The Potsdam Conference
The Potsdam Conference
(July 17-August 2, 1945)
Stalin: I propose President Truman of the United States. Churchill: The British delegation supports this proposal.
Truman: I accept the chairmanship of this Conference. Let me put before you some of the questions that have accumulated by the time of our meeting and that require urgent examination. We can then discuss the procedure of the Conference.
Churchill: We shall have the right to add to the agenda.
Truman: One of the most acute problems at present is to set up some kind of mechanism for arranging peace talks. Without it, Europe's economic development will continue to the detriment of the cause of the Allies and the whole world.
The experience of the Versailles Conference after the First World War showed that a peace conference can have very many flaws unless it is prepared beforehand by the victor Powers. A peace conference without preliminary preparations takes place in a tense atmosphere of contending sides, which inevitably delays the working out of its decisions.
That is why I propose, considering the experience of the Versailles Conference, that we should here and now set up a special Council of Foreign Ministers, consisting of the Ministers of Great Britain, the U.S.S.R., the United States, France and China, that is, the permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations set up at the San Francisco Conference. This Council of Foreign Ministers for preparing a peace conference should meet as soon as
possible after our meeting. It is in this spirit and on these lines that I have drawn up a draft for the setting up of a Council of Foreign Ministers for preparing a peace conference which I now put before you.
Churchill: I propose that we refer the matter for consideration to our Foreign Ministers, who will report to us at our next sitting.
Stalin: I agree, but I am not quite clear about the participation of China's Foreign Minister in the Council. After all, this is a question of European problems, isn't it? How appropriate is the participation of China's representative
Truman: We can discuss this question after the Foreign Ministers report to us.
Stalin: All right.
Truman: About a Control Council for Germany. This Council should start its work as soon as possible, in accordance with the agreement reached. With that end in view I submit for your consideration a draft containing the principles which, in our opinion, should govern the work of this Control Council.
Churchill: I have had no chance to read this document, but I shall read it with full attention and respect, and it then could be discussed. This question is so broad that it should not be referred to the Foreign Ministers, but we should study and discuss it ourselves, and then, if need be, refer it to the Ministers.
Truman: We could discuss this matter tomorrow.
Stalin: Indeed, we could discuss the question tomorrow. The Ministers could acquaint themselves with it beforehand; that would be advisable, because we ourselves will be studying the question at the same time.
Churchill: Our Ministers already have enough to do on the first document. Tomorrow we could refer this second question to them as well, couldn't we?
Stalin: Good, let's do that tomorrow.
Truman reads the content of a memorandum which says that under the decisions of the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe the three Powers undertook certain obligations in respect of the liberated peoples of Europe and Germany's former satellites. These decisions provided for an agreed policy of the three Powers and their joint action in the solution of the political and economic problems of liberated Europe in accordance with democratic principles.
Since the Yalta Conference, the obligations undertaken by us in the Declaration on Liberated Europe remain unfulfilled. In the opinion of the U.S. Government, continued failure to fulfil these obligations will be regarded all over the world as indicating lack of unity between the three Great Powers and will undermine confidence in the sincerity and unity of purpose among the United Nations. That is why the U.S. Government proposes that the fulfilment of the obligations of this Declaration should be fully co-ordinated at this Conference.
The three great Allied states must agree to the need for an immediate reorganisation of the present Governments of Rumania and Bulgaria in strict conformity with Paragraph 3, Point "c" of the Declaration on Liberated Europe. Consultations must be held immediately to work out the procedure necessary for the reorganisation of these Governments so that they include representatives of all important democratic groups. After these Governments are reorganised, there may be diplomatic recognition of them on the part of the Allied Powers and conclusion of corresponding treaties.
In conformity with the obligations of the three Powers, set forth in Paragraph 3, Point "d" of the Declaration on Liberated Europe, the Governments of the three Powers must discuss how best to help the work of the provisional Governments in holding free and fair elections. Such help will be required in Rumania, Bulgaria, and, possibly, in other countries too.
One of the most important tasks facing us is to determine our attitude to Italy. In view of the fact that Italy recently declared war on Japan, I hope that the Conference will deem it possible to agree to support Italy's application to become a member of the United Nations. The Foreign Ministers could work out an appropriate statement on this matter on behalf of the United Nations Governments.
Is it necessary to read the whole of this document? Do we have the time?
Churchill: Mr. President, these are very important problems and we must have time to discuss them. The point is that our positions on these issues differ. We were attacked by Italy at the most critical moment, when she stabbed France in the back. We had been fighting Italy in Africa for two years, before America entered the war, and we suffered
great losses. We even had to risk the forces of the United Kingdom, and to reduce our defences in the United Kingdom in order to send troops to Africa. We had big naval battles m the Mediterranean. We have the best of intentions in respect of Italy, and we have proved this by letting them keep their ships.
Stalin: That is very good, but today we must confine ourselves to drawing up an agenda with the additional points. When the agenda is drawn up any question can be discussed on its merits.
Truman: I fully agree.
Churchill: I am very grateful to the President for having opened this discussion, thereby making a big contribution to our work, but I think that we must have time to discuss these questions. This is the first time I see them. I am not saying that I cannot agree with these proposals, but there must be time to discuss them. I propose that the President should complete making his proposals, if he has any more, so that afterwards we could draw up the agenda.
Truman: The aim of the three Governments in respect of Italy is to promote her political independence and economic rehabilitation and to ensure the Italian people the right to choose their form of government.
The present position of Italy, as a co-belligerent and as a Power that had surrendered unconditionally, is anomalous and hampers every attempt both of the Allies and of Italy herself to improve her economic and political position. This anomaly can be finally eliminated only through the conclusion of a peace treaty with Italy. The drafting of such a treaty should be one of the first tasks set before the Council of Foreign Ministers.
At the same time, an improvement of Italy's internal situation can be achieved by creating an atmosphere in which Italy’s contribution to the defeat of Germany will be recognised. That is why it is recommended that the brief terms of Italy's surrender, and the comprehensive terms of Italy's surrender should be annulled and replaced by the Italian Government’s obligations flowing from the new situation in Italy.
These obligations must stipulate that the Italian Government refrains from hostile action against any member of the United Nations; the Italian Government must not have
any naval or air forces and equipment, except those that will be established by the Allies, and will observe all the instructions of the Allies; pending the conclusion of a peace treaty, control over Italy should be exercised as the need arises; simultaneously, there must be a decision on how long the Allied armed forces are to remain on the territory of Italy; finally, a fair settlement of territorial disputes must be ensured.
Because I was unexpectedly elected Chairman of this Conference, I was unable to express my feelings at once. I am very glad to meet you, Generalissimo, and you, Mr. Prime Minister. I am well aware that I am now substituting for a man whom it is impossible to substitute, the late President Roosevelt. I am glad to serve, even if partially, the memory which you preserve of President Roosevelt. I want to consolidate the friendship which existed between you.
The matters which I have put before you are, of course, highly important. But this does not exclude the placing of additional questions on the agenda.
Churchill: Do you have anything to say, Generalissimo, in reply to Mr. President, or will you allow me to do so?
Stalin: Please do.
Churchill: On behalf of the British delegation I should like to voice our sincere gratitude to the President of the United States for having accepted the chairmanship of this Conference, and I thank him for having expressed the views of the great republic which he represents and of which he is the head, and wish to tell him: I am sure the Generalissimo will agree with me that we welcome him very sincerely and it is our desire to tell him at this important moment that we shall have the same warm feelings for him that we had for President Roosevelt. He has come at a historic moment, and it is our desire that the present tasks and the aims for which we had fought should be attained now, in peacetime. We have respect not only for the American people but also for their President personally, and I hope this feeling of respect will grow and serve to improve our relations.
Stalin: Let me say on behalf of the Russian delegation that we fully share the sentiments expressed by Mr. Churchill.
Churchill: I think we should now pass on to the ordinary items of the agenda and elaborate some kind of programme
for our work to see whether we are able to cope with this agenda ourselves, or whether we should refer a part of the items to the Foreign Ministers. I do not think we should lay down the whole of the agenda at once, but can confine ourselves to an agenda for each day. For instance, we should like to add the Polish question.
Stalin: Still it would be well for all the three delegations to set forth all the questions they consider necessary to put on the agenda. The Russians have questions on the division of the German navy and others. On the question of the navy the President and I had an exchange of letters and had reached an understanding.
The second question is that of reparations.
Then we should discuss the question of trust territories.
Churchill: Do you mean the territories in Europe or all over the world?
Stalin: We shall discuss that. I do not know exactly what these territories are but the Russians would like to take part in the administration of trust territories.
We should like to raise as a separate question the resumption of diplomatic relations with Germany's former satellites.
It is also necessary to examine the question of the regime in Spain. We Russians consider that the present Franco regime in Spain was imposed on the Spanish people by Germany and Italy. It is fraught with grave danger for the freedom-loving United Nations. We think it would be good to create conditions for the Spanish people to establish a regime of their choice.
Churchill: We are still discussing the items to be put on the agenda. I agree that the question of Spain should be put on the agenda.
Stalin: I was merely explaining the idea behind the question. Then we should also raise the question of Tangiers.
Churchill: Mr. Eden has told me that if we got to the Tangiers question we could reach only a temporary agreement because of the absence of the French.
Stalin: Still it is interesting to know the opinion of the three Great Powers on this matter.
Then there should be a discussion of the question of Syria and the Lebanon. It is also necessary to discuss the Polish question with a view to solving the questions which arise
from the fact that the Government of National Unity has been formed in Poland and the consequent necessity to disband the émigré Polish Government.
Churchill: I consider it necessary to discuss the Polish question. The discussion of this question which took place after the Crimea Conference undoubtedly resulted in a satisfactory solution of the Polish question. I quite agree to have the question examined as also the corollary question of the disbandment of the Polish Government in London.
Stalin: That's right, that's right.
Churchill: I hope that the Generalissimo and the President will understand that we have the London Polish Government which had been the basis for the maintenance of the Polish Army which fought against Germany. This produces a number of secondary questions connected with the disbandment of the Polish Government in London. I think that our aims are similar, but we certainly have a more difficult task than the other two Powers. In connection with the disbandment of' the Polish Government we cannot fail to provide for the soldiers. But we must solve these questions in the spirit and in the light of the Yalta Conference. In connection with the Polish question we attach very great importance, in Poland's interests, to the matter of elections, which should be an expression of the Polish people's sincere desire.
Stalin: For the time being, the Russian delegation has no more questions for the agenda.
Churchill: We have already presented our agenda to you. If you will allow me, Mr. President, I should like to make a proposal concerning the procedure to be followed at the Conference. I propose that the three Foreign Ministers should meet today or tomorrow morning to select the questions which could best be discussed by us here tomorrow. We could follow the same procedure for the subsequent days of the Conference. The Ministers could draw up a better agenda by selecting three, four or five items. They could meet tomorrow morning and draw up an agenda for us.
Stalin: I have no objections. Truman: Agreed.
Churchill: I think we have a general outline of our task and an idea of the volume of our work. I think the Foreign Ministers should now make their choice and put it before us, and then we can start working.
Stalin: I agree. What shall we do today? Shall we continue our sitting until the Ministers let us have five or six questions? I think we could discuss the setting up of the Council of Foreign Ministers as a preparatory institution for the coming peace conference.
Truman: All right.
Churchill: All right.
Stalin: We should discuss the question of the participation of China's representative in the Council of Foreign Ministers, if the idea is that the Council will deal with European questions.
Truman: China will be one of the permanent members of the Security Council set up at San Francisco.
Stalin: Is the decision of the Crimea Conference, under which the Foreign Ministers are to meet periodically to examine various questions, to be dropped?
Truman: We propose to set up the Council of Foreign Ministers for a definite purpose: to work out the terms of a peace treaty and to prepare a peace conference.
Stalin: It was established at the Crimea Conference that the Foreign Ministers are to meet every three or four months to discuss separate questions. This seems to be no longer necessary, doesn't it? In that case, the European Advisory Commission seems to be no longer necessary either? That is how I see it, and I should like to know whether or not I am taking the correct view.
Truman: The Council of Foreign Ministers is being set up only for a definite purpose - to work out the terms of the peace treaty.
Stalin: I have no objection to setting up the Council of Foreign Ministers, but then the meetings of Ministers laid down by the decision of the Crimea Conference are apparently called off and one should think that the European Advisory Commission is also no longer necessary. Both these institutions will be replaced by the Council of Foreign Ministers.
Churchill: The three Foreign Ministers, as was laid down at the Crimea Conference, were to meet every three or four months in order to give us advice on a number of important questions relating to Europe. I think if we add the representative of China to the Council of Foreign Ministers of the three Great Powers, this will only complicate matters, because the Council is to discuss questions relating to European
countries. When we discuss the peace treaty relating to the whole world, and not only to Europe, the representative of China can be invited. Our three Ministers will be able to do their work more fruitfully and with greater ease. The participation of China's representative in the day-to-day activity of the Council would merely complicate its work. It is very easy to create organisations on paper, but if they produce nothing in reality, I think they are superfluous. In fact, are we not able to solve the question of the future administration of Germany without the participation of China? Let us confine ourselves to the three Ministers in the Council of Foreign Ministers.
Truman: I propose that we should postpone the discussion of the question of terminating the periodic meetings of the Ministers as laid down by the decision of the Yalta Conference. We are now discussing the setting up of a Council of Ministers to draft a peace treaty, and this is quite a different matter. I should like to submit to you the U.S. draft on the Council of Foreign Ministers setting forth the principles of its organisation.
This draft calls for a Council of Foreign Ministers consisting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., the United States, Great Britain, China and France. The Council is to meet periodically, and its first meeting is to take place on such and such a date.
Each of the Foreign Ministers is to be accompanied by a high-ranking deputy duly authorised and able to work independently in the absence of the Foreign Minister. He should also be accompanied by a limited staff of technical advisers. A joint secretariat is also to be set up.
The Council is to be empowered to draw up, with the aim of submitting to the Governments of the United Nations, peace treaties with Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary. The Council is also to propose ways of settling territorial questions remaining open since the end of the war in Europe. The Council is to prepare comprehensive terms for a peace treaty with Germany which are to be accepted by the future Government of Germany, when a German Government suitable for that purpose is set up.
When the Council of Foreign Ministers deals with matters having a direct bearing on a state not represented on the Council, that state is to be invited to attend the Council meetings to take part in discussing the given question.
That does not mean that invariable rules are being laid down for the work of the Council. The Council shall lay down a procedure in conformity with a given problem. In some cases the Council may be convened for preliminary discussion with the participation of other interested states; in other cases it may be desirable to convene the Council before inviting interested sides.
Stalin: Will it be a Council preparing questions for the future international peace conference?
Churchill: The peace conference which will end the war.
Stalin: In Europe the war is over. The Council will determine and suggest the date for the convocation of a peace conference.
Truman: We think the conference should not be called before we are duly prepared for it.
Churchill: It seems to me there is no difficulty in concerting the aim we are striving for. We must set up a Council of Foreign Ministers to draft a peace treaty. But this Council should not substitute the organisations which already exist and deal with day-to-day matters – the regular meetings of the three Ministers and the European Advisory Commission, in which France is also taking part. The Council of Foreign Ministers is a broader organisation. There one can establish to what extent the European Advisory Commission and the regular meetings of the Ministers may deal with the questions of the peace treaty.
Stalin: Who in that case is to be subordinate to whom?
Churchill: The Council of Foreign Ministers is to exist parallel to the Security Council, in which China is also taking part, and parallel to the regular meetings of Foreign Ministers and the European Advisory Commission. Until victory over Japan, China will find it hard to take part in discussing European questions. We cannot benefit in any way from China's taking part in discussing European questions at present. Europe has always been a great volcano, and its problems should be regarded as being highly important. It is possible that at the time when the peace conference will be convened we shall have better news from the Far East and we could then invite China too.
I propose that in principle the peace treaty should be drafted by the five principal Powers, but as for Europe,
its problems should be discussed only by the four Powers which have a direct interest in these matters. In this way we shall not disrupt the work of the European Advisory Commission and the regular meetings of Foreign Ministers. Both these organisations will be able to continue their work simultaneously.
Stalin: Perhaps we should refer this question to the Ministers for discussion?
Truman: I agree and do not object to China being excluded from the Council of Foreign Ministers.
Churchill: I think it would be possible to arrange things in such a way that some members would not take part in all the sittings, although they would enjoy full rights, as all the other members, but they would attend the sittings only when there was an examination of questions they were interested in.
Truman: As I see it, this question should be referred to the Foreign Ministers for discussion.
Stalin: Yes, that's right.
Truman: Can we discuss anything more today?
Stalin: Since all the questions are to be discussed by the Foreign Ministers, we have nothing else to do today.
Churchill: I propose that the Foreign Ministers should examine the question of whether there should be four or five members. But that this Council should deal exclusively with preparations for the peace treaty first for Europe and then for the whole world.
Stalin: A peace treaty or a peace conference?
Churchill: The Council will prepare a plan which it will put before the Heads of Government for examination.
Stalin: Let the Foreign Ministers discuss how necessary it is to keep alive the European Advisory Commission in Europe and how necessary it is for the regular meetings of the three Ministers, established in accordance with the Yalta decision, to continue their functions. Let the Ministers also discuss these questions.
Churchill: That depends on the situation in Europe and on what headway these organisations make in their work. I propose that the three Foreign Ministers should continue their regular meetings and that the European Advisory Commission should also continue its work.
Truman: We must specify the concrete questions for discussion at tomorrow's sitting.
Churchill: We should want to have something definite in the bag every night as we return home.
Truman: I should like the Foreign Ministers to give us something definite for discussion every day.
Stalin: I agree.
Truman: I also propose that we should start our sittings at four o'clock instead of five.
Stalin: Four? Well, all right.
Churchill: We submit to the Chairman.
Truman: If that is accepted, let us postpone the examination of questions until 4.00 p.m. tomorrow.
Stalin: Yes, let's do that. There is only one other question: why does Mr. Churchill deny the Russians their share of the German navy?
Churchill: I have no objections. But since you have asked me this question, here is my answer: this navy should be either sunk or divided.
Stalin: Do you want it sunk or divided?
Churchill: All means of war are terrible things.
Stalin: The navy should be divided. If Mr. Churchill prefers to sink the navy, he is free to sink his share of it; I have no intention of sinking mine.
Churchill: At present, nearly the whole of the German navy is in our hands.
Stalin: That's the whole point. That's the whole point. That is why we need to decide the question.
Truman: Tomorrow the sitting is at 4 o'clock.
July 18, 1945
Truman opens the sitting.
Churchill: I should like to mention one question outside the agenda which is not especially important from the standpoint of international relations and which is of temporary significance. During our meeting at Tehran, members of the press found it very hard to obtain any information on the work of the Conference, and altogether impossible at the Yalta Conference. There are almost 180 correspondents in Berlin who are roaming the environs in a state of fury and indignation.
Stalin: That's a whole company. Who let them in?
Churchill: They are not here, in the zone, of course, but in Berlin. Of course, we can work calmly only if there is secrecy, and we are duty bound to ensure this secrecy. If both my colleagues agree with me, I could, as an old journalist, have a talk with them and explain to them the need for secrecy at our meeting; I could tell them that we sympathise with them, but are unable to tell them what is going on here. I think we should stroke their wings to calm them.
Stalin: What do they want, what are their demands?
Truman: Each of our delegations has special press officers, and it is their duty to protect us from the claims of the correspondents. Let them do their job. We can authorise them to talk to the journalists.
Churchill: Of course, I don't want to be a lamb led to the slaughter. I could talk to them if the Generalissimo guarantees to rescue me with troops in case of need.
Truman: Today our Foreign Ministers have prepared an agenda and recommend it for our consideration. By agreement between the Ministers, Byrnes is to report on the agenda.
Byrnes: Our Foreign Ministers have agreed to propose the following items for inclusion in today's agenda:
1. The question of the procedure and mechanism for peace negotiations and territorial claims.
2. The question of the powers of the Control Council in Germany in the political sphere.
3. The Polish question, specifically, the disbandment of the émigré Polish Government in London.
As for the first item, the procedure and mechanism for peace negotiations and territorial claims (the establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers), the draft proposed by the U.S. delegation was in principle approved by the Foreign Ministers' conference. The conference adopted a new reading of Clause 3 of the draft on setting up the Council of Foreign Ministers. The first and most important task of the Council of Ministers is to draft peace treaties with Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland, and also to prepare a peace treaty with Germany.
An equally important task of the Council is to prepare and submit to the Governments of the United Nations detailed terms of organisation and holding of the peace conference.
The Council must also be used for preparing the question of a peaceful settlement of territorial disputes. For the fulfilment of all these tasks, the Council shall consist of the same members who are permanent members of the Security Council.
When the Council of Foreign Ministers examines questions which have a direct bearing on the interests of states not represented on the Council, these states shall be invited to send their representatives to take part in the discussion of the matter. In some cases, the Council could have a preliminary discussion of the question by itself before inviting representatives of the interested states.
The Soviet delegation has made the reservation that it retains the right to introduce an amendment and make remarks on Clause 1 of the draft of the U.S. delegation on the establishment of the Council of Foreign Ministers.1
The conference agreed that the periodic conferences of the three Ministers established by the decision of the Crimea Conference would not be affected by the work of the Council of Foreign Ministers.
As for the powers of the European Advisory Commission the conference of Ministers decided to transfer these powers to the Allied Control Councils for Germany and Austria. Thus, the draft proposed by the American delegation for the establishment of the Council of Foreign Ministers was in the main approved, with the exception of the Soviet delegation's reservation on Clause 1.
Stalin: The Soviet delegation withdraws its reservation on Clause 1 of the draft. As for the rest, the Soviet delegation is in agreement and accepts the draft.
Truman: Consequently, the draft on the institution of the Council of Foreign Ministers is adopted without objections.
Stalin: It is possible to accept this text: the three Great Powers represent the interests of all the United Nations and they can take the responsibility upon themselves.
Truman: Let us pass to the second item.
Churchill: Our Foreign Ministers have worked well.
Stalin: To be sure, to be sure.
Truman: The next question is on the political powers of the Control Council in Germany.
Byrnes: The Foreign Ministers discussed the question of the political powers of the Control Council in Germany and of its economic powers. Some of the differences which arose in the discussion of this matter were referred to sub-commissions which were set up. These sub-commissions have not yet completed their work, but the Ministers have agreed that it would be desirable for the Heads of Government to have a preliminary discussion of the political powers of the Control Council in Germany at today’s sitting. The Ministers also agreed that the economic questions connected with Germany are so difficult and complicated that they must be referred to a sub-commission of experts. These sub-commissions will report to the Ministers on the matters on which they fail to reach agreement. The Foreign Ministers will then decide which of these questions are to be submitted for the examination by the Heads of Government.
The Foreign Ministers have also agreed that although they would not recommend today a discussion on the question of the German navy and merchant marine, this question would be discussed somewhat later.
Churchill: I want to raise only one question. I note that the word "Germany" is being used here. What is now the meaning of "Germany"? Is it to be understood in the same sense as before the war?
Truman: How is this question understood by the Soviet delegation?
Stalin: Germany is what she has become after the war. There is no other Germany. That is how I understand the question.
Truman: Is it possible to speak of Germany as she had been before the war, in 1937?
Stalin: As she is in 1945.
Truman: She lost everything in 1945; actually, Germany no longer exists.
Stalin: Germany is, as we say, a geographical concept. Let's take it this way for the time being. We cannot abstract ourselves from the results of the war.
Truman: Yes, but there must be some definition of the concept of "Germany", I believe the Germany of 1886 or of 1937 is not the same thing as Germany today, in 1945.
Stalin: She has changed as a result of the war, and that is how we take her.
Truman: I quite agree with this, but some definition of the concept of "Germany" must be given.
Stalin: For example, is there any idea of establishing a German administration in the Sudeten part of Czechoslovakia? That is an area from which the Germans had expelled the Czechs.
Truman: Perhaps we shall speak of Germany as she had been before the war, in 1937?
Stalin: That could be taken formally, but actually that is not so. If a German administration should put in an appearance at Königsberg, we shall expel it, we shall most certainly expel it.
Truman: It was agreed at the Crimea Conference that territorial questions should be settled at a peace conference. How are we then to define the concept of "Germany"?
Stalin: Let us define the western borders of Poland, and we shall then be clearer on the question of Germany. I find it very hard to say what Germany is just now. It is a country without a Government, without any definite borders, because the borders are not formalised by our troops. Germany has no troops, including frontier troops; she is broken up into occupation zones. Take this and define what Germany is. It is a broken country.
Truman: Perhaps we could take Germany's 1937 borders as the starting point?
Stalin: We can start anywhere. We have to start somewhere. In that context, we could take 1937 too.
Truman: That was the Germany after the Versailles Treaty.
Stalin: Yes, we could take the Germany of 1937, but only as a point of departure. It is merely a working hypothesis for the convenience of our work.
Churchill: Only as a starting point. That does not mean that we shall confine ourselves to this.
Truman: We agree to take the Germany of 1937 as a starting point. We have not yet finished with the second question but shall agree on that.
Stalin: Is the political aspect prepared?
Byrnes: The political aspect is prepared and can be discussed.
Stalin: The Russian delegation in the main accepts all the clauses of the political section of this question. There is
only one amendment to Clause 5: it would be well to delete the last four lines, for they leave a loophole for the Nazis which they can use.
Truman: I agree that these four lines should be deleted.
Stalin: Very good. We are agreed on all the rest. I should like the drafting commission to edit this text.
Byrnes: A special sub-commission has been appointed for this purpose at the Foreign Minsters’ meeting.
Stalin: Good. There are no objections.
Eden: It would be good if the Ministers once again went over this document at their meeting tomorrow morning, after it is submitted by the drafting commission.
Stalin: That will, of course, be better.
Churchill: This draft, Clause 2 (b), speaks of the destruction of armaments and other instruments of war, and of all specialised means for their manufacture. However, there are several highly valuable experimental installations in Germany. It would be undesirable to destroy these installations.
Stalin: The draft says: to seize or destroy.
Churchill: We could use them all together or divide them among ourselves.
Stalin: Yes, we could.
The Soviet delegation has a draft on the Polish question in Russian and in English. I would ask you to study this draft.
Truman: I propose that we should hear out Byrnes s report on the meeting of the Foreign Ministers and then acquaint ourselves with your draft.
Byrnes: The Foreign Ministers agreed to recommend to the Heads of Government that they should discuss the Polish question from two aspects: the disbandment of the émigré Polish Government in London and the fulfilment of the Crimea Conference decisions on Poland in the part relating to the holding of free and unhindered elections in Poland.
[The draft of the Soviet delegation on Poland is then read out:
"In view of the setting up on the basis of the decisions of the Crimea Conference of the Provisional Polish Government of National Unity and in view of the establishment
by the United States of America and by Great Britain of diplomatic relations with Poland, which previously already existed between Poland and the Soviet Union, we agreed that the Governments of Great Britain and the United States of America should sever all relations with the Government of Arciszewski and render to the Provisional Polish Government of National Unity the necessary assistance in the immediate transmission to it of all stock, assets and all other property belonging to Poland, which still is at the disposal of the Government of Arciszewski and of its organs, in whatever form this property may be and no matter where or at whose disposal this property may prove to be at the present moment.
"We also found it necessary that the Polish armed forces, including the navy and merchant marine, now subordinated to the Government of Arciszewski, should be subordinated to the Provisional Polish Government of National Unity, which will determine the further measures to be taken in respect of these armed forces men of war and merchant ships."
Churchill: Mr. President, I should like to explain that the burden in this matter falls on the British Government because when Hitler attacked Poland we welcomed the Poles and gave them sanctuary. The London Polish Government has no assets to speak of, but there is £20 million worth of gold in London which we have blocked. This gold is an asset of the Central Polish Bank. The question of where the gold is to be blocked and its transfer to some other central bank should be settled in the ordinary way. But this gold does not belong to the London Polish Government.
Stalin: Did you say £20 million sterling?
Churchill: Approximately. I must add that the Polish Embassy in London has now been vacated and the Polish Ambassador no longer lives there. That is why the Embassy is open and can accommodate an Ambassador of the Provisional Polish Government, and the sooner it appoints one the better.
The question arises, how the Polish Government in London had been financed for five and a half years? It was financed by the British Government. We let them have about £120 million in that period to enable them to maintain their army, maintain diplomatic relations and exercise other functions and also maintain a considerable number of
Poles who had found refuge from the Germans on our shores, the only refuge that was at their disposal.
When the London Polish Government was disavowed it was decided to pay all employees a three-month salary and then dismiss them. We believed it would be unjust to dismiss them without giving them some compensation.
Mr. President, this is a very important matter, and I ask you to allow me to speak on it. Our position is an exceptional one. We now have to engage in disbanding or transferring the Polish troops who had fought against the Germans by our side. These troops made their appearance from France in 1940. Some of them got to Italy via Switzerland, and continued to trickle in in small parties. We evacuated the Poles who had found themselves in France when she surrendered. They numbered 40,000 or 50,000.
Thus, we set up a Polish Army, consisting of five divisions, which was based in Britain. About 20,000 Poles are now in Germany and are highly alarmed. There is a Polish Corps of three divisions in Italy, which is also in great agitation.
Altogether, the Polish Army consists of 180,000 to 200,000 men. Our policy is to induce the greatest number of Poles to return to Poland. That is why I was very angry when I read the statement of General Anders, whom the Generalissimo knows. Anders told his troops in Italy that if they returned to Poland they would be sent to Siberia. We have taken disciplinary measures against this general, to prevent him from making such statements in the future.
It will take time to overcome all these difficulties. But it is our policy to induce the greatest possible number of Poles to return to Poland. This also applies to the civilians. Of course, the better the state of things in Poland, the sooner will the Poles return there. I should like to take this opportunity to say that I am glad the situation in Poland has improved in the last two months.
I should like to express my wishes of further success to the new Polish Government which will play its positive part, and although it does not give everything we should like to see, it signifies progress thanks to the patient efforts of the Governments of the three Powers. Mikolajczyk should also be given credit for his part in improving the situation in Poland.
I hope that as the situation in Poland improves, an ever
growing number of Poles will return home. I have promised Parliament that Polish soldiers who do not wish to return to Poland would be given British citizenship and enrolled into the army. It would be desirable that the new Polish Government of National Unity should give assurances that the Poles returning to Poland would have complete freedom and economic security. Such an assurance of the Polish Government would considerably promote the return of the Poles home, to the land liberated by the Red Army.
Stalin: Have you read the draft of the Russian delegation on Poland?
Churchill: Yes, I have. My speech is a reply to the draft of the Russian delegation in proof of the fact that I am fundamentally in agreement, provided what I have just said is taken into account.
