CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 2172: Benelux Documents

The British Permanent Under-Secretary of State (Strang) to the Netherlands Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Michiels van Verduynen)1



Your Excellency: As Your Excellency is aware, representatives of the Governments of the United States, France and the United Kingdom are holding meetings in London beginning on February 23rd, to discuss certain problems concerning Germany. I enclose herewith the agenda2 which has been drafted for these meetings. Any consideration of these problems must be undertaken in the light of the long-term policies to be followed in respect of the future of Germany.

The representatives of the above-named three Governments are convinced that it would be most helpful if a representative of the Netherlands Government could be associated in the conversations now being held.

Your Excellency will understand from the agenda that some of the questions which it is the intention of the representatives of the three Governments to discuss are the concern of the representatives of those powers only which share responsibility for the control and administration of German territory. But so far as the other items are [Page 84] concerned, the representatives of the three Governments hope that the Netherlands Government will take part in the discussions.

I am, accordingly, instructed on behalf of the three Delegations now assembled in London to invite the Netherlands Government to send a representative to take part in the conversations on these problems. It would be convenient if your representative could arrive in time to take part in meetings to be held from February 25th. A similar invitation is being sent to the Belgian and Luxembourg Representatives in London.

I have [etc.]

William Strang
  1. This text was agreed upon at the First Meeting of the London Conference on Germany, February 23, 1948; see the report on that meeting, telegram 684, Delsec 1569, February 23, from London, supra. In the British conference documentation, this document was designated TRI/2. Identical communications, mutatis mutandis, were addressed to the Belgian Chargé and the Luxembourg Minister in London. Strang presented the communications to the Benelux representatives on February 23. He told them that the talks were to be regarded as informal and secret, and he explained to them the press arrangements which had been agreed upon at the First Meeting of the London Conference. The Benelux representatives accepted the terms of the invitation and provisionally agreed that there would be one spokesman for the three countries.
  2. The agenda referred to here is described in telegram 684, Delsec 1569, February 23, from London, supra.