740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–549

Paper Prepared in the Department of State1


United States Interests, Positions, and Tactics at Paris

a. united states view of significance of paris talks

The Secretary should impress upon his colleagues the views of the U.S. Government with respect to the significance of the talks concerning Germany. In essence, these views are as follows:

Events are moving rapidly and the situation urgently requires that the three governments move quickly with agreed purpose and concerted plan of action if the present potentially promising situation is not to deteriorate. The April agreements were a triumph of which we may well be proud. But much has happened since then—a German government has been established, an entirely new organization of Allied control has been set up, our relations with the Germans have been regularized by statute, steady advance has been made in developing such agencies as the IAR and the Military Security Board. Meanwhile we continue to face deep-seated economic problems which are at least partly under control. The Atlantic Pact has become a reality and military aid from the U.S. to the European democracies has been assured.

The German problem must be viewed and dealt with in the total context of general developments. It cannot be isolated. What we do in Germany must not be dictated by considerations of what the Germans demand, or even of our respective national interests, but by a fair appraisal of the indispensable requirements of our whole Western community of free peoples. We need above all the long view, mutual trust, assurance that we are on the right road.

The U.S. recognizes fully the special interests of Britain and France in German affairs, arising from their proximity and close historical association. We can, perhaps, bring a certain detachment to the treatment [Page 296] of German problems which it is difficult for other peoples to attain. But as the object of aggression in two great wars with Germany, the U.S. remains fully determined to end the German menace once for all. There will be no concessions to the Germans on any issue involving a threat of German military revival. We reaffirm our pledge not to withdraw from Europe until the peace is secure. And we shall neither evade nor withdraw from whatever obligations must be undertaken in order to maintain that peace in perpetuity.

But we cannot emphasize too strongly the dangers which will confront us all if we do not act positively and constructively to make Germany a stronghold of peace, of economic and political stability and security in Europe. The Federal Republic, for which we are jointly responsible, is faced with dangers both within and without. The creation of the puppet German regime in the East signalizes the opening of a determined, long contemplated and shrewdly calculated political offensive by the Soviet-backed Communist forces to ruin all of Germany. We must deal with this situation with courage and realism. We must counter with bold measures. If we fail to inspire the Germans with a sense of confidence and faith in the Western democracies and with a genuine conviction that they are on the road to full restoration of their legitimate prerogatives as a nation, they will almost certainly turn to the East. In that event we would lose Germany by default and Russia would make a long stride toward winning the battle for Europe.

We meet here in the shadow of impending developments which may be sinister or hopeful, depending on the action we take. We cannot avoid action, one way or another. We must, in our brief meetings, avoid too great involvement in the details of our many and complex problems and keep in mind our paramount objectives. Only in this way can we hope to resolve the vexatious questions on our agenda.

These talks will be successful, not in the degree that the U.S., the UK or France gains national advantage from them. They will succeed only to the extent that they result in a genuine meeting of minds and a harmonious course of action. We must retain the initiative in Germany. We must match Soviet action with absolute unity of purpose in the West. We must emerge from these conversations with renewed conviction that we are on the right road.

b. immediate u.s. interests and objectives

The prime US interest at Paris is to secure a comprehensive set of agreements on urgent German issues which will be thoroughly consistent with each other and with our over-riding purpose that there should exist a free, united and secure European community. A central difficulty will be the always latent Franco-German antagonism. Agreements [Page 297] reached must satisfy French security aspirations in a manner that will not accentuate this antagonism but increase the possibilities of Franco-German rapprochement. They must offer the Germans adequate guarantees and assurances that they are on the road to responsible nationhood.

The dismantling issue must be assimilated to the broader problem. Definitive decision on dismantling is imperative but it should not over-shadow even more basic questions.

These talks should denote an important transition from a postwar attitude toward the German problem to a peace-time attitude. Some postwar questions are yet to be liquidated. But the emphasis should be on the regularization of relations with Germany along lines of a provisional, interim peace settlement. Our constant aim must be so to conduct our Germany policy as to achieve and preserve a measure of democracy in Germany and a willingness on the part of the Germans to cooperate peacefully with Western Europe and the Atlantic community.