Stalin: I realise the difficulty of the British Government's position. I know it gave sanctuary to the Polish émigré Government. I know that in spite of this, the former Polish rulers have caused the Government of Great Britain much trouble. I understand the British Government's difficult position. But I ask you to bear in mind that our draft is not designed to complicate the British Government's position and takes account of the difficulty of its position. Our draft has only one purpose: to put an end to the indefinite situation which still continues to exist in this question, and to dot all the "i"s.
In practice, the Arciszewski Government exists, it has its ministers, and continues its activity; it has its agents and has its base and its press. All this creates an unfavourable impression. Our draft is designed to put an end to this indefinite situation. If Mr. Churchill points out the clauses in this draft which tend to complicate the British Government's position, I am prepared to delete them. Our draft is not aimed at making the British Government’s position more difficult.
Churchill: We quite agree with you. We want to eliminate this question, but when a Government· is no longer recognised and is not given any grants, it no longer has any possibility for existence. At the same time, you cannot prevent individuals, in Britain at any rate, from living and talking. These people meet with members of Parliament and have their supporters in Parliament. But we, as Government, have no relations with them at all. Mr. Eden and I
myself have never met them, and since Mr. Mikolajczyk left I do not even know what to do with them, and never meet them. I don't know what to do when Arciszewski walks about London and chats with journalists. As for us, we consider them to be non-existent and eliminated in the diplomatic sense, and I hope that they will be completely ineffective soon. But, of course, we must be careful in respect of the army.
The army may mutiny and we may suffer losses as a result. We have a sizable Polish army in Scotland. But our aim is similar to those of the Generalissimo and the President. We merely ask for trust and time and also your help in creating conditions in Poland which would attract these Poles. We would agree to refer the draft of the Soviet delegation for examination by the three Foreign Ministers, with an eye to the discussion that has taken place today, and to the document which had been presented by our Foreign Minister. But I think we have one and the same aim, and the sooner we finish with this question, the better.
Truman: I do not see any essential differences between the Generalissimo and the Prime Minister. Mr. Churchill merely asks for trust and time to eliminate all the difficulties of which he spoke here. That is why I think it will not be too hard to settle this question, especially in view of the fact that Mr. Stalin has said that he is prepared to delete all the controversial points. The Yalta Conference decisions provided that after the establishment of the new Government general elections on the basis of universal suffrage should be held as soon as possible.
Churchill: Perhaps the Foreign Ministers would examine the whole question, including elections?
Stalin: The Government of Poland does not refuse to hold unhindered elections. Let us refer this draft to the Foreign Ministers.
Truman: That is all Mr. Byrnes had to place before the Heads of Government for discussion today. Am I to ask the Foreign Ministers to prepare an agenda for tomorrow?
Stalin: That would be fine.
Churchill: I realise the great importance of the question of political principles to be applied in respect of Germany. I realise that we are unable to discuss this question today, but I hope we shall discuss it tomorrow. The main principle which we should examine is whether we should apply a
Page 167uniform system of control in all the four zones of occupation of Germany or whether different principles are to be applied to the different zones of occupation.
Stalin: This is the very question that is dealt with in the political part of the draft. It is my impression that we stand for a single policy.
Truman: Quite right.
Churchill: I should like to emphasise this, because it is highly important.
Stalin: That's right.
Truman: Tomorrow we meet at 4 o'clock.
July 19, 1945
Truman opens the sitting.
Churchill: At the very beginning of yesterday's sitting, the Generalissimo raised the question of the incident on the Greco-Albanian border. We have made due inquiries but have not heard of any fighting there. There may have been small exchanges. There's no love lost between the peoples there.
There is no Greek field division in that area. We know this because our men are there. There are 7,000 men of the National Guards, which are on the border with Albania and Yugoslavia. They are armed and equipped for the purposes of internal protection. On the other side of the border there are 30,000 Albanian troops, 30,000 Yugoslav troops and 24,000 Bulgarian.
I mention this because I believe the Great Power Conference must insist that no such attacks should take place across the borders of any Power. The frontiers will be laid down at a peace conference, and we must let it be known that those who try to determine their frontiers beforehand may find themselves worse off.
Stalin: There is some misunderstanding here. We must not discuss this question here, at this Conference. I did not raise it at the Conference, but spoke of it privately.
Churchill: I agree with the Generalissimo that the question was not raised at a sitting, but if it is placed on the agenda we are prepared to discuss it.
Truman: We are not going to discuss this question but will go on to a discussion of those which will be reported to us on behalf of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
[The British delegation then reported that in view of the fact that the American delegation had made an amendment in Article 3 of the draft to set up a Council of Foreign Ministers, the Ministers agreed to refer the article to the drafting committee.
The Foreign Ministers then examined the political section of the agreement on political and economic principles which are to serve as a guide in dealing with Germany in the initial control period. The British delegation recalled that the Heads of Government had examined the draft agreement the previous day and had instructed the Ministers to present their report that day.
The delegation said that the Foreign Ministers had examined the draft, and had made some additions to it, and were now submitting the new draft of the political section of the agreement for the consideration of the Heads of Government. It said the Foreign Ministers believed that when the discussion and co-ordination of the economic section of the draft was over, the Conference would have to consider the publication of the agreement as a whole.
The British delegation then said that the Ministers had gone into the question of Poland; they had a very important and useful discussion of the question, which was then referred to the drafting committee. The Ministers expressed the hope that it would be possible to report to the Conference on the question the next day if the drafting committee was ready.
The Ministers also agreed to submit for the consideration of that day's plenary sitting the questions of the German Navy and merchant fleet, Spain, the fulfilment of the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe, Yugoslavia, etc.]
Truman: The first question is that of the German Navy. I think that before tackling this question it is necessary to solve another one, namely, what is to be regarded as the spoils of war and what as reparations. If the merchant marine is an object of reparations, the question should be solved when the question of reparations is considered. We should ask the Reparations Commission to define the range of values that are to be classed as reparations. I show a special
interest in Germany's merchant fleet because it might be used in the war against Japan.
Stalin: The Navy, like any other armament, must be taken as spoils of war. Troops laying down their arms must hand in their armaments to those to whom they surrender. The same may be said of the Navy. The proposals of the military representatives of the three Powers make it explicit that the Navy must be disarmed and surrendered. Those are the terms of Germany's surrender. In respect of the merchant fleet it may be asked whether it is to be classed as spoils of war or as reparations; as for the Navy it is part of the spoils of war and is subject to surrender. If you recall the case of Italy you will see that both the Navy and the merchant marine fell into the class of spoils of war.
Churchill: I should not like to take a purely legalistic attitude to this question and use precise terminology. But I want to have a fair and amicable solution of the question, and reach an agreement between the three Great Powers as a part of the general agreement on all questions arising from this Conference. At this point, I should like to consider only the German Navy. In effect, we have all the seaworthy German ships in our hands. I think a general amicable solution of the questions arising from this Conference will be reached – I am sure of this – and that is why we have no objection in principle to a division of the German Navy.
I am not now speaking of the Italian Navy. I think we should discuss this question separately, having in mind our general policy on Italy. Of course, there also arises the question of indemnification. As for Great Britain, she has suffered very heavy losses, she has lost about 10 capital ships, that is, battleships, heavy cruisers and aircraft carriers and besides, at least 20 cruisers and several hundred destroyers, submarines and small craft.
I think submarines should be classed in another category than the rest of the German Navy. These submarines have a special part to play; according to the convention signed also by Germany they were to be used on a limited scale. However, Germany violated the convention and made use of submarines on a rather extensive scale, that is, Germany made illegal use of them, and so during the war we too were forced to abandon the legitimate use of submarines. It is my opinion that these submarines should be either destroyed or scuttled.
I am aware however, that the latest German submarines, especially the best of them, are of definite scientific and technical interest, and they should be left for study. Information about these submarines must be made available to all three Great Powers. I do not view this matter from the purely naval standpoint and fully recognise the losses suffered by the Red Army during the war. I do not think we should take any final decision here, but after the Conference most of these vessels should be destroyed, while a part may be equally divided between us all.
As for surface ships, they should be divided equally between us provided we reach a general agreement on all other questions and leave here on the best of terms. I have no objection to Russia's receiving one-third of the German Navy, but only with the proviso I have just mentioned. I recognise that such a great and mighty nation as the Russians who have made such a great contribution to the common cause must be given a warm reception on the high seas. We shall welcome the appearance of the Russian flag on the seas. I am aware that it is very hard to build a great fleet in a short time. That is why these German ships may be used for study and the creation of a Russian fleet. There is nothing more I can add.
If it is desirable to speak of the merchant marine, I could say a few words here.
Churchill: I feel that so long as the war against Japan continues the German merchant navy could play a considerable part in that war. The possibility of cutting short the war largely depends on the merchant navy. We have all the men we need for the Army, Air Force and the Navy. But we are short of the means of conveyance for these men, and for the transfer of materiel.
Besides the merchant navy is needed for supplying the British Isles with food, and also for supplying food to the liberated European countries which cannot be fully supplied as it is. Every ton is of great value. America and we have given all our merchant navy to the common effort. I should be very sorry if the 1.2 million tons of Germany's merchant navy did not go into this common effort so as to end the war against Japan as soon as possible.
I should also like to mention the following. Finland has a merchant navy consisting of about 400,000 tons. This navy
has passed into the hands of our Russian Ally. The Russian Ally has also taken over some Rumanian ships, including two important transports, which are very necessary for troop transportation. If there is to be a division of the navy into three parts between the Powers, I think the merchant navies of Rumania and Finland should also go into the pool for distribution.
Stalin: We have taken nothing from Finland's merchant navy, and only one vessel from Rumania.
Churchill: I should only like to mention the principles on which we could have a distribution of the merchant navy.
Finally, we should bear in mind that there are other countries besides our three Powers. Norway, for instance, has suffered very heavy losses in her merchant fleet. Norwegian tonnage, especially Norwegian tankers, was a great force. They put their whole navy at our disposal, and it has suffered great damage. Other countries have also lost a great part of their navies. I think it is necessary to raise the question of dividing the merchant navy into four instead of three parts, to set aside the fourth part to satisfy the interests of certain other countries which are not represented here. I merely propose the question for examination and discussion.
Truman: For my part, I want to make a remark on this question. I should be very glad to divide the German Navy into three parts, with the exception of the submarine fleet. But I want the solution of this question to be postponed in the interests of the war against Japan. We would find all these ships very useful, because we shall use them not only for troop transportation but also for the supply of Europe. The present situation is such that we find the available ships altogether inadequate. That is why I very much want to retain all this German surface fleet for the war against Japan. I think it right to say here that when the war against Japan is over, we in the United States will have a great number not only of warships but a great number of merchant ships which could be sold to interested countries. I would be very glad if all the ships of the German merchant navy were made available for the conduct of the war against Japan.
Stalin: What if the Russians fight Japan?
Truman: It goes without saying that the Russians could claim one-third of the fleet, which would then be handed over to them. An agreement could be reached on this.
Stalin: It is the principle we think important.
Churchill: Mr. President, I think we can reach an agreement. I suppose these ships could now be earmarked for each participant, and when the war against Japan is over, these ships could be handed over where they belong.
Stalin: Which ships?
Churchill: I mean the merchantmen. But I think the principle is the most important thing here. It should be borne in mind that the Red Army's offensive along the Baltic coast forced the Germans to abandon their ports, so that the German fleet was expelled from the Baltic Sea. I must admit that I am a supporter of Generalissimo Stalin's proposal concerning the Russian desire to obtain a part of Germany's Navy and merchant fleet, and believe that the only alternative would be to sink the whole navy, but that would be unwise, considering that our Ally wants to have a part of this navy.
Stalin: The Russians should not be depicted as people who are intent on hampering the successful operation of the Allied navy against Japan. But this should not lead to the conclusion that the Russians want to receive a present from the Allies. We want no gifts, but wish to know whether or not the principle is recognised, whether or not the Russian claim to a part of the German navy is considered legitimate.
Churchill: I said nothing of gifts.
Stalin: I did not say you did.
I want a clarification of the question of whether the Russians have a right to one-third of Germany's Navy and merchant marine. I think the Russians have this right and what they will receive they will receive by right. I only want clarity in this matter. If my colleagues think differently I should like to know what they actually think. We shall be satisfied if there is recognition of the principle that the Russians have a right to receive one-third of Germany's Navy and merchant fleet.
As for the use of Germany's merchant fleet, specifically that third which would be recognised as being Russia's by right, we shall of course have no objections to that third being put to the best use by the Allies in their struggle against Japan. I also agree that this question should be settled at the end of the Conference.
I should like to deal with yet another question. Our men have been deprived of access to Germany's Navy and merchant
fleet, they were prevented from inspecting the ships. The bulk of the navy is known to be in the hands of our Ally, but our men were deprived of access to these ships and they have no possibility of inspecting the ships of that navy. They should at least be given a chance to study the list of these ships. Is it not possible to lift this ban and give the members of the Russian naval commission an opportunity to inspect the ships of this navy and to find out how many ships there are?
Churchill: We are also in possession of facts when our men were not allowed to inspect some war trophies on the Baltic Sea.
Stalin: Only submarines were seized on the Baltic, but that is an absolutely useless, destroyed submarine fleet. But if there is a desire to inspect it, the opportunity can be given at any time.
Churchill: Our principle is equality and fairness. Therefore I consider your proposal acceptable, but we only ask whether it could be arranged to give our men an opportunity to inspect some highly interesting German property, for instance, on the Baltic Sea, notably some submarines?
Stalin: You are welcome.
Truman: I want to say here on behalf of the United States that you have access to all our zones and you can see anything you want to. But we should like to obtain the same possibility of inspecting what we may find of interest.
Churchill: I spoke here of the difference between submarines and surface ships. Generalissimo Stalin will understand us when we say that as islanders we are highly sensitive on this point. Our island provides us with less than two-thirds of our food. During this war, we have suffered a great deal from submarines. More, in fact, than anyone else. Twice we stood on the brink of disaster. That is why the submarine is not a popular type of warship in Britain. I favour the sinking of the bulk of the submarines.
Stalin: I do too.
Churchill: And I want the rest of the submarines be shared equally between us for scientific and technical purposes, because they are of considerable interest. Twice we stood on the brink of disaster because of the operations of enemy submarines. I agree, therefore, that we should sink the bulk of the submarines and divide the rest among the
three Powers. I ask the Generalissimo and the President to excuse me, but in this respect we are in a special position. Our military might has suffered greatly from these submarines. In accepting this principle I merely stipulate that the question of the number of submarines to be sunk and the number to be divided should be settled at the end of the Conference.
Stalin: Good, I agree.
Truman: We have discussed this question sufficiently, and can go on to the next one.
Eden: The next question deals with Spain.
Truman: Does the Generalissimo wish to speak on the question?
Stalin: The proposals have been circulated. I have nothing to add to what is said there.
Churchill: Mr. President, the British Government – the present one and the previous one – have a feeling of hatred for Franco and his Government. I have been misunderstood, and it has been said that I take a friendly attitude to this gentleman. All I said was that there is more to Spanish politics than anti-Franco cartoons. I think that the continued destruction of people thrown into prison for what they did six years ago, and various other circumstances in Spain are, by our British standards, totally undemocratic.
When Franco sent me a letter saying that he, I and certain other Western countries should unite against the threat of the Soviet Union, I sent him, with the permission of my Cabinet, a very cool reply. The Soviet Government may remember this reply, because I sent it a copy of my letter, as I did to the President. So there are no great differences between us concerning the feelings we have for the present regime in Spain.
Where I do see some difficulty in adopting the draft proposed by the Generalissimo is in Point One, which speaks of the rupture of all relations with the Franco Government, which is the Government of Spain. I think that, considering that the Spaniards are proud and rather sensitive, such a step by its very nature could have the effect of uniting the Spaniards around Franco, instead of making them move away from him. That is why I do not think that the rupture of diplomatic relations with the Spanish Government would be a satisfactory way of solving the question.
This may give us some satisfaction but we shall then be
deprived of any contact we may need in hard times. I believe such a step would only strengthen Franco's position, and if his positions are strengthened we shall have to stand his abuse or use our forces against him. I am against the use of force in such cases. I do not think we should interfere in the internal affairs of a state with whom we differ in views, with the exception of cases when this or that state attacks us. Concerning the countries we have defeated, there we should establish our own control. As for the countries that have been liberated in the course of the war, we cannot allow the establishment there of a fascist or a Franco regime. But here we have a country which did not take part in the war and that is why I am against interfering in its domestic affairs. His Majesty's Government will need to have a long discussion of this question before it decides to break off relations with Spain.
I think Franco's power is now jeopardised and I hope that his downfall may be speeded up by diplomatic means. Rupture of relations is, in my opinion, a very dangerous way of tackling the question. Besides, there is always the danger of a possible resumption of the civil war in Spain, which cost her 2 million dead out of a total population of 17 or 18 million. And it would be a pity to interfere actively in this matter at this point, because I believe that there are forces operating there to change the situation for the better. That is my view of the question.
The world organisation set up at San Francisco takes a negative attitude to interference in the affairs of other countries. It would therefore be wrong for us to take an active part in settling this matter. This would run counter to the Charter of the international organisation adopted at San Francisco.
Truman: I have no sympathies for the Franco regime, but I have no desire to take part in a Spanish civil war. I've had enough of the war in Europe. We should be very glad to recognise another government in Spain instead of the Franco Government, but that I think is a question for Spain herself to decide.
Stalin: Is that to say that there will be no change in Spain? I personally think that the Franco regime is being strengthened and it is a regime that fosters semi-fascist regimes in certain other countries of Europe. It should be borne in mind that the Franco regime was imposed on the
Spanish people from outside, and is not a regime that has taken shape in internal conditions.
You are very well aware that the Franco regime was imposed by Hitler and Mussolini, and is their legacy. By destroying the Franco regime we shall be destroying the legacy of Hitler and Mussolini. Nor must we lose sight of the fact that the democratic liberation of Europe implies certain obligations.
I am not proposing any military intervention; I am not proposing that we should unleash a civil war there. I should only like the Spanish people to know that we, the leaders of democratic Europe, take a negative attitude to the Franco regime. Unless we declare this in one form or another, the Spanish people will be justified in thinking that we are not against the Franco regime. They may say that since we have left the Franco regime alone, it means that we support it.
What are the diplomatic means that could show the Spanish people that we are not on the side of Franco but of democracy? Assuming that such a means as the rupture of diplomatic relations is too strong, can't we consider other, more flexible means of a diplomatic order? This must be done to let the Spanish people know that we sympathise with them and not with Franco.
In my opinion it would be dangerous to leave the Franco regime in its present state. The public opinion of the European countries, as the press shows, and also of America, has no sympathy with the Franco regime. If we by-pass this question, people will assume that we have sanctioned, or given our tacit blessing to the Franco regime in Spain. That is a great charge against us. I should not like to be among the accused.
Churchill: You have no diplomatic relations with the Spanish Government, and no one can accuse you of this.
Stalin: But I do have the right and the possibility of raising the question and settling it. How will people know that the Soviet Union sympathises or does not sympathise with the Franco regime? It is the accepted view that the Big Three can solve such questions. I am a member of the Big Three, like the President and the Prime Minister. Do I have the right to say nothing about what is going on in Spain, about the Franco regime and the great danger it presents to the whole of Europe? It would be a great mistake
for us to ignore this question and say nothing about it.
Churchill: Every government is quite free to make known its views individually. That is the freedom also enjoyed by the press, as Generalissimo Stalin has mentioned here. The Soviet and a part of the American press have very freely expressed themselves on the state of affairs in Spain. As for the British Government, although we have frequently said this to Franco and his Ambassador, we should not like to discontinue our relations with the Spanish Government.
We have long had trade relations with Spain; they supply us with oranges, wine and certain other products, in exchange for our own goods. If our interference does not bring the desired results, I should not like this trade to be jeopardised. But at the same time I fully understand the view taken by Generalissimo Stalin. Franco had the nerve to send his Blue Division to Russia, and I quite understand the Russian view.
But Spain has not done anything to hinder us; she did not do it even when she could have done so in the Bay of Algeciras. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Generalissimo Stalin hates Franco, and I think that the majority of Britons share his view. I merely wish to stress that we have not suffered from him in any way.
Stalin: It is not a matter of injury. Incidentally, I think that Britain has also suffered from the Franco regime. For a long time Spain placed her coast at Hitler's disposal for use by his submarines. You can say, therefore, that Britain has suffered from the Franco regime in one way or another.
But I should not want this matter to be viewed from the standpoint of some injury. It is not the Blue Division that matters but the fact that the Franco regime is a grave threat to Europe. That is why I think that something should be done against this regime. If rupture of diplomatic relations is unsuitable, I do not insist on it. Other means can be found. We have only to say that we do not sympathise with the Franco regime and consider the Spanish people's urge for democracy just, we have only to say this and nothing will be left of the Franco regime. I assure you.
I propose: the Foreign Ministers should discuss whether some other, milder and more flexible, form could be found to make it known that the Great Powers do not support the Franco regime.
Truman: That suits me; I agree to refer the matter to the Foreign Ministers.
Churchill: I should oppose this. I think that this is a matter that should be settled in this hall.
Stalin: Of course, we shall settle it here, but let the Ministers examine it beforehand.
Truman: I too have no objection to refer this matter for a preliminary examination by our Foreign Ministers.
Churchill: I consider this to be undesirable because that is a matter of principle, namely, interference in the domestic affairs of other countries.
Stalin: This is not a domestic affair, the Franco regime is an international threat.
Churchill: Anyone can say this of the regime of any other country.
Stalin: No, there is no such regime in any other country as the one in Spain; there is no regime like that left in any country of Europe.
Churchill: Portugal could be condemned for having a dictatorial regime.
Stalin: The Franco regime was set up from outside, by way of Hitler's and Mussolini's intervention. Franco behaves in a most provocative manner, and gives asylum to Nazis. I raise no question about Portugal.
Churchill: I cannot advise Parliament to interfere in Spain's domestic affairs. That is a policy we have been conducting for a long time. At the same time, I should be glad to see a change of regime in Spain, but only in a natural way. I should personally be very happy to see a revolution in Spain, and, say, a constitutional monarchy established there with an amnesty for political prisoners.
But I believe that if I or the British Government were to exert an influence on Spain in that sense, the feelings of the Spaniards would turn against us and in favour of Franco. In my opinion, Franco is now on the way out.
If we here were to take any concerted action, we should only be reinforcing his position. On the other hand, the British Government will in no way support Franco, the present Spanish Government, with the exception of continued trade with Spain, of which I have already spoken here.
Truman: I should be very glad if we agreed to refer the matter for preliminary examination by the Foreign Ministers
so that they could find an acceptable formula on this point.
Stalin: I am aware .of the difficulties faced by Mr. Churchill in connection with interpellations in Parliament. But this matter can be toned down. What about settling the question like this: no question of the Franco regime is to be raised separately, it being agreed that the question never came up and was never examined separately as a question of the Franco regime.
The three Foreign Ministers are to be asked, considering the exchange of opinion on the question of the Franco regime, to find a suitable formula for the question, including, in particular, Mr. Churchill's formulation that the Franco regime is on the .way out and that his regime does not enjoy the sympathies of the democratic Powers that this regime is not given a high rating by public opinion. Such a formula could be inserted as a point in one of our declarations on Europe. We shall of course have some general declarations, and the formula worked out by the Foreign Ministers could be inserted in there.
This will not put the British Government under any obligation, but the point will contain a brief assessment of the Franco regime, and this will let public opinion know that we are not on the side of the Franco regime. I think we should adopt such a decision. Let the Foreign Ministers give some thought to the form in which it is to be clothed.
Churchill: I have not yet agreed in principle that we should make such a joint declaration on this question.
Stalin: It's not about Spain, but we shall be giving a general evaluation on Europe, and this could be included there as one of the points. Look at what happens: in all our documents we speak of all countries with the exception of Spain.
Churchill: The line I am adhering to is as follows: Spain is a country which had not been involved in the war and is not a satellite country; nor was she liberated by the Allies; that is why we cannot interfere in her domestic affairs. That is a matter of principle.
Take Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and other countries: there are many issues there which we do not like and which we could criticise. But these countries were involved in the war and were liberated by the Allies.
If you wish we could draw up a declaration on the general
principles underlying democratic governments. That is something we could discuss. I have in mind for instance the U.S. Constitution. Franco is undoubtedly a very far cry from this Constitution. Countries differ from one another and that is why if we start interfering, we shall have no end of trouble.
I don't know the mind of the Spaniards, but I think that some are of one mind, others of another; I am sure that many Spaniards would like to be rid of Franco but without outside pressure. I don't see what the Foreign Ministers could do on the question. I feel that this would give them a lot of hard work, while the discussion of the question would prove to be fruitless.
Truman: I see very little likelihood of an agreement being reached on this question at the present sitting. Wouldn't it be better to return to it later?
Stalin: Maybe, after all, we should refer this matter to the Foreign Ministers so that they should try to find a suitable formula?
Churchill: That's the very point on which we have failed to agree.
Truman: I think we'd better pass on to the next question and return to the question of Spain later.
Churchill: I do not propose a negative solution, I merely propose that we now pass on to a discussion of other matters, and discuss this question later.
Truman: We pass on to the next question.
Eden: The Declaration on Liberated Europe.
Truman: I submitted a document on this question on July 17.
Stalin: I propose that we should now postpone this question; we may table another proposal on this question.
Truman: I have no objection to postponing this question at this time.
Eden: The .next question is that of Yugoslavia. We have already submitted a small draft on this question.
Stalin: I think that we are unable to solve this question without hearing representatives from Yugoslavia.
Eden: It should be noted that we reached an agreement in respect of Yugoslavia at the Crimea Conference without the presence of Yugoslav representatives.
Stalin: This is now an Allied country with a legitimate government. The question cannot now be solved without the
participation of Yugoslav representatives. At that time, there were two governments, and they could not come to terms. We interfered in that matter. And now there is one legitimate government there. Let us invite representatives from Yugoslavia and hear them, and then adopt a decision.
Churchill: Is it to be Subasić and Tito?
Churchill: But they don't see eye to eye, there are hard feelings on both sides.
Stalin: I know nothing about this. Let's verify this, let's invite them over here and let them speak their mind.
Trumann: Is this matter serious enough for them to be invited over here? I find this inconvenient.
Churchill: We put our signatures to the agreement at the Crimea Conference, but we now find that this Declaration on Yugoslavia is not being fulfilled: there is no election law, the Assembly of the Council has not been enlarged, legal procedure has not been re-established, the Tito administration is under the control of his party police, and the press is also controlled as in some fascist countries.
We find that the situation in Yugoslavia does not justify our hopes as expressed In the Declaration of the Crimea Conference. We supplied Yugoslavia with a considerable quantity of arms at a time when we ourselves were weak and that is why we are disappointed and regret that events have taken such a turn there. Our proposal is a very modest one. It is that what was said in the Yalta Declaration should be fulfilled.
Stalin: Mr. Churchill has commenced the discussion instead of answering the President's question as to whether the question is serious and important enough for us to discuss at the Conference and invite representatives from Yugoslavia. If the President will allow me I will follow in Mr. Churchill’s footsteps and also start discussing this question.
You see, the information which Mr. Churchill has given here concerning the violation of the well-known decisions of the Crimea Conference, this information, according to our sources, is unknown to us. I should think it right to hear the Yugoslavs themselves and give them an opportunity of refuting these charges or admitting that they are correct.
Churchill: I want you to substitute the word "complaint" for the word "charge".
Stalin: It is not a question of words, and I can, of course, substitute "complaint" for "charge". But it is not right to judge a whole state without hearing its representatives.
Churchill: We have now had an opportunity of thinking over this question, and I think it would be advisable for the two sides, namely, Tito and Subasić, to meet here. These difficulties could then be possibly obviated and we could reach an agreed decision. But do you think Marshal Tito will agree to come here?
Stalin: I don't know, we should ask if they can come.
Truman: Before going on to the final stage I should like to make a statement. I have come here as the representative of the United States, and I have come here to discuss world problems with you. But I have not come here to judge each separate country in Europe or examine the disputes which should be settled by the world organisation set up at San Francisco.
If we are going to examine political complaints against anyone, we shall merely be wasting our time. Nothing good will come of it if we start inviting Tito, Franco or other leaders over here. We are not a judicial organ to look into complaints against individual statesmen. We should deal with questions on which we could reach agreement.
Stalin: That is a correct remark.
Truman: We should discuss questions which are of interest to each of us.
Churchill: This, Mr. President, is a question which is also of interest to the United States, because it involves the fulfilment of the decisions which had been adopted at the Crimea Conference. It's a question of principle. Of course, it is quite obvious that the situation in Yugoslavia, the position of Marshal Tito, should be taken into account. Not much time has passed since peace set in in the country. But all we had in mind in our draft was the wish that what was said at the Crimea Conference should be fulfilled.
Stalin: In my opinion, the decisions of the Crimea Conference are being fulfilled by Marshal Tito in their entirety.
Truman: It is true that not all the decisions of the Crimea Conference are being fulfilled by Yugoslavia. We also have complaints to make. This should be pointed out to the Yugoslav Government. But we could postpone this question to the next sitting.
Churchill: I should like to thank Generalissimo Stalin for his patience in discussing this question. If we cannot speak of the differences which sometimes arise between us, if we cannot discuss them here, where can they be discussed?
Stalin: We are discussing them here. But the question cannot be settled without the accused. You have accused the head of the Yugoslav Government. I ask that he be heard and a decision adopted after that. As for discussion we can have any amount of it.
Churchill: I agree with this, but the President is opposed to inviting Tito here.
Stalin: In that case the question will have to be withdrawn.
Truman: Today's agenda has run out. Tomorrow's sitting is at 4.00.
July 20, 1945
Truman opens the sitting.
[The Soviet delegation reported that that day's meeting of the three Foreign Ministers dealt with the following questions.
1. Economic principles in respect of Germany.
It was stated that the commission entrusted with the preparation of this question had not yet completed its work and therefore the substance of the question had not been discussed. It was decided to ask the commission to finish its work by July 21.
2. The Polish question.
It was reported that the commission dealing with this question had not yet completed its work, as a result of which the substance of the question had not been discussed. It was decided to ask the commission to finish its work by July 21.
3. On the peaceful settlement.
In view of the fact that the commission entrusted with drafting the text on the question of a peaceful settlement had been unable to fulfil its task because the members of this commission had been busy in other commissions, it was decided that the Foreign Ministers would meet additionally
at 15.45 that day to prepare the question for submission at the sitting of the three Heads of Government. At their meeting the Foreign Ministers adopted an amendment to Point 3 of the draft on this question, as a result of which the point would read as follows:
"3. As its immediate important task, the Council would be authorised to draw up, with a view to their submission to the United Nations, treaties of peace with Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland and to propose settlements of territorial questions outstanding on the termination of the war in Europe. The Council shall be utilised for the preparation of a peace settlement for Germany to be accepted by the Government of Germany when a government adequate for the purpose is established.
