Socialisation of Ruhr Industries

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Socialisation of Ruhr Industries

On 12 December 1946 the Cabinet discussed the means of giving effect to the Cabinet´s decision that the custody of the principal industries of the Ruhr should be transferred to German custodians.

The following extracts give a flavour of what was said in Cabinet:

P.M.

Selection of custodians by Minister wd. make too much of it -& nothing wd. follow.

A.B.

Suspicion in Party that we are being dragged at U.S. heels.Nec. to make it apparent that appln of these principles in Ruhr is being done by direct authy of Cab. - not junior Ministerunder F.O. (who have always to think of Byrnes´susceptibilities.)

P.M.

Point = had Germans to expect a lot & they will be disappointed.

J.B.H.

This was my view, before E.B.´s intervention. Had intended to ask for delay - to discuss in G. powers of custodians, scope of natn (Cab. decn confined to Ruhr area), ultimate fate of industries (Land or central Govt.). Don´t want to talk to LandGovts. for publn before all these points cleared. Also advisable to await elections in March. Want therefore to explore, in G., first: & submit firm proposals to Cabinet.

E.B.

now endorses. Save tht. I think we shd. tell U.S. before we tell Germans.

E.Sh.

a)C-in-C. and E.B. don´t want to rush the apptmt of custodians.Better wait & evolve future pattern, incldg. wtr. natn shd. go beyond Ruhr.

b)Shdn´t we tell U.S. of our intentns. If we are resolved to go on with this, only courteous to tell them.

E.Sh.

Can´t appoint custodians until clear what they are to do.

Taken from C.M. 105(46) - Meeting held on 12 December 1946