It is considered of vital importance by the U.S. that the Ministers give the High Commission a clear, unambiguous mandate with respect to the manner in which the Occupation Statute2 should be interpreted and applied, emphasizing the joint aspects of control and a sense of restraint in the application of the reserved powers. A maximum degree of voluntary German acceptance of controls is considered highly desirable (e.g., IAR, Military Security Board). Further concrete advances in the integration of Germany with Europe should be made. Admission to the Council of Europe and participation in international functional organizations and conferences would represent tangible achievement (Germany has already been admitted to OEEC).

The U.S. considers it of most urgent importance that agreements emerging from the meeting should be not only acceptable to the Federal Government of Germany but should be of such a character as to enhance the prestige of that Government and strengthen it vis-à-vis dissident and anti-democratic elements within Germany. In this connection the unfortunate experiences of the Weimar Republic should be kept in mind.

c. strategy and tactics

The UK and France, particularly the latter, may in opening the talks, be disposed to criticize the U.S. unduly. We should avoid becoming involved in a defensive response to possible criticisms and not indulge in recriminations.

If the French (Bidault or Schuman) open with a strong statement presenting the more extremist French position, the Secretary should [Page 298] seek to divert the discussion to a more positive approach along the lines of the AchesonSchuman message.3

If the dismantling issue is specifically brought up initially (probably by Bevin), the Secretary should avoid becoming entangled in a discussion of details (plants, categories, allocations, etc.). He might suggest that, while admitting the key importance of the problem, the matter should be referred to deputies on the basis of agreed instructions who should try to work out an agreed draft for submission, perhaps the next day, to the Minister. He should take this opportunity to relate dismantling to the broader purposes of the talks. He might, if necessary, seek to mediate a reasonable compromise between UK and French views.

The Secretary should approach any other concrete proposal from this same viewpoint, showing a readiness to consider it but only as logically and integrally related to a comprehensive agreement on all issues.

The total U.S. program in relation to Germany should be a carefully considered set of proposals which gives consideration to British and French requirements as well as to legitimate German needs and aspirations, and one from which any major deviation would be dangerous and would jeopardize the attainment of the basic objectives with which all are equally concerned. An over-all program which the U.S. might hope to attain and which would forward our objectives by balancing concessions to both sides would be:

A decision to stop the dismantling of a list of plants.
A decision to approve admission of Germany to the Council of Europe (this would doubtless depend upon acceptance of French position on the Saar).
A decision to permit German participation in a variety of international technical organizations.
An agreement to instruct the High Commissioners to pursue a “policy of restraint” with respect to their application of the Occupation Statute.
An agreement to permit the establishment of German Consular and commercial representation abroad.
An agreement to study urgently the possibility of terminating the state of war.
German agreement to become a full member of the IAR.
Explicit assurances from the Germans of their willingness to cooperate with the Military Security Board in the interest of satisfying just security demands of the Allies.
German willingness to cooperate with the democratic world. (This is the great intangible which it is the aim of all our measures to achieve and to preserve.)

The Secretary may find it necessary, to a greater degree than the other two Ministers, to present the adverse effects of our action or lack of action on German willingness to cooperate in certain fields. This should be stated as a reality which must be considered. The importance of the right kind of Germany as an economic and political asset to the West should be stressed, as well as the imminent danger which would result from the development of the wrong kind of Germany as an easy prey to ultra-nationalist forces, or easily lured to a Soviet–Communist alliance.

d. u.s. positions on specific issues

The following discussion is a summary of the problems facing the Ministers and a brief statement of the approach which seems most appropriate for the U.S. in each case. More detailed discussion can be obtained from the paper on each subject. This summary is an effort to provide in one place a general guide to the Paris talks.

