740.00119 Control (Germany)/4–749

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State1



U.S. Delegation British Delegation French Delegation
The Secretary of State Mr. Bevin Mr. Schuman
Mr. Murphy The British Ambassador The French Ambassador
Dr. Jessup Mr. Steel Mr. Couve de Murville
Mr. Kennan Mr. Dean Mr. Bérard
Mr. Beam Mr. Barclay Mr. Laloy

The Ministers reviewed various revised drafts of the pertinent papers.2

[Page 172]

General Principles3

It was agreed this paper should be regarded as an agreed minute concerning our basic policy and procedure.

Letter of Approval of the Basic Law (Occupation Statute)4

Certain minor amendments were accepted. It was agreed that the document previously entitled Letter of Approval of the Basic Law should now be re-worked to constitute an Occupation Statute, since the London Agreements had promised the Germans that they would be furnished with an Occupation Statute before the basic law was approved. The drafting committee was charged with re-drafting the paper in the form of an Occupation Statute which would retain the principal provisions of the “Letter of Approval of the Basic Law.”

Agreement as to Tripartite Controls5

Various drafts were suggested for para 7 and approval was given to a draft with three subheadings, a, b and c as finally incorporated in the agreed document.

In accepting the draft reluctantly, Mr. Schuman expressed concern that appeals under para 7(a) might never lead to suspension of majority decisions, in view of the question of interpretation. Mr. Bevin and I assured him that our two governments would be most reasonable in evaluating the grounds on which a minority objection to a majority decision was made, and that we would be entirely objective in determining whether a majority decision altered a governmental agreement.

With reference to para 9, it was decided that each High Commissioner will delegate an observer to Land Commissioners for purposes of consultation.

Basic Law

It was agreed that a message be sent to the Parliamentary Council urging them to complete the basic law. It was decided a further message should be sent to the Military Governors furnishing them guidance regarding the basic law to be communicated to the Germans at an appropriate time, and in any event, before opinion in the Council should crystallize.6

[Page 173]

Miscellaneous Decisions

It was agreed:

That there should be an agreed minute on property claims.7

That there should be an agreed minute regarding the application to Berlin of the agreement as to controls.8

That formal approval should be given agreements on dismantling and prohibited and restricted industries, and that the Ruhr Agreement should be signed as soon as possible in London.9

That the Benelux countries should be informed of the conclusions of the discussions.

That a communiqué should be issued.10

That the plebiscite taken in Wuerttemberg–Baden regarding state boundaries be deferred until after the establishment of a German government, and that the status of the Port of Kehl be settled.11

(This was done in a separate discussion between the U.S. and French).

  1. The memorandum was prepared by Beam. A transcript of proceedings in file 740.00119 Control (Germany)/4–749 indicates that the meeting took place from 3:15 to 5:30 p. m., April 7.
  2. None of the revised drafts was found in the Department of State files.
  3. For the text of the agreed memorandum regarding the Principles Governing Exercise of Powers and Responsibilities of US–UK–French Governments following Establishment of German Republic, see p. 178.
  4. For the text of the Occupation Statute defining the powers to be retained by the occupation authorities, see p. 179.
  5. For the text of the agreement as to Tripartite Controls, see p. 181.
  6. For the texts of the message to the Military Governors from the Foreign Ministers of the United States, United Kingdom, and France and the message to the Bonn Parliamentary Council from the Foreign Ministers of the United States, United Kingdom, and France, see pp. 185 and 186.
  7. For the text of the agreed minute on claims respecting Germany, see p. 183.
  8. For the text of the agreed minute respecting Berlin, see p. 183.
  9. For information on the agreements reached at London on March 31 concerning dismantling and prohibited and restricted industries, see editorial note, p. 591. For the text of the draft Agreement for the Establishment of an International Authority for the Ruhr, December 1948, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. ii, p. 581; for the final text, signed at London on April 28, 1949, see 3 UST 5212.
  10. For the text of the communiqué released to the press April 8, see Germany 1947–1949, pp. 88–89 or Ruhm von Oppen, Documents on Germany, pp. 374–375.
  11. For the texts of the agreed minute on Wuerttemberg–Baden plebiscite and the agreement regarding Kehl, see p. 184.