740.00119 Council/2–2548: Telegram

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


712. Delsec 1573. At second meeting of German problems February 24 Agenda items A, B and E discussed. Chairman reported letter invitation to Benelux representatives delivered and probability they will appoint delegation with single spokesman.1

It was decided if question participation in future discussions raised, including possibility consultations in Germany itself, effort should be made to avoid commitment. Reply should be that this was matter for governments rather than present conference members to decide.

Douglas introduced item B against broad background of problems faced today deriving from chances in European matrix, viz changes in nature scope and character of Germany itself, destructive influence of Soviet attitude and action and constructive influence of initiation measures assist recovery Western Europe. He indicated that while US Government had not abandoned hope of four power agreement on eventual economic and political unity of Germany there was no indication this would happen in near future. We have paid high price through delaying steps place Germany on selfsupporting basis. We are anxious avoid freezing division of Germany but must proceed take provisional measures. Germany is now different than Germany of past: stripped of territories, smaller population, must export more if to be economically self contained, actually impotent and will remain so except as instrumentality of some other power.

After mentioning other changes in European picture, i.e. Soviet policies on one hand and efforts aid recovery Western Europe on other, Douglas discussed Western Germany’s role in ERP (Item B). He stated it is essential Western zones be united as Western Germany’s participation ERP essential for political and economic stability of Western Europe. He expressed strong hope there can be consultation and coordination of policies between Bizone and French zone, specifically on such matters as bank, reformation of monetary system and [Page 88] foreign trade. During interim period he believed relation French zone to ERP should be same as between Bizone and ERP. Western Germany’s relation to ERP would be simplified and improved if could look forward to approximate date when merger expected. Under present circumstances with two areas in Western Germany it was US understanding that each area would become party to bilateral agreement with US and to multilateral agreement referred to in Paris report and each area also be represented on continuing organization to be set up in our ERP. Bizone area representative on continuing organization should be appropriate one and in accordance with US–UK fusion agreement. Representatives of two areas in continuing organization would be in full partnership. It was hoped arrangements could be made for temporary use old German trademarks, for protection German patents and reduction of restrictions on travel of German businessmen. By following program of this order truncated Western Germany may be invited [riveted] into structure of Western Europe.

Strang, after commenting along same lines regarding broad context of problems and urgency of taking action, indicated his general sympathy with purport Douglas views on coordination Bizone and French zone and ERP but stated his delegation would want to study details.

Massigli said his delegation would examine Douglas proposals in friendly fashion and believed agree merge [agreement] could be reached. With respect broad problems he stated his government was preoccupied with three elements: reconstruction, security and question of kind of Germany. His government wanted Germany become useful member European community in which it must be integrated but problem required caution, as, experience under Hitler showed necessity bringing Germany into Europe rather than building Europe around Germany. Since, [hence], important to know what sort of Germany we will have he agreed Germany has changed but stressed it is still in flux and uncertain now how it will crystallize. Security measures therefore vital. As for reconstruction Germany must not have priority over Europe as whole.

Referring to examples of detailed measures which Douglas mentioned as necessary to assist recovery of Western Germany, Massigli states French would have to consider carefully matter of trademarks.; Travel of businessmen he felt raised priority question in order make sure allied businessmen taken care of in Germany.

He assumed question of fusion would be taken up under Item F but at moment he said French approached problem in spirit of traveler entering thick forest full of unknown hazards. Fusion would not be difficult if knew more about kind of Germany contemplated.

Douglas assured Massigli we do not advocate priority for reconstruction of Germany. He indicated security in traditional sense may [Page 89] no longer be wholly appropriate and must be examined in terms changed context. He stressed huge price paid for deals [delays] in German recovery, particularly by US which could not long bear such burden. Price costly not only in terms dollars but also in economic revival of Western Europe. Can not be clear now as to precise form of future Germany but must take steps so that truncated Western Germany play its appropriate role.

It was agreed appoint working party consisting of Martin, Nicholls and Valery to examine Douglas proposal on relation Bizone and French zone to ERP.

Other points raised by Douglas would be discussed in connection agenda Items C, D and F.

Sent Department 712, repeated Berlin 28, Paris 64, Moscow 81, The Hague 10, Brussels 19 (Brussels pass Luxembourg 3), Oslo 5, Copenhagen 10, Stockholm 14, Rome 30.

  1. For the text of the invitation to the Benelux representatives, document USD/G/L/48/2, February 23, see p. 83.