I. Dismantling.

The U.S. position on dismantling can be summarized as follows:
  • a) To extent feasible dismantling should be completed before end of the year.
  • b) Dismantling in Berlin should be ended at once, except for the destruction of special purpose tools in war plants, if any remain undestroyed.
The British position on dismantling is similar to that of the U.S. and specifically they will propose the retention of:
  • a) Nine synthetic oil plants, which were badly damaged during the war, but have not been dismantled, and cannot, in fact, be dismantled in a reasonable period of time.
  • b) Two synthetic rubber plants, which are in similar position to the synthetic oil plants.
  • c) Hamborn steel plant, which formerly had a crude steel capacity of approximately 2.3 million tons, but has apparently been dismantled up to 33%. Its present capacity is therefore unknown.
  • d) Hermann Goering works at Salzgitter, which formerly had a crude steel capacity of approximately 1.0 million tons, but has been partially dismantled.
  • e) Hattingen steel plant, which had a crude steel capacity of approximately 400,000 tons and finishing capacity regarded by ECA as extremely useful to retain in Germany.
  • f) Charlottenhuette, a steel plant with relatively small crude capacity.

The British proposal would not modify the PRI agreement4 except as regards the removal of the synthetics:

Under the PRI agreement the synthetic oil and rubber plants were to be removed, with certain specified exceptions. The prohibitions against the use of the facilities would presumably remain in effect, although undoubtedly German pressure can be anticipated to modify the prohibitions. The plants were badly damaged during the war, and are high cost operations that would probably be unable to compete against the natural products unless protected by subsidies.

In regard to steel, the British proposal does not contravene the PRI agreement which restricts steel capacity to the level remaining after reparations removals are completed. The agreement provides security against the misuse of the retained steel capacity in the powers of the MSB to limit production to 11.7 million tons, to require all new construction in the industry to be licensed, to control the use of steel in end-uses of a prohibited or restricted character.
To the extent that the problem involves technical questions as to the stage of dismantling, the estimated time required to complete the dismantling or the economic consequences of the retention of the capacity in question, the matter should be referred to a subcommittee for analysis and recommendations.
It should be clear that the considerations involved are not economic but the adverse political implications of a continued long-term dismantling program. The interests of the U.S. would not be jeopardized if dismantling of all plants, except war plants, were to be halted at the present time, except in so far as we are anxious to fulfill our international commitments. The U.S. should therefore support the proposal advanced by the British, as a reasonable effort to cope with a serious situation in Germany, although recognizing and sympathizing with the position in which the French are placed. The situation however calls for a bold decision. To the extent possible, the U.S. should not advocate the dismantling of plants, other than war plants, which could not be dismantled by the first of the year.
The U.S. position should be based on the premise that the prohibitions and restrictions of the PRI agreement will not be altered.
The French will undoubtedly react strongly against an increase in retained steel capacity. The French are concerned not only with their competitive position with Germany but also their long-term position in Europe. The French have repeatedly indicated their concern that they should be able to set the terms upon which a closer integration of Germany with Western Europe would be compatible with French interests.
If the French propose that added assurances be given, in addition to those in the PRI agreement, to the effect that the limitation on German steel production will be maintained at 11.1 million tons, it should be the U.S. position that the PRI agreement is adequate. The U.S. should avoid, however, indicating to the French that there is any present intention of increasing the level of permitted steel productions except as this might prove desirable, on the basis of an integration of German industry with that of other cooperating nations to support their common defensive strength.
The importance of the present meeting is to reach a definitive decision on the dismantling question. For this reason final agreement should be reached before the meeting is over.

II. Admission of Germany and the Saar to the Council of Europe.

The United States is gratified at the prospect of the German Federal Republic becoming an associate member of the Council of Europe. While not prepared to raise objections to the admission to associate membership of the Saar, the United States is concerned at the possible adverse effects of the admission of the Saar upon German opinion at a time when full cooperation with the occupying powers is virtually essential. The United States should reserve its position with respect to the ultimate, definitive status of the Saar which can only be established by a permanent peace settlement.

