CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: File—SFM Minutes

United States Delegation Minutes, Meeting of the American, British, and French Foreign Ministers With the Belgian, Netherlands, and Luxembourg Foreign Ministers, New York, Waldorf Astoria, September 19, 1950, 11:30 a. m.

secret

SFM Min–6

Members

Mr. Acheson (US)

Mr. Van Zeeland (Belgium)

Mr. Schuman (France)

Mr. Been (Luxembourg)

Mr. Stikker (Netherlands)

Mr. Bevin (UK)

Present

United States France United Kingdom
Henry A. Byroade M. François-Poncet Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick
John J. McCloy Boland de Margerie Sir Pierson Dixon
Philip C. Jessup Sir Oliver Franks
George W. Perkins

Mr. Acheson opened the meeting by reviewing the decision taken by the Ministers in London last May to establish the International Study Group to review certain questions bearing on Germany. He recapitulated the consultation which had taken place during the summer in London between the heads of the delegations to the ISG and the Benelux representatives on various issues concerning claims, termination of the state of war, etc., which had been before the ISG. He said this work had been reviewed in New York and further decisions reached, and it was now the desire of the three Ministers to review their discussions with the Benelux Foreign Ministers. The decision taken included the following:

1.
Termination of the state of war. The three powers had agreed to announce their intention to terminate the state of war with Germany. While each one had slightly different internal problems to work out, they had agreed that their final action would be more or less simultaneous.
2.
Review of Occupation Statute. It had been agreed that certain changes would be made in the provisions of the Occupation Statute, [Page 1243] although the Allied occupation would be maintained and Allied controls retained. Germany was to have a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but under the supervision of the occupation powers.
3.
Clarification of Questions concerning Claims and Foreign interests in Germany. The ISG was being given a directive to continue work on this subject.
4.
German police. The Ministers had agreed to establish a police force on a Land basis subject to certain federal controls.
5.
Revision of PLI . This was to be restudied and meanwhile controls on shipbuilding and steel production had been relaxed.
6.
Berlin Security. The three powers had reached agreement covering measures for the security of Berlin, including increasing the stockpile, building up the strength of Allied troops, and holding the Soviet Union responsible for any move by the Soviet-dominated Eastern German Government against Berlin or Western Germany.

Mr. Acheson then passed out the agreed tripartite communiqué and the communiqué on Germany1 and suggested that the Benelux Ministers might wish to read it and to raise certain questions.

Mr. Stikker said it was difficult to express any opinion about the communiqué at this time without having been present during the deliberations. He mentioned the fact that the ISG was to continue and said that, as he had previously pointed out to the US, UK and French Ministers, the Benelux powers were somewhat disappointed at the degree of consultation which they had had with the ISG. The only question he had concerned a paper which he had seen on the claims question, which was very important to the Netherlands Government. He wanted to know the status of this proposal and whether in the course of further ISG work it would be possible for the Benelux powers to participate in the discussion and settlement of the issue.

Mr. Acheson said that the Ministers were giving the ISG a statement of principles on the claims question and a directive to continue their work on this problem. The Benelux countries would certainly be consulted in this matter. He then passed out the statement on “Principles Relating to Claims” (Int. Doc. 37 Revised).2

Mr. Bevin pointed out that it had been agreed that this statement would not be released to the press and that there would be no publicity concerning it.

Mr. Stikker said that he could not comprehend the very technical language of this document at one reading but that he wanted to be very clear in his own mind before returning to face his Government as to just how this affected possible Netherlands claims.

Mr. Acheson replied that what the Ministers had done was to give the ISG a statement of principles and to tell the ISG to continue to [Page 1244] explore the whole claims question in the light of these principles. It would be entirely possible for the Benelux powers to bring any issue before the ISG for its consideration. In response to a question from Mr. Van Zeeland, Mr. Acheson said that it had not been intended to increase the size of the ISG to include Benelux representatives, but the Benelux powers were being informed, could submit papers and proposals to the ISG, and could consult with that Group at any time. The three occupying powers needed all the assistance they could get in settling this question.

Mr. Van Zeeland then asked about the exclusions from the scope of the paper which were contained in paragraphs 5 and 6.

Mr. Schuman said this excluded these issues only from the standpoint of this particular study. They were not rejected definitely and finally. It was the view of the occupying powers that these were questions for a peace treaty. In the present agreement they were dealing with the subject of claims as understood in private law as issues which could be settled at this time.

Mr. Acheson agreed with this statement and noted that the plan was provisional. It was an effort to deal with those issues which could be dealt with, but without prejudice to other issues. He confirmed a a statement by Mr. Stikker that this was not a final binding agreement. All work of the ISG must subsequently come before the Ministers. If the Benelux powers could convince the ISG that any changes were necessary, including changes in the principles just agreed upon, they would be referred back to the Ministers.

In response to a question from Mr. Bech as to what the new level of steel production might be, Mr. Acheson said that the agreement was to deduct that part of German steel production used for defense of the West from the total counted under the present ceiling limit. There was no change in the ceiling.

Mr. Stikker expressed the appreciation of the Ministers in receiving the Benelux representatives and Mr. Acheson expressed the appreciation of the US, UK and French Ministers for the courtesy of the Benelux representatives in coming to the meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 12:45 p. m. and the US, UK and French Delegations agreed that the communiqués would be released at 1:00 p. m.3

  1. See Document 37 (Final), p. 1286.
  2. Ibid .
  3. The United States Delegation summary minutes of the meeting with the Benelux Foreign Ministers are in CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: Sum Mins. A report on the meeting was transmitted to Washington in Secto 34, September 19, from New York, not printed (ibid., Box 153: Secto & Tosec telegrams).