CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 121: File—Occupation Statute, Cables: Telegram

The United States Military Governor for Germany (Clay) to the Department of the Army


CC–6525. To Dept of the Army for CSCAD from CINCEUR personal from Clay. A substantial amount of progress iii clearing differences in the occupation statute was made at meeting of 3 Mil Governors in Frankfurt on Saturday, 30 Oct 48; however, this meeting developed several principal points of difference which will undoubtedly have to be resolved at governmental level.1 An effort is being made to develop a joint report to the 3 Governments outlining these differences. However, the differences which appear to be irreconcilable at this time follow herewith:

Displaced Persons: UK insists on giving German Courts exclusive jurisdiction over Displaced Persons. The French join US in opposing this in view of our responsibility to protect, maintain, repatriate and resettle the DPs. Personally, I am convinced that the feeling between the Germans and DPs would make it most undesirable to give the German courts jurisdiction over DPs. I have stated this to be our definite policy and I recommend that we stand firm in this policy. I think the British policy results in part from it already being applied in British Zone and in part from the strong resentment now prevalent in Great Britain against the Jewish people.

Occupation costs: here there is a fundamental difference with the French who wish occupation costs to be pro-rated by the Mil Governors among the member states rather than being made a responsibility of the Federal Govt established under the constitution. I think behind this lies the French desire to be able to require the individual states to meet certain occupation requirements, thus giving Zone Commanders a greater flexibility and perhaps enabling them to escape [Page 626] whatever restrictive provisions that may be agreed in a separate paper being prepared covering occupation costs. Our position is that it is unfeasible for the occupying authorities to even attempt to proportion costs among the states and that this is a task which must be undertaken by the Federal Govt.

Another basic difference lies in the procedures proposed for interpretation of the statute. The French insist on a Council of Jurists appointed by the Military Governors and responsible to them which will have an advisory function only. The members of the Council would be nationals of the occupying powers. The British have now come around somewhat to our way of thinking and are suggesting a court composed of 1 representative of each occupying power, 1 German, and 1 Neutral Jurist. I have stated that we would probably accept the British proposal; however, both the British and ourselves consider the French proposal to be one which would add nothing to our own deliberations nor in convincing the Germans of our determination to make the occupation statute a legal and valid agreement. We propose to stand firm for a court with real power and with German representation.

Would appreciate any comment which you may have.

More disturbing than any difference in wording of the occupation statute was continued French reference in discussion to responsibilities of the Zonal Commanders and to Control of State Governments.

These French comments do not appear to be in the spirit of the occupation statute. Of course, it will be impossible to so word the occupation statute as to prevent continuing efforts at local control. I bring this up merely to indicate the difficulties which will arise in the interpretation of the occupation statute no matter how carefully it may be drawn.

Full consideration has been given to yourad W–914312 in our negotiations and several of the suggestions have been accepted in present tripartite agreed portion of text.

[ Clay ]
  1. The October 30 meeting of the three Military Governors was also reported upon in telegram 2654, November 1, from Berlin, not printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–148).
  2. Not printed, but see footnote 1 to message CC–6348, October 16, from General Clay, p. 614.