"For the discharge of each of these tasks the Council will be comprised of the members representing those States which were signatory to the terms of surrender imposed upon the enemy state concerned. For the purposes of the peace settlement for Italy, France shall be regarded as a signatory to the terms of surrender for Italy.
"Other members should be invited to participate when matters directly concerning them are under discussion."
4. The Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe.
The People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. handed Soviet draft proposals on the question to the Foreign Minister of Great Britain and the U.S. Secretary of State. In connection with the submitted draft there was a discussion of the question of the situation in Rumania and Bulgaria on the one hand, and in Greece, on the other. As a result of the discussion it transpired that the Foreign Ministers took different views of the situation in these countries.
In particular, the U.S. Secretary of State and the Foreign Minister of Great Britain declared that there were restrictions on the press in Rumania and Bulgaria. The People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs pointed out that there had been some inevitable restrictions on the press in wartime conditions. At present, in view of the war being ended, the possibilities for members of the press to work in these countries could be considerably extended.
The U.S. Secretary of State proposed the conclusion of an agreement between the three Powers on the supervision of elections by the three Powers in Italy, Greece, Rumania,
Bulgaria and Hungary and on free access to these countries for members of the press of the U.S.A., U.S.S.R. and Great Britain, and on the possibility for them to move freely about and freely dispatch their reports. The People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. declared that he saw no necessity for the dispatch of special observers to Rumania and Bulgaria. As for Greece, the Soviet Government's standpoint was set forth in the document submitted. If the Foreign Ministers of Great Britain and the U.S.A. submitted written proposals on this question, they could be discussed at a meeting of the three Ministers.
5. On Italy.
The U.S. Secretary of State submitted a draft decision of the three Heads of Government saying that they would support Italy's entry into the United Nations, but that they would not support Spain's entry into the United Nations so long as Spain remained under the control of the regime existing in the country. The Foreign Minister of Great Britain declared his support for this proposal and said that if any declaration was drafted on this question he considered it advisable to mention in it that the three Powers would also support the admission to the United Nations of certain neutral countries, such as Sweden, Switzerland and Portugal.
The People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. raised the question as to whether this proposal could be applied to countries which had ceased to be hostile and had become co-belligerents against Germany. The Foreign Minister of Great Britain declared that the question could be discussed, but that he personally thought that such countries could be admitted to the United Nations after peace treaties had been signed with them. A sub-commission was set up to work out the question.
In this connection it was decided to ask the commission dealing with questions of reparations to study the question of reparations from Italy and Austria.
6. On Poland's western frontier.
The Foreign Ministers of the United States and Great Britain were handed the Soviet Government's proposals concerning the establishment of Poland's western frontiers together with the relevant map. It was decided to bring up the question at the sitting of the three Heads of Government on July 20.
7. On trust territories.
The Foreign Ministers of the United States and Great Britain were handed the Soviet Government's proposals concerning measures for establishing territorial trusteeship. It was decided to bring this question up at the sitting of the three Heads of Government on July 20.
8. On the agenda of the sitting of the three Heads of Government on July 20.
The Ministers agreed to recommend the following agenda to the three Heads of Government:
1. On the peaceful settlement.
2: The U.S. President's memorandum of July 17 on policy in respect of Italy.
3. The situation in Austria, particularly in Vienna (communication by the Prime Minister of Great Britain).
4. On Poland's western frontier.
5. On trust territories.]
Churchill: Allow me, Mr. President, to raise a small question concerning the procedure of our work for the good of the cause. Our Ministers have been meeting every day to prepare an extensive programme for our afternoon sittings. Today, for instance, they completed their work only by 14.00. This leaves us very little time to go through and discuss the documents they prepare. Wouldn't it be better for us to begin our afternoon sittings at 17.00?
Truman: I have no objection. We now go on to a discussion of the items on the agenda. We discuss the first question.
Churchill: I understand that the Soviet delegation has an amendment to the draft on the establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers.
Truman: The amendment was read out. I agree with the amendment.
Churchill: (Having read the text of the amendment.) I also agree with this amendment.
Truman: It is necessary to establish the time and place for a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers. I am prepared to let the Foreign Ministers decide this matter themselves.
Churchill: I quite agree that the question should be discussed, but it is my opinion that London must be the place; that is where the secretariat should have its permanent seat, but sittings may also take place elsewhere, if that is desir-
able. In confirmation of my view I should like to recall that London is the capital which was under enemy fire during the war more than the others. As far as I am aware, It is the world's biggest city and one of its most ancient. Besides, it is mid-way between the United States and Russia.
Stalin: That is most important. [Laughter.]
Churchill: What is more, it is London's turn.
Churchill: I should only like to add that I flew across the ocean six times to have the honour of conferring with the President of the United States, and twice visited Moscow. However London is not being used at all as a place for our meetings. There is strong feeling on this point in Britain, and I think Mr. Attlee also has a few words to say about it.
Attlee: I quite agree with what the Prime Minister has said here, and wish to add that our people have a right to see these outstanding personalities visit them. They would be very glad of this. They have gone through a great deal. I think, moreover, that London's geographical situation also has a great part to play. I second the Prime Minister's wish.
Truman: I also agree with the Prime Minister's proposal and agree that geographical location plays a big part.
Stalin: Good, I have no objection.
Truman: But I want to reserve the right to invite the Heads of Government to visit the United States.
Churchill: May I express my gratitude to the President and the Generalissimo for their kind acceptance of our proposal.
Truman: I think that in due time our three Foreign Ministers will be joined by the Foreign Ministers of China and France. I also think that we could let the Foreign Ministers decide on the date the Council is to meet.
[Stalin and Churchill agree with Truman's proposals.]
Truman: The second question is on policy in respect of Italy. Our proposals on policy in respect of Italy were submitted at the first sitting. The essence of my proposal is as follows.
I believe that Italy's position would be considerably improved if we recognised her services as a participant in the war against Germany. I propose that the terms of surrender should be replaced by the following obligations on the part of the Italian Government: 1) The Italian Government shall refrain from any hostile action against any of the United
Nations until the conclusion of a peace treaty; 2) The Italian Government shall not maintain any army, naval or air forces or equipment except what it is authorised by the Allies, and shall abide by all the instructions concerning such forces and equipment.
While this agreement is in force, control over Italy should be retained only insofar as is necessary: a) to ensure Allied military requirements so long as the Allied forces remain in Italy or operate from there; and b) to ensure a just settlement of territorial disputes.
Stalin: It would be well for the Ministers to discuss the question of policy in respect of Italy. I have no objections in principle but some amendments in the drafting may be necessary. It would be well to refer this memorandum to the three Ministers for a final reading and to ask them, at the same time, to discuss, along with the question of Italy, the question of Rumania, Bulgaria and Finland.
There is no reason why we should set apart the question of Italy from those pertaining to other countries. Italy was, of course, the first to surrender, and subsequently helped in the war against Germany. It is true that the force was small, only 3 divisions, but she did help none the less. She is planning to enter the war against Japan. That is also a plus. But there are similar pluses to the credit of such countries as Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary. They, these countries, moved their troops against Germany on the next day after surrender. Bulgaria had 8-10 divisions against Germany, Rumania had about 9. These countries should also be given some relief.
As for Finland she did not render any serious help in the war, but she is behaving well, honestly fulfilling her obligations. Her position could also be eased.
That is why it would be well, while giving relief to Italy, to give some to these countries as well and to examine all these questions together. If my colleagues agree with my proposal we could ask the three Foreign Ministers to examine these questions as one.
Truman: Italy was the first country to surrender, and, as far as I am aware, the terms of her surrender were somewhat harder than those of the other countries. But I agree that the position of the other satellite states should also be reviewed. I am in full agreement with Generalissimo Stalin on this point.
Churchill: Our stand on the question of Italy is not quite identical with that taken by my two colleagues. Italy attacked us in June 1940. We had serious losses in the Mediterranean and also during the defence of Egypt, which we had to organise at a time when we ourselves were threatened with invasion. We lost many warships and merchantmen in the Mediterranean. We had heavy losses on land, on the coast of North Africa. And these sacrifices increased when Germany moved her troops to Africa. Without support from anyone we had to undertake the campaign in Abyssinia, which ended in the Emperor of Abyssinia being restored to his throne. Special squadrons of Italian air force were dispatched to bomb London.
It should also be mentioned that Italy undertook an absolutely unwarranted attack against Greece, and just before the start of the war she made a similarly unwarranted attack against Albania. All that took place when we were absolutely alone.
I am saying all this because I think that all the losses that we have suffered from Italy should not be forgotten. We cannot justify the Italian people just as we do not justify the German people because it was under Hitler's yoke. In spite of this we have tried to entertain the idea of restoring Italy as one of the major Powers in Europe and the Mediterranean. When I was there a year ago I made a number of proposals to President Roosevelt, and most of these proposals were included in the declaration which was subsequently published.
I don't want it to be thought that I have any feeling of revenge in respect of Italy. I objected to reports appearing in various newspapers saying that we were antagonistic to Italy. I declared on behalf of His Majesty's Government that we viewed the matter with an open heart and wished to obtain the best results. I should like all these considerations to be taken into account.
I want to join the President and the Generalissimo in principle in making a gesture in respect of the Italian people, which suffered a great deal during the war and made efforts to expel the Germans from its territory. That is why the British delegation does not object in principle to concluding peace with Italy. This work will undoubtedly require a few months for the preparation of the peace terms.
I also note that the present Italian Government has no
democratic basis arising from free and independent elections. It merely consists of political figures who call themselves leaders of various political parties. I understand that the Italian Government intends to hold elections before the winter. That is why, although I agree that the Council of Foreign Ministers should start work on drafting the peace treaty, I do not consider it desirable that it should complete this work before the Italian Government is based on democratic principles.
Meanwhile, I must say that I do not quite agree with the U.S. memorandum concerning provisional terms under which the existing armistice terms should be replaced by certain undertakings on the part of the present Italian Government. I think that no Italian Government can give guaranteed assurances unless it rests on the Italian people. If the existing rights stipulated by the surrender are abolished and replaced by obligations on the part of the Italian Government – and it will be a considerable time before the peace treaty is concluded – we shall be deprived of every possibility, except the use of force, to make Italy fulfil our terms. As it is none of us wants to use force to achieve such aims.
Take Point 1 of the American memorandum: it says nothing about the future of the Italian fleet, Italian colonies, reparations and other important matters. Thus we shall be losing the rights we have under the surrender document.
Finally, I must say that the terms of surrender were signed not only by Great Britain, but also by other states within the British Empire; they were signed by the dominions – Australia, New Zealand and others, who suffered losses during the war. This question will have to be discussed with them. Besides Greece was the victim of an Italian invasion. I do not want to go further today than to agree in principle that the Council of Foreign Ministers should start to draft the peace terms.
As for the other countries mentioned here, I must say that Bulgaria has no right to make any claims on Great Britain. Bulgaria dealt us a cruel blow and did everything to harm us in the Balkans. Of course, it is not for me to talk of Bulgaria's ingratitude towards Russia. The Russian Army once liberated Bulgaria from the Turkish yoke after many years of savage oppression. In this war, Bulgaria hardly suffered at all, she was Germany’s handmaiden, and on her orders attacked Greece and Yugoslavia, doing them
a great deal of damage. But nothing is said about disarming Bulgaria. I think she is just as strong as before; she has 15 divisions. Nothing is said about reparations from Bulgaria. I must admit that I am not greatly inclined to an early conclusion of peace with Bulgaria, at any rate less so than to a conclusion of such a peace with Italy.
I am very grateful to my colleagues for having listened to my considerations with such patience. I must say in conclusion that on some points I differ with the President and the Generalissimo.
Stalin: It seems to me that the question of Italy is one of high politics. The task of the Big Three is to dissociate the satellites from Germany, as the main force of aggression. There are two ways of doing this. First, the use of force. This method has been successfully applied by us, and the Allied forces are in Italy, and also on the territory of other countries. But this method alone is inadequate for dissociating Germany's accomplices from her. If we continue to limit ourselves to the use of force towards them, there is the danger that we shall be creating an environment for future German aggression. It is therefore advisable to supplement the force method with that of easing the position of these countries. This, I believe, is the only means, if we view the question in perspective, of rallying these countries round us and dissociating them from Germany for good.
Such are the considerations of high politics. All other considerations, such as those of revenge and injury, no longer arise.
That is the standpoint from which I view the U.S. President's memorandum. I believe it is in line with such a policy, the policy of finally dissociating Germany's satellites from her by easing their position. That is why I have no objections in principle to the proposals put forward in the President's memorandum. They may require some drafting improvements.
Now there is the other side of the question. I have in mind Mr. Churchill's speech. Of course, Italy has also greatly wronged Russia. We had clashes with Italian troops not only in the Ukraine, but also on the Don and the Volga, that is how deeply they had penetrated into our country. But I think it would be wrong to be guided by memories of injury or feelings of retribution and to base one's policy on that. Feelings of revenge or hatred or a sense of compensation
received for injury are very poor guides in politics. In politics, I believe, one should be guided by an estimation of forces.
This is how the question should be posed: do we want to have Italy on our side so as to isolate her from the forces which may once again rise against us in Germany? I think we do, and that should be our starting point. We must dissociate Germany's former accomplices from her.
A great many hardships and sufferings were inflicted on us by such countries as Rumania, which put many divisions into the field against the Soviet forces, and Hungary, which had 20 divisions against the Soviet troops in the final stages of the war. Finland inflicted great damage on us. Without Finland's help, Germany could not, of course, have blockaded Leningrad. Finland had 24 divisions against our troops.
Bulgaria has caused us fewer hardships and less injury. She helped Germany to attack and conduct offensive operations against Russia, but she herself did not enter the war against us and sent no troops against the Soviet troops. The armistice agreement provides that Bulgaria is to make her troops available for the war against Germany. This agreement was signed by the representatives of the three Powers – the United States, Great Britain and the U.S.S.R. The agreement says that after the war against Germany ends, Bulgaria's army is to be demobilised and stepped down to peace-time strength. This we shall have to do, and it will be done. Bulgaria cannot resist fulfilment of the agreement, she will have to fulfil it.
Such are the sins of the satellites against the Allies and the Soviet Union in particular.
If we begin to avenge ourselves on them for having caused us great damage, that will be one kind of policy. I am not a supporter of that policy. Now that these countries have been defeated and the control commissions of the three Powers are there to see that they carry out the armistice terms, it is time we went over to another policy, the policy of easing their position. And easing their position means prying them away from Germany.
Now here is a concrete proposal. As far as I have understood, President Truman does not propose the immediate drafting of a treaty with Italy. President Truman merely proposes that the way be paved for the conclusion of such a treaty, in the near future; he proposes for the time being
the creation of some kind of intermediate state between the surrender terms accepted by Italy and the future peace treaty.
I think it is hard to object to such a proposal. It is quite practicable, and it is timely. As for the other satellites, I believe that we could start by re-establishing diplomatic relations with them. There may be the objection that they do not have freely elected government. But neither is there such a government in Italy. However, diplomatic relations with Italy have been restored. Nor are there such governments in France and Belgium. But there is no doubt in anyone's mind on the question of diplomatic relations with these countries.
Churchill: They were Allies.
Stalin: I understand. But democracy is democracy everywhere, among allies as well as among satellites.
Truman: I understand the situation to be as follows. I have made a concrete proposal concerning Italy. The armistice terms were signed by all three of our states.
Eden: We did not sign on behalf of the dominions.
Truman: The dominions did not sign in respect of the other satellites either. But let us return to the question under discussion. The question of policy in respect of Italy has been placed on the agenda. The Soviet side raised the question of Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland. I understand that the Generalissimo has proposed that the question of Italy and of the other satellite countries should be referred to our Foreign Ministers.
It is a matter of working out provisional terms before the conclusion of a peace treaty. I fully agree with the Generalissimo that these treaties must not be based on a feeling of revenge, hatred or injury, but on a sense of justice, so as to create the possibility of peaceful existence for all mankind. And I think that we can fully achieve this here.
I must say a few words on reparations from Italy. Italy's present position is such that we are faced with the question of giving Italy assistance worth from $700 million to $1,000 million. But I must say that we cannot render similar aid to other countries without getting anything in return. I think that we should here try to prepare the conditions in which these countries could live on their own resources.
I think that both these questions could be referred to the Foreign Ministers, and that they will be able to find the
basis of an agreement to enable us to arrive at a common view in respect of all these countries.
Churchill: I think that we are all agreed that the question of Italy should be referred to the Foreign Ministers. I only objected to the rescission of the existing surrender terms, which would deprive us of very substantial rights. I agree with the President that the terms must be eased and that a corresponding gesture should be made in respect of Italy. I have no objection to declaring here that a peace treaty is being prepared for Italy.
I fully agree with everything said by the Generalissimo and the President about it being wrong to determine the future in the spirit of revenge for injuries caused. I heard with great satisfaction this statement by the leaders of the great peoples whom they here represent. I have great sympathy for Italy, and the Government of Great Britain will act in that spirit. I used the word "reparations" in respect of Italy, but we do not of course seek any reparations for ourselves; we had Greece in mind.
Truman: I would propose that the question of Italy and the other countries should be referred to the three Foreign Ministers.
Churchill: I agree that the preparatory work in drafting the peace treaty with Italy should be referred to the Council of Foreign Ministers.
Stalin: Which Council?
Churchill: The future Council of Foreign Ministers. I only made a reservation concerning provisional measures. This could be discussed at the daily conferences of our Foreign Ministers.
Stalin: I would propose that the Foreign Ministers should also discuss the question of Germany's other accomplices. I ask Mr. Churchill not to object to this. [General laughter.] I. ask that the three Foreign Ministers should discuss, alongside the question of Italy, that of the other countries.
Churchill: I have never objected. [Laughter.] Truman: I also agree.
Let us go on to the next question. It is the communication of the Prime Minister concerning the situation in Austria, particularly in Vienna.
Churchill: I very much regret that during today's discussion I have had to disagree with the opinion of the Soviet delegation a number of times. But I consider that the situation
in Austria and in Vienna is unsatisfactory. It was agreed that we were to have different sectors, different zones in Austria. This business has been going on for a long time.
Over two months ago I asked that British officers be allowed into Vienna to inspect the premises we shall need, the airports, and the quarters for our troops. All this had been agreed in principle beforehand. Our officers went to Vienna but the results of their visit turned out to be unsatisfactory; our missions were forced to leave the city and return empty-handed. We have now been prohibited not only entry into Vienna but also the dispatch of our troops into the zone on which agreement had been reached.
Three or four months have already passed since Austria's liberation by the Soviet troops. I don't see why there are such difficulties in this simple matter, and that after an agreement had been concluded on this point. I have been receiving unsatisfactory reports from Field-Marshal Alexander. We still have no place where we could stay. I believe that in view of the signed agreement we should be given such permission.
Yesterday I was asked to find out whether a Russian delegation could visit German ships in British hands. I replied to this question as follows: meet us half-way. If German ships in Britain can be inspected by Russian representatives, I think we should be given access to enemy towns which are under Russian occupation. We have withdrawn our troops from the Russian Zone of Occupation in Northern Germany, and the American troops have also withdrawn from that zone; yet we have no right to send our troops to our zone in Austria.
Stalin: There is an agreement on zones in Austria, but there was no agreement on any zones in Vienna. Some time was naturally required to implement the agreement. This agreement has now been reached, it was reached yesterday. An agreement had to be reached on which airfields were to go to whom. This also takes time. An agreement on this question has also been reached. We received the French reply only yesterday. A day has now been set for the entry of your troops into Vienna, and for the withdrawal of our troops. This could begin today or tomorrow.
Mr. Churchill is highly indignant, but the case is not quite like that. You should not say: they're not letting us into our zone. [Laughter.] That is not the expression to use. We were
kept out of our zone in Germany for a month. We did not complain, we knew how hard it was to withdraw one's troops and to prepare everything for the entry of the Soviet troops. The Soviet Government has no intention to violate the agreement reached. If that is all there is to the question of the situation in Austria, Vienna in particular, then it has already been settled. The actions in the Berlin area were more reasonable, and there the question was solved sooner.
Field Marshal Alexander is acting less skilfully, and this has also been a factor of delay. He behaves as if the Russian forces were under his command. This has merely served to retard the solution of the question. The British and American military leaders in the zone of Germany did not act that way. There are no obstacles at present to each army entering its own zone, whether it is a question of Vienna or Styria, and that is because an agreement has now been reached.
Churchill: I am very happy that this business has finally been settled and we shall be allowed to enter our zone. As for Field Marshal Alexander, I don't think there is any cause to complain about him.
Stalin: There were no complaints about Eisenhower, no complaints about Montgomery, but there are complaints about Alexander.
Churchill: We beg you to let us have these complaints.
Stalin: I do not want to testify against Alexander, I was not preferring a charge. [Laughter.]
Churchill: I feel bound to say that in view of the absence of specific complaints against Alexander, the British Government will continue to have full confidence in him. We shall support all the measures he undertakes.
Stalin: I personally have no complaints, I was merely conveying what the commanders had reported, pointing to this as one of the reasons for delay in the settlement of the question.
Churchill: We are not alone in having an interest in this matter. The American commanders also have an interest in it.
Truman: I consider that complete agreement has been reached on this question.
The next question is that of Poland's western frontier. I understand that the Soviet delegation has considerations on this question.
Stalin: If my colleagues are not ready to discuss this question, perhaps we could pass on to the next one, and discuss this question tomorrow?
Truman: It is better to discuss it tomorrow. This question will be the first one on tomorrow's agenda.
The next question is territorial trusteeship.
Stalin: Perhaps we shall discuss this question tomorrow as well?
Truman: I agree. Our agenda has run out. Tomorrow's sitting is at 17.00.
Truman: Mr. Byrnes will report on today's sitting of the Foreign Ministers.
Byrnes: The Foreign Ministers discussed the date of the official establishment of the Council of Foreign Ministers and agreed that the Council should be set up not later than September 1. They also agreed that telegrams should be sent to the Government of China and the Provisional Government of France inviting them to take part in the work of the Council before the public announcement of its establishment. At the request of the British delegation, the drafting commission which is dealing with this question was authorised to make certain small amendments to the text of the proposal submitted.
The next question is that of the economic principles in respect of Germany. Since the sub-commission's report on the question has just been submitted and our delegations have not had the possibility of making a proper study of it, they agreed to postpone discussion of this question until tomorrow.
Next was the Polish question – the dissolution of the London Government and the fulfilment of the Yalta Declaration. A report on behalf of the sub-commission dealing with the question was given by its chairman. In view of the fact that the sub-commission was unable to reach complete agreement, the outstanding questions were thoroughly discussed by the Foreign Ministers. They reached agreement on some of these points, but the following are being referred
to the Heads of Government for a final decision. I think that the differences referred to you for decision will be clearer if you have before you the report of the sub-commission's chairman. The questions referred to you for decision are: (a) the point relating to the transfer of assets to the Polish Government and the recognition by the Polish Government of obligations towards the Governments of Great Britain and the United States; (b) the point relating to the holding of elections and freedom of the press.
Concerning the first point of the differences, regarding the transfer of assets to the Polish Government and its recognition of obligations towards the British and American Governments, the chairman of the sub-commission reported the following. The British Government and the Government of the United States have already taken steps to prevent the transfer of Polish property to third persons, property situated on the territory of Great Britain and the United States and under the control of their Governments, whatever the form of that property. They are prepared immediately to take steps to transfer this property to the Polish National Government in accordance with the requirements of the law. For this purpose they are prepared to discuss means and dates for the transfer of this property with the corresponding representatives of the Polish Provisional Government.
The wording of this proposal was the object of differences. The U.S. Government's stand is that the question of the assets must be the subject of discussions between the Government of the Polish State and the Government of the United States. At the same time, they should discuss the question of the Polish Government's obligations. The U.S. Government is sure that the Polish Provisional Government has no doubt that we are prepared to place at its disposal all the property belonging to it, in accordance with our laws.
That is why we proposed the following formulation of the point relating to this question: "The British and United States Governments have taken measures to protect the interests of the Polish Provisional Government as a recognised government of the Polish State in the property belonging to the Polish State located on their territory and under their control, whatever the form of this property may be. They have further taken measures to prevent alienation to third parties of such property. All proper facilities will be
given to the Polish Provisional Government for the exercise of the ordinary legal remedies for the recovery of any property of the Polish State which may have been wrongfully alienated."
Shall we discuss these points of differences or shall we go on?
Stalin: Let us first hear the report and then go on to the discussion.
Byrnes: There were no differences on the following point:
"The Three Powers are anxious to assist the Polish Provisional Government in facilitating the return to Poland, as soon as practicable, of all Poles abroad who wish to go, including members of the Polish Armed Forces and Merchant Marine. They expect that those Poles who return home shall be accorded personal and property rights on the same basis as all Polish citizens."
There are differences on the following point: "The Three Powers note that the Polish Provisional Government in conformity with the Crimea decisions has agreed to the holding of free and unfettered elections as soon as possible on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot in which all democratic and anti-Nazi parties shall have the right to take part and to put forward candidates. It is the confident hope of the Three Powers that the elections will be conducted in such a way as to make it clear to the world that all democratic and anti-Nazi sections of Polish opinion have been able to express their views freely and thus to play their full part in the restoration of the country's political life.
"The Three Powers will further expect that representatives of the Allied press shall enjoy full freedom to report to the world upon the developments in Poland before and during the elections."
The difference is over the Soviet delegation's proposal to delete the last two sentences from the point. Mr. Eden has agreed to this, provided the sentence on the free access of members of the Allied press to Poland is retained.
Thus, the first point at issue is the one concerning the transfer of assets without any mention of liabilities.
Truman: Under our laws it is impossible to speak of assets without saying anything about liabilities. I said as much yesterday. The United States has no intention of shouldering that kind of burden. We cannot undertake the obliga-
tion of handing over all the assets to the Polish Government without a discussion of obligations on its part.
Churchill: We agree with the President's proposal concerning the transfer of assets to the Polish Government provided simultaneous mention is made of the obligations undertaken by the Polish Government.
Byrnes: Our wording, which was proposed in the hope of finding a compromise, says nothing either of assets or liabilities. We say that the British Government and the U.S. Government have already taken steps to protect the Polish Government's interests in respect of any property belonging to the Polish State which is located on their territories, whatever the form of that property. The draft also says that both Governments have already taken steps to prevent the transfer of this property to third persons. Besides, it also says that the Polish Government will be given every opportunity to take the usual legal steps to restore any property which may have been unlawfully alienated.
Churchill: Nothing is said here either of assets or of liabilities.
Byrnes: I have already spoken of the points contained in our draft.
Churchill: Nothing is said there of the transfer to the Polish Provisional Government of obligations towards Great Britain, namely, the £120 million which we advanced to the former Polish Government in London. In other words our position is similar to yours.
Byrnes: If the Soviet Government had any property belonging to the Polish Government this question could also be settled through diplomatic channels. I think there is no need to make public mention of the fact that we are going to transfer to the Polish Government the property belonging to it and which is to be handed over as a result of the U.S. Government's recognition of the Government of Poland.
Churchill: I understand that we now leave aside the idea of assets and liabilities. This question is, of course, more important to us than to the United States owing to our having given bigger advances to the former London Polish Government.
Truman: I don't like the idea being proposed here of making a public announcement of the fulfilment of these obligations.
Churchill: I agree with you.
Stalin: Does the British Government intend to make full recovery from Poland of the advances which it made for the maintenance of the Polish troops?
Churchill: No. That is something we shall discuss with the Poles.
Stalin: We gave the Sikorski Government some funds and also some for organising the army of the Provisional National Government. But we believe that the Polish people have redeemed this debt with their blood. I consider the U.S. Government's compromise proposal acceptable, with the exception of' that part of it which says that the Polish Provisional Government will be given every opportunity to take the usual legal steps. I propose that we say instead: The Polish Provisional Government will be given every opportunity in accordance with the requirements of the law. With this amendment, the compromise proposal of the American delegation could be adopted.
Churchill: What's the difference?
Stalin: The difference is that this will obviate the usual red tape which is practised under "the usual legal steps". It will be simpler to say "on the basis of the law". But that is, after all, a small thing, and the proposal of the American delegation can be adopted in its formulation.
Byrnes: The next point on which there were differences regards the following formulation: "The Three Powers note that the Polish Provisional Government in conformity with the Crimea decisions has agreed to the holding ... " etc. Mr. Eden has objected to this formulation.
Eden: I proposed a compromise formula, against which the Soviet delegation objected, namely, to delete everything from the words "It is the confident hope of the Three Powers" to the words "their views freely", leaving the last sentence concerning access of members of the Allied press.
Stalin: It is a good thing that Mr. Eden has made a step towards the interests and dignity of Poland. That is to be welcomed. And if he makes another step in that direction, I think we shall all agree with this proposal. [Laughter.] The preceding line says that the Polish Government must observe the Crimea Declaration. Why repeat the idea once again? The foreign correspondents will be going to Poland, and not to the Polish Government; they will enjoy complete freedom, and there will be no complaints on their part
against the Polish Government. Why need this be repeated again? The Poles will take offence at this, for they well see it as a sign of suspicion that they may refuse to admit any correspondents. Let us end this point on the words: "democratic and anti-Nazi parties shall have the right to take part and put forward candidates", and delete the rest.
Churchill: There's no compromise there. [Laughter.]
Stalin: That is a compromise in respect of the Polish Government. [Laughter.]
Churchill: I half expected to have the formula strengthened rather than weakened.
Stalin: Why do that?
Truman: We are very much interested in the elections in Poland because we have six million citizens of Polish origin at home. If the elections in Poland are quite free and our correspondents are quite free to send in their reports on .the holding and results of the election, this will be very important for me as President. I think that if the Polish Government is aware beforehand that the Three Powers expect it to hold free elections and give free access to members of the Allied press, the Polish Government will, of course, quite painstakingly fulfil the demands contained in the decisions of the Crimea Conference.
Stalin: I think – Mr. Eden, you will note that I am making a compromise – of proposing the following: after the words "put forward candidates" insert a comma, and then go on to say "and representatives of the Allied press shall enjoy full freedom to report to the world on the progress and results of the elections".
Truman: That suits me.
Churchill: The word "note" at the beginning of the paragraph is important in this case. I also agree.
