840.50 Recovery/3–248

Memorandum of Trans-Atlantic Telephone Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Central European Affairs (Beam)


Subject: Telephone Conversation with London regarding German Discussions

Participants: The Under Secretary—Mr. Lovett [Washington]
Ambassador Douglas [London]
  • Present in Department: Mr. Wisner
  • Mr. Jackson
  • Mr. Beam
Reparations. Ambassador Douglas stated that the British did not like the principle of the substitution of plants in the present dismantling lists to meet the requirement of assuring production of commodities in short supply. The British seem to favor a raising of the total level of production to meet the needs of ERP. French views were not clear and there might be a difference of opinion between the British and French. Ambassador Douglas required information concerning specific categories of products in order to proceed with the discussions. Mr. Lovett authorized him to agree to raising the total production level in order to obtain British concurrence. Mr. Lovett asked Mr. Douglas to telegraph his request since the telephone connection was bad.1
Bizonia and ERP. We agreed in general to the principle that Bizonia should participate in forthcoming CEEC discussions. Ambassador Douglas was informed that we considered it undesirable that the US–UK bizonal administration be represented at the Foreign Minister level in CEEC and felt it preferable that US–UK bizonal representatives participate at the subordinate level, i.e., in the discussions of the CEEC working party. (See London’s telegram No. 788, March 12).
Trizonia and ERP. Mr. Lovett authorized Ambassador Douglas to indicate to the French that the United States was unprepared to undertake any commitments as to shipments to the French zone under ERP unless and until we obtain a clear idea as to the French position on German policy, in particular coordination of their zone with Bizonia. We would assume no commitments to the French unless we[Page 113]receive offsetting commitments from them. (See London’s telegram No. 787, March 13).
Benelux Participation. We will agree to the association of Benelux representatives in future meetings of the kind now taking place in London.
Recess of London Discussions. Ambassador Douglas planned to return on Saturday, March 6, and the discussions at the Ambassadorial level would accordingly be recessed. In the meantime, working parties would continue in Berlin with examination of pending questions, including territorial arrangements, future economic and political organization, etc. Before adjourning, the Ambassadors will probably set the date for a future meeting.
Jacob D. Beam
  1. This portion of the conversation is reported upon in greater detail in the memorandum by Wisner, March 2, not printed (740.00119 EW/3–248).
  2. In telegram 788, March 1, from London, Ambassador, Douglas suggested that representatives from the combined US–UK zone of occupation of Germany and from the French zone of occupation be invited to the forthcoming meeting of the Council of European Economic Cooperation. The text of this message is printed in volume iii .
  3. Ante, p. 107.