396.1 LO/5–550: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Tripartite Preparatory Meetings to the Secretary of State

Secto 160. 1. Political working group of Sub-Committee B (German problems) held two meetings today. Allen represented UK, Bérard, Be la Tournelle, Sauvagnargues and Lebel represented French and Laukhuff, Gerhardt, Trimble represented US.

2. Berlin was again discussed. It was agreed to request Ministers to approve a statement on Berlin reading as follows;

“1. Three Western Powers must continue to maintain their position in Berlin.

2. To achieve this objective it will become increasingly necessary for three allied governments and German Federal Government to accord high priority to measures required to deal with special problems of western sectors.

3. Allied authorities in Germany should continue, in consultation with competent German authorities, to study measures to be taken in economic, political and cultural fields, by three allied governments and German authorities with particular reference to importance of reducing unemployment in West Berlin and improving its financial and economic position by facilitating increased production and facilities for export both to Western Germany and elsewhere.

4. Advantage should be taken by allies, acting in consultation, of any suitable propaganda and other opportunity to fix upon Russians responsibility for continued division of city, to maintain prestige of Western City Assembly as only truly representative German authority in Berlin and to sustain morale of West Berliners and interest of Western Germany in their welfare.”

3. In addition it was agreed to recommend to Ministers that following statement be included in communiqué: “Three western occupation powers will continue to uphold their rights in Berlin. They will protect democractic rights of inhabitants and will cooperate with German authorities to improve to utmost the economic position of three western sectors. Three Powers will oppose any attempts to prevent fulfillment this policy. Meanwhile, three governments will continue to seek reunification of city in free elections in order that Berlin may again take its due place in a united Germany.” One of surprising developments was that last sentence of suggested communiqué in fact arose out of suggestion of French delegate. Though French were skittish, Bérard said clearly it was no longer French policy to oppose Berlin as capital of Germany, though it was still difficult for French to propose Berlin as capital. He accordingly agreed to wording suggested by Laukhuff which it is believed will have valuable propaganda effect at least in Berlin.

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4. In accordance with, instructions contained in Department’s Tosec 55 May 2,1 Laukhuff took occasion to stress importance which US attaches to maintenance western garrison in Berlin at high level of efficiency and to continuance full US–UK–French coordination of plans for operations. There was such immediate and full agreement on this point that it was not deemed necessary to refer it to Ministers.

5. Second item considered was proposal for declaration by Ministers on German unity and all-German elections. Delegates had before them joint recommendation of allied HICOM on this subject dated May 4.2 There was no disagreement on principles expressed in that document but disagreement immediately developed as to nature of public declaration which should be made by Ministers. Sauvagnargues and Bérard outlined French thesis that statement should be very brief and general, consisting of approval of principle of German unity and endorsement of Federal Republic declaration of March 22. French representatives argued that inclusion of numerous principles defining conditions which Western Powers attach to holding of elections and achievement of German unity would make statement too long for effective propaganda use. They contended it would be viewed as insincere propaganda document containing conditions manifestly impossible for Soviets to accept as well as conditions unpalatable to Germans.

6. Laukhuff, with some support from Allen, argued strongly in favor of thesis that time has arrived when it is necessary to state the minimum conditions for elections and to point out additional requirement before German unity can be obtained. He argued that unless this were done Germans would be misled into believing elections were only thing necessary to achieve German unity. Furthermore, Soviets might possibly make approach on basis Ministers’ statement and if it then became necessary to state additional conditions, we would be in danger of being accused of insincere initial approach and of causing breakdown of negotiations.

7. Since it proved impossible to reconcile opposing views, it was agreed that French would prepare short statement along lines they thought desirable. This would be submitted together with longer statement along Anglo-American lines to Sub-Committee B for decision. In any event, it was agreed by all three delegations that longer [Page 929] statement if not used as public statement by Ministers would serve as directive to HICOM for further proposals which might be made as next step. Agreed Anglo-American statement follows in separate telegram.3

Sent Department Secto 160, repeated Paris 761, Frankfort 205, Berlin 3.

  1. Not printed, it reported that the following recommendation was being added to FM D E–4a in view of the Joint Chiefs of Staff comments on that paper:

    “That Secretary, in accordance with desire expressed by JCS, impress upon Brit and Fr FonMins necessity for maintaining Western garrisons in Berlin at high level of efficiency and for continuing coordinate fully US–UK and French plans for operations.” (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 151: Tosec Cables)

  2. Documentation regarding the proposals of the Allied High Commission for Germany on German unity and all-German elections and the declaration of the Federal Republic of March 22 is scheduled for publication in volume iv.
  3. Transmitted in Secto 161, May 5 (10 p. m.), not printed, this draft statement read as follows:

    “The three Foreign Ministers reaffirmed the determination of their governments to work together, in cooperation with the German Federal Government and all like-minded powers, for the unification of Germany. They agreed that German unity could be achieved on the basis of the following principles:

    • “(a) A freely-elected all-German government in Berlin.
    • “(b) Individual freedom of movement, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, freedom of association and assembly, freedom of speech, press and radio throughout Germany.
    • “(c) Freedom of action throughout Germany for all democratic political parties.
    • “(d) Independence of the judiciary.
    • “(e) Prohibition throughout Germany of political secret police and police formations constituting a military force.
    • “(f) Assurance of German economic unity through action by a German government on matters such as a unified currency and customs, and through quadripartite agreement on matters such as cessation of reparations from current production, and prohibited and limited industries.
    • “(g) Surrender and disposal, in accordance with appropriate German legislation, of any industrial enterprise in Germany whose ownership or control was acquired after 8 May, 1945 by or on behalf of any foreign power, unless such acquisition has quadripartite approval and the interest so approved is subjected to German law.
    • “(h) Establishment of quadripartite supervision through a 4–power commission, exercising its reserve powers in such a way as to permit the German Government to function effectively. The commission would normally take its decision by majority vote.

    “The Foreign Ministers further agreed that the first step towards the restoration of German unity should be the holding throughout Germany of free elections to a constituent assembly. They accordingly welcome and endorse the resolution of the German Federal Republic of 22 March, 1950, inviting free all-German elections for a national assembly empowered to frame an all-German constitution. These elections should be held under international supervision and on the basis of an electoral law to be agreed between the four occupying powers which would take into account the principles set forth above. The constituent assembly, when elected, should have the sole task of drafting a constitution for submission to the German people for ratification.

    “Finally, the Ministers agreed that with the formation of an all-German government on the basis of the foregoing principles, the four powers should immediately address themselves to a peace settlement.” (396.1 LO/5–550)