740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–149: Telegram

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


383. French made strenuous efforts at today’s occupation statute meeting1 to chisel away from BevinSchuman agreement on occupation (Embtel 354, January 29, repeated Berlin 682). Despite understanding of both US and UK delegations that agreement envisaged retention original US–UK wording pararaphs 20 and 21 except for deletion final sentence paragraph 21 and substitution therefor of statement mentioned reftel, French maintain that they had contemplated use of wording contained in revision of these two paragraphs put forward by British in first day’s session and subsequently withdrawn. Wording paragraph 20 in this suggested compromise is as follows:

“Powers of occupying authorities under Article II include power to require appropriate German authorities to make such financial or other provisions as military governments may deem necessary for discharge their responsibilities and satisfaction their requirements. German authorities will be consulted as to procedure to be followed for satisfaction such requirements.”

US delegation agreed to this change on ad referendum basis and on condition French acceptance provision in paragraph 21 clearly fixing on federal state responsibility for payment of all costs arising under Article VII.

US delegation refused to accept UK suggested revision of paragraph 21 mentioned above which in our opinion would be entirely inadequate and insisted on retention wording contained in original US–UK draft except for deletion final sentence and substitution following: “The federal state will be responsible for payment to occupying authorities of all costs arising under this article.”

US delegation blocked French suggestion that “responsible” be translated French phrase “se retenu d’assurer.” French then suggested substitution “appropriate German” for “federal state” authorities first [Page 26] sentence paragraph 21. He asserted latter phrase would preclude consultation with Laender authorities on any matter relating to occupation requirements covered by Article VII and also would lead to creation of enormous central bureaucracy. US delegation stated that consultation with any Laender authority on any subject not prohibited and therefore permissible. He refused accept substitution as inconsistent with and inferential weakening of provisions last sentence paragraph 21 above quoted. British delegation suggested as compromise elimination phrase “after consultation with federal state authorities.” French delegation agreed. US delegate refused but on request consented to refer matter to his Government.

French and US delegations accepted on ad referendum basis following British proposed text of paragraph in report to accompany draft statute (Embtel 326, January 26. Repeated Berlin 673) re occupation costs:

“Text of paragraph 20 and 21 aims at leaving open question whether occupation and mandatory costs will be collected by federal state or by Laender. Agreement was reached that responsibility to occupying powers for payment these costs must definitely be laid on federal state. As imposition this responsibility, interpreted in light paragraph (d) of Annex H of report of six-power conference of June 1, 1948, might lead Parliamentary Council to feel compelled to vest in federal state financial powers which occupying powers might think excessive, it was considered prudent to agree on an explanation of attitude of occupying powers to be issued to Parliamentary Council. It is recommended that military governments should be instructed to issue their statement (Annex B this report) at same time they transmit draft occupation statute to Germans.”

Text Annex B is as follows:

“Costs arising under Articles 20 and 21 of occupation statute represent heavy though diminishing burden on German economy. This temporary charge should not lead to a concentration of excessive financial power in federal government. The circumstance that responsibility has been placed on federal state with respect to payment of these costs is not intended to prejudge in any way the method by which, under basic law, federal state will obtain the funds necessary for their payment.”

Department will note that foregoing varies slightly from text contained Embtel 307, January 25, repeated Berlin 59,4 but changes are not considered of substantive nature.

We recommend approval Annex B and paragraph in report as well as elimination from paragraph 21 phrase consultation since entire [Page 27] compromise involved therein does not in our opinion represent any substantive departure from our original position.

Sent Department 383, repeated Berlin 70.

  1. The minutes prepared by the United States delegation for this eighth meeting on the Occupation Statute for Germany were transmitted in despatch 217, from London, not printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–849).
  2. Supra.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed, but see footnote 2 to telegram 305, January 25, p. 19.