740.00119 EW/11–1549: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Frankfurt

top secret

2871.1 1. Dept agrees (urtel 4055 Nov 17 para 12) contemplated revision dismantling program requires coordinated steps beyond those mentioned in London tels 4462 Nov 7 and 4567 Nov 15 and Deptel 4079 Nov 10.3 Dept regarded ref tels as covering only one aspect of [Page 641] problem: how IARA Dels shld reply to possible questions re set-aside plants.

2. Dept agrees King shld visit Frankfort and discuss coordination HICOM and IARA action (ur para 6). Dept believes it can best be decided there, in concert with Brit and Fr, what form communication or announcement to IARA shld take.

3. Dept agrees IARA shld be advised few hours before public announcement (ur para 2) and requests Embs London and Paris take this up with Brit and Fr respectively.

4. Dept believes approach to IARA shld indicate one package transaction, i.e., release of set aside equipment and of such PRI plant equipment as is to be made available and announcement of equipment withheld shld be part of same communication to IARA (ur para 5). Communication or explanatory statement shld explain briefly why action taken, indicate released equipment being made available in compensation for equipment withheld, and express hope and confidence IARA will be able allocate equitably to make up for any losses to prospective recipients of withheld equipment. Shld also indicate released equipment constitutes final reparation availability industrial plant equipment, probably referring to Rueff’s ltr Sep 16.4 Suggest ur staff work out statement with King to be submitted to Dept for comment if time permits and then (or simultaneously if time schedule requires) coordinated with Brit and Fr.

5. In further explanation one package transaction (para 3 above), Dept strongly believes there shld be no individual arrangements by HICOM with IARA countries to whom equipment to be withheld has been allocated by IARA (as suggested in HICOG position paper on dismantling5). Dept believes such transactions wld be difficult, wld inevitably involve considerable delay in cleaning up problem, and might not be worked out satisfactorily. Only trade or substitution involved will be overall substitution of newly released equipment as whole for withdrawn equipment as whole and there can hardly be negotiation over this.

6. With respect to your para 4. Feel we must avoid discussion or commitment in IARA that claims should be a matter for the peace settlement. We should take the line that compensation is to be obtained out of set-aside equipment as outlined in our para 4 above. Taking this position does not seem to us to be inconsistent with what you may have told Adenauer as result at [of] Paris discussions on this point, as [Page 642] countries may not accept our position and may present claims at time of peace settlement. We should avoid any action which would invite claims or which would commit us to support such claims at time of peace settlement.

7. Dept believes desirable advise Norway, Greece, and Denmark (ur para 3) as well as Benelux countries and Dominions few days before contemplated announcement to IARA and suggests this be done with Embassies here in Washington (except Dominions which we presume Brit will advise). Advice wld be confidential; wld indicate some equipment to be withdrawn, other to be allocated, but not convey specific lists of plants; wld include explanation of reasons for action and expression of hope that countries concerned wld understand our position. Above subj agreement Brit and Fr which Dept requests be sought in London and Paris if Embs there agree.

8. Dept requests Embs convey substance of above to Brit and Fr respectively indicating these are tentative US proposals re procedure and suggests HICOG do likewise with colleagues in Germany.

Request comments soonest in order that coordinated program can be finalized.

  1. Repeated to London as 4178, to Paris as 4479 and to Brussels as 1362.
  2. Not printed.
  3. None printed; in the London telegrams, Douglas transmitted the text of an instruction to the British representative at the IARA with respect to the allocation of set-aside plants and subsequent amendments. In telegram 4079, the Department of State offered its comments on the instruction. (740.00119 EW/11–749 and 1549)
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed. Under reference here is the briefing paper prepared by the Office of the United States High Commissioner for the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Paris, November 9–11. A copy of this paper on dismantling is in CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 144: HICOG Briefs.