740.00119 Control (Germany)/10–3149: Telegram

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

top secret

4348. Personal for the Secretary and Byroade from McCloy. Most pleased to learn Bevin’s attitude although he of course exaggerates likelihood of pending collapse HICOM in Germany. Fact is unpopularity of British over dismantling and shipping has caused great diminution of undercover influence and it is this rather than HICOM position which troubles them. Feel most helpful if Secretary would come to Paris and naturally it would be most fortunate if he could also come Germany. As Schuman and Bevin have both been in Germany think it high time he came as we lack visits of high level officials and receive too many nonofficial visitors.

Will cable my views on specific dismantling proposals after talk here with Douglas who has been through these negotiations before. [Page 630] Also desire reach some of my experts in Frankfort before making such proposals. In general my view is to place great stress on fact of German proposals indicating that it is the likelihood of constructive approach on the part of the Germans rather than fear of dismantling collapse which prompts necessity of considering our whole attitude toward question.

We should then proceed to clear up with Germans by this means as many outstanding problems as possible such as adherence to Ruhr Authority,1 cooperation with Military Security Board, possible adherence to far-reaching decartelization program and perhaps civil service reform legislation.

Moreover re dismantling the matter of shipping must not be overlooked. To continue to deny Germans the reasonable specifications implicit in Washington agreement is just as sore a point in the north as dismantling is in the Ruhr. The unemployment situation in Bremen and Hamburg is serious and all feel that delay in decisions is due wholly to competitive considerations rather than security.

The unused steel capacity remaining in Germany will be the chief point of difficulty with the French. I would not despair obtaining reasonable solution from Adenauer if we sat down with him and therefore am inclined not to put forward any definite proposals of our own until we are certain that he has gone as far as he is prepared to go on his part.

If the governments could decide on a field of concessions and then give HICOM a range of maneuver, I believe we could work out a really constructive program and perhaps obtain more from the Germans than now seems likely. This in my opinion would be more likely if Acheson came to Germany. Agreed HICOM’s should come Paris.2

Sent Washington 4348, repeated Paris 824 for Bruce, Frankfort 149 for Hays, Moscow 163 for Kirk. Department pass Moscow.

  1. For documentation relating to the adherence of the West German Government to the International Authority for the Ruhr, see pp. 477 ff.
  2. In telegram 4541, November 1, from Paris, not printed, Bruce reported that Schuman felt that Secretary Acheson’s personal presence in Europe would be extremely useful. The French Foreign Minister also expressed a desire to discuss questions other than dismantling with respect to Germany and the situation in the Far East. While he could not guarantee the outcome of any ministerial conference, past experience had shown that when the three Foreign Ministers met, constructive accomplishments had invariably resulted. (740.00119 Council/11–149)