740.00119 Control (Germany)/7–545

Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Truman

This Government’s policies for treatment of Germany are set forth in two basic documents—a general directive to the U.S. Commander in Chief regarding military government of Germany, and an instruction to the U.S. representative on the Reparation Commission.56 A general directive for Austria has also been prepared by an Informal Policy Committee on Germany57 consisting of representatives of State, War, Navy, Treasury and FEA, reflect the substantial measure of agreement which has been reached among the executive departments on basic policies toward Germany and Austria. Such agreement was accomplished through a process of thorough discussion of the many questions of basic policy which are involved. This process of extended interdepartmental deliberation, while appropriate in the formulation of basic policies, is not well adapted to [Page 950] the handling of the day-to-day questions which are now arising in increasing volume.

It is of pressing importance that we establish in Washington an operating mechanism which can rapidly and efficiently provide guidance to the American Commanders in Germany and Austria and to our representatives on such Allied bodies as the Separation Commission and the European Advisory Commission. Unless such a mechanism is established, we shall be seriously hampered in our negotiations to develop agreed Allied policies toward Germany and Austria.

Accordingly, we recommend that the Department of State and the War Department be authorized to carry out, pursuant to basic policies determined by you, the necessary direction of our activities and negotiations pertaining to treatment of Germany and Austria. The Department of State, by reason of its responsibility to you for carrying out the foreign policy of the United States, would deal primarily with the policy aspects of the questions which will arise. The War Department, by reason of the military responsibility for control of Germany and Austria, would deal primarily with the executive and administrative aspects of such questions. Any proposed modifications in basic policy would be submitted to you for consideration.

The above recommendation would terminate the existing Informal Policy Committee on Germany. It would be the responsibility of the Department of State to consult with other civilian departments and agencies on matters of appropriate concern to them.

I will appreciate being informed whether you approve the above recommendation.

I am informed that the Secretary of War, who is at present out of the city, has discussed this matter with you in person and agrees with the above recommendation.

  1. See pp. 484 and 1222, respectively.
  2. See directive to Commander in Chief of U.S. Forces of Occupation regarding the Military Government of Austria, designated IPCOG 9/2, dated June 23, 1945, Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. i, p. 337.