Byrnes: The next question concerns the fulfilment of the Yalta Agreement on Liberated Europe and the satellite countries. The U.S. delegation has submitted two papers on the question, but the Foreign Ministers decided to postpone discussion in order to have the opportunity of studying them. The Foreign Ministers agreed to pass these documents on to the drafting commission. But differences arose on whether the commission should deal with each of these documents separately or as a single document. The, Soviet delegation favoured the single-document approach, and the American delegation, the two-document approach. It was agreed that
in view of the fact that the question of the policy in respect of Italy and the other satellites had been referred to the Foreign Ministers by the Heads of Government, the Heads of Government would be requested at today's sitting to decide on the instructions for the drafting commission: should it draw up a single document for all these countries or two documents on the basis of the American draft.
Truman: At the first sitting, the American delegation submitted two documents: the first, on the policy in respect of Italy (this question was discussed at length yesterday and the day before), and the second, on the policy in respect of Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland. We think that these two questions should be dealt with separately, because Italy was the first country to surrender and then take part in the war against Germany. Besides, there are diplomatic relations between the U.S. Government and Italy, and none between the U.S. Government and the Governments of the above-mentioned countries. But that does not mean that we think the question of Italy should be solved earlier than that of the other countries. I repeat, we believe that these two questions should be examined separately.
Stalin: I have an amendment to the American proposals on the question of the policy in respect of Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland. I do not object to these proposals in principle, but I want to make an addition to the second point. It says: "The Three Governments will make a statement" on so and so, and after that I propose to add the following words: "And at the present moment they declare that they consider it possible to re-establish diplomatic relations with them."
Truman: I cannot agree to this.
Stalin: Then the discussion of both drafts – on Italy and on these countries – will have to be postponed.
Truman: We are not prepared to establish diplomatic relations with the Governments of these countries. What is more, we have never been in a state of war with Finland. But, as I have said, when the Governments of these countries are transformed on the basis of free elections, we shall be prepared to establish diplomatic relations with them.
Stalin: I cannot agree without the addendum I have proposed.
Churchill: Time is passing: we have been sitting here
for a week now, and have been putting off a great number of questions.
On this question, the British Government's stand is similar to that of the U.S. Government.
Byrnes: The next question concerns the agenda for today's sitting of the Heads of Government. We have agreed that the Foreign Ministers will recommend to the Heads of Government the inclusion in today's agenda of the two above-mentioned questions which were earlier referred to the Foreign Ministers by the Heads of Government and on which the Foreign Ministers would now like to receive further instructions, and also the three questions carried forward from yesterday's agenda of the Heads of Government sitting. Accordingly the proposed agenda for today's sitting will be the following:
1. The Polish question: dissolution of the London Government and fulfilment of the Yalta Agreement.
2. The question of whether the drafting commission, in working out the question of the policy in respect of Italy and the other satellites, should draw up a separate recommendation for Italy or prepare a single recommendation for all the countries concerned.
3. Poland's western border. The Soviet delegation submitted a document on the question yesterday.
4. Trusteeship. The Soviet delegation also submitted a document on the question yesterday.
5. Turkey. It is considered that the British delegation desires to raise this question orally.
Truman: Allow me to make a statement concerning Poland's western border. The Yalta Agreement established that German territory is to be occupied by the troops of the four Powers – Great Britain, the U.S.S.R., the U.S.A. and France – each of whom is to have its zone of occupation. The question of Poland's borders was touched upon at the conference, but the decision said the final solution of the question was to be made at a peace conference. At one of our first sittings we decided that as the starting point of a discussion of Germany's future borders we take Germany's borders as of December 1937.
We have delineated our zones of occupation and the borders of these zones. We have withdrawn our troops to our zones as had been established. But it now appears that another Government has been given a zone of occupation
and that has been done without consulting us. If the intention was to make Poland one of the Powers which is to have a zone of occupation, this should have been agreed upon beforehand. We find it hard to accept such a solution of the question because we had not been consulted about the matter in any way. I take a friendly attitude to Poland and will possibly fully agree to the Soviet Government's proposals concerning her western borders, but I do not want to do this now, because there will be another place for doing this, namely, the peace conference.
Stalin: The decisions of the Crimea Conference said that the Heads of the Three Governments agreed that Poland's eastern border was to run along the Curzon line, which means that Poland's eastern border was established at the conference. As for her western border, the conference decisions said that Poland was to receive substantial accretions to her territory in the north and the west. It was further stated: they, that is, the Three Governments consider that at the appropriate time the new Polish Government of National Unity will be asked for its opinion on the question of the size of those accretions and that the final decision on Poland's western borders would then be put off until the peace conference.
Truman: That is how I understood it myself. But we did not have and do not have any right to give Poland a zone of occupation.
Stalin: The Polish Government of National Unity has expressed its opinion on the western border. Its opinion is now known to all of us.
Truman: No official statement has ever been made on this western border.
Stalin: I am now speaking of the Polish Government's opinion. Now we all know what it is. We can now agree on Poland's western border, and the peace conference is to take the final formal decision on it.
Truman: Mr. Byrnes received the Polish Government's statement only today. We have not yet had any time to study it.
Stalin: Our proposal boils down to expressing our opinion concerning the Polish Government's desire to have a western border running along a certain line. It makes no difference whether we express our opinion today or tomorrow.
As for the question that we have granted the Poles an occupation zone without having the consent of the Allied Powers, it has not been stated correctly. In their notes, the American Government and the British Government have repeatedly suggested that we should not allow the Polish administration to enter the western regions until the question of Poland's western border is finally settled. We could not do this because the German population had gone to the west in the wake of the retreating German troops. The Polish population, for its part, advanced to the west, and our army needed a local administration in its rear, on the territory which it occupied. Our army cannot simultaneously set up an administration in the rear, fight and clear the territory of the enemy. It is not used to doing this. That is why we let the Poles in.
That was the spirit in which we replied to our American and British friends at the time. We were also inclined to do this in the knowledge that Poland was getting an accretion of land to the west of her former border. I don't see what harm there is for our common cause in letting the Poles set up their administration on a territory which is to be Polish anyway. I have finished.
Truman: I have no objections to the opinion expressed concerning Poland's future border. But we did agree that all parts of Germany must be under the control of the four Powers. And it will be very hard to agree to a just decision of the question of reparations if important parts of Germany are under an occupying Power other than one of these four Powers.
Stalin: Is it for reparations that you are apprehensive? In that case, we can waive reparations from these territories.
Truman: We have no intention of receiving them.
Stalin: As for these western territories, there has been no decision on this, and it is a matter of interpreting the Crimea decision. There has been no decision on the western border, the question has remained open. There was only the promise of extending Poland's borders to the west and north.
Churchill: I have quite a lot to say about Poland's western border line but, I understand, the time for it has not yet come.
Truman: It is up to the peace conference to determine the future borders.
Stalin: It is very hard to restore the German administration in the western strip, everyone has run away.
Truman: If the Soviet Government wants to have help in re-establishing the German administration in these territories, this question could be discussed.
Stalin: Our concept, the Russian concept during a war, in the occupation of enemy territory, is as follows. The army fights, it goes forward and has no worries except winning the fighting. But if the army is to move on it must have a tranquil rear. It cannot fight with the enemy at the front and simultaneously in the rear. The army fights well if the rear is tranquil and if the rear sympathises with it and helps it. Consider for a moment the situation in which the German population is either on the run behind the retreating troops, or is engaged in shooting our troops in the back. Meanwhile, the Polish population follows in the wake of our troops. In such a situation the army naturally desires to have an administration in its rear which sympathises with it and helps it. That is the whole point.
Truman: I understand this and sympathise.
Stalin: There was no other way out. This does not mean, of course, that I lay down the borders myself. If you do not agree to the line which the Polish Government has proposed, the question will remain open. That is all.
Churchill: But can this question be left without solution?
Stalin: It has to be solved at some time.
Churchill: There is also the question of supplies. The question of food supplies is a highly important one, because these areas are the chief sources of foodstuffs for the German population.
Stalin: Who in that case will work there and raise the grain? There's no one to do this except the Poles.
Truman: We can reach an agreement. I think the substance of the question before us, with which we are concerned, is the kind of administration that will be set up in these areas. We are also interested in whether these areas are to be part of Germany or part of Poland in the period of occupation. Here is the question. We have an occupation zone. France has an occupation zone, the British and the Soviet Union have an occupation zone each. I want to know whether the areas now being dealt with are a part of the
Soviet zone of occupation. I think that at the appropriate time we shall be able to reach agreement concerning Poland's future borders, but now I am interested in the question of these areas during the occupation period.
Stalin: On paper they are still German territory; actually, de facto, they are Polish territory.
Truman: What has happened to the local population? There must have been some three million of it.
Stalin: The population has gone.
Churchill: If that is so, it means that they will have to obtain food in the areas to which they have gone, if the areas the Germans have abandoned are not handed over to Germany and are not at Germany's disposal. I understand that according to the Polish Government's plan, which I understand is supported by the Soviet Government, a quarter of all the cultivated land in 1937 Germany is to be taken away from her.
As for the population, it turns out that three or four million Poles are to be moved from the east to the western areas. According to Russian data, Germany's pre-war population in these areas totalled eight and a quarter million. This means that apart from the serious hardships connected with the displacement of such a great number of people, a disproportional burden will be laid on other parts of Germany, and still the food problem will not be solved.
Truman: France will want to have the Saar and the Ruhr, and if we let France have the Saar and the Ruhr, what will be left of Germany?
Stalin: There is no decision on this, but in respect of Poland's western border there is a decision, and it is that the territory of Poland must receive an accretion in the north and the west.
Churchill: There is another remark concerning Generalissimo Stalin's statement that all Germans have left these areas. There is other information to the effect that two or two and a half million Germans have after all stayed behind. Of course, these figures should still be checked.
Stalin: Of course, they should be checked. We have been discussing the border question and have now come to the question of Germany's food supplies. If you want to discuss the question, let's do so, I don't mind.
Churchill: That's true; we were speaking of the border and have now switched to the question of Germany's food
supplies. But I only mentioned it because the border question creates some great difficulties for us in the solution of certain other questions.
Stalin: I agree that there are some difficulties with Germany's supply, but the Germans themselves are chiefly to blame for it. The war has brought about a situation in which virtually none of the 8 million Germans have remained there. Take Stettin: It had a population of 500,000, but when we entered Stettin, there were only 8,000 left.
In East Prussia the Germans did the following: the greater part went to the west, into the rear of their troops, and the rest went to the Königsberg area, to the Russians. When we got to the zone earmarked for accretion to Polish territory, there were no Germans there, there were only Poles. That is how things worked out.
In the area between the Oder and the Vistula, the Germans abandoned their fields, and the Poles are cultivating and harvesting them. The Poles will hardly agree to give the Germans what they have cultivated. That is the situation that has arisen in these areas.
Truman: I wish to re-emphasise: in my opinion the zones of occupation should be made available to the Powers on which a decision had been reached. I have no objections to a discussion of Poland's borders, but I believe we cannot solve the question here.
Churchill: We agreed to compensate Poland at Germany's expense for the territory which has been taken from her east of the Curzon line. But the one must balance the other. Poland is now demanding much more than she is giving away in the east. I do not think this is being done for the benefit of Europe, to say nothing of the Allies. If three or four million Poles are moved from east of the Curzon line, three or four million Germans could be moved to the west to make place for the Poles. But the present displacement of 8 million men is something I cannot support. Compensation must be equal to the losses, otherwise it would not be good for Poland herself either. If, as Generalissimo Stalin has said, the Germans have abandoned the lands east and west of the Oder, they should be encouraged to return there.
At any rate, the Poles have no right to create a disastrous situation in the food supply for the German population. I want to re-emphasise this standpoint. I want the
Generalissimo to understand our difficulties just as, I hope, we shall understand his.
We don't want to be saddled with a large German population without any food resources. Take the vast population of the Ruhr basin, in the area of the coal mines. This population is in the British zone of occupation. Unless they are provided with enough foodstuffs, the situation in our own zone will be similar to that in the German concentration camps.
Stalin: Anyhow, Germany cannot do, and has never done, without grain imports.
Churchill: Of course, but she will be even less able to feed herself if the eastern lands are taken away from her.
Stalin: Let them buy grain from Poland.
Churchill: We do not consider this territory to be Polish territory.
Stalin: The Poles live there, and they have cultivated the fields. We can't demand of the Poles that they should work the fields and let the Germans have the grain.
Churchill: Besides, I must point out that the conditions in the areas occupied by the Poles are very strange in general. I have been told, for instance, that the Poles are selling Silesian coal to Sweden. They are doing this when we in Britain have a shortage of coal and are faced with the coldest and harshest winter without fuel. We start from the general principle that the supply of Germany within her 1937 borders with foodstuffs and fuel must be shared proportionally to the size of her population, regardless of the zone in which this food and fuel is located.
Stalin: And who is to mine the coal? The Germans are not doing it, it is the Poles who are, they are working.
Churchill: But they are working in Silesia.
Stalin: .The masters have all run away from there.
Churchill: They have gone because they were afraid of military operations, but now that the war is over they could return.
Stalin: They don't want to, and the Poles have not much sympathy with the idea.
Churchill: Yesterday I was deeply touched by the Generalissimo’s words when he said that it was undesirable to deal with current and future problems while being guided by a sense of revenge. I believe therefore that what I am saying today will meet with his sympathy because it would
be unjust to send such a great number of Germans to us, while Poles had all the advantages.
Stalin: I am speaking of the industrialists who have run away from the coal basin. We ourselves are buying coal from the Poles, like the Swedes, because we are also short of coal in some areas, for instance, the Baltic area.
Truman: It seems to be a fait accompli that a considerable part of Germany has been handed over to Poland for occupation. What in that case remains for the exaction of reparations? Even we in the United States are short of coal. However, in spite of this, we are sending 6.5 million tons of coal to Europe this year. I think this part of Germany namely, the coal basin, should be regarded as remaining with Germany both in respect of reparations and in respect of food supplies. I think the Poles have no right to take over that part of Germany. We are now discussing the question of Poland's future borders. But I believe we are in no position to solve the question here and that it must be settled at a peace conference.
Stalin: Who, in that case, is going to mine the coal there? We Russians are short of hands for our own enterprises. All the German workers went into the army; Goebbels's propaganda attained its aim. It remains either to stop all production or to hand it over to the Poles. There is no other way out. As for coal, I must say that within the old borders the Poles had their own coal basin, a very rich one. To this coal basin has been added the Silesia coal basin, which was in German hands. The Poles are working there. We can't take the coal mined by the Poles.
Churchill: The pits in Silesia, I understand, are being worked by Polish workers. There is no objection to the pits being operated as an agency of the Soviet Government in the Soviet zone of occupation, but not of the Polish Government in a zone that has not been granted to Poland for occupation.
Stalin: This would disrupt all relations between two friendly states. I also ask Mr. Churchill to consider the fact that the Germans themselves are short of manpower. The greater part of the enterprises we found in the course of our advance were manned by foreign workers – Italians, Bulgarians, Frenchmen, Russians, Ukrainians, etc. All of these workers had been forcibly driven from their homeland by the Germans. When the Russian troops arrived in these
areas, the foreign workers considered themselves free, and went home. Where are the German workers? It turns out that most of them were drafted into the German army and were either killed during the war or taken prisoner.
This produced a situation in which the big German industry was operating with the most insignificant number of German workers, and a great number of foreign workers. When these foreign workers were liberated, they went away, and the enterprises were left without workers. The situation today is such that either these enterprises have to be closed down or the local population, that is, the Poles, must be allowed to work there. You can't drive out the Poles now. This situation has taken shape spontaneously. There is simply no one to blame for this.
Attlee: I want to say a few words concerning the present situation from the standpoint of the Powers occupying Germany. Leaving aside the question of the final border between Poland and Germany, we see before us a country which is beset by chaos but which was once an economic entity. We have before us a country which depended for its food and partly its coal supplies on its eastern areas, partially settled by the Poles. I believe the resources of the whole of 1937 Germany should be used to maintain and supply the whole of the German population, and if a part of Germany is cut off beforehand, this will create great difficulties for the occupying Powers in the western and southern zones.
If there is need of manpower for the eastern areas, it must be found among the population of the rest of Germany, among the part of the German population which has been demobilised or is exempt from work in military industry. This manpower should be sent where it can do the most good to prevent the Allies from being placed in a difficult situation over the next few months.
Stalin: Will Mr. Attlee also take into account the fact that Poland is herself suffering from the aftermath of war and is also an Ally?
Attlee: Yes, but she has found herself in a privileged position.
Stalin: Vis-à-vis Germany. That is how it should be.
Attlee: No, in respect of the other Allies.
Stalin: That is far from being the case.
Truman: I want to say frankly what I think on this question. I cannot agree to the alienation of the eastern part of
1937 Germany in as far as it bears upon settling the reparations question and supplies of food and coal for the whole German population.
Churchill: We have not yet done with this question. Besides, we do have, of course, much more pleasant questions. [Laughter.]
Truman: I propose that we now adjourn and perhaps think these questions over. That suits me.
Stalin: All right, that also suits me.
Truman: Tomorrow the sitting is at 5.00 p.m.
Truman opens the sitting.
Stalin: I want to inform you that today the Soviet troops in Austria stared withdrawing, and in some places they will have to withdraw 100 kilometres. The withdrawal is to be completed by July 24. The advance units of the Allied troops have already entered Vienna.
Churchill: We are very grateful to the Generalissimo for having so swiftly started implementing the agreement.
Truman: The American Government also expresses its gratitude.
Stalin: There is no cause for thanks; it is our duty to do this.
[The British delegation then reported that the Foreign Ministers, at their morning sitting, discussed the following questions.First question: the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe. The Ministers examined a memorandum tabled by the U.S. delegation on July 21. It dealt with three questions: first, supervision of elections in some European countries; second, creation of favourable conditions for members of the world press in the liberated areas and the former satellite countries; and third, procedures governing the work of the control commissions in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
The British delegation expressed agreement with the U.S. memorandum. The Soviet delegation did not agree with the proposal concerning supervision of the elections.
As for the second and third questions – concerning members of the press and the procedures for the control commissions in Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary, it was decided
to refer these proposals for discussion to a subcommittee composed as follows: Cannon and Russell from the United States; Sobolev from the U.S.S.R.; and Hayter from Great Britain.
The Soviet delegation decided to submit a memorandum showing the recent improvements in the status of British and American representatives in the control commissions in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary. The Soviet delegation also agreed to draw up a memorandum concerning the changes it considered necessary and desirable in connection with the procedure governing the work of the Allied commission in Italy.
Second question: economic principles in respect of Germany.
A report was submitted by the Economic Subcommittee.
The U.S. delegation asked for a postponement of the discussion of the reparations question until the next sitting. The Soviet delegation proposed that there should be discussion of the economic principles which had been agreed in the Subcommittee. Accordingly, the Foreign Ministers decided to discuss only the agreed principles and not to go into the controversial principles or the reparations question. It was decided that the reparations question would be the first item on the agenda of the Foreign Ministers sitting on July 23.
Paragraphs 11, 12, 14, 15 and 17 were adopted, subject to agreement on the rest of the paragraphs which remain in dispute.
As for the other paragraphs, it was agreed that the last sentence in Paragraph 10 should be amended to read as follows:
"Production capacity not needed for permitted production shall be removed in accordance with the reparations plan recommended by the Allied Commission on reparations and approved by the Governments concerned, or if not removed, shall be destroyed."
Paragraphs 13, 16 and 18 were set aside for further discussion.
The Ministers decided to recommend the following agenda for the day's sitting of the Heads of Government:
1. Poland's western frontier – resumption of discussion.2. Trusteeship – question carried over from the previous day's sitting of the Heads of Government.
3. Turkey – question also carried over from the previous day's sitting.
4. Partial alteration of the western frontier of the U.S.S.R. – proposal of the Soviet delegation.
5. Iran – memorandum submitted by the United Kingdom delegation on July 21.
It was decided to transfer several other questions to the next day's sitting of the Foreign Ministers. These questions were the following:
1. Co-operation in solving urgent European economic problems – proposal of the U.S. delegation.
2. Directive of the Heads of Government concerning control over Germany in accordance with the principles agreed by them – proposal of the U.S. delegation.
3. Tangier – proposal of the Soviet delegation.
4. Syria and the Lebanon – proposal of the Soviet delegation.]
Truman: Do you agree to refer these questions for discussion to the Foreign Ministers at their sitting of tomorrow?
Churchill: I do not know what these proposals concerning Syria and the Lebanon are. This question affects us more than any other state. My colleagues are not affected by this question because only British troops are involved there. Of course, we had difficulties with France on this matter. We are prepared to leave Syria and the Lebanon, we do not seek anything there. But it is impossible to do so now, because a British withdrawal would be followed by the killing of Frenchmen. I should like to know what the matter is before I can take any decision. Perhaps, this may be done here?
Stalin: Certainly. The matter is as follows. The Government of Syria appealed to the Soviet Government to intervene in this affair. It is known that at the time we addressed a note on the question to the French, British and American Governments. We should like to receive the relevant information on this matter, because we are also interested in it. Of course, the question could be examined beforehand at a sitting of the Foreign Ministers.
Churchill: I should prefer to have the first three questions referred for examination to the Foreign Ministers, but to have the question of Syria and the Lebanon discussed here.
Stalin: By all means.
Truman: My proposal is that the first three questions should be referred to the Foreign Ministers and that the question of Syria and the Lebanon should be examined by the Heads of Government after we have discussed the questions on our agenda.
We go on to the first item of the agenda – Poland's western frontier.
As for the U.S. Government's view of this question, it was set forth by me yesterday.
Churchill: I heard you say, Mr. President, that your standpoint was set forth yesterday. I too have nothing to add to the views I have already expressed.
Truman (to Stalin): Have you anything to add?
Stalin: Have you studied the Polish Government's statement?
Truman: Yes, I have read it. Churchill: Is it Bierut's letter?
Stalin: It is a letter from Bierut and Osobka-Morawski.
Churchill: Yes, I have read it.
Stalin: Are all the delegations of their old opinion? Truman: That's obvious.
Stalin: The question remains open.
Truman: Can we go on to the next question?
Churchill: What does it mean: remains open? Does that mean that nothing will be done about it?
Truman: If a question remains open, we can discuss it once again.
Churchill: It is to be hoped that the question will mature for discussion before our departure.
Churchill: It would be a pity for us to depart without settling this question, which will surely be discussed in the parliaments of the whole world.
Stalin: In that case let us comply with the Polish Government's request.
Churchill: That proposal is absolutely unacceptable to the British Government. Yesterday, I gave a number of reasons why the proposal is unacceptable. Having such a territory will not benefit Poland. It will tend to undermine Germany's economic 'position and saddle the occupying Powers with an excessive burden in respect of supplying the western part of Germany with food and fuel. In addition, we have some doubts of a moral order concerning the desirability
of such a great displacement of population. We are in principle agreed to a resettlement but in the proportion in which the population is resettled from east of the Curzon Line. But when it comes to resettling 8 or 9 million persons, we consider it incorrect. The information on this question is highly contradictory. According to our date there are 8 or 9 million persons; according to Soviet data, all these people have gone from there. We believe that until this information is verified we can adhere to our figures. So far we have had no possibility of checking what is actually going on there. I could also give other reasons, but should not like to bother the Conference.
Stalin: I do not undertake to object to the reasons given by Mr. Churchill, but I have in mind a number of reasons that are most important.
Concerning fuel. It is said that Germany is left without fuel. But she still has the Rhineland and there is fuel there. Germany will not experience any special difficulties if she is deprived of Silesian coal; Germany's principal fuel base is situated in the west.
The second question, concerning the resettlement of the population. There are no 8, or 6, or 3, or 2 millions of population in these areas. The people there were either drafted into the army and were killed or taken prisoner, or have left these areas. Very few Germans remain on this territory. But this can be verified. Is it possible to arrange to hear the opinion of the Polish representatives concerning Poland's frontier?
Churchill: I am unable to support this proposal at the present time, because of the view expressed by the President concerning the invitation of Yugoslavia's representatives.
Stalin: Let the representatives of Poland be invited to the Foreign Ministers' Council in London and be heard there.
Truman: I have no objections to that.
Churchill: But, Mr. President, the Foreign Ministers' Council will meet only in September.
Stalin: Well, that's when the Council will invite the Polish Government's representatives to London.
Churchill: In order to verify the information?
Stalin: By the time information will have been collected by the three sides.
Churchill: But that will only mean transferring the difficult question from this Conference to the Foreign Ministers'
Council, whereas this Conference is able to settle the question.
Stalin: I,too, think that it is able to do so. On the strength of the decisions of the Crimea Conference it is our duty to hear the Polish Government's opinion on the question of Poland's western frontier.
Truman: That is right. I think the Soviet proposal that the Foreign Ministers' Council invite the Polish Government's representatives to London should be adopted. But that does not, of course, rule out the possibility of the question being discussed at the present Conference.
Stalin: I propose that the Polish Government's representatives should be invited to the Foreign Ministers' Council in London in September and that their opinion should be heard there.
Churchill: That is another question. I thought it was a matter of verifying the data concerning the number of Germans in those areas.
Stalin: It is a matter of Poland's western frontier.
Churchill: But how can the question of the frontier be decided there when the question must be settled at a peace conference?
Truman: I think it will be useful to hear the Poles at the Foreign Ministers' Council in London.
Stalin: That's right.
Churchill: I regret that such an important and urgent question is being referred for solution to a body with less authority than the present Conference.
Stalin: In that case, let us invite the Poles over here and hear what they have to say.
Churchill: I should prefer that because the question is urgent. But it is not hard to foresee just what the Poles will demand. They will, of course, demand much more than we can agree to.
Stalin: But if we invite the Poles they will not accuse us of having settled this question without hearing them. What I want is that no such accusation should be levelled at us by the Poles.
Churchill: But I have not made any accusations against them.
Stalin: It is not you, but the Poles who will say: they have settled the question of the frontier without having heard us.
Churchill: I understand now.Truman: Is it necessary to settle the question so urgently? I repeat, I think that the final solution of this question should be referred to a peace conference; we ourselves are not able to solve this question. But I think that the discussion of this question here was highly useful and it does not rule out any further discussions. What I do not know is how urgent the question is.
Stalin: If it is not urgent, let us refer the question to the Foreign Ministers' Council. That would not be superfluous.
Truman: But that does not exclude the possibility of further discussing the question here.
Churchill: Mr. President, with all due respect to you, I should like to note that there is a certain urgency about the question. If the settlement of the question is deferred, the status quo will be fixed. The Poles will start exploiting this territory, they will settle down there, and if the process continues, it will be very difficult to adopt any other decision later. That is why I still hope that we shall come to some agreement here, so as to know in what state the Polish question is.
I do not imagine how this question can be settled by the Foreign Ministers' Council in London, when we over here have failed to reach agreement. Unless we settle this question, the problem of food and fuel remains open and the burden of supplying the German population with food and fuel will be imposed on us, above all the British, because their zone of occupation has the smallest food resources. If the Foreign Ministers' Council, after hearing the Poles, also fails to reach agreement, the question will be postponed indefinitely. Meanwhile, winter will set in and there will still be no agreement.
I should very much like to meet the Generalissimo Stalin half way in solving the practical difficulties of which he spoke yesterday, the difficulties which arose in the course of events. We should be prepared to submit for your examination a compromise solution which would operate in the intervening period – from the present time until the peace conference. I propose that we draw a provisional line east of which the territory would be occupied by the Poles as a part of Poland until the final settlement of the question at a peace conference; to the west of the line, the Poles, if they find themselves there, could act as representatives of the
Soviet Government in the zone made available to the Soviet Union.
I have had several talks with the Generalissimo since the Tehran Conference and I think we were agreed in general terms that the new Poland should move her borders west to the Oder River. But this is not such a simple question. The difference in views between the Generalissimo and myself is that the British Government, while allowing that Poland should extend her territory, does not wish to go as far as the Soviet Government does. When I speak of the line along the Oder River I have in mind the line of which we spoke two years ago at Tehran, when there was no question of any precise demarcation of the frontier. We are now prepared to propose that the Conference examine a provisional Polish frontier line. If the question is postponed until September, and the Foreign Ministers are made to discuss it with the Poles, this will mean that the question will not be settled before the winter. I shall be sorry if we do not reach an agreement in principle on this question here. In my view, if the question is postponed and referred for discussion by the Foreign Ministers' Council with the participation of the Poles, we shall not benefit in any way from such a settlement.
Our position in respect of the territory and the line is quite clear. Here I should like to find a practical way out of the situation. But if the question is referred to the Foreign Ministers' Council, its solution will be dragged out far too long. I do not regard the question as being quite hopeless of solution here. I am sure that we could find a compromise solution. We could let the Poles have everything that we decide to let them have, and the rest of the territory would be left under the Soviet Government's administration.
I think there is no sense in leaving this question unsolved until September. If we do not settle this question, it will mean a failure for our Conference.
I repeat once again that when we used the expression "the Oder line" we had in mind only an approximate line. The line we propose should be traced on the map; in one place it even goes across the Oder.
I appeal to the Conference to continue its efforts to reach agreement on this question, if not today, then some other day, because if the Foreign Ministers meet in September and
have a discussion with the Poles, say, in the course of a fortnight, with the Soviet side again holding one view, and the United States and Great Britain, another, the question may again be left outstanding or we may achieve its settlement far too late. What will be the position of, say, Berlin? Berlin receives some of its coal from Silesia.
Stalin: Berlin does not receive its coal from Silesia but from Torgau (Saxony), as it did in the past.
Churchill: The question of coal for Berlin is very important, because the city is under our common occupation.
Stalin: Let them take it from the Ruhr, from Zwickau.
Churchill: Is that so-called brown coal?
Stalin: No, it is good hard coal. Brown coal is good for use in briquettes, and the Germans have good briquette factories. They have all sorts of possibilities.
Churchill: I merely say that part of the coal for Berlin was received from Silesia.
Stalin: Before the British troops occupied the Zwickau area the Germans got their coal for Berlin from there. Following the departure of the Allied troops from Saxony to the west, Berlin got its coal from Torgau.
Truman: Allow me to restate the U.S. position on this question.
Stalin: By all means.
Truman: I should like to give some extracts here from the Crimea Conference decision.
"The three Heads of Government consider that the eastern frontier of Poland should follow the Curzon Line with some digressions from it in some regions of five to eight kilometres in favour of Poland. They recognise that Poland must receive substantial accessions of territory in the north and west. They feel that the opinion of the new Polish Provisional Government of National Unity should be sought in due course of the extent of these accessions and that the final delimitation of the western frontier of Poland should thereafter await the peace conference."
This agreement was reached by President Roosevelt, Generalissimo Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill. I agree with this decision; I well understand the difficulties of which Generalissimo Stalin spoke yesterday. I also well understand the difficulties in respect of food and fuel supplies of which Prime Minister Churchill spoke yesterday. But I think
that these difficulties do not in any way alter the substance of the matter.
