Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 196

No. 510
Proposal of the British Delegation 1


Plan for German Reunification in Freedom

method of reunification

German reunification and the conclusion of a freely negotiated Peace Treaty with a united Germany should be achieved in the following stages:

Free elections throughout Germany.
The convocation of a National Assembly resulting from those elections.
The drafting of a Constitution and the preparation of Peace Treaty negotiations.
The adoption of the Constitution and the formation of an all-German Government responsible for the negotiation of the Peace Treaty.
The signature and entry into force of the Peace Treaty.

i. free elections throughout germany

Free and secret elections should be held throughout Germany including Berlin at the earliest possible date. These elections must be held in conditions of genuine freedom. Safeguards must be agreed to assure this freedom before, after and during the elections. The elections must also be supervised in such a manner as to make sure that these safeguards are observed and that the elections are properly conducted.

(1) Preparation for the Elections


The Electoral Law

The Electoral Law should be prepared by the Four Occupying Powers, taking into consideration the electoral laws already drafted for this purpose by the Federal Bundestag and the Soviet Zone Volkskammer. When approved, it should be promulgated throughout Germany by the Four Powers. Elections should take place as soon as possible thereafter.


Guarantees for Free Elections

The draft electoral law must contain provisions which will guarantee the genuine freedom of the elections. These include, amongst others:

Freedom of movement throughout Germany.

Freedom of presentation of candidates.

Immunity of candidates.

Freedom from arbitrary arrest or victimisation.

Freedom of association and political meetings.

Freedom of expression for all.

Freedom of the press, radio and television and free circulation of newspapers, periodicals, etc.

Secrecy of the vote.

Security of polling stations and ballot boxes.


Supervision of the Elections

Supervision should be carried out by a Supervisory Commission throughout the whole of Germany. There should be a central body with subordinate bodies at Land and local levels. All votes should be counted and verified at local headquarters in the presence of the Supervisory Commission.


Composition of Supervisory Commission

The Commission should be composed of representatives of the Four Powers, with or without the participation of neutrals.


Organisation of the Commission

The Commission should work on a Committee basis. Its decisions should be taken by majority vote.


Functions and Powers of the Commission

The principal task of the Commission will be to ensure that the elections take place in genuine freedom and in strict conformity with the provisions of the Electoral Law.

(2) Method for Completing the above Preparations

The Foreign Ministers must in the first place agree on the principles contained in this Plan. They will then give instructions accordingly to a Working Group, consisting of the High Commissioners in Germany of the Four Powers, or their representatives, which will work out the necessary details and submit a report.

This report should include, in particular:

the draft of the all-German Electoral Law;
detailed recommendations regarding the supervision of the elections.

The Working Group should begin work not later than two weeks after the conclusion of the Berlin Conference. It should submit its report to the Four Governments not later than one month after beginning its work.

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ii. the national assembly

The all-German elections will establish an all-German National Assembly. The first task of this Assembly will be the preparation of a Constitution.

During the period between the end of the elections and the full assumption of control by the all-German Government, it will be desirable for part of the Supervisory machinery to remain in operation, in order to prevent action after the elections which would impair the conditions of genuine freedom under which they will have been held. Recommendations on this subject should be included in the report of the Working Group.

iii. drafting of the constitution and establishment of a provisional all-german authority

The National Assembly will begin drafting the Constitution as soon as possible after its meeting. Meanwhile, it may form a provisional all-German Authority charged with assisting the Assembly in drafting the Constitution and with preparing the nucleus of the future all-German Ministries. If the Assembly so decides, the Authority may also open with the Four Powers, on a preliminary basis, negotiations for the Peace Treaty.

iv. adoption of the constitution and formation of an all-german government responsible for the negotations of the peace treaty

The Constitution will be submitted to the Assembly as soon as possible after the final draft has been agreed. Immediately it has been adopted an all-German Government will be formed. This Government will then be responsible for the negotiations and conclusion of the Peace Treaty. At the same time, such other institutions as may be provided for in the Constitution shall be established.

As soon as the all-German Government has been formed, the National Assembly will determine how the powers of the Federal Government and the German authorities in the Soviet Zone shall be transferred to the all-German Government, and how the two former shall be brought to an end.

The all-German Government shall have authority to assume the international rights and obligations of the Federal Republic and the Soviet Zone of Germany and to conclude such other international agreements as it may wish.

Until the entry into force of the Peace Treaty, each of the four Powers will exercise, with respect to the National Assembly and the all-German Government, only those of its rights which relate to the stationing of armed forces in Germany and the protection of [Page 1180] their security; Berlin; the reunification of Germany; and a Peace Treaty.

Decisions of the National Assembly and the all-German Government in carrying out this Plan will not require the approval of the Four Powers. Such decisions may not be disapproved except by a majority vote of the Four Powers.

v. signature and entry into force of the peace treaty

The signatories to the Treaty should include all States, or the successors thereof, which were at war with Germany. The Treaty should enter into force when ratified by the Four Powers and by Germany.

  1. This proposal was introduced at the fifth plenary on Jan. 29. For a record of that meeting, see Secto 53, Document 383. This proposal was initially agreed by the three Western powers on Jan. 27, submitted to representatives of the Federal Republic that day, and then revised slightly on Jan. 29 before being introduced by Foreign Secretary Eden. (Secto 34 from Berlin, Jan. 27, 396.1 BE/1–2754)