740.00119 Control (Germany)/4–149
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State1
|Participants:||The Secretary of State|
|Mr. Henri Bonnet|
[The first section of this memorandum in which the Ministers discussed the North Atlantic Pact is scheduled for inclusion in Volume IV.]
Referring to specific German problems, I told Mr. Schuman I had been much impressed by his conversations with Mr. Kennan. It appeared Mr. Schuman also agreed with us that a simple approach was needed to get away from the complexities of Military Government. We should aim at something along the Austrian lines. Responsibility would be put in German hands and Military Government would reserve powers to stop objectionable action. The Germans should be allowed to take initiative under Allied control. In theory, we would reserve all powers but we would notify the Germans of the limited and specified fields in which we would take direct action. Many difficulties, such as predominant US financial control, might be removed by this new approach.
Mr. Schuman agreed in principle. It was time to proceed from the first stage of direct Allied responsibility to the second stage of Allied control. We should give the Germans maximum responsibility, at the same time maintaining the right to intervene in such matters as security, denazification, etc. It was also time to move away from Military Government toward an organization more civilian in character. Military affairs would still remain with the Military Commanders, but we should try to establish a more normal type of diplomatic relationship with a German government. He considered it essential to perfect three-power agreement on Germany, particularly if we become engaged in four-power discussions. This should be easy since some of the main obstacles, like the question of the limitation of industries, have now been removed.
I expressed gratification with Mr. Schuman’s views and said it would be a great help in four-power discussions if the Western countries had already determined a common pattern for Germany. The Russians would find it less easy to obstruct and delay everything.
Mr. Murphy referred to two outstanding points connected with the proposals of trizonal fusion, namely, the appeal of decisions to the governments and the matter of the US financial contribution. Mr. Schuman said he saw no difficulty regarding a formula on finance. Mr. Schuman suggested we agree that controls be exercised at the top structure of the German government and that there be a tripartite Military Government organization, otherwise everything would be too complicated. He said we might have difficulties with the British on this point.
Mr. Schuman thought it would be easy to settle the Wurttemburg–Baden boundaries. He agreed that the German Ministers-President should proceed with the suggested plebiscite in the states before the [Page 160] setting up of a German government. The only question to be asked in the plebiscite would be the fusion of the two states, but the population should also know what would happen if they rejected this arrangement, namely, that the two states would be reconstituted as before. In any event there should be a tripartite control agency for the area. There should be no trouble about the US military establishments in North Baden and he was determined this should be worked out. He suggested we lay down fairly definite principles, otherwise troubles will recommence with the Military Governors.
Mr. Murphy said we wished a shorter and simpler occupation statute and suggested this be worked out here on the expert level. Mr. Schuman said Mr. Laloy of his personal staff would arrive this week-end. He said rapid agreement was all the more necessary, particularly because of its effect on the Germans who would soon become aware of, and would exploit Allied disagreements. He was determined we should not lose time.
- The memorandum was prepared by Beam; the meeting convened at 10 a. m.↩