Stalin: If you are not bored with this question, I am prepared to speak once again. I,too, start from the decision of the Crimea Conference from which the President has just quoted. It follows from the precise meaning of this decision that with the formation of the Government of National Unity in Poland, we should have obtained the opinion of the new Polish Government on the question of Poland's western frontier. The Polish Government has communicated its opinion. We now have two possibilities: either to endorse the Polish Government's opinion on Poland's western frontier, or, if we are not in agreement with the Polish proposals, to hear the Polish representatives here and only then decide the question.
I consider it expedient to settle the question at our Conference and, since there is no unity of opinion with the Polish Government, to invite its representatives and hear them. But the opinion was expressed here that the Poles should not be invited to this Conference. If that is so, we can refer this question to the Foreign Ministers' Council.
I should like to remind Mr. Churchill and others who were present at the Crimea Conference of the opinion which was then expressed by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill and with which I did not agree. Mr. Churchill spoke of Poland's western frontier line along the Oder beginning from its mouth, then running along the Oder all the time, until the confluence of the Oder with the River Neisse, east of it. I stood for a line west of the Neisse. According to the scheme of President Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill, Stettin and also Breslau and the area west of the Neisse were to remain with Germany. (Indicates on the map.)
What we are examining here now is the question of frontiers and not of a provisional line. This question cannot be evaded. If you were in agreement with the Poles, it would be possible to adopt a decision without inviting the Polish Government's representatives here. But since you are not in agreement with the Polish Government's opinion and wish to make amendments, it will be well for us to invite the Poles here and hear their opinion. This is a matter of principle.
Churchill: On behalf of the British Government I should
like to withdraw my objection to inviting the Poles here, in order to try to achieve the adoption of some kind of practical decision which would remain in force until the final settlement of the question at the peace conference.
Truman: I have no objection to inviting the Polish Government's representatives here. They could have talks here with our Foreign Ministers.
Stalin: That's right.
Churchill: And then the results of the talks with them could be placed before the Heads of Government.
Stalin: That's right. That's right.
Churchill: Who is to send them an invitation? Stalin: The Chairman, I think.
Truman: Good. We now pass to the next question. I think that the Soviet delegation has proposals concerning trusteeship.
[Setting forth its proposals on the question of trusteeship, the Soviet delegation declared that what had been formulated in its proposals, submitted in written form, followed from the decisions of the San Francisco Conference. It said furthermore that inasmuch as the main question of trusteeship had been decided by the United Nations Charter, the Conference of the Heads of Government was faced with the concrete question of territories. The Soviet delegation expressed the opinion that the Conference could hardly expect to examine the question in detail but it could, first, discuss the question of Italy's colonial possessions in Africa and the Mediterranean, and second, discuss the question of the League of Nations mandated territories. The Soviet delegation pointed out that its proposals contain two variants of a possible solution of the question of former Italian colonies. It has proposed that the question should be referred for examination to the Foreign Ministers' meeting.]
Churchill: Of course, it is possible to have an exchange of opinion on any question, but if it turns out that the sides differ in their views, the only result will be that we shall have had a pleasant discussion. I think the question of the mandates was decided at San Francisco.
Truman: Allow me to read the article of the United Nations Charter dealing with the question of trusteeship.
"1. The trusteeship system shall apply to such territories in the following categories as may be placed thereunder by means of trusteeship agreements:
"(a) Territories now held under mandate;
"(b) Territories which may be detached from enemy states as a result of the Second World War; and
"(c) Territories voluntarily placed under the system by states responsible for their administration.
"2. It will be a matter for subsequent agreement as to which territories in the foregoing categories will be brought under the trusteeship system and upon what terms."
I believe the Soviet proposals apply to the second paragraph of this article. I agree with the proposal of the Soviet delegation that the question should be referred for discussion to the Foreign Ministers.
Churchill: We agreed with what was adopted at San Francisco but no more than that. Since the question of trusteeship is in the hands of an international organisation, I doubt the desirability of an exchange of opinion on the question here.
Truman: I think it will be quite in order to examine the question here like the question of Poland or any other question.
Churchill: The question of Poland has not been examined by an international organisation.
We expressed our standpoint on the question of trusteeship secretly at Yalta and openly at San Francisco. Our stand is clear and cannot be altered.
Truman: Great Britain's stand is fully ensured by another article of the United Nations Charter, and I see no reason why this question cannot be examined here.
Stalin: We learn from the press, for instance, that Mr. Eden, in a speech in the British Parliament, declared that Italy has lost her colonies forever. Who has decided that? If Italy has lost them, who has found them? [Laughter.] That is a very interesting question.
Churchill: I can answer it. By steady effort, at the cost of great losses and through exceptional victories, the British Army alone conquered these colonies.
Stalin: And the Red Army took Berlin. [Laughter.]Churchill: I want to finish my statement, because Mr. President has questioned the words "the British Army alone conquered". I have in mind the following Italian colonies: Italian Somaliland, Eritrea, Cyrenaica and Tripoli, which we conquered alone and in very difficult conditions.
However, we do not seek territorial gains. We do not want
to derive any advantages from this war, although we have suffered great losses. Of course, as regards human losses they are not as great as those suffered by the Soviet Union and its gallant troops. However: we have emerged from this war in great debt to the United States. We can never expect to have the same strength at sea as the United States. During the war we built only one battleship, and lost ten. But despite all these losses we have no territorial claims. That is why we approach the question of trust territories without any ulterior motives.
Now about the statement made by Eden in Parliament, in which he said that Italy has lost her colonies. This does not mean that Italy has no right to claim these colonies. This does not exclude any discussion, during the preparation of the peace treaty with Italy, of the question of whether a part of her former territories should be returned to Italy. I do not support such a proposal, but we do not object to the question of colonies being discussed either in the Foreign Ministers' Council, when it deals with the preparation of the peace treaty with Italy, or, of course, at a peace conference on the final settlement.
I must say that when I visited Tripoli and Cyrenaica, I saw the work that had been done by the Italians in ploughing and cultivating the land; it was remarkable, in spite of the difficult conditions. What I want to say is that although we do not favour a return of her African colonies to Italy, we do not, at the same time, rule out the possibility of discussing the question. At present, all these colonies are in our hands. Who wants to have them? If there are any claimants to these colonies round this table, it would be well for them to speak out.
Truman: We have no use for them. We have enough poor Italians at home who need to be fed.
Churchill: We examined the question as to whether some of these colonies could be used to settle Jews. But we consider that it would be inconvenient for the Jews to settle there.
Of course, we have great interests in the Mediterranean and any change in the status quo in that area would require a long and thorough study on our part.
We do not quite understand what our Russian Allies want.
Stalin: We should like to know whether you consider that Italy has lost her colonies for good. If you consider that she
has lost those colonies, which states are we to hand them over to for trusteeship? We should like to know that. If it is too early to speak of this, we can wait, but it will have to be said some time.
Churchill: Of course, we must decide the question of whether we should detach her colonies from Italy, which we have a perfect right to do.
Stalin: That is a question which still has to be decided.
Churchill: And if they are taken away, which we have every right to do, we shall have to decide who is to have trusteeship over them. It is up to the peace conference to decide which colonies are to be taken away from Italy, but the question of the further administration of those territories is within the competence of an international organisation.
Stalin: Are we to understand Mr. Churchill in the sense that the present Conference is not empowered to examine the question?
Churchill: Our Conference cannot settle the question: it must be settled by a peace conference. But, of course, if this troika reaches agreement, this will be of great importance.
Stalin: I do not propose to decide, but to examine the question. I think that our Conference is, of course, empowered to examine the question.
Churchill: We are examining the question just now. I have no objection to the Generalissimo saying what he wants and I agree to study the question immediately.
Stalin: It is not a matter of the Generalissimo but of the fact that the question has not been examined and should be.
Churchill: Which question specifically?
Stalin: The question tabled by the Soviet delegation.
Truman: I agree with the proposal of the Soviet delegable to refer the question for discussion by the Foreign Ministers.
Stalin: That's another matter.
Truman: We have no objections to that proposal.
Churchill: We have no objections either, except that we have been referring all the questions to our Ministers.
Truman: That is quite natural.
Churchill: I think there are many more urgent questions which ought to be settled while we are here. We have decided that the question of a peace treaty with Italy will be examined by the Foreign Ministers' Council in September as
a matter of first priority, and this will automatically raise the question of what is to be done with these Italian colonies. I am against burdening our Foreign Ministers with this question as well. But the question could be placed .on the agenda if the Ministers find they have time to deal with the question.
Stalin: Let's refer it to the Ministers.
Truman: I support that proposal.
Churchill: Let us refer the question to the Foreign Ministers, provided that does not slow down their work on more urgent matters.
Stalin: Now, let's not have such reservations. You can't refer a question with that kind of reservation. Either we refer it, or we do not.
Churchill: If you insist, I give in.
Truman: We refer the question for examination by the Foreign Ministers. [ ... ]
[The Soviet delegation then handed its proposals concerning the Königsberg region to the delegations of the United States and Britain.]
Truman: I should like to propose that we refer this question for discussion by the Foreign Ministers.
I have one more question. We have already agreed on inviting the Polish Government's representatives over here. I think the correspondents will want to know why the Polish Government's representatives are being summoned and I think it would be proper to issue a communiqué on the matter.
Stalin: Before the Poles arrive?
Truman: Yes, before their arrival. Stalin: I suppose we could.
Churchill: That runs counter to the principle we have adhered to until now.
Stalin: It's all the same whether we issue a communiqué or not. I don't mind which way we have it.
Churchill: Shall we state the purpose of their coming here?
Stalin: I don't think we should state the purpose.
Churchill: I request that the purpose of their visit should not be stated.
Truman: Accepted without statement of purpose.
(The Soviet delegation then read a communication on
the Soviet POW camp in Italy. It said that this was Camp No. 5 in the vicinity of the town of Celsinatica, under the control of the British authorities, in which mainly Ukrainians were kept. The Soviet delegation stated that initially the British authorities said that the camp contained 150 men, but when a Soviet representative visited the camp it proved to contain 10,000 Ukrainians, of whom the British command had formed a whole division. Twelve regiments were organised, including a signals regiment and a battalion of engineers. The officer corps was made up chiefly of former Petlyura men, who previously had commands in the German Army. The Soviet delegation stated in conclusion that when the Soviet officer made his appearance at the camp, 625 men at once declared their desire to return to the Soviet Union.]
Churchill: We welcome every manner of observation on your part. I shall demand a special report by telegraph. There may be many Poles there.
Stalin: No, there were only Ukrainians, Soviet citizens.
Churchill: When approximately did all this happen?
Stalin: We got the telegram today, and it happened over the last few months.
Churchill: I've not heard anything of this until now. [Truman closes the sitting and sets the next one for 17.00 the next day.]
Truman opens the sitting.
[Reporting on the Foreign Ministers' sitting, the Soviet delegation said the agenda of the day's sitting of the Ministers included the following questions:
1. Reparations from Germany, Austria and Italy.
The People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. handed to the U.S. Secretary of State and the Foreign Secretary of Great Britain the Soviet delegation's drafts on reparations from Germany and on advance deliveries from Germany on account of reparations.
It was decided to instruct the Economic Commission to make a preliminary examination of both drafts, and then
to discuss them at the next meeting of the three Foreign Ministers.
2. Economic principles in respect of Germany.
There was a discussion of Clauses 13, 18 and the new Clause 19, which was proposed by the Soviet delegation. The Soviet delegation announced that it was withdrawing its amendment to Clause 13, and proposed the removal of Clause 18 so that the questions dealt with in the clause would be discussed by the Allied agencies in Germany and then settled by the Control Council, or, in the event of no agreement being reached in the Control Council, by agreement between the Governments. No agreement was reached and it was decided to refer the question of Clause 18 for settlement by the three Heads of Government.
As regards the new Clause 19, proposed by the Soviet delegation, the U.S. Secretary of State declared it to be unacceptable to the United States. The Soviet delegation proposed an alternative draft of Clause 19, according to which priority over all other deliveries was to be given to exports from Germany, as approved by the Control Council, to cover imports. In all other cases, priority was to be given to reparations. No agreement was reached, and it was decided to refer the question for settlement by the three Heads of Government.
3. About the Council of Foreign Ministers.
The draft submitted by the Drafting Commission was adopted without amendments.
4. About Trust Territories.
There was a discussion of the Soviet delegation's draft.
The Foreign Secretary of Great Britain declared that the first thing to be settled was whether any Italian colonies were to be taken away from Italy, and which. The question should be settled in drafting the peace treaty with Italy. The question of who was to be given the trusteeship of all the former Italian colonies which it might be decided to take away from Italy should be settled by the international United Nations organisation. The U.S. Secretary of State proposed that the settlement of this question should be postponed until the conclusion of a peace treaty with Italy, when all the territorial questions relating to Italy would be up for solution. The People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. proposed that the Soviet memorandum should be referred for examination by the first sitting of the
Council of Foreign Ministers in London this September. The British Minister declared that he believed there was no need to refer the Soviet memorandum to the Council of Foreign Ministers, as the question of the. Italian colonies would automatically arise during the drafting of the peace treaty with Italy. The People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. asked that it be noted that the Soviet Government would raise the questions dealt with in the Soviet memorandum at the September sitting of the Council of Foreign Ministers in London.
5. About the directives to the Allied commanders-in-chief in Germany.
It was decided to inform all commanders-in-chief of Allied occupation troops in Germany of the relevant decisions of the Conference after these decisions had been agreed with the Provisional Government of the French Republic.
For that purpose it was decided to set up a commission consisting of: Murphy and Riddleberger of the United States; Strang and Harrison of Great Britain, and Gusev and Sobolev of the U.S.S.R.
6. About co-operation in settling urgent European economic problems.
To examine the memorandum submitted by the U.S. delegation it was decided to set up a commission consisting of: Clayton and Pawley of the United States; Brand and Cowlson of Great Britain, and Arutyunyan and Gerashchenko of the US.S.R.
7. About Tangier.
There was a discussion of the Soviet draft. It was decided:
(1) To adopt the first paragraph of the Soviet delegation's draft, namely, the following:
"Having examined the question of the Zone of Tangier, the three Governments have agreed that this zone, which includes the City of Tangier and the area adjacent to it, in view of its special strategic importance, shall remain international."
(2) The whole question of Tangier is to be discussed at a meeting of the representatives of the Four Powers – the U.S.S.R., the United States, Great Britain and France – in Paris in the near future.
8. Approval of the text of a message to the Governments of China and France.
It was decided to send a message 48 hours before the publication of the communiqué on the results of the Conference.
9. About the agenda for the sitting of the three Heads of Government on July 23.
It was agreed to recommend to the three Heads of Government the following agenda:
(1) About the Black Sea Straits and other international inland waterways.
(2) About the Königsberg area.
(3) About Syria and the Lebanon.
(4) About Iran.]
[ ... ] Truman: Allow me to set forth my views on the Black Sea Straits and international inland waterways in general.
Our position on this question is as follows: We believe that the Montreux Convention should be revised. We believe the Black Sea Straits should become a free waterway open to the whole world, and the right of free passage for all ships through the Straits should be guaranteed by all of us. I have thought a great deal about the question. What has been the cause of all these wars? In the last 200 years, they have all started in the area between the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea, between France's eastern frontiers and Russia's western frontiers. The last time again peace was broken above all by Germany. I think it is the task of this Conference, and also of the coming peace conference, to prevent a repetition of such events.
Stalin: That's right.
Truman: I believe we shall be largely helping to achieve this aim by establishing and guaranteeing that waterways are free for all nations.
Stalin: Which, for instance?
Truman: I have a proposal on freedom of ways of communication, and I think we should try to bring about a situation in which Russia, Britain, and all other states have free access to all the seas of the world. Here is the proposal. [Hands in draft proposal.]
Our draft provides for the establishment of free and unrestricted navigation along all the international inland waterways. The U.S. Government believes that such free and unrestricted navigation should be established for internal waterways running through the territory of two
or more states, and that it should be regulated by international agencies on which all the interested states are represented.
We think that such agencies should be set up as soon as possible. The first that should be set up are provisional navigation agencies for the Danube and the Rhine. These provisional agencies should have the functions of restoring and developing the navigation facilities on the said rivers, supervising river shipping to ensure equal opportunities for the citizens of various nationalities and establishing standard rules for the use of these means, and also rules of navigation, and customs and sanitary formalities and other similar matters. Among the members of these agencies should be the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, France and the sovereign littoral states recognised by the Governments of these Powers.
I think the same procedure should be applied to the Kiel Canal and that the Montreux Convention should be revised in the same spirit. In that way we shall have free exchange in these areas.
I have tabled these proposals because I do not want in the next 25 years to take part in another war which may break out over the Straits or the Danube.
Our desire is to see a free and economically viable Europe, which would promote the prosperity of the Soviet Union, Britain, France and all other states, and with which the United States could trade on an equal footing and to mutual advantage. I believe our proposal can be a step forward in this direction.
Churchill: I vigorously support the proposal for a revision of the Montreux Convention in order to assure Soviet Russia free and unhindered passage through the Straits for her merchant fleet and Navy both in peace and wartime. I fully agree with the President and with his proposal that the free regime in these Straits should be guaranteed by all of us. The guarantee of the Great Powers and the interested states will undoubtedly be effective.
As for the other waterways mentioned by the President, we in principle agree with the general lines of the President's statement. We also agree with the President's proposal to have the Kiel Canal free and open and guaranteed by all the Great Powers. We also attach great importance to freedom of navigation along the Danube and the Rhine.
Truman: There is no doubt that we take a common view on the question of amending the Montreux Convention.
Churchill: And also on the purposes for which it should be amended.
Stalin: The President's proposals should be given a closer reading; it is hard to catch everything by mere listening. Perhaps we could go on to other questions for the time being?
Truman: The next question on the agenda is the question of transferring the Königsberg area in East Prussia to the Soviet Union. The Soviet document on the question was handed in yesterday.
Stalin: President Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill gave their consent to this at the Tehran Conference, and the question was agreed between us. We should like this agreement to be confirmed at this Conference.
Truman: I agree in principle. I merely ask to be allowed to study the terms, but I am sure that there will be no objections on our side. I agree that Russia should receive certain areas in that territory.
Churchill: The Generalissimo was quite right in noting that the question was raised at the Tehran Conference, and we discussed it again in October 1944.
Churchill: Yes, it was in Moscow, and it was in connection with the talk on the Curzon Line.
Stalin: That's right.
Churchill: I addressed Parliament on this matter on December 15, 1944. I explained that the British Government sympathised with the Soviet standpoint. The only question that arises is the legal side of the transfer of this area. The Soviet draft tabled here seems to demand that we should recognise that East Prussia no longer exists and that the Königsberg area is not under the control of the Allied Control Council in Germany.
As for the British Government, we support the Soviet Government's desire to incorporate this territory into the Soviet Union. I state this in principle. We have not yet, of course, examined the exact line on the map. But I assure the Soviet Government once again of our constant support of the Russian position in that part of the world.
Stalin: We do not propose anything more than that. We
are satisfied if the American Government and the Government of Great Britain approve the proposal in principle.
Churchill: I agree.
Truman: I agree.
Churchill: A slight amendment of the document will be required. If it is to be a part of the communiqué at the end of the Conference, I propose a more general wording of the document.
Stalin: I do not object.
Truman: Thus, we are in principle agreed with the draft proposal of the Soviet delegation.
The next item on the agenda is the question of Syria and the Lebanon.
Churchill: At present the burden of maintaining law and order in Syria and the Lebanon has fallen entirely on us. We have neither the intention nor the desire to obtain any advantages in these countries, with the exception of those enjoyed by other countries. When we entered Syria and the Lebanon to throw out the Germans and the Vichy troops, we reached an agreement with France under which we were to recognise the independence of Syria and the Lebanon. In view of the long historical ties between France and these countries, we declared that we would not object to France having a preferential position there, provided agreement was reached with the new independent Governments of these countries.
We informed de Gaulle that as soon as France concluded with Syria and the Lebanon a treaty satisfactory to these countries, we would withdraw our troops at once. If we were to withdraw our troops now, there would be a massacre of French citizens and the small number of French troops now stationed there. We should not like that to happen, as this would cause great unrest among the Arabs and would probably upset law and order in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The outbreak of such disorders in that part of the world would lead to disorders in Egypt as well. There could be no worse moment for such disorders among the Arabs than the present one, because the communication line with the Suez Canal would be placed in jeopardy, and the arms and reinforcements for the war in the Far East are moving along that line. The line of communication for conducting the war against Japan is of great importance not only for Great Britain but also for the United States.
General de Gaulle acted very unwisely in that area; contrary to our advice and our requests, he sent a shipload of 500 men to that area, and their appearance caused disorders which have not stopped until now. How stupid that was, for what could these 500 men have done. However, their arrival sparked off disorders.
These disorders aimed against the French at once caused unrest in Iraq, whose Government and people wanted to come to the aid of Syria. The whole Arab world was agitated over the event. However, General de Gaulle has now agreed to transfer the so-called special troops to the Syrian Government.
I hope that we shall reach, if not an agreement, at least a settlement of this question with the French, which would guarantee the independence of Syria and the Lebanon and would assure France of some recognition of her cultural and commercial interests.
Allow me to repeat once again here that Great Britain has no desire to stay there a day longer than is necessary. We shall be very glad to be rid of this thankless task which we undertook in the interests of the Allies.
In view of the fact that this question concerns France and us only, and also, of course, Syria and the Lebanon, we do not welcome the proposal for a conference which would be attended by the United States and the Soviet Union besides Great Britain and France, and would adopt a 'joint decision. The whole burden was on us, we acted on our own without any assistance, with the exception of some help from France, but we acted in the interests of all. That is why we should not like to have the question discussed at a special conference. Of course if the United States wished to take our place we should only welcome it.
Truman: No, thanks. [Laughter.]
When this dispute arose between France and Syria and the Lebanon, the Prime Minister and I had an exchange of letters on the question. When the Prime Minister informed me that Great Britain had enough troops at her disposal to maintain peace in that area, I asked him to do everything he could to maintain peace because we are also interested in the communication line with the Far East running through the Suez Canal. We may have some slight difference with the Prime Minister on this point.
We believe that no state should be given any privileges
in these areas. These areas should be equally accessible to all states. We also believe that France should not have any special privileges vis-à-vis other states.
Stalin: Do I understand that the United States does not recognise any French privileges in Syria and the Lebanon?
Churchill: Our position is such that we should like France to have privileges there because we promised her that when our state was weak and we had to fight the Germans there. But that is our own business, and we do not, of course, have any possibility or right to involve others. Besides, we did not undertake to make any great efforts for France to retain her privileges there. If France manages to obtain any privileges we shall not object, and shall even look kindly on her achievements.
Stalin: From whom can the French secure these privileges?
Churchill: From the republics of Syria and the Lebanon.
Stalin: Only from them?
Churchill: Only from them. The French have their schools, archaeological institutes, etc., there. Many Frenchmen have been living there for a long time, and they even have a song, "Let's Go to Syria". They say that their claims date back to the time of the Crusades. But we do not intend to quarrel with the Great Powers on that account.
Truman: We want all states to have equal rights in these areas.
Churchill: And you, Mr. President, will you prevent Syria from granting any special rights to the French?
Truman: Of course I won't prevent it if the Syrians want to do so. But I doubt that they have such a desire. [Laughter.]
Stalin: The Russian delegation thanks Mr. Churchill for his information and withdraws its proposal.
Churchill: I thank the Generalissimo.
Truman: I am also grateful.
We now go on to the next question. It is the question of Iran. Mr. Churchill has a proposal on the question.
Churchill: We have handed the delegations a document on the question and would be glad to know the position of the Great Powers.
Truman: We, for our part, have long been prepared to withdraw our troops from Iran, but we have a great quantity
of various materials there which we would like to use for conducting the war in the Pacific.
Stalin: The Russian delegation believes that Tehran, at any rate, could be evacuated.
Churchill: I should also like to deal with the other two points to have done with the draft altogether. About the date specified in the treaty. The treaty says that the troops are to be withdrawn from Iran not later than six months after the end of hostilities. By now only two and a half months have passed since the end of the war. But we promised the Iranians to withdraw the troops as soon as the war against Germany was over.
Here is what I propose: immediate withdrawal of the troops from Tehran, and discussion of further troop withdrawals at the Council of Foreign Ministers in September.
Stalin: I have no objection.
Truman: We shall continue withdrawing our troops from Iran, because there are troops there that we are going to need in the Pacific.
Stalin: That is, of course, your right. We, for our part, promise that our troops will not undertake any action against Iran.
Truman: I have no objection to referring the matter for examination by the Council of Foreign Ministers in London.
Churchill: We also have the question of Vienna. I should like to speak here about the occupation zones, which have been allotted to the British and American troops in Vienna. As. regards the British Zone, it turns out that it has a population of 500,000, and because Vienna's sources of food supplies are to the east of the city, we are unable to undertake the feeding of these half million persons. We propose therefore that a provisional agreement be reached for the Russians to supply this population with food pending a permanent agreement. Field Marshal Alexander will make a statement about the actual state of affairs.
Alexander: The situation is such as the Prime Minister has just stated. There are half a million people in our zone. I have no food to send over from Italy. There are small stocks in Klagenfurt, but these would last for three weeks or a month at the outside. That is why if we undertook to feed this population, the food would have to be brought over from the United States.
Truman: There are about 375,000 people in our zone. Our ships are now engaged in transporting cargos for military operations against Japan, the delivery of food to Europe and certain materials to the U.S.S.R. We are short of transport facilities, so that we should find it hard to keep even our own zone supplied.
Stalin: And what about the French Zone? Alexander: That is something I don't know.
Stalin: Let me speak to Marshal Konev. I think we could postpone for a month the transfer to our Allies of responsibility for supplying the Vienna population. For how long will this supply need to be organised, till the new harvest, or what?
Churchill: The difficulty is that these 500,000 people in our zone and the 375,000 in the American Zone have always received their foodstuffs from the country's eastern areas.
Stalin: We have an agreement with the Austrian Government under which we allow them some food in return for goods until the new harvest. I think this could be extended until September. But I must still have a preliminary talk with Marshal Konev. Tonight or tomorrow morning I think I shall be able to do that and shall give you my reply.
Churchill: The situation is that Field Marshal Alexander has entered Styria with his troops but hesitates to enter Vienna until the food supply question is settled.
Stalin: Is Vienna's food situation as bad as that now?
Churchill: We don't know, we've not been there.
Stalin: The situation there for the population is not a bad one.
Alexander: If you can help us in this matter we are, of course, prepared to go forward and take over our share of the work.
Stalin: I shall be able to tell you tomorrow.
Churchill: Thank you.
Stalin: It would be a good thing if the British and American authorities agreed to extend the agreement with the Renner Government to their zones as well. That would not signify recognition of the Renner Government or resumption of diplomatic relations, but would put the Renner Government in a position similar to that of the Government of Finland. Its competence would be extended to these zones as well, and that would facilitate the solution of the question.
Truman: We are prepared to discuss this question as soon as our troops enter Vienna.
Churchill: We also agree.
I should like to raise a question of procedure. Mr. President must be aware, like the Generalissimo, that Mr. Attlee and I are interested in visiting London on the Thursday of this week. [Laughter.] That is why we shall have to leave· here on Wednesday July 25, together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. But we shall be back by the afternoon sitting on July 27, or at least some of us will. [Laughter.] For that reason, could we have our Wednesday sitting in the morning?
Stalin: All right.
Truman: I think so.
Churchill: I propose that the Foreign Ministers should continue to meet as usual, but in the absence of Mr. Eden he would be replaced by Mr. Cadogan.
Stalin: All right.
Truman: Let's agree to have the July 25 sitting at 11.00.
Tomorrow's sitting is at 17.00.
Truman opens the sitting.
[Reporting on the sitting of the Foreign Ministers of the three Powers, the American delegation said the following:
It was established at the sitting of the three Foreign Ministers that the commission dealing with economic matters and questions of reparations had not yet prepared its report. The Soviet delegation proposed that the question of reparations from Italy and Austria should also be referred to this commission. It handed in two short documents on reparations from these two countries.
It was decided to postpone till tomorrow consideration of the question of economic principles in respect of Germany and reparations from Germany, and also of reparations from Italy and Austria. The Foreign Ministers were informed that the commission on economic questions would meet that night to complete its work.
On July 20, the U.S. delegation handed in a document concerning oil supplies for Europe. It was decided to refer
this question also to the commission on economic questions; but in view of the fact that the commission had not dealt with the question, the Foreign Ministers agreed to postpone its discussion.
The next question the Foreign Ministers discussed was that of fulfilling the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe and the satellite states. It was admitted that the commission dealing with this question had not yet completed its work, and the discussion of the question was also postponed.
Next came the question of admitting Italy and other countries to the United Nations Organisation. The U.S. delegation suggested that, as the commission dealing with the question had failed to reach agreement, the question should be examined at a sitting of the Foreign Ministers on the basis of the document on which the commission had been working.
The Soviet delegation declared that it would not take part in this discussion because the document did not contain any mention of admitting Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland to the United Nations Organisation.
The British delegation suggested to omit the last sentence in Clause 1 of the document.1 The U.S. delegation agreed with this. The British delegation proposed a new wording for Clause 2 of the document to take into account the interests of other Allied countries concerned with the peace treaty with Italy. The American delegation agreed to include the British proposal in the amended document on the question of admission to the United Nations Organisation.
The U.S. delegation suggested including in the document an additional clause to meet the desires of the Soviet delegation. The clause reads: "The three Governments also hope that the Council of Foreign Ministers may, without undue delay, prepare peace treaties with Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Finland. It is also their desire, on the conclusion of the peace treaties with responsible democratic governments of these countries, to support their application for membership in the United Nations Organisation."
The Soviet delegation insisted that Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary and Finland should not be placed in worse condition
1 The sentence read: "She (Italy) gives promise of becoming a firm supporter of a policy of peace and resistance to aggression."
than Italy concerning the question of entering the United Nations Organisation. The American delegation expressed the hope that the additional clause proposed by it would satisfy the Soviet delegation.
As the Foreign Ministers failed to reach complete agreement on this question, it was decided to refer it for solution to the Heads of Government. The question was included in the agenda of the present sitting of the Heads of the three Governments.
It was agreed to recommend to the Heads of Government the following questions for discussion at the preset sitting.
1. Admission to the United Nations Organisation. The document submitted by the Foreign Ministers that morning could serve as a basis for a discussion by the three Heads of Government.
2. The Black Sea Straits and free and unrestricted navigation on international inland waterways. The discussion at the previous day's sitting of the Heads of Government was postponed to allow a study of the President's proposals.
