740.00119 Council/2–2348: Telegram

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


681. Delsec 1567. Re Secdel 607, February 21,1 desire review US position re timing negotiations with Soviets on reparations deliveries and of quadripartite allocations.

Our impression is that you interpret Cabinet decision to call for negotiations with Soviets on basis delivery 15 percent in return for firm schedule of reciprocal deliveries and withholding 10 percent pending general German settlement, and that plants in the three zones would be submitted for quadripartite allocation only after the Soviets had agreed to such proposal.
Alternative would be to propose plants in three zones for quadripartite allocation with statement that allocation could not be accompanied by any commitment now as to the exact timing or conditions of delivery. If Soviets willing go ahead allocations on this basis, as General Clay thinks likely, we would preserve quadripartite allocation procedures and secure aid of Soviets in dividing plants between those to be delivered to IARA and to the Soviets. Allocations would be followed by attempt to secure Soviet agreement our proposal respect reciprocal deliveries.
If procedure described paragraph 1 is followed and Soviets reject it as expected here, procedure of paragraph 2 no longer available and no choice but clear abandonment quadripartite reparations procedures by making necessary allocations of 75 percent for IARA on a tripartite basis, exercising our own judgment as to which plants we would reserve for Soviets.
Appreciate here that procedure of paragraph 2 may be unsatisfactory politically due to further delay involved before determining policy on deliveries to Soviets and would almost surely result leak to Soviets of our intentions prior to completion of allocations, which may take some time, in a way which would be embarrassing.

Would appreciate your review this situation and urgent statement governmental position.

  1. Not printed.