740.00119 Control (Germany)/11–2845

The United States Political Adviser for Germany ( Murphy ) to the Secretary of State


1126. (1) Twenty-third meeting of the Coordinating Committee, Russian member presiding, was held yesterday and gave rise to a certain [Page 1572] acrimony on the questions of restitution and decentralization of German economy.

[Here follows section 2, dealing with restitution, printed on page 1426.]

(3) A long discussion ensued on the draft law on the decentralization of German economy (see my 802, October 18, 2 [3] p.m.). There was general agreement on the top figure to be set for any particular German enterprise, namely, employment of 3,000 workers, 25 million marks turnover and 10% of total business in the line of enterprise. Issue that arose was whether a particular undertaking exceeding these limits should be automatically closed down. British member maintained that turnover limit was unfair in view of possible price rises and also that departure of one industry from the field of competition might result in mandatory closing of the others. He contended that an enterprise exceeding the limits should have recourse to the Control Council which would determine whether dangerous concentration of industry existed. This view was strongly opposed by the US and Russian members and General Clay stated he would have to advise the US Govt and await further instructions.

(4) Draft law on the seizure and control of I. G. Farbenindustrie, which was based on US proposal (see my 767, October 13, 1 p.m.61) was adopted and sent to the Control Council following certain clarifying amendments regarding the creation of a committee consisting of control officers each appointed by their respective zone commanders. Article (I) of law provides that all plants, properties and assets of any nature situated in Germany which were, on or after May 8, 1945, owned or controlled by I. G. Farbenindustrie, are hereby seized and the legal title thereto is vested in the Control Council.62

. . . . . . .

  1. Not printed; it reported discussion at the thirteenth meeting of the Coordinating Committee, held on October 12, concerning a United States proposal to have a four-power commission seize and dispose of I. G. Farben properties in Germany. The British member expressed opposition because he feared such action might undermine the power of the zonal commanders. Nevertheless, the proposal was approved in principle and referred to the appropriate Directorates for the drafting of concrete plans. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/10–1345)
  2. For approval by the Control Council, see telegram 1154, December 1, from Berlin, p. 854.