The Foreign Ministers also agreed to recommend to the Heads of the three Governments to include the following questions in their agenda for next morning's sitting:
1. The German Navy and merchant marine.
2. Reparations from Germany.
The American delegation then announced that a delegation of representatives of the Polish Provisional Government, led by President Bierut, had arrived at Potsdam in response to an invitation of the U.S. President sent on July 22, in accordance with a decision of the three Heads of Government. At the sitting of the Foreign Ministers the Polish delegation expressed its opinion concerning Poland's western frontier, which can be reduced to the following.
The Polish delegation believes that Poland's western frontier should run from the Baltic Sea through Swinemünde, including Stettin as a part of Poland, and further on along the Oder River to the Western Neisse River and along the Western Neisse to the Czechoslovak border.
Poland's territory in its new form would allow her to discontinue the expatriation of the Polish population to other countries, and would permit full use to be made of the labour of those Poles who had earlier been forced to go to other countries.
From the standpoint of security, great importance attaches to the fact that the frontier line proposed by the Polish delegation is the shortest possible frontier between Poland and Germany and will be easier to defend.
The Germans tried to exterminate the Polish population and destroy Polish culture. From the historical standpoint, it would be fair to set up a powerful Polish state which could defend itself against any German aggression.
These areas were one of the most powerful bases of Germany's arms industry and a base of German imperialism. The proposed solution would deprive Germany of a staging area m the east and a base for the manufacture of armaments.
Poland would become a state without any national minorities.
Before the war, Poland had an excess of rural population, which could not be used for work in industry because industry was not sufficiently developed. Acquisition of these territories would enable Poland to use her rural inhabitants for work in the towns, and those who had emigrated from Poland could return home and find work.
The Polish representatives further said that the Oder River basin should be transferred to Poland in toto for the Oder River itself was not deep enough and drew on waters in the area of the Western Neisse River.
The Polish delegation declared in conclusion that in its opinion, a decision should be taken and agreement on this question reached as soon as possible to enable the Polish Government to resettle the Poles from abroad as early as possible, to give them an opportunity to take part in the rehabilitation of Poland.)
Truman: The first question on the agenda is that of admitting Italy and other satellite countries, including Finland, to the United Nations Organisation.
Byrnes: The British and American delegations are agreed on this point.
Eden: We fully agree with your initial document, but we have some doubts as regards the second wording. The new wording leaves the impression that we are demanding that the Italian Government should be reconstructed before we start concluding the peace treaty with Italy.
Byrnes: I proposed the new wording in the hope of finding a compromise solution on this question, and also to meet
the desire of the Soviet delegation that the other satellites should not be placed in worse conditions as compared with Italy on the matter of admission to the United Nations Organisation. But I should like to draw the attention of the British delegation to the fact that the new wording does not raise any doubts concerning the present Italian Government.
The wording merely provides for the conclusion of peace treaties with responsible democratic governments. That is a matter of the future. The fact alone that the U.S. Government had established diplomatic relations with the present Italian Government is sufficient indication of our attitude to this Government.
Eden: We feel that we have almost agreed with your standpoint, and the question is only one of wording.
Stalin: If it is a matter of making things easier for the satellite states, the present decision should mention that. Things are made easier for Italy, and it is hard to object to this. But at the same time this easing for Italy is not accompanied by a simultaneous easing for the other countries, Germany's former accomplices.
One gets the impression of an artificial division: on the one hand, Italy, whose position is eased, and on the other, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland, whose position is not to be eased. There will be a danger of our decision being discredited: in what way is Italy more deserving than the other countries? Her only "merit" is that she was the first to surrender. In all other respects Italy behaved worse and inflicted greater harm than any other satellite state.
There is no doubt that any of the four states – Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland – inflicted far less damage on the Allies than did Italy. As regards the Government in Italy, can it be said that it is more democratic than the Governments in Rumania, Bulgaria or Hungary? Of course not. Has Italy a more responsible Government than Rumania or Bulgaria? No democratic elections have been held either in Italy or any of the other states. In this respect they are equal. That is why I fail to see any reason for this benevolent attitude to Italy and this negative attitude to all the other states, Germany's former accomplices.
Things were first made easier for Italy by the restoration of diplomatic relations with her. A second step is now being proposed, namely, Italy's inclusion in the United Nations
Organisation. Good, let us take this second step in respect of Italy, but then I propose that in respect of the other mentioned countries we should also take the first step that was made in respect of Italy some months ago, namely, that we should restore diplomatic relations with them. This would be just and the gradation would be observed: Italy in the first place, and the rest in the second.
Otherwise, it turns out that in respect of Italy a first step had been made and a second step is being proposed, all because the Italian Government surrendered first, although Italy inflicted more damage on the Allies than all the other states, accomplices of Germany. That is the proposal of the Soviet delegation.
Churchill: In the main lines we are in agreement with the United States' standpoint on this question.
Truman: I should like to say that the difference in our views of the Government of Italy, on the one hand, and the Governments of Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary, on the other, is due to the fact that our representatives have not had an opportunity to obtain the necessary information in respect of the latter countries. There was no such situation in Italy, where all our Governments – the United States Great Britain and the Soviet Union – were given an opportunity of freely obtaining information.
We cannot say this about Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary, where we have not had an opportunity to obtain free information. In addition, the nature of the present Governments of these countries does not allow us to establish diplomatic relations with them at once. But in the document submitted we have tried to meet the Soviet delegation's desire and not to place the other satellites in a worse position than that of Italy.
Stalin: But you have diplomatic relations with Italy and not with the other countries.
Truman: But the other satellites too can obtain our recognition if their Governments satisfy our requirements.
Stalin: Which requirements?
Truman: Concerning freedom of movement and freedom of information.
Stalin: None of these Governments hinders or can hinder free movement and free information for members of the Allied press. There must be some misunderstanding. With the ending of the war the situation there has improved.
Restrictions were also introduced for Soviet representatives in Italy.
Truman: We want these Governments reorganised, and we shall give them our recognition when they become more responsible and democratic.
Stalin: I assure you that the Government of Bulgaria is more democratic than the Government of Italy.
Truman: To meet the Soviet desires we proposed the same formulation in respect of Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary as in respect of Italy.
Stalin: But this proposal does not include the resumption of diplomatic relations.
Truman: I have said many times already that we cannot resume diplomatic relations with these Governments until they are reorganised as we consider necessary.
Byrnes: The only thing we have proposed for easing Italy's position is support for her application for membership of the United Nations Organisation. I should like to draw your attention to the point of our proposal which speaks in the same words about the other satellites. Thus, the easing of Italy's position will be accompanied by an easing of the position of the other satellites. We have tried here to meet the desires of the Soviet delegation.
Stalin: I propose that the word "responsible", as used in respect of the Italian Government, be deleted wherever it is used. This word tends to belittle the Italian Government's position.
Truman: We are unable to support Governments' application for membership of the United Nations Organisation if they are not responsible and democratic.
Stalin: In Argentina the Government is less democratic than in Italy, but Argentina is nevertheless a member of the United Nations Organisation. If it is a government, it is a democratic government, but if you add "responsible", it turns out that this is some other kind of government. And besides, there should be an addition concerning the resumption of diplomatic relations.
I propose adding to the clause dealing with Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland a sentence to the effect that in the near future each of our three Governments will examine the question of resuming diplomatic relations with these countries. That does not mean that they will do this simultaneously and will resume diplomatic relations at one
and the same time, but that each of the three Governments will examine the question of resuming diplomatic relations sooner or later. Let me give an example. At present, there are diplomatic representatives in Italy from the United States and the Soviet Union, but no diplomatic representatives either from Great Britain or from France; there are no ambassadors there from these Governments.
Churchill: We consider that our representative in Italy is fully accredited. In virtue of the fact that we are still formally in a state of war with Italy, the status of that representative cannot be fully equated with that of an ambassador; under the British Constitution we cannot, in these conditions, have normal diplomatic relations. But we do call him ambassador.
Stalin: But not of the kind as those of the Soviet Union and the United States.
Churchill: Not quite. About 90 per cent.
Stalin: Not quite, that's true.
Churchill: But the reason is a formal and technical one.
Stalin: That's the kind of ambassador that should be sent to Rumania – such a not-quite ambassador. [General laughter.]
Churchill: We have not done that yet.
Truman: We want to do everything we can to achieve a situation in which we could resume diplomatic relations with these Governments. I have already explained the difficulties in solving this problem.
Stalin: The difficulties were there before, but they are no longer there. We find it very hard to adhere to this resolution in its present form. We do not want to adhere to it.
Churchill: We do not want to use words which could cast a shadow on any of us. I only wish to intercede for Italy, and not just because she was the first to drop out of the war. A great deal of time has passed since she dropped out of the war, two years have passed already, if I'm not mistaken. But only a short time – four or five months – has passed since the other countries stopped fighting; Rumania stopped fighting somewhat earlier.
Stalin: First Rumania, and then Finland. But diplomatic relations were resumed with Italy some 7 or 8 months after her surrender.
Churchill: Italy's position is as follows. Two years ago
she dropped out of the war, and has since been fighting on our side to the best of her abilities. Besides, it should be borne in mind that we were in Italy and know everything about the political conditions there. That cannot be said of Bulgaria, Rumania and the other countries. In addition, Italy was not a uniform country: the northern part of Italy was under the yoke of the enemy and was liberated only two months ago. There we fought side by side with Italy, who gave us great support.
But it was always recognised that Italy could not have a fully democratic government until her northern part was liberated. Meanwhile we recognised the Italian Government, we worked with it. I had an understanding with the Soviet Government concerning support for the Government of General Badoglio. At that time I disagreed with our American friends, I wanted to support that Government until the north was liberated, when it would have been possible to form a Government of Italy on a broader base. But the course of events entailed other actions.
We have established friendly relations with Italy. There is no political censorship there. The Italian press frequently attacked me only a few months after Italy's unconditional surrender. There is evidence of a considerable growth of freedom in Italy. Now that the north has been liberated, the Italians are getting ready to stage democratic elections. That is why I see no reason why we should not now discuss the question of a peace treaty with Italy.
I must say that we know nothing concerning Rumania, not to mention Bulgaria. Our mission in Bucharest was placed in conditions of isolation reminiscent of internment.
Stalin: How can you say such things without verifying them?
Churchill: We know this from our own representative there. I am sure the Generalissimo would be surprised to learn of some of the facts which have taken place in respect of our mission in Bucharest.
Churchill: Of course, you are free to call our statement fiction, but I have full confidence in our political representative and Air Force Marshal Stevenson. I have known him personally for many years. The conditions for the work of our mission were difficult. There were great delays with planes for our mission. There were complaints from our
Soviet friends about the numerical strength of our mission, which was not so great after all. The Control Commission, which should have consisted of three members, nearly always met as two. The Soviet Commander-in-Chief, who is the chairman of the Control Commission, sometimes met the American representative, and sometimes the British, but rarely the two together. As for Italy, many Soviet representatives have been there.
Stalin: Nothing of the kind, we have no rights in Italy.
Churchill: But at any rate the situation there is such that you are quite free to come to Italy. That is why I don't think the situation in Italy can be compared with the situation in Rumania, Bulgaria and the other countries.
Truman: We must say that our missions in those countries also came up against great difficulties. But we should not like to speak of that here.
Byrnes: In the hope of reaching agreement, I propose that the words "responsible government" should be replaced by the words "recognised government".
Stalin: That is more acceptable. But I think we should also adopt a decision that the three Governments are willing to examine the question of establishing diplomatic relations with these four countries. I propose that at the end of the clause proposed by Mr. Byrnes on the four countries, we should add the following: "The three Governments agree to examine, each separately, in the near future, the establishment of diplomatic relations with Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland."
Churchill: But will that not clash with what we have just said here?
Stalin: It will not clash because if we decide to prepare the question of peace treaties with Rumania, Bulgaria and the other countries – and we have not even recognised these countries – it is clear that each Government takes up the question of recognition on its own.
Truman: I have no objections.
Stalin: In that case, we have none either.
Churchill: I think there is a contradiction. I understood the President to say here that he does not now want to recognise the Governments of Rumania, Bulgaria and the other satellite countries.
Truman: It says here that we undertake only to examine the question.
Churchill: This tends to mislead public opinion.
Churchill: Because it follows from the meaning of the statement that we shall soon recognise these Governments; as it is, I am aware that this does not reflect the stand either of the Government of the United States or the Government of the United Kingdom.
Stalin: I agree with the President and want to object to Mr. Churchill. We have already all accepted that we instruct the Council of Foreign Ministers to prepare peace treaties with Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland. We all believe that a peace treaty can be concluded only with a recognised government. Consequently, we must mention this recognition in some way, and then there will be no contradiction. If we fail to say that the three Governments intend to raise the question of recognition in the nearest future, we shall have to delete the clause about preparing peace treaties with these countries.
Churchill: I should like to ask the President whether he believes that this autumn the representatives of the present Governments of Rumania, Bulgaria and the others will come to the Council of Foreign Ministers and that we shall discuss the peace treaties with them there?
Truman: The only government that can send its representatives to the Council of Foreign Ministers will be the government which is recognised by us.
Stalin: That's right.
Churchill: The present Governments will not be recognised and that is why it will be impossible to prepare the peace treaties with them.
Stalin: What makes you think so? Churchill: It follows logically.
Stalin: No, it does not.
Churchill: I may be thinking on wrong lines but it seems to me that it does.
Stalin: There Governments may be recognised or may not be recognised. No one knows whether they will or will not be recognised. That is just how the wording should be understood: "examine the question of recognition". And there will be a peace treaty with them when they are recognised.
Churchill: Anyone reading this clause will not understand that the U.S. Government does not wish to recognise
the present Governments of Rumania and Bulgaria. But if other Governments we can recognise are formed, we shall proceed to draw up peace treaties with them. You must excuse me for insisting on the point in this way, but I ask you to bear in mind that if the document is published, it will have to be explained, especially by me, in Parliament. We say that we shall conclude peace treaties with Governments to which we accord recognition, but we have no intention of recognising these Governments. I find this almost absurd.
Truman: I propose that we refer this question back to the Foreign Ministers for a fresh examination.
Stalin: Mr. Churchill is not right; nothing is said here at all about the conclusion of peace treaties; it says here about preparation. Why cannot a treaty be prepared, even if the government is not recognised?
Churchill: Of course, we can prepare the peace treaty ourselves. In that case, I propose that we replace the preposition "with" by the preposition "for", so that it should read not "peace treaties with Rumania, Bulgaria", etc., but "peace treaties for Rumania, Bulgaria", etc.
Stalin: I have no objection to "for".
Churchill: Thank you.
Stalin: Don't mention it. [General laughter.]
Churchill: It would be desirable for the Foreign Ministers to go over the document once again.
Stalin: I have no objection.
Truman: They must take into account the discussion which has taken place here today.
Truman: The next question is the one of the Black Sea Straits and free navigation on international inland waterways. The American delegation has tabled its proposals on the question.
[ ... ] Stalin: There are probably more urgent questions than that of the Straits, and this question could be postponed.
Churchill: This question was raised by Great Britain as flowing from the desire to amend the Montreux Convention. I am willing to have it postponed if the Soviet delegation so desires.
Stalin: It would be better to postpone this question. Turkey must be consulted.
Truman: Our proposal on international control means that the Straits will not be in anyone's hands. We shall try to convince the Turks that we are taking a correct stand on this question.
Stalin: All right, let's do that.
Truman: I want to make a suggestion to the Conference. I think it is time we thought about drawing up a communiqué on the work of the Conference. I suggest, therefore, that we appoint a special committee to draw up such a communiqué.
Stalin: All right.
Truman: We must come to an agreement on the membership of the committee.
Stalin: All right.
Truman: We shall ask the Foreign Ministers to submit candidates for the committee.
Stalin: Good. Shall we have a sitting at 11.00 tomorrow?
Stalin: Mr. Churchill expressed doubt on that point.
Eden: At lunch today we expressed the assumption that there may not be enough questions for a sitting tomorrow. But since today's agenda is not exhausted, the undiscussed items will be transferred to tomorrow's sitting.
Truman: As soon as we find that we have no more work we shall go home. [Laughter.] But so far we have work.
Churchill: Mr. Attlee and I must be back in London for the opening of Parliament on August 8. At any rate, I am unable to stay here until later than August 6.
Stalin: The question of Poland's western frontier – the last item on today's agenda – has not yet been exhausted.
Churchill: Besides, there is the question raised by the Soviet side concerning the camp in Italy. I should like to give an explanation on this question now.
Stalin: Have we the time and the desire to discuss the question of Poland's western frontier now?
Churchill: We are meeting the Poles and shall have a talk with Mr. Bierut tomorrow morning.
Stalin: Then let's postpone it.
Churchill: In brief, the position in the camp is as follows. In fact, there are 10,000 persons in that camp. But it should he borne in mind that we have just taken 1,000,000 prisoners. A Soviet mission in Rome is now dealing with these 10,000 men, and this mission has free access to the camp. It is reported that the persons in the camp are predominantly
Ukrainians but not Soviet citizens. There are also some Poles in the camp, who, as far as we could ascertain, lived in Poland within her 1939 borders. Six hundred and sixty-five persons wish to return to the Soviet Union at once, and steps are being taken to send them. We are also prepared to hand over all others who wish to return.
These 10,000 men surrendered to us almost as an entire military unit, and we have retained it in that form, under the command of its own officers, out of purely administrative considerations. We should be glad if General Golikov would address his complaints to Field Marshal Alexander or his H.Q.
Alexander: I have little to add to what the Prime Minister has said. I should like all those present here to know that I have always given the Russian representatives in Italy complete freedom of movement and also every opportunity to see what they wished. And I think that it is expedient to act in this way because in cases when large numbers of Russian soldiers happen to fall into our hands, the advice of responsible Russian representatives could prove very useful to us. I think, if the Generalissimo agrees, I shall go on acting in the spirit I had acted until now.
Stalin: In such cases we are duty bound by treaty to give each other assistance and not to prevent citizens from returning home, but, on the contrary, to help them return home.
Churchill: If your representative sends a general or goes to the H.Q. himself in connection with this matter, everything necessary will be done.
Stalin: All right. I consider the question settled.
I spoke to Marshal Konev in Vienna today. He has not stopped issuing rations to the population of Vienna, irrespective of zones, and will go on doing so until the Americans and the British find a possibility of undertaking something else.
Truman and Churchill: We are very grateful.
Churchill: There was the question of extending the Renner Administration to the British and American zones.
Stalin: It would be good to extend his competence to all the zones.
Churchill: We believe that is one of the first questions we shall have to study when we enter Vienna. We agree in principle that it is desirable to work with a single Austrian administration.
Stalin: Of course, it is better.
Churchill: We have no intention of hampering the local authorities.
Stalin: That will be better.
Truman: Until 11.00 tomorrow.
Truman: There was a suggestion yesterday to continue discussion of Poland's western frontiers today.
Stalin: All right.
Truman: I remember that Mr. Churchill had an additional proposal.
Churchill: I have nothing to add. I have had a talk with the Polish delegation, and this morning had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Bierut once again. Mr. Eden had a talk with the Polish delegation yesterday. The Poles agree that there are 1.5 million Germans in the area which they have occupied in the west. I consider that this question is also connected with that of reparations and also with the question of the four Powers' zones of occupation in Germany.
Truman: I consider Mr. Churchill's remark correct. Mr. Byrnes also met the Polish delegation and intends to do so again. Allow me to make a suggestion on a point of procedure. Since these talks of Mr. Byrnes and Mr. Eden will continue, I think it will be better to postpone our discussion on this question until Friday.
Stalin: All right.
Truman: The next question on our agenda is that of the German Navy and merchant marine. I think we have already reached agreement on this question.
Churchill: Of course, concrete proposals on this question must be considered. I think we could tackle these concrete proposals.
Truman: State Secretary Byrnes told me that Assistant Secretary of State Clayton and Admiral Land have dealt with this question, they have been working on concrete proposals. I am prepared to examine the question at any time, but would prefer to hear Mr. Byrnes first and study the documents on this question which I have just received.
[It was decided to postpone discussion of this question.]
Churchill: There is another question which, while not on the agenda, should be discussed, namely, that of transfers of population. There are a great number of Germans who have to be resettled from Czechoslovakia to Germany.
Stalin: The Czechoslovak authorities have evacuated those Germans, and they are now in Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz.
Churchill: We think there are 2.5 million Sudeten Germans who must be resettled. In addition, the Czechoslovaks are in a hurry to get rid of 150,000 German citizens, who had earlier been resettled in Czechoslovakia from the Reich. According to our information, only 2,000 of these 150,000 Germans have left Czechoslovakia. This is a great job, moving 2.5 million men. But where are they to be moved to? To the Russian Zone?
Stalin: Most of them are going to the Russian Zone.
Churchill: We don't want them in our zone.
Stalin: But that is not what we suggest. [Laughter.]
Churchill: They will bring their mouths with them. I think the real resettlement has not yet started.
Stalin: From Czechoslovakia?
Churchill: Yes, from Czechoslovakia. So far the displacement has been on a small scale.
Stalin: I have information that the Czechs warn the Germans and then evict them. As for the Poles, they have detained 1.5 million Germans to use them on the harvesting. As soon as the harvesting is over in Poland, the Poles will evacuate the Germans from Poland.
Churchill: I don't think this should be done in view of the problems of food supplies, reparations, etc., that is, questions which are still to be settled. We now find ourselves in a situation in which the Poles have the food and the fuel and we have the population. The supply of this population falls as a heavy burden on us.
Stalin: You must see the Poles' side of it. For five and a half years the Germans made them suffer all sorts of wrongs.
Truman: Yesterday, I listened very attentively to President Bierut’s statement on this question. I sympathise with the Poles and the Russians and understand the difficulties facing them. I have already set forth my position with sufficient clarity.
I should like to explain to my colleagues what my powers are in respect of the questions relating to a peaceful settlement. When we discuss here questions which should go into the peace treaty, I am sure everyone will understand that under our constitution the treaty can be concluded only with the consent of the U.S. Senate. There is no doubt that when I support some proposal put forward at the Conference, this means that I shall do everything I can to ensure that the decision is sanctioned by the Senate. But there is of course no guarantee that it will be adopted for sure.
I must tell you that political feelings in America are such that I am unable to support here any proposals unless I obtain support from our public opinion. I am not making this statement in order to change the basis on which the discussion of questions with my colleagues is taking place but merely to explain my possibilities in respect of constitutional power. I want to say that in concluding any peace treaties I have to take into account the fact that they must be approved by the U.S. Senate.
Stalin: Does the President's statement refer only to peace treaties or to all questions discussed here?
Truman: This refers only to agreements and treaties which the Constitution says must be sent for approval by the U.S. Senate.
Stalin: That means all the other questions can be settled?
Truman: We can settle any question here unless it must have the ratification of the Senate.
Stalin: That means that only the question of peace treaties requires ratification by the Senate?
Truman: That's right. I have wide powers but I don't want to abuse them.
Churchill: I propose that we return to the question of the Polish movement westward.
Stalin: We did not prepare for this question, it has been raised by chance. Of course, I agree to have an exchange of opinion, but it is extremely hard to settle it now.
Churchill: I don't want to discuss the question today. I should only like to say that the success of the whole Conference depends on this question. If the Conference ends its work, say, within 10 days, without adopting any decision on Poland, and if the question of an equitable distribution of food over the whole of German territory is not settled, all this will undoubtedly mean failure for the Conference.
We shall then have to return to Mr. Byrnes's proposal that everyone will have to make do with what he has in his zone. I hope that we shall reach agreement on this group of questions which lie at the root of all our work. We must admit that we have not achieved any progress until now.
Truman: I agree with the Prime Minister's opinion that we have not had any progress on these questions.
Stalin: I think that the supply of the whole of Germany with coal and metal is of much greater importance. The Ruhr gives 90 per cent of the metal and 80 per cent of the hard coal.
Churchill: If coal is supplied from the Ruhr to the Russian Zone, it will have to be paid for with food deliveries from that zone.
Stalin: If the Ruhr remains a part of Germany it must supply the whole of Germany.
Churchill: Why then can't we take food from your zone?
Stalin: Because that territory goes to Poland.
Churchill: But how can workers in the Ruhr produce the coal if they have nothing to eat, and where can they obtain the food?
Stalin: It has long been known that Germany has always imported foodstuffs, notably grain. If Germany is short of grain and food she will buy it.
Churchill: Then how will she be able to pay the reparations?
Stalin: She will be able to. Germany still has a lot of some things.
Churchill: It is true that Ruhr coal is in our zone, but I cannot take the responsibility for any settlement which may result in famine in the zone this winter, while the Poles have all the food to keep for themselves.
Stalin: That's not quite right. They recently asked for assistance in grain; they are short of grain, they asked for grain until the new crop.
Churchill: I hope the Generalissimo will recognise some of our difficulties as we recognise his. In Britain, this year, we shall have the most coalless winter because we are short of coal.
Stalin: Why? Britain has always exported coal.
Churchill: That's because the miners have not yet been demobilised, there's a labour shortage in the coal industry.
Stalin: There are enough POWs. We have POWs working on coal, it would be very hard without them. We are rehabilitating our coal basins and are using POWs for that purpose. You have 400,000 German soldiers in Norway, they are not even disarmed, and I don't know what they're waiting for. There you have manpower.
Churchill: I didn't know they had not been disarmed. At any rate, our intention is to disarm them. I am not aware of the exact situation there, but this question was settled by the Supreme Command of the Allied Expeditionary Force. In any case, I shall inquire.
I want to repeat and draw your attention to the fact that we are short of coal because we are exporting it to France, Belgium and Holland. And while we are short of coal for this winter, we fail to understand why the Poles have the possibility to sell coal from a territory which does not yet belong to them.
Stalin: They have sold coal from the Dabrowa area. It is their area.
I am not in the habit of complaining but must say that our position is even worse. We have lost several million killed, we are short of men. If I began to complain, I am afraid you'd shed tears, because the situation in Russia is so grave. But I do not want to worry you.
Churchill: We are in control of the Ruhr, and we are prepared to exchange Ruhr coal for food.
Stalin: This question needs thinking about.
Churchill: I did not at all expect us to reach any decision today, but I should like the members of the Conference to think during this short break about the great problem they will have to solve.
Truman: If we have nothing else to discuss today, I suggest that we refer the question to the Foreign Ministers.
Churchill: We shall meet again at 5.00 on Friday.
Eden: We have received a notification from Dr. Beneš asking us to discuss here the question of transferring Germans from Czechoslovakia. Can the Foreign Ministers deal with this question?
Stalin: I think the transfer has been made.
Churchill: We don't think that a great number of Germans have already departed from there, and we are still faced with the problem of how to solve this question.
Stalin: Please continue.
Churchill: Let the Foreign Ministers deal with this question and establish the facts.
Stalin: All right.
Truman: I agree.
Before the break, I want to draw your attention once again to the proposal I made concerning international inland waterways. I think the Foreign Ministers could also discuss this proposal of mine.
[Stalin and Churchill express agreement.
The Soviet delegation then hands to the U.S. President and the Prime Minister of Britain a memorandum concerning the hindrances being raised to the return home of Soviet citizens from Austria and Germany, and also a memorandum concerning the German troops not yet disarmed in Norway, mention of which was already made at the sitting of the Heads of Government.]
Churchill: But I can assure you that it is our intention to disarm those troops.
Stalin: I have no doubt. [Laughter.]
Churchill: We are not keeping them up our sleeve so as later to release them all of a sudden. I shall demand a report on this question at once.
Truman closes the sitting and announces that the next sitting is to take place at 5.00 p.m. on Friday, July 27.
Truman opens the sitting.
[Reporting on the sitting of the Foreign Ministers of the U.S.S.R., the U.S.A. and Great Britain on July 25, 1945, the Soviet delegation said the following:
1. The American delegation proposed a discussion at the Ministers' sitting on the question of waterways. It expressed the wish that this question should be discussed in commission beforehand. The British and Soviet delegations agreed to this proposal, and as a result the following commission was set up:
From the U.S.A.: Russel and Riddleberger; from Great Britain: Ward; from the U.S.S.R.: Gerashchenko and Lavrishchev.
2. The American delegation then touched upon the question of resettling the German population from Czechoslovakia.
The British delegation declared that it was not only a matter of resettling the Germans from Czechoslovakia, but also from Western Poland and Hungary. It expressed the opinion that the question of resettling this population would be under the control of the Allied Control Council acting in collaboration with the Governments of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
The Soviet delegation proposed that the question should be referred for preliminary examination to a commission so that a meeting of the three Ministers could then examine its draft.
The delegations of the U.S.A. and Britain agreed to this proposal. The following commission was set up:
From the U.S.A.: Cannon; from Great Britain: Harrison; from the U.S.S.R.: Sobolev and Semyonov.
3. The British delegation tabled a proposal to appoint a commission to draw up a draft communiqué on the work of the Conference and a commission to draft a general protocol of the Conference decisions.
The delegations of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. agreed to the proposal. It was decided to set up the following commissions:
a) To draft a communiqué on the work of the Conference:
From the U.S.A.: Walter Brown and Wilder Foot; from the U.S.S.R.: Sobolev and Golunsky.
b) To draft a general protocol on the Conference decisions:
From the U.S.A.: Dunn, Mathews and Cohen; from the U.S.S.R.: Gromyko, Kozyrev and Gribanov; from Great Britain (for both commissions): Bridges, Brooke, Hayter and Dean.
Reporting further on the sitting of the Foreign Ministers on July 27, 1945, the Soviet delegation said that the following items were on the agenda of the sitting of the three Ministers:
I. Outstanding questions.
It was stated that the following questions remain outstanding:
1. The economic principles in respect of Germany.
2. Reparations from Germany.
3. Reparations from Italy and Austria.
4. Oil supplies to Europe.
5. Admission of Italy and other former satellite countries into the United Nations Organisation.
6. Fulfilment of the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe.
7. Easing of the armistice terms for Italy and other countries.
8. Poland's western frontier.
9. Co-operation in settling urgent European economic problems.
10. War criminals.
11. Resettlement of Germans from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
12. Supplementing the political principles on the treatment of Germany with two points from Point 13 of the draft economic principles.
13. The German Navy.
14. International inland waterways.
II. Admission of Italy and other countries, which have concluded an armistice and have become co-belligerents on the side of the Allies into the United Nations Organisation.
The U.S. delegation declared that if the Soviet and the British delegations were unable to reach agreement on the wording of a document on this question, it was prepared, with the consent of the U.S. President, to withdraw the question from the Conference agenda altogether. The American delegation added that, in its opinion, it was necessary to examine first of all the vital questions, namely, the questions of reparations, the German Navy and Poland's western frontier.
