662A.00/3–2852: Telegram

No. 11
The Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Bonn1


2372. Dept has Fol comments on Fr paper sent your 2181 rptd Paris 6762 re joint action by three powers after contractual arrangements become effective:

Although paper emphasizes tripartite action it does not provide how decisions for such action are to be reached. Accordingly presume Fr intend all decisions to be taken by unanimity. See our views para (11) below.
Para (1) provides in effect all rights and responsibilities of three powers under all conventions will be exercised jointly. Appears to Dept, however, Allied rights and responsibilities will not necessarily require joint action, and that it will be awkward in practice and politically unwise make such action mandatory. Even under HICOM Charter3 regulating exercise Allied controls distinction was made between subjs tripartite and unilateral concern.
Re para (2) right station armed forces in Ger has been held and exercised by three powers individually and cannot be subjected to requirement joint decision reached by either unanimous or majority vote.
We have no objection substance para (4) except it must not impair right of individual govt give unilateral instrs to its Commandant when appropriate. 4 (b) shld be clarified to indicate what decisions are referred to.
Re para (5) our views set forth in cables beginning Deptel 2319 to Frankfort Oct 10 and culminating Deptel 1104 to Bonn Jan 16,4 authorizing acceptance. Brit proposal that one power may submit dispute to Tribunal only if other two not opposed. Realize you may be committed to this position, and if so will have accept some provisions along lines Fr draft this pt. However, agree with you desirable one power shld be free submit disagreement to Tribunal even if other two are opposed, and wld be glad see you raise this question again. This position is consistent with present language Art IX para 2(a) of Charter (SPCOM/P(51)20 Fifth Revision5), [Page 18] so if it were accepted no tripartite agrmt on subj wld be required.
Re para (6) we consider relations between Ambs and Commanders-in-Chief are natl, not tripartite, questions. Do not see why these matters need be subj tripartite agrmt.
Believe paper reflects Fr lack confidence their ability deal with Gers if latter are accepted as equals Allies. Evident to us Fr purpose is preserve continuity joint action and make each issue arising from contractual conventions tripartite matter, so that in every negot any consequence three powers will be together on one side and Gers will be alone on other. Unfortunate result will in our opinion create org of Ambs equivalent HICOM to maintain atmosphere of occupation, and thereby encourage feeling of distrust between Gers and Allies. Such dealing at arms length is contrary our conception new relationship in which FedRep will be equal partner, and we fear agrmt this nature which must inevitably become known Gers will seriously impair good effects we hope obtain from terminating occupation.
We realize Art I Sec 3 Gen Convention provides Allied Ambs “will act jointly in matters the Three Powers consider of common concern” under various conventions. Realize further Dept aide-mémoire 14 Nov 1951 to Fr Emb (enclosed with A–9 to Bonn Nov 196) stated three powers might agree informally that their reps in Ger shld act together “in matters of common concern” which might be described “in gen terms” and that some provision might “if necessary” be made re voting procedure. These statements do not commit us accept Fr proposal for joint action all matters.
You are already aware our preference for least formal agrmt on minimum nr pts. (Deptel 808 Dec 28 rptd London 3087 Paris 3704.7) We wld really favor no agrmt at all. Problem raised by Fr paper seems to us consist basically two issues. One is extent to which we shld define matters which are of “common concern” and therefore appropriate for joint action. Other is whether voting procedure shld be established at all, and if so to what subjs it shld apply.
Re first issue we are reluctant define matters of common concern in detail. Joint action re such matters already agreed in principle. Besides, conventions are so lengthy and complicated in [Page 19] comparison Occupation Statute8 and it is so difficult to predict how they will work out in practice we think it is not worthwhile to examine all their provisions with view determining which are suitable for joint action and which are not. This may have been useful exercise in Art V of HICOM Charter, but we do not think it appropriate in period normal relations when Allied admin is supposed to have terminated.
Re voting procedure our basic objection is any arrangement of this kind will do great deal transform three Ambs into equivalent HICOM. We do not believe voting procedure necessary and wld prefer let three powers reach decisions as circumstances require. In particular we think voting procedure for ambs wld be unsuitable re exercise of powers retained Art II Gen Convention. Stationing troops will involve SHAPE and EDC and decisions this subj will undoubtedly be made by govts rather than Ambs. Protection security troops cannot be subj voting procedure because we do not believe US Govt wld subordinate its right act on behalf of its own troops to decision of another nation. Powers re Berlin and Ger as whole are in essence powers re Sov Union and are so broad in their implications major decisions re their exercise must in any event be made by govts acting independently, but of necessity in concert.
While we do not underestimate firmness of Fr position this subj, we do not see how Fr draft can be satis to us even as basis for discussion. Is it possible induce Fr abandon their proposal or reduce it to limits acceptable to us? Are Brit still willing act with us to “forestall any Fr plan to formalize relations of three ambs” as reported London’s 2313 Nov 13 to Dept rptd Bonn 52 Paris 1030?9
Foregoing are Dept views which have not been cleared with Defense.

  1. Drafted by Auchincloss, cleared with Raymond and by Margolies and Lewis, and initialed by Calhoun and Laukhuff. Repeated to London and Paris.
  2. Supra.
  3. For the Charter of the Allied High Commission for Germany, see Germany 1947–1949, pp. 92–97.
  4. Neither printed. (662A.0011/10–951 and 1–852)
  5. No copy of SPCOM/P(51)20 (5th Revision) has been found in Department of State files; however, copies of SPCOM/P(51)20 (4th Revision), Oct. 23, 1951, and SPCOM/P(51)20 (6th Revision), Mar. 27, 1952, and several other drafts from November and December 1951 are in CFM files, lot M–88, box 187, “Draft Convention, Charter of the Arbitration Tribunal.”
  6. Neither airgram A–9 nor the U.S. aide-mémoire is printed. (662A.00/11–1351)
  7. Not printed. (662A.00/12–2851)
  8. For text of the Occupation Statute, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. iii, p. 179; regarding its revision in 1951 and the text of the revised Occupation Statute, see ibid., 1951, vol. iii, Part 2, pp. 1410 ff.
  9. Not printed. (662A.00/11–1351)