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

Statement by the Netherlands, Belgian, and Luxembourg Representatives to the London Conference on Germany1



Association of Benelux Countries in Policy Regarding Germany

Having been invited to the meetings at present taking place in London between representatives of the British, American and French goverments, to discuss certain problems concerning Germany, the governments of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg have noted the informal nature of these meetings and the limited scope of their agenda.

The Netherlands Ambassador spoke for all three governments when he expressed the desire that, in view of the fundamental interest of their countries in German problems—an interest they have expressed on many occasions—their participation should become permanent and as effective as possible.

They are not unmindful of the fact that under the declarations of 5th June 1945,2 the British, American, Soviet and French governments assumed supreme authority in Germany. These countries have, however, declared in the preamble to Declaration No. 1, that they are acting in the interests of the United Nations. They added in Declaration No. 4, that they intended to consult the governments of the other United Nations in the exercise of this authority.

By the Potsdam Declaration on the 2nd August 1945, the British, American and Soviet governments set up the Council of Foreign Ministers, to which they assigned, among other tasks, that of preparing the peace settlement with Germany. In this connection, they stated, that besides the permanent members, other States would be invited to take part in the proceedings when matters directly concerning them were under discussion.

[Page 104]

The three governments have no wish to question any arrangements made between the Great Powers as regards the government of Germany and the peace settlement with that country. They consider, however, that the documents in question provided the basis for a procedure which would enable them to be given some say in the treatment of German problems. They are glad to note that the intentions implied in these documents have been brought to fruition in the present meeting; and they are confident that the collaboration thus happily established will be maintained.

If the preparatory survey of the peace settlement with Germany were to be reopened by the Council of Foreign Ministers, they count on the support of the British, American and French governments to ensure that their governments should participate in its work, in the same spirit of collaboration, and on the same equal footing as at the present meeting.

Furthermore, as regards the government of Germany and the implementing of decisions which, by nature of their extent, may have a decisive effect upon the future of that country, they desire that they should be consulted, according to the Declaration of the 5th June, 1945, and that suitable procedure should be drawn up to that end.

  1. The source text is a translation prepared by the United Kingdom Delegation.

    In telegram 780, February 28, from London, not printed, Ambassador Douglas recommended acceptance of the thought expressed in the following proposed American-British-French position privately suggested by Strang:

    “The representatives of the Benelux Governments have asked about their future participation in inter-allied discussions relating to Western Germany. The US, UK, and French Governments in reply wish to state that it is their intention to invite the representatives of the Benelux Governments to participate in a similar way in any joint discussions on Western Germany which may be held [in] similar circumstances to the preset (862.00/2–2848)

    Telegram 719, March 2, to London, not printed, concurred in Ambassador Douglas’ recommendation (862.00/2–2848).

    This paper was subsequently discussed at the 8th Meeting of the London Conference, March 2; see telegram 829, Delsec 1599, March 2, from London, p. 114.

  2. See Department of State Bulletin, June 10, 1945, p. 1052.