740.00119 Council/3–248: Telegram

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


829. Delsec 1599. Seventh meeting German problems March 2 considered Strang’s proposal at end of last meeting.1 After some discussion it was agreed to appoint Working Party to weigh various theoretical considerations brought up under agenda Item F2 against realities of situation in Germany and against basic need to tie West Germany closely to Western Europe. Douglas expressed view Working Party unlikely complete task before end present conference and it might be desirable have it continue work after conference ended. He suggested conference not adjourn but recess, reconvening in month or 6 weeks actual date possibly depending on progress US Congress debate. Douglas made it clear US participation in Working Party did not imply US binding itself not to take any action in Germany necessitated by unforeseen developments. Massigli hoped any necessary emergency steps which might be taken in Germany would not set precedent inimical to future solutions. Questions regarding reconvening conference and continuing Working Party were left for later decision.

Item D. Security against Germany. There was no discussion Douglas indicating US searching for appropriate device taking into account various complicated considerations.

Item E. Reparations. Benelux representative was worried Benelux governments being excluded discussions on this subject on grounds it was of concern only to occupying powers. Strang explained only certain limited aspect to be discussed. Van Verduynen stated it was difficult imagine any aspects of this problem in which Benelux not interested. Douglas made point that discussions any aspects reparations matters affecting IAEA countries if discussed with Benelux and not other IARA countries would constitute discrimination. It was agreed that if communiqué at end present conference mentioned reparations it would take into account Benelux and IARA sensibilities and stress limited character discussions this subject.

Douglas suggested and it was agreed to appoint drafting committee to prepare conference communiqué.

After intermission, meeting continued as 8th meeting without Benelux representatives. Regarding Benelux concern reparations it was agreed Strang would inform Van Verduynen in general way nature of reparation subjects under discussion. It was hoped in this way [Page 115] quiet Benelux representatives [fears?]. It was agreed to discuss substantive reparations questions at small private meeting of US UK and French representatives later in evening.3

Regarding specific Benelux questions on their further association in policy on Germany which they raised February 26 and circulated in more detail in memo February 284 it was agreed to reply along following lines:

One. Participation future conferences: Three governments intend invite Benelux representatives participate in similar way on any joint discussions on West Germany which may be held in similar circumstances in future;

Two. Participation in any preparatory survey of peace settlement with Germany under CFM auspices: attempt would be made to find formula going far as possible to meet Benelux views, taking into account competence of three governments and previously expressed positions of three governments on question participation other powers in preparation peace treaty;

Three. Procedure for consultation in Germany: Benelux should be informed of readiness of three powers to submit full information on matters in which they were interested and to request military governors cooperate in furnishing such information through Benelux representatives in Germany. (There was some disagreement on question of consultation with Benelux representatives in Germany. Massigli favored consultation on grounds important psychological effect on Benelux. Strang, while not favoring consultation, had no objection holding periodic meetings with Benelux representatives in Germany. Douglas reluctant take this step which might delay administrative and executive action and imply commitment for consultation.)

Item B. Relationship West Germany to ERP. Working Party’s draft report (text being sent as separate telegram5) embodying suggestions previously made by Douglas at meeting February 24 was accepted. Regarding unclear detail in report it was agreed that two representatives from Germany would not be formally invited to forthcoming CEEC until invitation approved by present committee of 16 members. British and French will propose invitation at first meeting.6

Trizonal fusion was then discussed. Massigli stated French were [Page 116] ready discuss means creating greater uniformity between French zone and Bizonia. Question of fusion was essentially political problem decision depending on full information on many elements including technical details of present Bizonal organization (now being gathered by Working Party) and results of present conference discussions on Ruhr, security and political and economic organization.

Douglas stressed extreme urgency of fusion question especially in view of ERP developments expected this spring. He pointed out relationship French zone to ERP pending fusion was important and that status of French zone in ERP was not unrelated to measures to coordinate French zone and Bizonia. He welcomed Massigli’s willingness proceed at once with steps to harmonize relations with Bizone and outlined several specific and urgent questions requiring early consideration. In addition to monetary reform and free movement of goods and persons which Massigli had mentioned he indicated foreign trade customs guards and relations with JEIA. He suggested this examination should be done in Berlin and that every effort be made to complete task within 30 days.

It was agreed to recommend to three governments they instruct military governors to undertake this task and also to prepare studies and analyses of present Bizone administration (as suggested by Massigli).

Item G. Provisional Territorial Arrangements. It was agreed Strang would suggest to Benelux representatives external frontier questions be postponed until next conference and that he would explore Benelux ideas regarding internal boundaries. Strang understood Benelux not particularly interested latter subject.

Sent to Department as 829, repeated Berlin 44, Paris 81, Moscow 39, The Hague 21, Brussels 31 pass to Luxembourg as? repeated Oslo 16, Copenhagen 19, Stockholm 25, Rome 40.

  1. For the report of the Sixth Meeting of the London Conference on Germany, see telegram 803, March 1, from London, p. 107.
  2. Agenda Item F was the Evolution of the Political and Economic Organization of Germany.
  3. For the report on the meeting under reference here, see telegram 849, March 3, from London, p. 118.
  4. Ante, p. 103.
  5. See telegram 832, March 2, from London, infra.
  6. Telegram 853, March 3, from London (volume iii ), reported that Foreign Secretary Bevin, Ambassador Massigli, and Ambassador Douglas had agreed that at the forthcoming meeting of the Council of European Economic Cooperation on March 15, the U.S.–U.K. Bizonal area of Germany and the French zone of occupation of Germany, respectively, would not be invited to attend at the ministerial level but would be invited to participate in sub-committee which would make recommendations to a subsequent meeting of the CEEC.