740.00119 Control (Germany)/9–149: Telegram

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

top secret

3526. Kirkpatrick outlined to me today proposed three power program for Germany which was prepared by FonOff and approved in principle by Bevin prior to his departure. Program is based on two premises:

The security and maintenance of peace requires incorporation of Germany into the Western system and,
Germany cannot remain static. In connection with this latter point Kirkpatrick observed, as had Bevin in recent conversations with Ambassador (Embtels 3352 August 23 and 3410 August 261) that 1948 London decisions which formed basis of tripartite policy during the past 14 months have been implemented except for a few minor details.

The program involves three major proposals.

First, we should agree on the measures to be taken to build the strength and prestige of the new German Government, particularly with respect to German people. In default of such action, the Government might either turn against us, or fail in its task or [for?] lack any popular support. Secondly, we should admit the Germans to “various Western international organizations to which the Soviets do not belong.”2 FonOff has drawn up a list of 15 organizations of this type in which Germany might become a member either at once or as soon as various technical requirements have been fulfilled. These run from ITU, ILO to the Council of Europe.

FonOff even envisages German inclusion in Brussels Treaty and North Atlantic Pact although that would only occur “at the end of the road.”

Thirdly, “We should seek to remove obstructions to cooperation between Germans and the Western powers by opening discussions with Germans on contentious points.” Even should the principal cause of friction at the moment—dismantling3—be removed the Germans would ‘find some new issue on which to attack us such as the occupation [Page 270] statute,4 Ruhr agreement,5 etc. We must therefore seek to settle these problems as well in order to avoid a “revival of bitterness.” Moreover we should not regard them as separate problems but as integral parts of the whole complex of German–Western relations. The Germans have repeatedly recognized their obligations to us for security and reparations. However they have bitterly attacked the dismantling program as a method to carry them out. In view of this we should ask the Germans what alternate steps they propose to insure the observance of these obligations (Kirkpatrick was strongly of the opinion that we should turn down any German offer to meet reparations out of current production, a view in which I expressed full agreement).

In our discussions with the Germans we should be prepared to fix a cut-off date for any further dismantling (except for category one war plants and shipyards), and reparations, and, possibly, to revise the PRI list. We should, however, drive a hard bargain and insist that as a minimum condition for any concessions we might make the German Government must: (a) formally recognize the occupation statute, and the Ruhr Authority and agree to join the latter on terms laid down in the agreement; (b) admit the need for Military Security Board; (c) sign a bilateral agreement with ECA, and (d) make public statement of the good intentions of the German Government toward the Western powers. FonOff suggests that agreement along these lines could be embodied in some sort of a pact, terms of which would be made public.

The above proposals were incorporated into a Departmental minute, of which a copy was shown me, with the suggestion that Bevin submit it to the Cabinet before he left for the US. Bevin objected to this course of action maintaining that although he could probably obtain cabinet approval of the program, it might well be modified as a result of his discussions with you and Schuman in Washington, thus placing him in position of having to resubmit it to Cabinet and to explain reasons for changes. Kirkpatrick added that Bevin would study minute enroute to US and probably make some alterations. Thus when he discusses subject with you his proposals may vary somewhat from those Kirkpatrick had outlined to me.

During his exposé of the proposed program Kirkpatrick laid particular stress on four factors. First, we should make it quite clear to Germans that any concessions re dismantling and other matters would be on a strict quid pro quo basis and that we should carefully avoid giving them the impression that we were yielding to their outcry against dismantling. Secondly, we should not give Germans everything [Page 271] at once but carry out the proposed program step by step. (In this connection he mentioned that “some of your people in Germany have had a tendency to act too precipitously”.) Thirdly, we should impress the Germans with the need for avoiding any action which might occasion alarm in Western European countries. By indulging in irresponsible actions such as latest SPD policy statement,6 resistance to dismantling, etc., the Germans were only hurting themselves and, as indicated in Moch’s recent speech, were building up opposition to Germans’ acceptance as full member Western European community.

Finally we should act at once whenever any attempt is made to flaunt [flout?] the authority of the occupation powers, and to institute immediate measures whenever signs of reviving Nazism appear. Kirkpatrick said he had just written General Robertson re this matter and suggested that he discuss it with McCloy.

Repeated Frankfurt 78; Paris 663.

  1. Neither printed; in them Douglas reported on two conversations with Bevin in which the British Foreign Secretary had expressed his belief that the three Western powers should evolve a concerted policy with respect to the West German government, which was in the process of formation. (841.002/8–2349 and 711.41/8–2649)
  2. For documentation relating to West German participation in international organizations, see pp. 477 ff.
  3. For documentation on the question of dismantling, see pp. 594 ff.
  4. For the text of the Occupation Statute, see p. 179.
  5. The text of the agreement establishing the International Authority for the Ruhr is printed in Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. ii, pp. 581595.
  6. Under reference here is the sixteen-point program announced by the Steering Committee of the SPD after its meetings in Bad Durkheim on August 29 and 30. It proposed centralization of financial and economic controls in the new West German state, full employment, restriction of Allied activity to purely control measures, revision of the Ruhr Agreement, cessation of dismantling, and inclusion of Berlin as a twelfth Land, and it rejected the Oder-Neisse line as the eastern border of Germany.