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

Minutes of a Meeting Between the Military Governors of the Western Zones of Occupation of Germany and a Parliamentary Council Delegation, Headquarters Building, Frankfurt, December 16, 1948, 3:40 p. m.1

confidential

MGPC/M(48)1

Present

  • Gen. Koenig, Chairman
  • Gen. Clay
  • Gen. Robertson

France United Kingdom United States
Gen. Noiret Maj. Gen. Brownjonn Maj. Gen. Hays
M. François-Poncet Mr. Steel Amb. Murphy
Amb. Tarbé de St. Hardouin Mr. Cnaput de Saintonge Mr. Wilkinson
Mr. Bennett
M. Sabatier Dr. Litchfield
M. Seydoux Dr. Simons
M. Laloy Maj. Mather
M. Lefebvre de Laboulaye
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Parliamentary Council Members

  • Dr. Adenauer
  • Dr. Schmid
  • Dr. Menzel
  • Dr. Hopker-Aschoff
  • Dr. Pfeiffer
  • Dr. Suesterhenn
  • Dr. Seebohm

Secretariat

  • M. Varreux
  • Mr. Forest
  • Mr. McCutcheon

In his capacity as Chairman of the month, General Koenig addressed the Delegation from the Parliamentary Council. He stated that in agreement with his colleagues he had accepted the Delegation’s request for a confidential meeting. The Military Governors were ready to receive any statements of the Delegation and would request it to remain in Frankfurt until the 17th of December, when Dr. Adenauer and his co-delegates would receive the answers to their quests [questions] at an hour to be determined later.

Dr. Adenauer , speaking for the Delegation, thanked the Military Governors for the opportunity of a confidential meeting. He went on to state that when in his capacity as Chairman of the Parliamentary Council, he requested the three Military Governors to receive the Delegation, he expected the work of the Parliamentary Council to progress to a greater extent. The task of the Council, however, has proved more difficult than was anticipated. This was, in part, due to divergencies of opinion which have arisen within the Council on a number of points. Notwithstanding this it could be expected that the task of the Council would be accomplished by the end of January.

Dr. Adenauer went on to state that since the Military Governors have reserved to themselves the right of disapproval of the Basic Law (Provisional Constitution) before the Council proceeds to vote upon it, the Delegation was desirous to discuss certain matters in order to enable the Council to reach an agreement at the earliest possible date. The main points which still demanded attention of the Council were concerned with cultural questions, with the Laender chamber, and with financial matters. The Aide-Mémoire 2 transmitted to the Council contained certain statements of the Military Governors as regards the finance question. There existed also a resolution of the Main Committee of the Parliamentary Council embodying views on many aspects of the Occupation Statute. It would be profitable to compare the views on these various aspects as expressed in this resolution and as envisaged by the Military Governors. A complete clarification with regard to the above would contribute to the success of the Council’s work.

[Page 643]

Dr. Adenauer then assured the Military Governors of the Parliamentary Council’s desire to see a Western German government come into being as soon as possible. The time at which this government could be established depended to a certain extent on whether the Basic Law (Provisional Constitution) was to be ratified by popular referendum or by the Landtage. Although this question was discussed previously among the Military Governors and the Ministers-President, a positive decision had not yet been taken.

The members of the Parliamentary Council working on the draft of the Basic Law, Dr. Adenauer continued, were very anxious to be acquainted with the contents of the Occupation Statute. So far as he could remember the Military Governors agreed in a letter dated 19 July3 to acquaint the Constituent Assembly with the Statute as it would near its completion so as to facilitate the work of the Assembly. The Delegation would be grateful if the Military Governors would at this time convey to the Parliamentary Council the basic principles of that document since these principles were of great importance to the body drafting the constitution.

In summing up, Dr. Adenauer stated that the following were the points causing the Parliamentary Council the greatest concern:

a)
The relationship of the views expressed by the Main Committee of the Parliamentary Council on the question of finance to the ideas expressed on the same subject in the Aide-Mémoire of the Military Governors;
b)
The basic principles contained in the Occupation Statute;
c)
The method of ratification of the Basic Law (Provisional Constitution); and
d)
A clarification by the Military Governors on the problem of the upper chamber since the views of Military Government on this problem so far expressed were liable to various interpretations.

General Koenig stated that, before hearing any other members of the Delegation, he would like to know on what aspects of the Occupation Statute information was requested. Such knowledge would facilitate the formulation of replies to be made at next day’s meeting.

Dr. Adenauer answered that, as far as he knew, the draft of the Occupation Statute was practically ready and that this document would regulate a great number of points. Although he did not expect that the Military Governors would enter into a discussion of details, he hoped that, in accordance with the London provisions, the Delegation would be acquainted with the basic principles of the Statute, at this or the next meeting.

General Koenig thanked Dr. Adenauer and expressed the willingness [Page 644] of the Military Governors to receive whatever statements other members of the Delegation were prepared to make.

Dr. Adenauer replied that no member of his Delegation would like to make a statement at this time.

It was decided by mutual agreement to meet on the 17th of December 1948 at 1700 hours at which time the Military Governors would make their statements to the Delegation of the Parliamentary Council.

The meeting adjourned at 1545 hours.

  1. A note on the source text indicates that these minutes were prepared by the United States Delegation Secretariat.

    The circumstances leading to this meeting are discussed in Ambassador Murphy’s notes, infra.

    This meeting followed the meeting of the Three Military Governors reported upon in General Clay’s message CC–7108, supra.

  2. Ante, p. 442.
  3. The reference here probably is to the statement made by General Clay at the outset of the July 20 meeting between the Military Governors and the Ministers President; see footnote 1 to the Minutes of the Meeting, p. 404.