III. The Exercise of Allied Powers.

The United States is chiefly concerned here not with any specific change in the powers reserved to the High Commission but with the spirit and method by which Allied Powers are exercised. Within the terms of the Occupation Statute and the Charter of the Allied High Commission it would be possible, speaking in terms of the possibilities of interpretation of the agreements, to confine the Germans so closely that their freedom of action would be little if any greater than it was under Military Government, or to permit them to function with only the checkreins necessary to protect our fundamental interests. In the U.S. view the latter possibility is the course of action agreed in April and is absolutely necessary unless we are to see the development of a surly and uncooperative German people and Government strongly tempted by the German Democratic Republic and the offers of the Soviet Union. The Secretary should therefore make an earnest plea, along the lines of the earlier sections of this paper, for the exercise of restraint in using the powers retained by the High Commission.

It is likely that discussion of this problem will give rise to criticism of German attitudes and action and U.S. unilateral action. It is hoped that a firm understanding can be reached pledging the representatives of the three Occupying Powers in Germany to coordinated action in dealing with the Germans, this action to be carefully considered to minimize on the one hand any opportunity for the Germans to make use of real or apparent differences between the Occupying Powers and on the other hand a restrained and generous attitude toward the assumption by the Germans of a very full measure of control over their [Page 302] internal affairs and rapid progress by them in exercising the international responsibilities of a nation.

IV. German Participation in International Agencies.

The three Ministers agreed in September that a study should be made of the possibilities of German participation in international agencies, having in mind the legal difficulties involved in German participation in agencies requiring membership in UN or full sovereignty.5 This study has been completed and is satisfactory within its own rather limited terms. However the discussions revealed a strong tendency on the part of the French, and the British also to some extent, to view the problem in the narrowest framework, contemplating membership only in technical agencies and the possibility of extensive supervision over German representation even in such agencies. While the United States has no desire to obtain a basic change in the agreement of the Working Party it is believed that the Secretary should make two points, first that if we are to establish in Germany the prestige of the Government which we have created and for which we are responsible, we must sponsor it internationally in every way we can, and second, that we must, while retaining our ability to intervene decisively in matters of German international relations which require our intervention, as for example relations between the Germans and the USSR, resist any temptation to intervene in technical matters or in the commercial or economic relations of the Germans with countries friendly to us, or in the OEEC.

V. German Recognition and Acceptance of Allied Control Agencies—the Ruhr Authority and the Military Security Board.

Mr. Bevin has suggested we attempt to obtain some form of German adherence to or support for those two agencies which are designed on the one hand to ensure access to Ruhr coal and steel, with provision for enforcement of security restrictions in the absence of other arrangements for their enforcement, and on the other hand to enforce Allied controls on German military activity and industrial or scientific preparation for rearmament. While the problems are somewhat different involving full membership in the Ruhr Authority with acceptance of a series of obligations by Germany in one case and acknowledgement of Allied control over problems involving security in the other, the essential problem in each case is the willingness of the German Government to recognize publicly the need for and justice of the existence and functions of the two agencies. The U.S. is persuaded of the desirability of such recognition and anxious to obtain it if possible. The subjects of German participation in the Ruhr Authority and cooperation with the Military Security Board should be left with the High Commission for resolution with the German Government. Decisions on other matters at the Paris meeting should provide the High Commission with sufficient courses of action which would strengthen the prestige of the German Government to the point where it could readily cooperate in these fields. The tactics of presenting decisions of the Foreign Ministers to the German Government in a manner to produce [Page 303] the best overall results should likewise be left in the hand of the High Commission.

It may be expected that the French will present a plea for a more aggressive attitude on the part of the United States and United Kingdom in the efforts of the Military Security Board. In this event the Secretary should reaffirm the United States interest in an effective Military Security Board and agree to any reasonable suggestion of the French which is designed for true security measures as contrasted to competitive economic interests.

e. less important subjects

I. Shipbuilding.

Several aspects of the restrictions on German shipbuilding are not yet fully agreed. Mr. Douglas can provide any information required to bring up to date the description of the state of negotiations given in the paper on Shipbuilding.

