740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–449: Telegram

The Deputy Director of the Office of European Affairs (Reber) to the Secretary of State


494. From Reber.1

[In the first part of this telegram, which is printed on pages 8190 and 668669, Reber reported on the Berlin situation and the French attitude concerning tripartite talks on Germany.]

Insofar as discussions in London are concerned, Couve said his government has agreed to discuss tripartite control in connection with occupation statute and instructions were being sent to Massigli which would enable him to deal with this matter beginning Monday. He hoped, however, that this would not delay presentation of the draft occupation statute to Germans as we were obligated to secure their observations before finalizing statute. On matter of court, he asked whether instructions had been sent to London with regard to British compromise.2 I said that I had seen none, but doubted whether in any event we were prepared to accept solution which did not give Germans definite participation in authority of court. It was, in our opinion, essential that their responsibility be involved and that in some way they be made to realize that they too have part to play in successful operation of occupation statute which in any event would be difficult for them to accept. Couve raised no objections to a personal suggestion which I put forward, namely that in presenting draft to Germans we should accept some slight modifications which they might wish to make.

He then reverted to subject of tripartite control and said that French Government fully accepted idea that US should have predominant voice in matters in which its financial contribution was dominant. With respect to majority principle for remaining reserved powers, this presented some real difficulties. Recognizing disadvantages of veto in control matters nevertheless, French Government felt [Page 28] there were certain questions which should only be decided by the three powers acting in unison. These could be limited and relate primarily to questions affecting security. If it were not possible to divide reserved powers between those which required a unanimous opinion and those which could be settled by majority rule, it was possible that another solution could be achieved through strengthening appeal machinery. He feared that our proposal of delay of thiry days on matters of extreme importance would not be sufficient for intergovernmental consideration.

Before concluding conversation he said that with respect to Baden–Wurttemberg problem,3 it was his understanding that military governors had reached impasse in this respect and French Government would, therefore, instruct Bonnet to raise this question in Washington. Bonnet at that time would be authorized to propose a solution leaving Heidelberg as an American military enclave.

Sent Department; repeated London 96, Berlin 31.

  1. Reber was in Paris to discuss the forthcoming negotiations on the Austrian Treaty. For documentation relating to these negotiations, see pp. 1066 ff.
  2. Regarding the British compromise proposal under reference here, see telegram 354, January 29, p. 22.
  3. Clay, referring to American military facilities at Heidelberg, had opposed a French proposal that South Wuerttemberg be transferred from the French Zone to the U.S. Zone of Occupation in return for the transfer of North Baden to the French Zone.