740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–1648: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the French Minister for Foreign Affairs (Schuman)1


Dear Mr. President: With reference to your communication of November 102 and especially to the last paragraph thereof in which you state that the French Government must protest the procedure of fait accompli adopted by the English and American authorities in regard to the issuance of Bizonal law No. 75 for the reorganization (trusteeship) of the coal, iron and steel industries of the Ruhr, I should like to assure you that it was definitely not the intention of the American authorities to employ surprise tactics. On the contrary, every effort was made by them to advise the French authorities at an early date and to keep them currently and fully informed with regard to the evolution of bipartite plans concerning the Ruhr industries.

[Here follow five paragraphs constituting a close paraphrase of numbered paragraphs 1 through 6 of message CC–6717, November 13, from Berlin, page 494.]

In view of the situation in Germany the United States has felt it desirable that the question of ownership of the Ruhr coal and iron industries should be clarified as early as possible in the interest of increased German production which France and all other interested powers have agreed is essential for the recovery of Western Europe as a whole. We feel strongly that international ownership and management would not increase the safeguards France is seeking. On the contrary, it is felt that such a solution either could not be maintained or would so reduce production that the Ruhr could not contribute to the essential needs of European recovery. The United States made it entirely clear at the London conference on Germany that it was opposed to international ownership and management on practical grounds but, as a measure of general security, undertook with France and the other interested powers to establish an international authority with power to determine allocations of Ruhr coal, coke, and steel. It is hoped that through the current discussions in London it will be [Page 502] possible to work out promptly equitable and effective operating arrangements for this authority. The United States has also, of course, every intention of seeing to it that foreign interests are afforded adequate and non-discriminatory treatment.

The United States in opposing a particular solution of one aspect of the Ruhr problem is by no means unmindful of France’s problem of security. The United States, however, is of the opinion that the only real solution of the German problem is within the framework of a stronger economic and political organization of Western Europe to which all are agreed Germany should contribute its share. In building up this stronger Western Europe the United States has, of course, committed itself not only to the continued disarmament of Germany but is giving its encouragement to the positive measures for Western European security now being developed.

Very sincerely yours,

Jefferson Caffery
  1. The source text was transmitted to the Department in telegram 5899, November 16, 3 p. m., from Paris, not printed, as a proposed text with a request for urgent comment from the Department. In telegram 4428, November 16, to Paris, 6 p. m., not printed, Acting Secretary Lovett stated that the Department thought favorably of the draft. Lovett added that he still thought that it would be useful for Secretary Marshall to have a talk with Foreign Minister Schuman along the lines of telegram 4400, November 13, to Paris (p. 492) at about the same time that Ambassador Caffery presented this note (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–1648). Telegram 1327, November 23, from Paris to London, not printed, confirms that this text was delivered to Schuman on November 16. (London Embassy Files, File—850 Germany)
  2. Regarding the communication under reference here, see footnote 3 to telegram 4824, November 11, from London, p. 472.