II. Transfer of Powers From the High Commission to the Ruhr Authority.

This problem has been raised several times by the French and may be raised in the course of the discussions, either as a problem deserving action to compensate the French for action they may be asked to take with respect to dismantling or on its own merits. The U.S. is committed to consider transfer of powers in the fields of deconcentration, denazification, and control over management, investment and development in the Ruhr coal and steel industries from the High Commission Coal and Steel Control Groups to the Ruhr Authority within the coming year. The U.S. does not believe the Ruhr Authority can or should exercise these powers which the Coal and Steel Control Groups were specifically created to perform and are now performing with U.S., British and French membership. It is suggested that the Secretary indicate U.S. doubts about the wisdom or necessity of any action and satisfaction that the matter should be discussed as provided in the Ruhr Agreement. If the French insist on discussion of this subject the Secretary should be prepared to agree to discussion by the High Commission and the preparation of recommendations for consideration by the Governments some time in the spring of 1950, tieing the discussion to a consideration of German problems generally at that time.

III. German Democratic Republic—(Soviet Zone).

The United States opposes any action by the Western occupying powers which would amount to recognition, explicitly or by implication, of the government of the German Democratic Republic. It would endeavor to induce other Allied and neutral governments to adopt a similar attitude. Technical negotiations between representatives of the Bonn government and the government of the Soviet zone are admissible, and should be encouraged.

IV. German Representation Abroad.

The United States should propose that the German Federal Republic be authorized to establish a consular service. It should be enabled to [Page 304] send consuls, or commercial representatives, to countries ready to receive them, and to establish a Bureau of Consular-Commercial Affairs. The three Allied Governments would seek to obtain maximum acceptance of such representatives by other Western and neutral governments.

The United States should be ready to consider some form of diplomatic representation abroad for the Federal Republic, but should not take the initiative in this respect. Any concessions granted in this field should offer minimum scope for independent political action in the field of foreign affairs by the Federal Government, while being calculated to enhance its prestige so far as consistent with this consideration.

V. Termination of a State of War and an Interim Peace Settlement.

The United States recognizes fully the difficulties to be encountered under present conditions in any moves toward a more normal juridical relationship with Germany, either by mere termination of the state of war or by effecting, in addition, a provisional peace settlement with Germany.

However, the course of the talks may indicate the desirability of a move in this direction as a means of gaining political advantage with the Germans and obtaining more ready acceptance of other agreed proposals. If such is the case, the United States should be ready to consider such a move. This could best be accomplished by action of the several governments in making these matters the object of special study with a view to discussions at the next meeting of the three Foreign Ministers.

f. actions and agreements

The United States considers it desirable that action should be taken by the Ministers to conclude specific agreements on as many of the items in the agenda as possible. Actions taken at Paris should embrace itemized and concrete agreements on as broad a range of questions as possible, so that they may serve as unambiguous instructions to the High Commission. While it is impossible at this time to obtain full agreement on details, there should at least be if possible, sufficient agreement in [on?] basic principles that the High Commission can proceed with detailed application. If agreement on any issue proves impossible, the question may be referred for further study at diplomatic or High Commission levels.

Agreements on matters falling within the purview of the High Commission should be put in the form of instructions to the High Commissioners severally and collectively, to be carried into effect at the earliest possible time. In order not to impair the position of the High Commission in Germany and to allow them most advantageously to utilize such agreements as are arrived at in Paris during negotiations with the German Government, the press communiqué should refrain from disclosing decisions of the Foreign Ministers but should be confined to a listing of the subjects discussed.

  1. The source text was an enclosure to a memorandum from Byroade to Acheson, November 5, not printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–549); also attached was a table of contents.
  2. Ante, p. 179.
  3. Transmitted in telegram 413, p. 622.
  4. For the text of the Prohibited and Limited Industries agreement, see Germany 1947–1949, pp. 366 ff.
  5. The study under reference here is not printed.