ownership not under discussion although British reiterated preamble trusteeship stated past and present British position.

5. In enlarging on statement yesterday, Alphand explained although question of international ownership being pursued through diplomatic channels, trusteeship matter had caused strong political repercussions and events in ownership field would have bearing on this meeting. Further, technical decisions regarding Ruhr would have political effects. French regarded Article VIII, Annex C provisions regarding control over management incomplete and French wanted more precise arrangements. Would controls lapse at end control period or be transferred to security body? Alphand stated unclear on scope of existing controls exercised by Military Government over German coal management and on plans for continuing present controls. Re French participation in such controls, French anxious to make necessary agreements promptly (not clear whether this meant trizonal fusion) and suggested study of powers to be given Military Security Board9 or other disarmament commission after end control period in regard supervision coal industry with respect production programs, investment policy, right of removal of personnel from agreed key positions, payment of salaries and structure of industry. He hoped these points would be borne in mind in studying his proposals.

6. At informal meeting with British earlier,10 Stevens indicated that French had exploited trusteeship matter to gain public support for French position and British proposed to set out their position in detailed reply to question by MP in Commons Monday.

Sent Department 4853; repeated Paris 871, Berlin 588.

  1. The U.S. Delegation minutes of this meeting (document USDel/Min/L/R/2, November 12) were transmitted to the Department of State as an enclosure to despatch 2263, November 16, from London, neither printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–1648).
  2. Dr. Joseph Luns.
  3. Annex I is not printed. For Netherlands memorandum of November 5, 1946, see Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. ii, p. 1016.
  4. Regarding the meeting in Paris of the Intergovernmental Group on the Safeguarding of Foreign Interests in Germany, see the editorial note, p. 698.
  5. The U.S. Delegation proposal, document RC/3, November 12, p. 484; the French Delegation proposal, document RC/4, November 12, not printed.
  6. Not printed.
  7. For the text of Alphand’s statement at the first meeting of the Conference on November 11, see telegram 4830, Ruhrto 2, November 11, p. 476.
  8. Regarding the note under reference here, see the editorial note, p. 337.
  9. For documentation regarding the establishment of the Military Security Board, see pp. 665 ff.
  10. A copy of the U.S. Delegation minutes of this informal meeting, held at the Foreign Office at 11 a. m. (document USDel/Min/Inf/L/R/2, November 12) was transmitted to the Department of State as an enclosure to despatch 2267, November 16, from London, neither printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–1648).