740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–1949: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Douglas ) to the Secretary of State

secret

631. From Holmes. UKDel today handed us revision of formula ported in Embtel 614, February 16 [17], repeated Berlin 114,1 concerning continuance Kehl arrangements, as provisionally agreed between UKDel and FrDel.

Text follows:

“Port of Kehl–Strasbourg

The French Government has informed the British Government that they intend to request, at the negotiation of a peace treaty, the maintenance of the provisional arrangement, the principles of which have been agreed by the three governments.

They have called the attention of the British Government to the fact that from every point of view uncertainty in regard to the maintenance of the regime applied to the port of Kehl is not compatible either with the reasonable exploitation of the port in the interest of the two countries or with a policy of capital investment essential to the reconstruction of port installations.

The British Government are unable to give any binding assurance [now in] regard to the peace treaty. But they recognize the importance of developing harmoniously the joint port of Strasbourg–Kehl, of ensuring its administration in the interest of both countries, and [Page 45] of protecting French capital investment. They trust that the provisional regime will secure these requirements and in the light of the experience obtained meanwhile, they will at the negotiation of the peace treaty bring an attitude of goodwill to the settlement of the problem.”2

Sent Department 631, repeated Berlin 117.

Douglas
  1. Supra.
  2. In telegram 632, February 21, from London, not printed, Holmes reported Bevin’s concurrence with this memorandum provided paragraph 3 was revised to indicate that the “interests of both countries” referred to Germany and France. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–2149)