740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–1749: Telegram

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

secret   us urgent

209. 1. At opening meeting occupation statute discussions this afternoon,1 it was decided we should concentrate on points of disagreement and that no attempt should be made to redraft entire agreement, thus opening “Pandora’s Box.” This procedure would not however preclude a certain amount rephrasing agreed sections in interest clarity. All delegations were in accord that work on draft statute2 should be completed as quickly as possible in order that it may be [in] hands of Bonn Parliamentary Council with minimum delay. US Delegation made it quite clear that its tentative agreement on any point was conditional on general agreement on entire draft and further that draft statute was not only on ad referendum basis, but also susceptible of modification on basis of observation[s] of Bonn Council. British and French Delegations both concurred.

2. British and French Delegations both tentatively accepted revised US version Article II 2 (b). (Deptel 145 January 13.3)

3. US revised draft Article II 2 (c) was circulated for study and consideration at a subsequent meeting.

4. In view of statements in paragraph 5 (a) of Military Governments report to governments of 17 December,4 French, with British support, proposed rewrite paragraph 2 subparagraph (f) and (g) and US Delegation circulated Department’s proposed redraft paragraph 2(f). French and British Delegations asked whether by “victims of Nazi persecution” US Government intended to protect only foreign victims or also contemplated protection German nationals persecuted on racial, political or religious grounds. French and British [Page 10] both strongly objected undertaking protection German nationals in this connection. Department’s instructions requested this point.5

5. British Delegation suggested reserving discussion paragraph 2(i) for consideration in connection with paragraph 13 (d) (vi). In preliminary exchange of views with British, US Delegate has made it clear that we feel very strongly on question of displaced persons and that we are not prepared to accept any substantive deviation from our present position.

6. British Delegation submitted redraft entire Article III with redraft Article I and introductory clause Article II stating that articles as drafted were not completely consistent with one another. We have not yet had time to study British redraft which is being transmitted in my immediately following telegram.6 French Delegation also indicated that it would submit redraft paragraph 4 and 5 for consideration and US Delegation did likewise.

7. There was an inconclusive discussion of paragraph 9 which was reserved for further consideration.

8. In discussion paragraph 14 re jurisdiction German courts in civil cases, French and British Delegations showed disposition to broaden jurisdiction German courts to include persons mentioned paragraph 13 (d) (iii) and (iv). Massigli stated that although he was not acting under instructions, he felt that it was unreasonable and would be most offensive to Germans to reserve such wide areas of judicial competence for the occupying courts. British agreed strongly this point of view. French expressed embarrassment that they would feel in justifying reservations re their own nationals to Belgians and other allies. British associated themselves with this point of view and asserted that they could not justify reserving jurisdiction all British nationals unless they reserve jurisdiction over Dominion nationals. In view of new British nationality law this would, they contend, necessitate rewriting paragraph 13 (d) (iii) to specify “nationals of France and US and British subjects.” With reference to protection, accorded all non-Germans against judicial discrimination in paragraph 16 (c) (ii), British and French expressed opinion that this protection was adequate, but that it would be embarrassing to cite this provision to [Page 11] Canadians, Australians, Belgians, etc. as occupying powers appeared to consider it inadequate for their own nationals by the inclusion of paragraph 13 (d) (iii) and (iv). British and French Delegations expressed intention communicate further with their governments re this general matter. US Delegation has impression that British and French Delegations may return with proposal that German courts be given jurisdiction not only in civil, but also criminal cases, involving individuals covered paragraph 13 (d) (iii) and (iv). US Delegation reserved position pending instructions and in view nature of discussion did not submit proposed redraft paragraph 13 and 14. In connection with above discussions and also those re paragraph 5 British Delegations laid emphasis on desirability avoiding unnecessary limitation of Germans as inconsistent with our intention “to take Germany into our Western club and to receive German representatives at its meetings.” French took no exception to these remarks.

9. Kirkpatrick indicated re paragraph 13 that Bevin had remarked to Schuman7 that he might accept this provision subject to inclusion of a time limit of one or two years. He considered that the time limit should be relatively short in order to facilitate migration and assimilation displaced persons. Apparently British intend to press strongly on time limit principle already contained in tentatively agreed draft 13 (d) (vi).

10. French Delegation did not raise question of Kehl (Deptel 164, January 148), although Foreign Office informs us matter was touched upon in BevinSchuman talks. British are inclined to our view that present discussions not appropriate for consideration this matter. They feel, however, that if French make issue of point, it might be desirable to include subject of Kehl in occupation statute talks in return for adequate French concessions to US–UK viewpoint on more important matters. Should this be necessary, British would agree to formula providing for type of New York port authority for Kehl–Strasbourg to be in effect only until peace settlement.

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11. Articles VII, VIII, and IX not reached today’s discussion. Sent Department 209, repeated Berlin 37.

  1. The minutes of this meeting were transmitted in despatch 98, January 21, from London, not printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–2149).
  2. The text of the draft occupation statute transmitted by the Military Governors to their governments, December 17, 1948, is printed in Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. ii, chapter ii, part c, p. 653.
  3. Ante, p. 1.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. ii, p. 650.
  5. In telegram 209, January 18, to London, not printed, the Department of State informed Embassy London that, in its view, victims of Nazi persecution comprised Germans as well as foreigners and that the Military Governors had so interpreted the phrase in the joint draft of the occupation statute. However, Murphy in telegram 42, January 19, to London, not printed, stated that, to the best of his knowledge, the Military Governors had not discussed or agreed to this interpretation. He supported the idea that both Germans and foreigners should be covered under it, but could not confirm agreement by the Military Governors, (740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–1849 and 1949)
  6. Telegram 210, January 17, from London, not printed (740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–1749).
  7. During the third week of January Schuman had been in London for an exchange of views with Bevin on subjects of mutual interest. Embassy Paris reported that the two Foreign Ministers had discussed Germany, European federation, Italy, the Near and Far East. Schuman had stressed the following points with regard to Germany: West German central government should not be allowed to raise taxes to cover occupation costs, German member on the arbitral court should be equal to Allied members only if the court had solely advisory powers, France would make no claim to Kehl but would propose joint management of Kehl and Strasbourg. (Telegram 209, January 17, from Paris, not printed, 740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–1749)
  8. Not printed; it transmitted the text of a note regarding Kehl in which the French Government requested that the status of the port be considered at the meetings on the occupation statute. The Department of State informed Holmes that the occupation statute meetings were not the appropriate forum for discussing Kehl. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–1249)