Germany: Moscow Conference

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Germany: Moscow Conference

Germany: Moscow Conference.

E.B.

Main policy - agree to nothing involvg. addl. cost to B. Exchequer or anything to prevent recovery of money already spent.
4 Power Treaty - if R. continues obdurate, U.S. may w'draw fr. Moscow and pursue unilateral policy. V. awkward for us if this happens.
Difficulty - which we discuss Europe, R. and U.S. will be thinking always of F/East. Awkward for us because we don't want to intrude too much there - prefer to concentrate our interests in M/East. We may be victims, on Europe, of that conflict.

I have always favoured Federal Germany - for security : control : rebuilding a democr. G.  R. favour highly centralised G., to make it Communist. Don't believe that wd. be any safer for us, or even for R. An efficient Comm. Germany may be as big a danger as any. Ready therefore to have central adminve. services, but want strong Land Govts.
Level of G. industry. Public opinion here is divided. Some favour putting G. on her economic feet : others (M/S. and Admy) want restns imposed. Personally, shd. be content with steel capacity at 10 m. tons as a yardstick, and let other industries follow. Can't have 66 m. people in central Europe underfed and angry. Employer capitalism at its worst - to exploit this population for cheap labour. Watch that.
Must therefore seek a mean, reasonable economy, but security safeguards.
Want something which will last for years. W'out 4 Power agreement can't hope for anything but dangerous discontent in G.

H.D. 

I support this in principle. E.B. must have some margin in discussions and will refer back for instns. Must stop any increase in drain of dollars to keep G. alive. That must come first. No scheme for reorgann. can be condl. on our paying more. Discussed in O.R.C. Much documentn.. General approval there.
Level of industry - good mean position.

R.S.C. 

Support this.

A. 

Discussed procedure at Moscow with Dom. H.C's. Austr. and Canada have strong views on some of these ques. Want assurance they will have chance to express their views. E.B. met them y'day. Point is : at back of this A. and N.Z. anxiety over Japan. Will 5 Powers take effective decisions without due consultn. with Doms. and other belligerents. Important tht. we, with F.O. shd. be able to inform Doms. of main lines of our thought on these ques. as in these pp. Want to give them a digest.  Wd. consult F.O. and Ty. on form of document.

A.V.A. 

Concerned at telegram fr. Mol. to U.S. re mandated territories. Encouraging unilateral action by U.S. Doms. wd. be much upset by that. Basis tht. U.S. won the war v. Japan.

E.B. 

Can't be sure. R's policy is to divide G.B. and U.S. and get latter out of Europe.
But can't say in advance how they will go about it.

A.B. 

Dissent from policy re Germany. H.D. complains of financial drain : but that flows fr. the policy. You can't then avoid the price. Oppose any attempt to fix level of G. industry. Can't allow self-govt. and determine level of industry. Artificial. Decentralisation can't be sustained in 1948/49. Forcing Fed. Govt. on G. will provide prop. for nec. fare movemt. in G. Was basis for Hitler movement. Economic unity and Federal govt. is absurdity. Man is political animal. Why resist pol. unity - you can't stop it. Wrong therefore to oppose R. thrust for centralisation.
E.B.'s thesis is untenable.
Decentralised G. was advocated first by D. Cooper - as resisted by our Party. They won't support it now.
Agree with H.D.'s condn. no more money : insist R. claim for repns. But G. must live. They can't if disturbed by pol. agitn. for pol. unity.

P.M. 

Not certain tht. all G. want to revert to central base.
Not proposg. to enforce Federalism - only to work twds. it. It was Nazis who achieved central G.
What sort of central G? One controlled by R? As in much of E. Europe.
Infiltration fr. the east, spreading to W. Germany. Police State.

A.B. 

But this will play into R. hands.

P.M. 

Too many blacks. This is balanced scheme - with some power at centre and some in Länder. This is a mean between central and local power.
And not to be forced.

E.B. 

When W.S.C. went to Moscow R. favoured brk. up of G. We then argued that wd. produce irredentist movement. But we don't want highly centralised autocratic G. This is a process. Allies centralised G. in 1918 - made everyone go to Berlin. This gave Von Papen and Hitler their chance. Allied control destroyed local govt. I never liked Zonal divisions. Must take a/c of French fears. Pol. sepn. of Ruhr.

A.B. 

But G. will get what they want in the end.

P.M. 

What Germans? Not all thinking alike. Anyway can't leave G. to please themselves.

R.S.C. 

Historically, G. have never wanted centralisn. because fear of Prussia. Only a non-democratic authy. in G. cd. achieve that. They don't want separate states. But don't advocate that. They are ready for Federal system with much autonomy. Fallacious therefore to say they want strong central Govt.
This only sets their feet in certain dirn. Doesn't compel them down that road.

A.B. 

Still disagreed. To insist on artificial level of industry : political separation will fail. I w'draw my opposn. however because this policy can't last.

A.V.A. 

Remember views of Allied Govts.

A.B. 

Inspectorate at finishing end of industry wd. suffice to prevent re-armament.

R.S.C. 

No large country in the world wh. hasn't some federalism w'in it. A natural feature. Even in U.K. we have Scotland and N.I. And Germany has always tended twds. it. Level of industry - fixed i) to avoid rearmament but ii) to limit the extent of distn. (by R) by reparations w'drawals.   i) was achieved mainly by prohibns. of war potential : but as i) had to be fixed it was used also for limitn. of economy. Don't suppose it can be fixed and held down for ever.

J.B.H. 

Always bn. uneasy over artificial limit on industrial prodn.
We have destroyed a large part of G. industry : taking repns. fr. what remains.
We can't impose restns. for all time.
G. can't menace peace for another 10/20 years - alone. But plus someone else she cd:  a springboard for aggression by others.
G. since 1919 have sought Federalism. Weimar produced a plan v. like this. If that is a G. tendency, are there elements in G. whose collabn. to that end we can secure? Land Govts. are composed of anti Nazi elements : they can sabotage our efforts. T.U.'s can wreck our coal policy. But in fact both are working well with us. eg. T.U. opposn. to centralised T.U. because fear of R. domination.  S.P.D. equally afraid of central Party absorption.
Don't therefore drive these elements into arms of centralisers in the east by too Draconian an economic policy. Limit war potential : but don't carry restns. into essential peace time industries.
This memo. is however a real advance on what has bn. agreed h'to but even this won't be m'tained for long.
Support this if taken to Moscow as minimum policy. If not accepted, threaten unilateral action.

E.B. 

I accepted earlier level, on advice of C.C. that this was best we cd. get. I never agreed to 5.8 m. - got 7.5 capacity agreed. Reluctant to take that - only did so to preserve 4 Power working. Wasn't F.O. policy to set these low levels.

J.B.H. 

Para. 8. p. b. This is veto system - involve unanimous agreement of 4 Powers : enables R. to block anything. Cd. it not be a majority?
Experience in Austria shows defects of this.

E.B. 

Will consider. Prob. shall have to go thro' this stage, to get agreement.

Taken from C.M. 25(47)(3) - Meeting held on 27 February 1947.