740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–2549: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Holmes) to the Secretary of State


305. Deptel 210, January 181 Following memorandum submitted by USDel at end today’s occupation statute meeting.2 Matter will [Page 20] be discussed at subsequent meeting. Initial British reaction to whom we showed advance copy was favorable although they indicated certain concern with respect to paragraph (c) re scope of operations of tripartite inspectorial teams operating throughout zones.

“The USDel desires to invite the attention of British and French delegates to desirability of reaching an agreement in principle concerning manner in which the military governors will exercise powers reserved to them by occupation statute.

My government considers that firm understanding re fundamental principles to be observed by three military governors in reaching their decisions must be arrived at before definitive approval can be given to text of draft occupation statute. While this meeting is not prepared consider details of a trizonal fusion agreement or an agreement on control machinery, it is felt that certain aspects of such agreements should and can be determined now.

In particular, the US desires assurance with respect to the following matters:

That the reserve powers should be exercised by majority vote of the three representatives of the occupying powers except with respect to matters relating to German foreign trade and foreign exchange. While the US is contributing the major share of German imports or making the major financial provision therefor out of public funds, the representatives of the US in agencies dealing with German foreign trade and foreign exchange, or exercising the powers reserved to the occupation authorities for the control thereof, should have a voting strength proportionate to the funds made available by the US Government for these purposes, on a basis similar to that now recognized in agreements re Joint Export-Import Agency.
That the exercise of powers under (a) above be subject to right of any of the military governors who considers that action decided upon conflicts with major policies of his own government, to request that matter be referred to three governments for consideration. Except when decision which is appealed concerns disapproval of German legislation, such an appeal would serve to suspend the action for not longer than 30 days. With respect to decisions concerning exercise of power to disapprove German legislation, action would be suspended for not longer than 21 days from day when legislation in question had been submitted to occupation authorities. Such suspension, however, would not prevent the taking of the action appealed from unless governmental agreement on the appeal was reached within the time limits mentioned.
That the three military governors constituting a tripartite board, be supported by staff or committee organization which would function throughout trizonal area, details of such organization and its procedures to be decided upon by them. In any event, such an organization would include adequate inspectorial and supervisory group to determine German food requirements, and supervise production and distribution of German food and proper utilization of imported food.
That such a trizonal agreement continue in effect at least for part of period of occupation during which the US is, as compared with other two occupation powers, making the major contribution for imports into Germany.

My government believes that these matters are so inseparably related to occupation statute as to require concurrrent agreement in principle.”

State please pass Army. Murphy please pass to Clay.

Sent Department 305; repeated Berlin 58.

  1. Ante, p. 12.
  2. At the sixth meeting on the occupation statute, occupation costs were again discussed with the French retaining their position. The United States and British delegations finally persuaded the French delegation to submit to its Government the following paragraph for consideration:

    “The costs of occupation represent a heavy although diminishing burden on the German economy. This temporary charge should not lead to an excessive and permanent concentration of financial power in the federal state. The circumstances that responsibility has been placed on federal state with respect to payment of occupation costs is not intended to prejudge the question of the method by which the taxes will be levied.” (Telegram 307, January 25, from London, not printed, 740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–2549)

    In telegram 325, January 28, to London, not printed, the Department of State indicated its acceptance of the proposal (740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–2549).