The British delegation proposed that the formulation of the last sentence of the third paragraph, tabled by the Soviet delegation, should be replaced by the following sentence: "The conclusion of peace treaties with the responsible democratic Governments in the states will permit the three Governments to resume normal diplomatic relations with them and to support proposals on their side to become members of the United Nations Organisation."
The Soviet delegation declared the amendment unacceptable.
Insofar as no agreement on this question had been reached at the meeting of the three Ministers, it was decided to submit it for settlement by the Heads of the three Governments.
III. Reparations from Germany.
The Soviet delegation declared that it considered the work of the Reparations Commission unsatisfactory and proposed that the question of reparations from Germany should be examined directly at the meeting of the three Ministers. There were no objections to this proposal. The Soviet delegation then read out Clause 4 of the Crimea Protocol on Reparations and, referring to a statement by the American representative in the Reparations Commission to the effect that he withdrew the U.S. Government's endorsement of the decision set forth in the said clause, asked the American delegation whether the U.S. Government continued to adhere to the Crimea decisions on this question or had altered its position.
The American delegation replied that this was a misunderstanding. In the Crimea the U.S. Government agreed to accept the figure of $20,000 million as a basis for discussion, but since then the Soviet and the Allied armies had wrought great destruction in Germany, some areas had been separated from Germany and it was now impossible for practical purposes to start from the over-all figure which the American delegation had accepted at Yalta as a possible basis for discussion.
The British delegation declared that it abstained from making any proposals.
On the proposal of the American delegation it was recognised advisable to postpone this question until the next conference of the three Ministers, after which they would report to the Heads of the three Governments.
IV. Reparations from Austria and Italy.
The Soviet delegation proposed that its proposals on reparations from Austria and reparations from Italy should be taken as a basis for further discussion on this question.
The American delegation declared that it did not consider it possible to levy reparations from Austria and Italy in the form of deliveries from current production. In the opinion of the American delegation, it was possible only to make lump withdrawals of war industry equipment which
could not be used for peacetime purposes. The British delegation declared that it supported the opinion of the U.S. delegation.
In view of failure to reach agreement it was decided to report the differences that had been revealed to the Heads of the three Governments.
V. Economic principles in respect of Germany.
On the proposal of the U.S. delegation, the discussion of this question was postponed.
VI. Oil supplies to Europe.
The discussion of the question was postponed in view of the fact that the commission had not completed its work.
VII. Economic co-operation in Europe.
It was decided to approve the report of the commission on this question and to report this to the Heads of the three Governments.]
Truman: Which question are we going to discuss now: that of Poland's western frontier or some other?
Stalin: We could discuss this one, or the question of Italy and the other countries. How much time do you have today? Could we work for an hour?
Truman: That suits me. Let's work until 12.00.
Stalin: I want to inform you that we, the Russian delegation, have received a new proposal from Japan. Although we are not duly informed when a document on Japan is compiled, we believe nevertheless that we should inform each other of new proposals. [Japan's note on mediation is read out in English.] The document does not contain anything new. There is only one proposal: Japan is offering to co-operate with us. We intend to reply to them in the same spirit as the last time.
Truman: We do not object. Attlee: We agree.
Stalin: I have nothing more to add.
Truman: There are two questions to which the Soviet delegation wants to draw our attention in the first place. The first question is about Italy and the other satellite countries, and the second, about reparations from Austria and Italy.
Stalin: In addition it would be desirable to raise the question of the German Navy and the question of Poland's western frontier.
Truman: I think that we can discuss any question here
and I am prepared to hear any proposal and then state my opinion on these questions.
Attlee: I want to say that I agree to discuss all these questions. At the same time I should like to express regret that the events which have taken place in Britain have hampered the work of the Conference, but we are prepared to stay here as long as need be and deal with any questions.
Stalin: The question of admitting Italy and the other countries into the United Nations Organisation was discussed at the previous sitting of the Big Three. However, as was stated here, the Foreign Ministers had a different impression of the results of this discussion. The Soviet delegation was under the impression that the question had in the main been agreed between the Heads of the three Governments after the amendment made by the Prime Minister in respect of Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary and Finland. Wherever there was reference to the peace treaties, it was decided to replace the words "with Bulgaria, Rumania", etc., by the words for Bulgaria, Rumania, etc. The question was then referred for final drafting by the three Foreign Ministers. But at the Ministers meeting the British delegation tabled another amendment to the draft, which was not adopted.
At the Conference of the Heads of Government the question was of how the Governments of the said countries were to be called: responsible or recognised. The Russian delegation believes that if we say "responsible" this will be an affront to the Governments because they might think that they are now regarded as being irresponsible. If we say recognised, as we agreed here at the Conference of the three Heads of Government, there will be no offence. Each of our Governments is free to recognise the Governments of these states when it deems them to be democratic. There will be no offence for the Governments and the meaning, the content, will remain the same. We here adopted a decision and then the Ministers got together and reversed it. That is wrong. This was agreed in principle.
Truman: I ask Mr. Byrnes to speak on this point.
Byrnes: At the .meeting of the three Foreign Ministers the Soviet delegation declared that, as far as it remembered, the U.S. delegation had accepted its proposal. On behalf of the American delegation I said that the President accepted the proposal of the Soviet delegation in principle
and added that these proposals should be referred for drafting by the Foreign Ministers: the President had in mind the replacement of only one word, namely, the word "to discuss" by the word "to examine" (which makes a difference in English). That means that there were no differences between the American and the Soviet delegation on this matter.
But I told the Foreign Ministers at the time that, as far as I recalled, Mr. Churchill had objected to the Soviet delegation's proposal concerning the study of the question of recognising the Governments of the satellite countries. At the conclusion of the Conference of the three Heads of Government, Mr. Churchill informed me that he was not in agreement with this proposal. I also told the Foreign Ministers that the American delegation had initially made its proposal on Italy to grant her some relief. The proposal merely said that the three Powers would issue a declaration to the effect that they would support Italy's entry into the United Nations Organisation.
The British delegation proposed that we include certain neutral countries among those whose entry into the United Nations Organisation we would support. We agreed with that. The Soviet delegation proposed the inclusion in the document of a clause on the Franco regime and, to meet the Soviet delegation half-way, we added a clause concerning the negative attitude taken by the three Powers to Spain's becoming a member of the United Nations under the Franco regime.
The Soviet delegation then proposed the inclusion of a clause concerning the Governments of Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary and Finland. We agreed to that clause with certain amendments. After that there was a proposal to change the wording of the clause on these countries. We agreed to that as well.
Unfortunately, one gets the impression that when we agree with our Soviet friends, the British delegation withholds its agreement, and when we agree with our British friends, we do not obtain the agreement of the Soviet delegation. [Laughter.] Once again, if the Soviet and British delegations could reach agreement concerning the Soviet proposal we would be prepared to accept the document, but if they are unable to reach agreement, we are prepared to withdraw our modest proposal on Italy.
Attlee: Mr. President, I ask permission for Mr. Cadogan to set forth our position on this question.
Cadogan: The document we are examining relates to the question of admitting Italy and the other satellite countries, and also, possibly, certain neutral countries, into the United Nations Organisation. As far as I am aware, the text of the document could be approved with the exception of two points. Generalissimo Stalin has already spoken about one of these points, namely, the replacement of the words "responsible Governments" by the words "recognised Governments". It seems to me that two days ago, when we discussed this question, we agreed to this substitution.
The other question, which is much more complex, relates to Clause 3, which says that the three Governments agree to examine, in the near future, the question of resuming diplomatic relations with Finland, Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary. Mr. Churchill explained that although he was willing to examine the question of resuming diplomatic relations with these countries, the inclusion of this clause in the declaration could be misleading, because under the constitution the British cannot establish full diplomatic relations with countries with whom they are technically still in a state of war. A compromise proposal was made to the effect that after the signing of the peace treaties we could resume full diplomatic relations with these countries. But it appears that this proposal of ours met with objections on the part of the Soviet delegation.
Stalin: I understood Mr. Cadogan to say that he agrees to say "recognised Governments" instead of "responsible Governments."
Byrnes: We find this acceptable: "recognised" instead of "responsible"
Stalin: There is no distinction here between the situation of the Allies and Italy, on the one hand, and the Allies and other countries, on the other. There is no freely elected Government in Italy, or in Rumania, or in Hungary, or in Bulgaria. There is such a Government only in Finland. In all these countries, as in Italy, the Governments have been formed by agreement between the main parties.
If Italy has been recognised by the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union, and to the extent of 90 per cent by the British Government, why is it not possible to raise the question of
examining the problem of establishing diplomatic relations, say, with Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary? From the standpoint of democracy, the situation there is the same as in Italy. But Italy has been recognised by the three Powers. It does not say here: to establish full diplomatic relations. I must say I fail to understand the meaning of the amendment of which Mr. Cadogan has spoken. Why make such a distinction between Italy, which does not have a freely elected Government, and the other countries, which, with the exception of Finland, have no freely elected Governments either?
Bevin: Does not the difference lie in the fact that in respect of Italy we know what the situation there is, .and we know nothing about the situation in the other countries?
Stalin: You are not being asked to commit yourself to a recognition of these Governments. While you discuss the question of recognition you will have the opportunity of studying the situation, in these countries.
Bevin: But why should we undertake this obligation before we know what the situation is in these countries?
Stalin: We also knew little about Italy when we established diplomatic relations with her, possibly even less than you now know about these countries. The question is to open for these countries, beginning with Italy and ending with Bulgaria, some ways of easing their position. For Italy there is the prospect of entry into the United Nations Organisation. This is the second step in easing her position, the first having been the fact that diplomatic relations were resumed with her six or eight months after her surrender. The second step towards relief of Italy's position consists in the fact that two years after her surrender we give her an opportunity of joining the United Nations Organisation.
The task now is to make the first step in respect of the other countries: to ensure the discussion of the question of their recognition by the three Powers. It is proposed to do this ten months after their surrender. If we agreed to ease Italy's position, we must do something in this respect for the other countries as well. That is the point.
Attlee: I think it was explained here that we find it impossible to resume full diplomatic relations with these countries until the signing of the peace treaties. The difficulty lies in the fact that the adoption of the Soviet proposal creates the impression that we intend to do something in
respect of these countries which it is impossible for us to do. The amendment proposed by the British delegation, consisting in the statement that full diplomatic relations with these countries will be resumed after the conclusion of the peace treaties with them, states what is possible.
Stalin: Why not put it this way: the three states will examine, each separately, the question of establishing full or partial diplomatic relations. Diplomatic relations will have to be resumed with Finland in any case, it is not nice to drag out the solution of this question, since a freely elected Government has been formed there. The question concerns the other countries.
Attlee: It seems to me that this proposal does not correspond with reality.
Stalin: Good, in that case, let us adopt the American formula: instead of "to discuss" say "to examine".
Attlee: It seems to me that a change of words does not alter the substance of the matter. One question put in Parliament will give the whole thing away.
Stalin: But we are not concealing anything. What is there to give away? It is one thing to discuss, and another, to examine. You will have to examine the question in any case. It would be strange if we failed to examine the question of recognising these Governments. What is so terrible or new in this? I think the British could accept the American wording. You do not stand to lose anything, but only to gain from the public opinion in these countries.
Bevin: When we return we shall be asked in Parliament about the meaning of what we have done. I want to give the people an absolutely honest answer. If I recognise a Government, I really recognise that Government. And I have no wish to cover up with words things which could be misconstrued. I would prefer to adopt the very latest American proposal and postpone the settlement of the question.
Stalin: Let's put it off.
Truman: Which question shall we discuss now, that of Poland's western frontier or reparations from Italy and Austria?
[It was decided to discuss the question of reparations.]
Truman: In that case, I want to make a statement on reparations from Italy. As I said on the first day of the discussion on the question of Italy, rather, the question of easing the terms of the armistice with Italy, we and the
British Government have had to give Italy about $500 million to restore her economic situation. We expect to give Italy another $500 million for the same purpose. The U.S. Government is prepared to make this money available for a specified purpose, of which I have already spoken, but not to enable Italy to pay reparations to Allied and other countries. If Italy has armaments plants with heavy equipment which the Soviet Union needs, we agree to have the Soviet Union take that equipment. But the money we intend to give Italy must be covered mainly by exports from Italy.
Stalin: It could be accepted that no reparations are to be taken from Austria since Austria was not an independent state. But our Soviet people find it very hard to understand the absence of any reparations from Italy, which was an independent state and whose troops reached the Volga and took part in devastating our country. Austria did not have any armed forces of her own, reparations from her may be waived. Italy had her own armed forces and she must pay reparations.
Truman: If there are objects for reparations in Italy, I absolutely agree to hand them over to the Soviet Union. But we are not prepared and do not agree to give money to Italy for her to use to pay reparations to Allied and other countries.
Stalin: I see the President's point, but I want the President to see mine as well. What gives the Soviet people the moral right to speak of reparations? It is the fact that a sizeable part of the Soviet Union's territory was occupied by the enemy forces. For three and a half years the Soviet people were under the heel of the invader. But for the occupation, perhaps the Russians would not have the moral right to speak of reparations. I say perhaps.
Truman: I fully sympathise with you.
Stalin: The President says that Italy may have equipment which the Russians need and that this equipment might go to meet the reparations: Good, I do not want to ask a great deal, but I should like to set a rough figure for these reparations. Italy is a big country. What amount could be got from Italy, what would be the value of these reparations? If the President is not prepared to answer this question, I am willing to wait, but some figure for reparations must be established.
Truman: I cannot answer that question just now.
Bevin: In establishing the amount of reparations I propose that what America and Great Britain are now giving Italy should not be taken into account; what should be taken into account is what Italy has at the present time.
Stalin: Of course, I have no intention of ignoring the interests of America or Britain.
Attlee: I want to say that I fully agree with what the President has said. At the same time, I have complete sympathy with the Russian people for what they have suffered. But we have also suffered a great deal from the attack by Italy. We also have devastated lands, and the feelings of the British people can be easily imagined if Italy had to pay reparations from the money actually made available to her by America and Great Britain. Of course, if Italy has any equipment which could be withdrawn, that is another matter, but our people will never agree to have reparations paid from the money given by us and America.
Stalin: We agree to take the equipment. Attlee: Military equipment.
Stalin: Military equipment.
Attlee: These are to be lump withdrawals of military equipment and not reparations withdrawals from current production?
Stalin: These are to be lump withdrawals.
Bevin: I want to ask: is it a question of military equipment for the manufacture of military items?
Stalin: No, why? It is a question of equipment at war plants which will be used to make peace-time goods; we are withdrawing the same kind of equipment from Germany.
Attlee: What I had in mind was equipment that cannot be used for civilian production.
Stalin: Every kind of equipment can be used for civilian production. We are now switching our war plants to civilian production. There is no military equipment that cannot be used to make civilian goods. For example, our tank plants have started to make cars.
Bevin: It will be very hard to determine what you will take.
Stalin: Of course, we cannot now specify the equipment. We only want a decision adopted here in principle, and then we shall formulate our demands.
Truman: As I understand it you want it agreed in principle here that Italy must pay reparations?
Stalin: Yes, that is correct. It is necessary to determine the amount of reparations, and I am willing to receive a small amount.
Truman: I don't think there are great differences of principle between us on this question. The only thing I want is that this should not affect the advances we have given to Italy.
Stalin: I do not have these advances in mind.
Bevin: The following question arises: what is to be taken in the first place? The primary claims in respect of Italy are those of Great Britain and the United States, which have granted her a loan; reparations are secondary.
Stalin: We cannot encourage Italy and other aggressors in letting them emerge from the war scot free, without paying for at least a part of what they have destroyed. To waive this is to pay them a bonus for the war.
Truman: I absolutely agree with you.
Bevin: I can't hear, it's that plane. [Stalin's statement is repeated to Bevin.]
Truman: I agree with the Generalissimo's statement that the aggressor must not receive a bonus, but must suffer punishment.
Stalin: The British were especially hard hit by Italy.
Attlee: We are not forgetting it.
Truman: Shall we fix the time for our sitting tomorrow? Let's say five, as usual.
Stalin: All right.
Truman: Perhaps we could start our work at four? With everyone's consent, we shall start our sitting tomorrow at four o'clock.
July 31, 1945
Truman: Mr. Bevin will report on yesterday's meeting of the Foreign Ministers.
Bevin: I propose that no special report be made, because almost all the items on yesterday's agenda of the Foreign Ministers have been included on today's agenda of the Big Three sitting.
[Bevin's proposal is adopted.]
Truman: The first item on our agenda is the U.S. proposals on German reparations, on Poland's western frontier, and on admission to the United Nations Organisation. Mr. Byrnes will now report on these proposals.
Byrnes: Our proposals on reparations were tabled as part of the general proposals relating to three outstanding questions. These questions are: the question of reparations, the question of Poland's western frontier, and the question of admission to the United Nations Organisation. These three questions are interconnected. The U.S. delegation said at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers that it is prepared to make concessions on Poland's western border and admission to the United Nations Organisation, provided agreement is reached on all three questions.
Stalin: They are not connected with each other. They are different questions.
Byrnes: That is true, the questions are different, but they have been before us for a fortnight and we have failed to reach any agreement on them. The U.S. delegation has tabled its proposals on all three questions in the hope of reaching agreement. But we declare here once again that we shall not make any concession in respect of the Polish border, unless agreement is reached on the other two questions.
Our proposals on reparations, which were discussed at yesterday's meeting of the Ministers, provided that 25 per cent of the capital equipment of the Ruhr area which is not required for the maintenance of a peace-time economy would be handed over to the Soviet Union in return for food, coal, zinc, potassium, oil products, timber, etc., from the Soviet zone. In addition, we proposed that 15 per cent of such capital equipment which is considered unnecessary for the maintenance of a peace-time economy should be handed over from the Ruhr to the Soviet Union without any payment or exchange.
During yesterday's discussion, the British delegation declared that it could not agree to have all this handed over from the Ruhr area only, but it could agree to the transfer of equipment to the Soviet Union from all the Western zones. We agreed that the only difference between the British and American proposals consisted in the percentage, and that if the percentage is applied to all three Western
zones of occupation, it should be halved as compared with that established for the Ruhr area, namely, 12.5 per cent instead of 25, and 7.5 per cent instead of 15.
The Soviet delegation did not agree with this proposal, but the American and British delegations believed that this would be simpler in administrative terms. We also believed that withdrawals from all three Western zones would be to the greater advantage of the Soviet Union.
Stalin: We also consider it correct that withdrawals should be made not only from the Ruhr, but from all Western zones.
Byrnes: This will give you a wide choice of equipment, since it could come from the American, British and French zones.
There was a proposal at the Foreign Ministers’ meeting that the question be solved who is to decide which equipment is not required for the maintenance a peace-time economy and is available for reparations. The Soviet delegation believed that it should be precisely specified who is to determine the quantity and nature of the industrial equipment not required for a peace-time economy and available for reparations. I proposed that the relevant decision should be made by the Control Council on directions from the Allied Reparations Commission and should be subject to the final approval of the Commander-in-Chief of the zone from which the equipment is to be withdrawn. I proposed that the decision should be taken by the Control Council, because all the four Powers are represented on the Control Council and because it is an administrative organ vested with executive functions, while the Reparations Commission is an organ which elaborates general policy on reparations.
I repeat here the proposal I made yesterday, namely, that the withdrawal of capital equipment should be completed within two years, and that deliveries to the Soviet Union in exchange for deliveries from its zone of occupation should continue for five years. I also proposed that the reparations claims of other countries should be met from the Western zones of occupation.
The two other questions of which I spoke, and which in our proposals are treated as one, are the question of Poland's western border and the question of admission to the United Nations Organisation. We agree to the settlement
of these questions provided agreement is reached on the main question, that of reparations.
Under our proposal on Poland's western frontier, the Polish Government is given the right to establish a provisional administration on the whole territory the Poles have demanded.
As for the question of admission to the United Nations Organisation, three days ago we withdrew our proposals. However we now make another proposal on the question whose wording, we hope, should satisfy the Soviet Union.
The wording of the proposal we discussed four days ago was: "The three Governments agree to examine each separately in the near future, in the light of the conditions then prevailing, the establishment of diplomatic relations with Finland, Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary." The British delegation declared that that was unacceptable to it, since the British Government could not agree to establish full diplomatic relations with countries with which it was in a state of war. The head of the Soviet Government then asked whether the British Government was prepared to accord full or partial recognition to the Governments of these countries. That is why I now table a proposal with the following wording: "The three Governments express the desire to examine each separately in the near future, in the light of the conditions then prevailing, the question of establishing diplomatic relations with Finland, Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary to the extent possible prior to the conclusion of peace treaties with these countries."
I hope that our Soviet and British friends are prepared to accept our proposal in this wording.
Stalin: I have no objection in principle to this wording.
Byrnes: We also proposed to add another clause, to the effect that the three Governments express the desire that, in view of the change of conditions as a result of the ending of the war in Europe, members of the Allied press should enjoy complete freedom in reporting to the world the events in Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary and Finland. This is almost the same wording which we agreed upon when discussing Poland.
Stalin: This can be accepted, but there should be a change in the wording to say, instead of "The three Governments express the desire", "The three Governments do not doubt that ... ", etc.
Byrnes: As regards the United States, this is acceptable to us. I think we should now adopt the document as it is.
Thus, we have tabled three proposals, and I very much hope that all three will be adopted here.
Stalin: We have proposals on reparations.
(The following proposals of the Soviet delegation on reparations from Germany are then read out:
"1. Reparations shall be levied by each Government in its own zone of occupation. They shall have two forms: lump withdrawals from the national property of Germany (equipment, materials), which shall be made during two years after surrender, and annual commodity deliveries from current production, which are to be made during 10 years after surrender.
"2. The reparations are designed to promote the earliest economic rehabilitation of the countries which have suffered from the German occupation, with an eye to the need for the utmost reduction of Germany's military potential.
"3. Over and above the reparations levied in its own zone, the U.S.S.R. is to receive additionally from the Western zones:
"a) 15 per cent of the basic industrial equipment, in complete sets and good repair – primarily in the field of metallurgy, chemistry and machine-building – which, as specified by the Control Council in Germany on a report of the Reparations Commission, is subject to withdrawal in the Western zones by way of reparations; this equipment shall be handed over to the Soviet Union in exchange for an equivalent quantity of foodstuffs, coal, potassium, timber, ceramic goods and oil products in the course of five years;
"b) 10 per cent of the basic industrial equipment levied in the Western zones by way of reparations, without any payment or exchange of any kind.
"The amount of equipment and materials subject to withdrawal in the Western zones by way of reparations is to be established not later than within three months.
"4. In addition, the U.S.S.R. is to receive by way of reparations:
"a) $500 million worth of shares in industrial and transport enterprises in the Western zones;
"b) 30 per cent of German investments abroad;
"c) 30 per cent of the German gold which the Allies have at their disposal.
"5. The U.S.S.R. undertakes to settle Poland's reparations claims from its share of the reparations. The United States and Great Britain are to do the same thing in respect of France, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Holland and Norway.")
Stalin: Mr. Byrnes proposed here that these three questions should be bound up into a single whole. I understand his standpoint: he proposes the tactics which he considers expedient. It is the right of each delegation to make such proposals, but the Soviet delegation will nevertheless vote separately on each of these questions.
The Russian delegation has put forward its proposals. The question of reparations from Germany is the chief one causing disputes and differences. Our considerations have been set forth here. You may have noticed that the Russian delegation took the standpoint of the American delegation, for it gave up the idea of stating a definite figure and quantity, and went over to percentages.
Digressing somewhat from the main subject, I should like to speak of the withdrawals which the British made from the Russian zone before its occupation by Soviet troops. What I mean is the removal of goods and equipment. In addition, there is a note from the Soviet military command to .the effect that the American authorities drove away 11,000 railway cars from the same territory. I do not know what is to be done with this property. Is this property to be returned to the Russians or compensated for in some other manner? In any case, the Americans and the British are taking equipment not only from their zones, but have also taken some from the Russian zone, whereas we did not drive away a single car and did not take any equipment from the plants in your zones. The Americans had promised not to remove anything, but they did.
Now on the substance of the matter. I think we have a possibility of reaching agreement on the question of reparations from Germany. What are the main propositions of the American plan? The first is that each makes withdrawals from his own zone of occupation. We agree to this. Second: equipment is to be removed not only from the Ruhr, but from all the .Western zones. We have accepted this second proposal. Third proposal: a part of the reparations taken
from the Western zones is to be covered with a corresponding equivalent from the Russian zone over a period of 5 years. Then there is the fourth proposition: it is that the Control Council is to determine the volume of the withdrawals from the Western zones. That is also acceptable.
What in that case are the differences? We are interested in the question of the time limit, the question of the final calculation of the volume of reparations. Nothing is said of this in the American draft. We should like to establish a period of three months.
Byrnes: The question of time should be agreed.
Stalin: It is a question of the time limit for determining the volume of reparations. Some period has to be proposed. We propose three months. Is that enough?
Truman: I think it is.
Attlee: That is a short period. I must think a little.
Stalin: It's worth thinking about, of course. It may be three, four or five months, but some time limit should be laid down.
Attlee: I propose six months.
Stalin: Right, I agree.
Then there is the percentage of withdrawal. Here again agreement can be reached. One per cent either way does not make much difference. I hope that in this matter of establishing the withdrawal percentage the British and the Americans will meet us half way. We have lost a great deal of equipment in this war, a terrible quantity of it. At least one-twentieth part of it should be restored. And I expect Mr. Attlee to support our proposal.
Attlee: No, I cannot do that.
Stalin: Think a little and support us.
Attlee: I thought of this all day yesterday. [Laughter.]
Stalin: What have we got then? I think we must try to reach a general agreement on this question.
Bevin: The Soviet document does not contain the words used yesterday, namely, "equipment not needed for peacetime economy.
[The Soviet delegation once again reads out the relevant section, of its proposals on the question of reparations.]
Bevin: I propose that you accept this phrase of mine, which expresses my idea quite precisely.
Stalin: What is the gist of it?
Bevin: The Control Council is first of all to determine the
quantity of equipment which is to remain for the maintenance of Germany's peace-time economy.
Stalin: That is the same thing.
Bevin: In that case, you will perhaps accept my phrase?
Stalin: But what's the difference?
Bevin: There is a great deal of difference. I don't want there to be any misunderstandings later. Your text may be interpreted in a different way, namely, as 15 per cent of all equipment.
Stalin: No, we have in mind 15 per cent of the equipment subject to withdrawal, that is, equipment which is not required for the maintenance of Germany's peace-time economy.
Bevin: I would propose that this should be inserted in the document, so that everything would be quite clear.
Stalin: But what is not clear? The Control Council is to determine which equipment is required for the peace-time economy of Germany. What is left is to constitute the total volume for reparations.
Byrnes: Our wording expresses the common view of the British and American delegations.
Stalin: What do you propose?
Byrnes: The quantity of industrial equipment which is recognised as unnecessary for peace-time economy and is therefore available for reparations is determined by the Control Council on the directives of the Allied Reparations Commission and is subject to final approval by the Commander of the zone from which the equipment is removed.
Stalin: I do not object.
Byrnes: Consequently, the only question which remains open is that of percentage. You want 15 per cent and 10 per cent, instead of 12.5 and 7.5 per cent?
Byrnes: But in addition you want to receive by way of reparations $500 million worth of shares of industrial enterprises in the Western zones, 30 per cent of Germany's investments abroad, and 30 per cent of the German gold which is at the disposal of the Allies. About the gold, as far as I am aware of the opinion of our Staff, I can say that there is some gold which once belonged to other countries. It would be unfair to reject those countries' claims.
Stalin: This applies to German gold.
Byrnes: According to our information, there is no German gold, because all this gold was plundered by the Ger-
mans during the war. We must return this gold to the countries to which it once belonged. If the Soviet delegation insists that the Soviet Union should receive in addition to these percentages $500 million worth of shares of industrial enterprises, as the Soviet proposals state, 30 per cent of Germany's investments abroad, and 30 per cent of the gold, this question should be discussed here.
Stalin: We should like to have this if it is possible.
Byrnes: What do you have in mind when you speak of Germany's investments abroad?
Stalin: The investments the Germans had in other countries, including America.
Byrnes: As for the investments in America, we have blocked them, and legislation is required to lay claim to these funds. Congress appears to have done that already. I have no doubt that there will be all sorts of claims to these funds also from refugees who are in America. This question calls for a legal settlement.
Besides, I am sure that if, for instance, there is a certain quantity of German investments in the countries of Latin America, the Governments of those countries will have claims to these resources.
Stalin: That may be.
Bevin: We agreed yesterday that France should be included in the Reparations Commission so as to take part in deciding on the equipment subject to withdrawal by way of reparations. I should like to have France included in this commission.
Stalin: I do not object.
Bevin: Concerning the percentages. I thought that at yesterday's sitting of the Foreign Ministers we met you half way by agreeing to 12.5 per cent.
In addition, I should like to know: will not the reparations question hinder the ordinary exchange of goods over the whole of Germany, considering that we have agreed on the economic principles and normal exchange of goods in Germany?
Stalin: Well, we shall discuss that question when we come to the economic principles.
Bevin: The settlement of the gold question presents great difficulties. As for Germany's assets abroad, would you agree to confine yourself to the assets in neutral territories?
Stalin: I think that could be accepted.
Byrnes: We cannot agree to any addition to our main proposal. I have in mind Clause 4 of the Soviet proposals.
Stalin: In that case the percentage will have to be raised. On Clause 3 let us raise the percentage, considering that you have removed much equipment from our zone. [Laughter.] A vast amount of equipment was destroyed in our country, and at least a small part of that equipment· should be covered.
Truman: I should like to make the following remark concerning withdrawals from your zone. We learned of this three days ago, when we got a list of this equipment. I wrote to General Eisenhower asking him to look into the matter and report. If such a withdrawal did take place, I assure you that it was not made on the orders of the U.S. Government. I assure you that we shall find possibilities for compensation.
Stalin: I propose that we return to the discussion of the question of percentages.
Truman: If you are prepared to withdraw Clause 4 I am prepared to accept 15 per cent and 10 per cent.
Stalin: Good, I withdraw it.
Bevin: We shall find it hard to satisfy France, Belgium and Holland from the quantity of equipment left. I should propose 12.5 per cent and 10 per cent. In addition, we ask the withdrawal of Clause 4.
Stalin: We have already agreed to that. The United States has shown understanding of our position, how is it that you do not wish to do the same?
Bevin: We are responsible for the zone from which the greatest quantity of equipment is to be withdrawn, and in addition there will be large claims on the part of France, Belgium and Holland.
Byrnes: The final phrase in our proposals says that the reparations claims from other countries entitled to reparations are to be covered from the Western zones of occupation. I request that our wording concerning the claims of other countries be discussed.
