740.00119 EAC/1–545: Telegram
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 5—8:47 p.m.]
188. Comea 143. As reported in my 11080 of December 14, 8 p.m.,17 (Comea 135), the European Advisory Commission has established an Allied Consultation Committee to consult with representatives of six European Allied governments18 concerning German surrender terms. The chairman by seniority of rank is Sobolev, Soviet Minister-Counselor. I have appointed Mosely19 and General Meyer. At an organization meeting the Committee decided to ask the Commission to define its mandate more fully.
On Tuesday20 the EAC instructed the Committee to hand to the other Allied representatives a summary of the provisions of the surrender instrument (copy forwarded by air).21 The Committee was also instructed to state that the text of the surrender instrument must be withheld at this stage because of strategic and security factors and that the question of whether it will be shown at a later date to the Allied Governments is being considered by the four governments.
As to zones of occupation and control machinery, it was agreed that the Committee, if asked, may say that the Allies intend to occupy Germany and to establish control over, it, but may not inform the Allied representatives of tentative arrangements concerning occupation and control since the agreements recommended by the EAC have not as yet been approved by all four governments.
The United Kingdom representative on the EAC asked the United States, French and Soviet Governments consider whether the text of the surrender instrument should be communicated to the chiefly interested United Nations governments prior to its signature. The British feel strongly that the text should be communicated some weeks prior to the foreseeable time of German surrender, allowing time for study and comment by the Allied Governments. When at one point Strang reverted to his phrase about signature “on behalf of the United Nations”, I insisted strongly on adherence to our agreed formula of [Page 167] “acting in the interests of the United Nations”, and Strang at once disclaimed any desire to amend the text as approved.
Massigli gave strong support to the British proposal but also insisted that the text should not be modified as a result of comments by the other Allied Governments.
Strang and Massigli felt that the question of consultation has great significance for those Allies who have suffered from German aggression, and that a mere belated notification of the text would leave resentment. They believed that, if the four governments should decide in principle to communicate the text at a later time for examination and comment, a statement now to the Allies of this intention would allay many of their anxieties, while determination of the appropriate time for communication would naturally rest with the four governments.
In the EAC discussion Gousev stressed particularly the strategic and propaganda advantages which the Germans would derive from a leakage of the surrender instrument through any one of the governments which might receive the text. I also emphasized the importance of restricting the distribution of the surrender terms and other documents to the smallest possible number of persons. In general I believe we should think twice before giving or even promising to give the text at an early date to any government outside the EAC. The risks of leakage of information affecting military planning for control over Germany are too great to be incurred lightly even though some of the Allied Governments may resent our apparent lack of confidence in their discretion.
If thought is given to communicating the surrender text to certain Allies, the number of governments to be informed of the text in advance of signature should also be considered. Strang has proposed that the United Nations be approached in two categories: one group to receive the terms in advance with an opportunity to comment; the other group to receive the text for information at the time of its signature. Strang and Massigli propose to include the European United Nations and the British Dominions in the first category. Before agreeing to any definite list for the first category we would need to consider whether it should also include such United Nations as China, Brazil and Mexico.
I should appreciate early instructions of [on] the question raised above. Gousev is similarly requesting the views of his government.
Please furnish a paraphrase to Generals Hilldring and Strong.