396.1–ISG/6–3050: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom


Tosig 28.1 Personal for the Ambassador. Fol for ur guidance as US Member Intergovernmental Study Group on Ger which meets at London beginning Jul 3, 1950.

Gen considerations which lead to estab of Study Group are stated in joint declaration on Ger of May 14, 1950. In view absence any agmt among occupying powers which wld permit conclusion Treaty of Peace, it is essential that Western Allied Powers map out a course of action which will permit the development of relations with Ger people of character envisaged in that declaration. This broadly is task to which Study Group shld address itself.

Matters included in terms of reference of Study Group cover in a gen way most of subjs involved in direct relations between Western Allies and Ger. These subjs are closely interrelated and to some extent overlap one another. The exact nature of problems which they comprise has in some cases not been defined in inter-governmental discussions. For this reason, it is Dept’s view that first phase of work of Study Group, which shld be conducted in close cooperation with Allied HICOM, shld be devoted to defining the problems under the various headings and analysing them for the purpose of enabling the Govts of three powers to define their attitudes on questions involved. The Dept therefore contemplates that work of Group wld at outset consist primarily of study and exploration. After this phase of discussions has progressed sufficiently, it is expected that you will report on them to Dept. At that time, in light of ur views, and views of US High Commissioner for Ger, Dept will proceed in consultation with other interested agencies of US Govt to formulate definitive instructions. Shld you feel that you require instructions on particular points in advance of time when you can report generally on the preliminary study and exploration, you shld so inform Dept.

It is believed that work of Study Group will have to deal with three gen, but interrelated, groups of problems. One of these is the nature of controls to be maintained over Ger. The second is estab of a basis [Page 744] for more normal relations between Ger and other free nations. Third gen heading involves question of what commitments it may be necessary to obtain from Ger Fed Rep as a necessary condition to relaxation of controls and other measures which Allied Govts might take, such as termination of state of war.

Dept believes that one of the important considerations which you will have to deal with is that of clarification of the internatl status of Ger Fed Rep and its relation to rights and obligations of former Ger Reich. Dept believes that it will at an early stage be necessary to permit Fed Rep to conduct foreign relations directly with other Govts, subj to appropriate controls by the Allied HICOM. If this is to be done, status of prewar treaty rights and obligations of Ger must be clarified. It also appears necessary to find a basis upon which Fed Rep may accept full membership in various internatl organizations.2

It is Dept’s view that Allied Powers shld aim at reaching a position in which Fed Rep is able, subj to whatever controls the Occupying Powers may see fit to continue in their dealings with the Fed Rep, to deal to maximum extent possible with other Govts on a normal basis. Whatever arrangements Allied Govts may work out to achieve this objective, however, it is important that supreme auth which Allied Govts assumed in 1945 shld be maintained and that right to occupy Ger territory and to maintain and exercise such controls as is deemed necessary be in no way affected. It is likewise important that nothing be done to jeopardize legal position of three Western Occupying Powers in Berlin. Another important aspect of work of Study Group will be to find practical means of eliminating obstacles to development of normal economic, financial, and legal relations between Ger and free world. In absence of any settlement in nature of a peace treaty, numerous questions affecting Ger relations with Allied countries remain unsolved. Some of these constitute a serious impediment to development of normal economic relations between Ger and other countries. Study Group shld make recommendations as to the means by which these obstacles may be removed, thus promoting closest possible association of Ger with countries of Western Europe and Western World and permitting rapid economic recovery of Ger. The US has important interests in these problems, since US is Ger’s principal creditor both on govtl account and through holdings by Amer natls of obligations of Ger Reich and of Ger firms. These interests shld receive ur particular attention and study.

It is possible that solutions to many of problems which Study Group will consider cannot be achieved satisfactorily except on basis of agmts between Allied Powers and Ger Fed Rep. In considering this [Page 745] aspect of question you shld bear in mind decision of FonMins that it was not intended to conclude a treaty of peace with the Fed Rep and that any such agmts shld not assume form of a treaty of peace. You shld also bear in mind that in addition to any arrangements made with Ger, termination of state of war will probably require Congressional action.

It is intention of three powers that Govts of the Benelux countries shld be associated with work of Study Group. Instructions on this point have been sent to you separately.3

Dept has made an effort to provide you with assistance in form of a staff expert in problems which it understands are involved in work of Study Group. Shld you find that additional assistance is required, you may call upon Dept for additional staff. Arrangements have also been made for the US High Commissioner for Ger to provide you with expert assistance from his staff.

An instruction regarding organization and procedural arrangements for conference will be delivered to you by a member of the Delegation.4

  1. At the beginning of June the Department of State had informed Embassy London that the series indicator Sigto would be used for traffic from London to Washington dealing with the ISG, while Tosig would designate traffic from Washington to London. (Telegrams 2749 and Tosig 1, June 7 and 9, to London, neither printed, 396.1–ISG/6–750 and 950).
  2. At this point in the source text, the following phrase was deleted before transmission: “as the only body capable of representing the Ger people.”
  3. Douglas was informed that “Benelux shld he given full opportunity participation discussion in subjs direct concern to them,” but at the outset of the ISG’s work it was difficult to define exactly what the nature of the relation with Benelux should be and the Department preferred to let matters develop before deciding. (Telegram Tosig 18, June 27, to London, not printed, 396.1–ISG/6–2750).
  4. The instructions on organizational and procedural arrangements were transmitted in a letter to Douglas from Secretary Acheson on June 30, not printed (396.1–ISG/6–3050).