Stalin: All right, I agree not to name the countries and state this in general terms.
Byrnes: I think that would be more expedient, for it has already been mentioned that Greece is not in the list. We also think that it is expedient to state this in general terms.
Bevin: It has occurred to me that if you receive the percentages you demand, then, with what you receive from your own zone, you will have more than 50 per cent of all German reparations.
Stalin: Much less. What is more, we give an equivalent for the 15 per cent, which is actually an exchange of reparations and not fresh reparations. We receive only 10 per cent reparations from the Western zones. Those are the reparations proper; as for the 15 per cent, they are given for a definite equivalent. Our demands are minimal. We receive from you 10 per cent, and on the rest we exchange and pay an equivalent. You have the 90 per cent. If we receive 7.5 per cent instead of 10 per cent reparations, that will be unfair. I agree that it should be 15 per cent and 10 per cent. That is fairer. The Americans agree. What about you, Mr. Bevin?
Bevin: All right, I agree.
Truman: We also agree.
Byrnes: Thus, our draft proposals with the new percentages, plus the establishment of a time limit for determining the amount of reparations, are accepted.
Stalin: We seem to have exhausted all our differences on the question of reparations. Can we refer this draft for final editing?
[The proposal is accepted, and a commission is set up to edit the adopted decision.]
Truman: The next question is on Poland's western frontier.
Byrnes: We handed in our proposals yesterday, and they were discussed yesterday. I do not think we should read them out again. If there are any remarks or amendments, I am ready to hear them, but I hope that our Soviet and British friends will accept our proposals.
Bevin: As for the position of the British Government, I have instructions to keep to the frontier along the Eastern Neisse. That is why I should like to know precisely the substance of the new proposal. Does the whole of this zone pass into the hands of the Polish Government and will the Soviet troops all be pulled out of there, as was the case in other zones, where the troops of one side fell back and the other side took over the zone?
I met the Poles and asked them about their intentions concerning the fulfilment of the declaration mentioned in
the U.S. document. I asked them about their intentions concerning the staging of free and unhampered elections by secret ballot. They assured me that they intend to carry out these elections as soon as possible and expect to do so in early 1946. But this will, of course, depend on some conditions enabling them to carry out these elections.
They also agreed on freedom of the press in Poland and on access of foreign correspondents to Poland and the possibility of sending their dispatches without censorship. They gave me assurances concerning freedom of religion all over the country.
But there is still one other very important question, namely, that of the repatriation not only of civilians, but of the troops which are under Allied command in various countries. I asked the Poles to make a statement on this question so that we could be sure that these men, upon their return to their homeland, would be placed in the same conditions as all the other citizens.
The next question, which especially concerns the Soviet Government and the British Government, and which the Polish Government is now unable to settle, is the question of a military air line between Warsaw, .Berlin and London, to enable the British Government to maintain constant contact with its ambassador in Warsaw. I should like to have an agreement on this point at once. The document tabled by the United States says that this zone is to be under the administration of the Polish Government and will not constitute a part of the Soviet zone. As Mr. Byrnes put it, this zone will be under the responsibility of the Poles. However, I take it that although we have placed this zone under a Polish administration, it remains under the military control of the Allies.
Byrnes: We have found ourselves in a situation in which Poland, with the consent of the Soviet Union, is actually administering the territory. In view of this, the three Powers have agreed to leave the administration of this territory in Poland's hands, to obviate any further disputes concerning the status of this territory. There is, however, no need for Poland to have a representative on the Control Council.
Bevin: I do not insist. If we all understand what it is all about, I do not object. I shall be asked various questions upon my return, and I should like to know what is to hap-
pen in this zone. Will the Poles take over the whole zone, and the Soviet troops pull out?
Stalin: The Soviet troops would pull out if this territory did not constitute the Red Army's communications, along which the Red Army's units are kept supplied. There are two roads there: one running to Berlin from the north, and the other, south of Krakow. These two lines are the Soviet Army's supply lines. It is the same thing that you have in Belgium, France and Holland.
Bevin: Is the number of troops limited to these objectives?
Stalin: Yes, indeed. We have already pulled out from over there four-fifths of the troops that were there during the war against Germany. We also intend to reduce the number still there. As for the zone that is going to Poland, according to the proposal that has been made, Poland is actually administering that zone already and has its own administration there; there is no Russian administration there.
Bevin: Could you now help us with this military air line? We tried to reach agreement on this matter with the Polish Government but it cannot agree at present.
Stalin: Why can't it?
Bevin: I take it that this question concerns the Soviet military command because we have to fly over a part of the Russian zone.
Stalin: But you are already flying across the Russian zone to Berlin.
Bevin: Can you agree to us flying to Warsaw?
Stalin: We shall agree to it if an arrangement can be made for us to fly to London over France. [Laughter.] Besides, agreement must be reached with the Poles. Here is the way I see it: an air line is to be established between Berlin and Warsaw, and British or Polish planes will fly it, according to a treaty between Britain and Poland. As regards an air line to Moscow along this route, Russian flyers will take over from the point where the border with Russia begins. As regards the satisfaction of the needs of the Russians for flights to Paris and London, British or French planes will apparently fly there. We shall then have a London-Paris-Moscow line. That is how I see it.
Bevin: Of course, this whole question of air communications is much too big to be solved here now, but we shall
always be prepared to discuss this question concerning an air line between London and Moscow. What I ask you now is to help us establish a line between London and Warsaw, which we need for our convenience.
Stalin: I understand. I shall do all I can.
Bevin: Thank you.
Truman: Have we finished with the Polish question?
Stalin: Is the British delegation in agreement?
Bevin: It is.
Stalin: As I see it, it is up to the Poles now. All right, we have finished with that matter.
Bevin: We must inform the French about the change to Poland's frontier.
Stalin: Yes, of course.
Byrnes: Our next proposal concerns the entry of Italy and the other satellites into the United Nations Organisation. We have already handed in our document on this question.
Bevin: The British delegation agrees.
Stalin: Our amendment has already been stated. It concerns the new Clause 4, or rather the phrase in it which starts with the words: "The three Governments express the desire that", etc. We propose to say: "The three Governments do not doubt that", etc.
[Truman and Attlee agree to this amendment of the wording.]
Truman: A decision on economic principles in respect of Germany was deferred until the solution of the reparations question. I think there will now be no difficulty in solving this question.
Byrnes: I have two proposals concerning the document on economic principles which I wish to announce. The first concerns Clause 13, which deals with general policy in respect of the monetary and banking system, centralised taxes and tariffs. (He reads out a drafting amendment which is accepted.) In addition, I propose to add to this clause another sub-clause "g" concerning transport and communications. This should also be centralised.
Stalin: This calls for some kind of centralised German administrative machinery. It is hard to conduct overall policy in respect of Germany without some kind of centralised German machinery.
Byrnes: That is correct.
The second proposal concerns sub-clause "d" of Clause 14. I propose an amendment of the last phrase to read as follows: "Except where determined by the occupying power concerned to be required for necessary imports, no grant or credit to Germany or Germans by any foreign persons or governments can be permitted."
Bevin: Perhaps it is better to leave out this phrase altogether?
Byrnes: I agree. I have another remark. As a result of our agreement on reparations, we consider that Clause 18 is superfluous.
[Stalin and Bevin express their agreement to drop the clause.]
Bevin: There is also the question of priority payments for imports, something we spoke about at yesterday's sitting of the Foreign Ministers. The British delegation yesterday proposed the inclusion of the following phrase in the economic principles: "Payment for approved imports into Germany shall be a first charge against the proceeds of exports out of current production and out of stocks of goods."
The Soviet delegation proposed the addition of the following phrase: "As regards the rest, priorities should be given to reparations, as compared with the satisfaction of other economic needs." The British and American delegations were unable to accept this Soviet proposal. The British delegation requests that its proposal be adopted.
Stalin: We think this question no longer arises.
Truman: That is how I understand it.
Bevin: I think this contradicts the treatment of Germany as a single whole in respect of export, import, etc. This will divide Germany into three zones, and we shall not be able to deal with Germany as a single entity in matters such as the levying of taxes, etc.
Stalin: This requires a centralised German administrative machinery through which the German population could be influenced. This question will be discussed in the section "Political Principles in Respect of Germany".
Bevin: We agreed in principle to the establishment of such a centralised machinery, but tabled some amendments. Perhaps we could leave this question and go on to the political principles, and we shall then see what can be done on this question as well.
[Stalin and Truman express their agreement.
The Soviet delegation recalls that in connection with the discussion of the question of economic principles, it tabled a proposal on the question of the Ruhr area which says that the Ruhr industrial area should be regarded as a part of Germany and that four Power control should be established in respect of the Ruhr area, for which purpose an appropriate Control Council should be set up consisting of representatives of the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union.]
Bevin: As I said yesterday, I am unable to discuss this question in the absence of the French. This is a major question of principle, and the French are closely concerned with it.
Stalin: Perhaps we could put off the question of control over the Ruhr area, but the idea that the Ruhr area remains a part of Germany should be reflected in our document.
Truman: It is undoubtedly a part of Germany.
Stalin: Perhaps we could say this in one of our documents?
Bevin: Why is the question being raised?
Stalin: It is being raised because at one of the conferences – at the Tehran Conference – there was a question of separating the Ruhr from the rest of Germany and making it a separate area under the control of the Council. A few months after the Tehran Conference, when Mr. Churchill came to Moscow, this question was also discussed during an exchange of views between the Russians and the British, and once again the idea was expressed that it would be a good thing to set the Ruhr apart as a separate area. The idea of separating the Ruhr area from Germany arose from the thesis of the dismemberment of Germany. Since then, there has been a change of view on this question. Germany remains a united state. The Soviet delegation asks: do you agree to have the Ruhr area remain a part of Germany? That is why the question was raised here.
Truman: My opinion is that the Ruhr area is a part of Germany and remains a part of Germany.
Stalin: It would be a good thing to say this in one of our documents. Does the British delegation agree that the Ruhr remains a part of Germany?
Bevin: I cannot agree because I do not now have a picture of the foregoing discussion of this question. I know that the internationalisation of the Ruhr had been suggested in order to reduce Germany's war potential. This idea was
discussed. I agree that pending a solution of this question the Ruhr remains under the administration of the Control Council. But I should like to have an opportunity to talk this over with my Government and propose to refer the question to the Council of Foreign Ministers so as to have time to study it thoroughly.
[Stalin and Truman agree to Bevin's proposal.]
Truman: The next question is that of political principles.
Bevin: The Soviet delegation has tabled a draft on the question of organising a centralised German administration, which is to help the Control Council. We propose the adoption of our draft on this question which is shorter. We propose that no central German Government should be set up for the time being.
I move the adoption of our short draft instead of the draft of the Soviet delegation.
Stalin: It can be adopted. Truman: I have no objections.
Bevin: As for Clause 19 of the economic principles, I suggest that we refer this clause to the Economic Commission. Let it discuss this question now, while we are here.
Stalin: Let it discuss it.
Truman: The next question is that of resettling the German population from Poland and Czechoslovakia.
Byrnes: The report of the commission dealing with this question was adopted in toto, with the exception of the last phrase, which says: "The Czechoslovak Government, the Polish Provisional Government and the Control Council in Hungary are at the same time being informed of the above and are being requested meanwhile to suspend further expulsion, pending an examination by the Governments concerned" of this question. I think this last point is very necessary, then the decision will be effective.
Stalin: But I am afraid such a decision will not yield serious results. The point is not that the Germans are expelled from these countries. Things are not quite so simple. They are placed in a position where it is better for them to level these areas. The Czechs and the Poles can say that there is no formal ban on Germans living there, but in fact the Germans are placed in such a position that it is impossible for them to live there. I am afraid that if we adopt such a decision it will not yield any serious results.
Byrnes: This clause says that these Governments will be requested to temporarily suspend the eviction of the German population pending the discussion of the question in the Control Council. If these Governments are not expelling the Germans and are not making them leave Poland or Czechoslovakia, then the document will not, of course, yield any results. But if they are doing so, we can request them to stop this for a time. According to our information they are making the Germans leave Poland and Czechoslovakia. The resettlement of Germans in other countries increases our burden. We want these Governments to collaborate with us in this case.
Stalin: The Poles and the Czechs will tell you that they have no orders to evict the Germans. If you insist I can agree to this proposal, but I am afraid it will yield no great result.
Truman: If you agree, we shall be thankful. This proposal may not alter the existing situation, but it will give us an opportunity of addressing these Governments.
Stalin: Good, I do not object.
Bevin: We should like to inform the French of this.
[Stalin and Truman agree.]
Stalin: We should like to finish discussing the question of the German Navy.
Truman: This question is not yet ready today.
Stalin: Let us agree to prepare it for tomorrow.
Truman: All right, I agree. I was going to leave tomorrow, but I could stay.
Stalin: In principle a decision on the German Navy was adopted, but it was not finally drawn up. This question has been decided by the three Heads of Government, and the decision should be drawn up.
Truman: The commission could report tomorrow morning.
Stalin: Good. Perhaps we should refer the matter to the Ministers, since the question has been decided in principle.
Bevin: Perhaps an agreement will be reached.
Byrnes: According to our information, the commission hopes to reach agreement today. Their sitting is fixed for tonight.
Stalin: It was decided in principle that the Soviet Union is to receive one-third of the Navy, with the exception of submarines, most of which are to be sunk, and one-third of
the merchant fleet. I ask you not to postpone the question, but to settle it tomorrow.
[Truman and Attlee express agreement.]
Truman: The delegation of the United States has tabled a document concerning a review of the procedure in the Allied Control Commissions in Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary.
Byrnes: Our proposals concerning the fulfilment of the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe were tabled and examined. We were unable to reach agreement on some sections of the proposal. But agreement was reached on two clauses relating to a review of the procedure in the Allied Control Commissions in the three countries. Clause I says:
"The three Governments have taken note that the Soviet Representatives on the Allied Control Commissions in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary have communicated to their United Kingdom and United States colleagues proposals for improving the work of the Control Commissions, now that hostilities in Europe have ceased. These proposals include provisions for regular and frequent meetings of the three representatives, improved facilities for British and American representatives, and prior joint consideration of directives."
Clause 2 reads:
"The three Governments agree that the revision of the procedures of the Allied Control Commissions in these countries will now be undertaken, using as a basis of discussion the above-mentioned proposals, and taking into account the interests and responsibilities of the three Governments which together presented the terms of armistice to the respective countries."
We ask you to examine these clauses and hand you a document entitled "Revised Allied Control Commission Procedure in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary", dated July 31, 1945.
Stalin: This question was not on the agenda. Perhaps we shall not object once we have examined the question.
Byrnes: It could be examined tomorrow.
Stalin: Good, let us examine it tomorrow.
Truman: The next question is that of Yugoslavia. There are the British proposals.
Stalin: We have just circulated a draft on the Greek
question. As for Yugoslavia, we handed in a draft on Trieste and Istria yesterday.
Bevin: I think we have presented a rather reasonable proposal on Yugoslavia. The Soviet delegation has tabled two other proposals. I propose that we refrain from examining all three proposals.
Truman: The last question is that of war criminals. [The Soviet delegation declared that it was prepared to adopt the British delegation's draft as a basis on this question with one small amendment. It proposed that in the last phrase of the draft, which said that the three Governments considered it a matter of great importance to have the trial of the chief criminals begin as soon as possible, there should be an addition after the words "chief criminals" of the words: "such as Goring, Hess, Ribbentrop, Rosenberg, Keitel, and others".]
Attlee: Our difficulty in selecting the war criminals lies in the fact that we have submitted the draft agreement to the prosecutor and he may include a number of other persons. We believe therefore that it would be best to confine ourselves to our earlier proposal, without naming the chief war criminals.
Stalin: Our amendment does not propose that only these men alone should be put on trial, but we propose that men like Ribbentrop and others should be tried. It is no longer possible to avoid mentioning certain persons who are known as the chief war criminals. A great deal has been said of the war criminals, and the peoples expect us to give some names. Our silence on this question harms our prestige. I assure you that is so. That is why we shall gain politically and satisfy European public opinion if we name some persons. I do not think the prosecutor will take offence if we name them as examples. The prosecutor can say that some persons have been wrongly named. But there is no reason for the prosecutor to take offence. We shall only gain politically if we name some of these men.
Byrnes: When we discussed this question yesterday, I considered it unsuitable to name definite men or to try to determine their guilt here. Each country has its own "favourites" among the Nazi criminals, and if we fail to include these criminals in our list, it will be hard for us to explain why.
Stalin: But the proposal says: "such as ... and others". This does not limit the number, but makes for clarity.
Byrnes: This gives an advantage to those you name. [Laughter.]
Attlee: I don't believe a listing of names will enhance our document. For instance, I believe that Hitler is alive, but he is not on our list.
Stalin: But he is not in our hands.
Attlee: But you give the names of the chief criminals as examples.
Stalin: I agree to include Hitler [General laughter], even if he is not in our hands. I am making a concession. [General laughter.]
Attlee: I think the world is aware who the chief criminals are.
Stalin: But, you see, our silence on this matter is interpreted as an intention on our part to save the chief war criminals, that we are taking it out on the small criminals and allowing the big ones to escape.
Byrnes: Today, I had a telephone conversation with Justice Jackson, the Chairman of our Supreme Court. He is our representative on the War Criminals Commission which is meeting in London. He expressed the hope that today or possibly tomorrow there would be agreement on an International Tribunal. Justice Jackson is going to call me tomorrow morning to inform me on the question of the Tribunal. The report on the establishment of the International Tribunal will be good news for the peoples who are expecting an early trial of the war criminals.
Stalin: That is another question.
Byrnes: But we can include in our statement that an agreement has been reached in London. That will make our statement highly effective.
Stalin: Without naming some persons, especially the odious ones, among the German war criminals, our statement will not be politically effective. I consulted Russian jurists, and they think it would be better to name some persons as a guideline.
Truman: I want to make a proposal. We are expecting news from our representative in London tomorrow morning. Why not put off this question until tomorrow?
Truman: I am very much interested in the question of inland waterways. It would be good to discuss this question and reach some decisions in principle. We discussed the question on July 23, and it was referred to a commission which, as far as I am aware, has not met even once. I very much want some sort of definite decision worked out concerning the use of these means of communication, because freedom of movement along these routes is of great importance. I believe that a common policy on the use of these inland waterways can play an important part. It is quite possible that we may not be able to reach agreement on the details of this question, but I think that this question is so important that it should be discussed.
Attlee: I agree on the whole with the American proposals on the question.
Stalin: This question arose in connection with that of the Black Sea Straits which was before us. The question of the Black Sea Straits was inserted in the agenda by the British and was then postponed. The question of inland waterways was raised here additionally. This is a serious question, and it requires study. The question was brought up unexpectedly for us, and we do not have the relevant material to hand. This question is a new one, it needs men who know about it. Perhaps something could be done before the end of the Conference, but there is little hope for that.
Truman: I move that this question should be referred to the Council of Foreign Ministers in London, and before then all the necessary material can be collected and the question studied.
[Stalin and Attlee agree.]
Truman: May I inform the representatives of the Polish Government who are here of our decisions on Poland's western frontier?
Stalin: All right.
Truman: Who can be entrusted with this communication?
Stalin: This could be done by the Ministers or a written communication could be sent. Or the President could be asked to do this, since he heads our Conference.
Truman: Good. I want to inform you that the commission on drafting the communiqué is working well. At what time do we meet tomorrow? At 4.00?
Stalin: I think that we shall have to meet twice: let us fix the first sitting for 3.00, and the second for 8.00 p.m.
That will be the concluding sitting.
[Truman and Attlee agree.]
August 1, 1945
Truman: Mr. Byrnes will report today on the sitting of the Foreign Ministers.
Byrnes: The commission dealing with the question of reparations from Germany has reported that it has failed to reach agreement on all the questions of the draft agreement on reparations. The representatives of the United States and Great Britain believed that, in exchange for the agreed percentages of capital equipment made available to the Soviet Union under Point 4 of the draft agreement, the representatives of the Soviet Union agreed to waive their claims to German assets abroad, the gold seized from the Germans, and the shares of German enterprises in the Western zones of occupation. Accordingly, the representatives of the United States and Britain believed that Germany's assets abroad should be included in Point 3 as a source of reparations for other countries besides the Soviet Union. They declared that unless this is done, the agreed percentages of industrial equipment in Point 4 are unacceptable to the representatives of the United States and Britain.
The Soviet representative held that no agreed decision had been adopted concerning the Soviet Union's waiver of claims to Germany's assets abroad, gold and shares. That is why the Soviet representative did not agree to the inclusion of German assets abroad in Point 3, and recommended that the question should be referred for solution to the Heads of Government.
The representatives of the United States and Britain declared that the draft agreement on reparations would be acceptable to them, provided the Soviet representative agreed to the above-mentioned proposals concerning Germany’s assets abroad, gold and shares. The Soviet representative declared that he was unable to agree with this approach on the part of the representatives of the United States and Britain.
The question is whether or not it can be considered that the Big Three yesterday reached agreement on the question
of reparations, when the Soviet representative declared that he would not insist on the Soviet Union being given 30 per cent of German gold, shares and assets abroad.
Stalin: How are we to understand your proposals that the Soviet Union makes no claim to industrial shares? Does that relate only to the Western zone?
Truman: I think that when the Foreign Ministers spoke of the Western zone, they had in mind the zones of the United States, Great Britain and France.
Stalin: Can we not agree on the following: the Soviet delegation waives its claim to gold; as for shares of German enterprises in the Western zone, we also waive our claim to them, and will regard the whole of Western Germany as falling within your sphere, and Eastern Germany, within ours.
Truman: We shall have to discuss this proposal.
Stalin: As to the German investments, I should put the question this way: as to the German investments in Eastern Europe, they remain with us, and the rest, with you.
Truman: Does this apply only to German investments in Europe or in other countries as well?
Stalin: Let me put it more specifically: the German investments in Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland, go to us, and all the rest, to you.
Bevin: The German investments in other countries go to us?
Stalin: In all the other countries, in South America, in Canada, etc., all this is yours.
Bevin: Consequently, all German assets in other countries lying west of the zones of occupation in Germany will belong to the United States, Great Britain and the other countries? Does this also apply to Greece?
Byrnes: How does this apply to the question of the shares of German enterprises?
Stalin: In our zone they will be ours, and in your zone, yours. There are the Western and the Eastern zones.
Byrnes: We took your proposal of yesterday to mean that you will have no claims to shares in the western zone.
Stalin: We shall not.
Byrnes: Do you also withdraw your second proposal, on investments abroad?
Stalin: There the matter is somewhat different.
Bevin: Yesterday, when we were dealing with the question of reparations, I understood that the Soviet delegation waived its claims to Germany's investments abroad.
Stalin: I believed that the investments in the Eastern zone were ours. We had in mind the Western zone, when we spoke of waiving claims to investments. We waive claims to investments in Western Europe and in all other countries. It is known that there were many more German investments in Western Europe and in America than in the East. We had hoped to receive 30 per cent of these investments, but subsequently waived this. But you too must waive your claims to Eastern Europe.
Bevin: I must say that when I agreed to the Generalissimo's proposal I took the proposal to mean that the Soviet delegation waived claims to any German investments abroad at all.
Stalin: But not in Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland.
Byrnes: That is understandable. I should like to specify the matter of the shares of industrial or transport enterprises in Germany. Say, the head office of such an enterprise is in Berlin, but the enterprise itself and its property is in the Western zone or in the United States, will you make any claim in respect of such enterprises?
Stalin: If the enterprise is in the West, we shall make no claim to it. The head office may be in Berlin, that is immaterial, the point is where the enterprise itself is located.
Byrnes: If an enterprise is not in Eastern Europe but in Western Europe or in other parts of the world, that enterprise remains ours?
Stalin: In the United States, in Norway, in Switzerland, in Sweden, in Argentina [General laughter], etc. – all that is yours.
Bevin: I should like to ask the Generalissimo whether he is prepared to waive all claims to German assets abroad outside the zone of Russian occupation troops?
Stalin: Yes, I am.
Byrnes: What about the gold?
Stalin: We have already withdrawn our claims to the gold.
Byrnes: There are German assets in other countries. How is the Soviet proposal to be understood in this context?
Stalin: We keep only what is in the Eastern zone.
Byrnes: I believe it to be very important for us to understand each other. Mr. Bevin's question is whether the Russian claims are confined to the assets in the zone occupied by the Russian army? I should like you to accept Mr. Bevin's standpoint.
Stalin: We agree.
Byrnes: A few minutes ago you spoke of the assets in Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary and Finland. Now I want to clarify everything so that there should be no misunderstandings in the future. Does your proposal mean that you make no claim to the assets outside your zone of occupation? You have claims only to the assets in the Soviet zone?
Stalin: Yes. Czechoslovakia is not included, Yugoslavia is not included. Eastern Austria will be included.
Bevin: It is clear that the assets belonging to Great Britain and the United States in that zone will not be affected.
Stalin: Of course, not. We're not fighting Great Britain or the United States. [General laughter.]
Bevin: But during the war these assets may have been seized by the Germans.
Stalin: That will have to be examined in every case.
Truman: I think that we agreed yesterday to meet the claims of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. But what happens if they do not lay claim to German assets on their territory?
Stalin: We shall make no claim to Germany's assets in Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Western Austria.
Perhaps we shall expound our proposal in the protocol?
Byrnes: I think it would be better to do that in order to avoid any misunderstandings.
Byrnes: Perhaps we should publish it?
Stalin: It's all the same, as you wish.
Byrnes: I want to call your attention to the sentence in Clause 3 of the report of the Reparations Commission which says that the reparations claims of the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries entitled to reparations are to be met from the Western zone and from German assets abroad. In view of the agreement we have just reached, I do not believe that there will be any differences on this wording.
Stalin: I propose that we say "and from the appropriate German assets abroad". This wording can be specified in the protocol.
Byrnes: Let us have the drafting commission put this proposal into shape.
Stalin: I have no objections.
Attlee: I have two questions which I should like to raise here: the first, that the French Government should be invited by the Governments of Great Britain, the U.S.S.R. and the United States to be a member of the Reparations Commission as of today.
Stalin: Let us also invite Poland, she has suffered heavily.
Attlee: I understood that we agreed to invite France.
Stalin: And why can't Poland be invited?
Truman: You agreed yesterday that the Soviet Union would undertake to meet Poland's reparations claims, while we, for our part, undertake to meet the reparations claims of France and other countries. I think the inclusion of France in this commission would cause some confusion.
Stalin: Does Mr. Attlee insist?
Attlee: I should like to.
Stalin: Good, I do not object.
Attlee: My second question is the following: I submitted a memorandum concerning the fact that the British and American commanders have to supply 40,000 tons of foodstuffs a month and 2,400 tons of coal a day to the British and American sectors in Berlin for 30 days, beginning from July 15. The Control Council should be immediately instructed to draw up a programme for the supply of food, coal and other types of fuel to the Greater Berlin area over the next six months. These quantities will be delivered to the Greater Berlin area by the Soviet Government in the form of advance deliveries under Point 4(a) of the reparations agreement. These are practical measures which will provide for current requirements.
Stalin: The question has not been prepared, we are not acquainted with this question, and we know nothing of the opinion of the Control Council on it. Consequently, we find it very hard to settle this question now. I think we should find out beforehand the opinion of the Control Council on how it intends to satisfy the needs of the population, and what its plans are concerning supply.
Attlee: I understood that deliveries of capital equipment from the Ruhr basin are to start now, and I think that the supply of the necessary food and fuel for the Greater Berlin area should also start now. Of course, the quantity can be fixed by the Control Council.
Stalin: Of course, there must be an agreement, but a quantity has to be specified, and that is something we cannot do now, without a report from the Control Council on its plans in this respect. I must say that the Control Council will solve this question better than we could settle it here; it takes a practical approach to solving this question.
Attlee: That is just what I am asking for. I am asking that the Control Council should draw up a programme, but in principle we should agree on that here.
Stalin: I have no information on how things stand. I can decide nothing without authentic materials. I can't take figures out of thin air. The figures must be justified.
Attlee: I'm not asking about figures, in my memorandum I ask that the Control Council should draw up this programme.
Stalin: 40,000 tons of food a month, 2,400 tons of coal a day – where do these figures come from, how are they justified?
Attlee: These figures have been agreed upon, and these quantities are already being supplied.
Stalin: I did not know that.
Bevin: The question is that there is a provisional agreement on monthly deliveries for Berlin.
Stalin: Who has agreed to this?
Bevin: A provisional agreement on deliveries was concluded in the Control Council, under which the British and American authorities undertook to supply these quantities for Berlin during a month, and this is now being done. We propose that the Control Council should draw up the necessary programme in principle, and that the Soviet authorities should start supplying the said quantities when the month expires. When the period runs out, the question arises: who is to go on supplying the food and fuel?
Stalin: We must hear the Control Council and its considerations. Then we can decide something.
Attlee: I understood you to say that you want the deliveries of capital equipment from the Ruhr basin to be started
right away. We ask for the same thing in respect of your deliveries of food and fuel.
Stalin: I understand that, but I should like to know what the Control Council thinks, so that we can discuss it and adopt a decision. I think the question should be postponed.
Bevin: We want to work with each other.
Stalin: And what if we are not ready for the question, what are we to do?
Bevin: In that case it will have to be postponed.
Stalin: That is just what we are asking.
Bevin: We merely wanted to reach a mutual agreement to help each other.
Stalin: We are not prepared for this question, I have had no occasion to consult with the Control Council and find out what it thinks.
Truman: It looks as if we have exhausted all our differences on the reparations question?
Attlee: I understood the Generalissimo to say that we shall not be demanding reparations from Austria. Perhaps we should enter this in the protocol?
Stalin: It could be entered in the protocol.
Byrnes: The next question is that of economic principles in respect of Germany. The representatives of the United States and Britain propose the inclusion of a clause on German assets abroad in the document on economic principles. It will be Point 18, reading as follows: "Appropriate steps shall be taken by the Control Council to exercise control and the power of disposition over German-owned external assets not already under the control of United Nations which have taken part in the war against Germany."
Stalin: Is that an amendment or a new proposal?
Byrnes: It is a recommendation to the commission on economic questions. It proposes the inclusion of this point in the document on the economic principles in respect of Germany.
Stalin: Will not an amendment to this point be necessary after adoption of the decision on reparations? We learned of this point after we had agreed on the question.
Byrnes: The Soviet representatives in the commission for economic questions declared that they have little interest in the matter and reserved their position until the question is studied. The question concerned relates to control.
Stalin: I do not object.
Truman: Thank you.
Byrnes: The commission has not had time to reach agreement on Point 19 of the draft on economic principles relating to the question of payment for imports to Germany. Besides, the Soviet representative declared that he is not yet prepared to continue discussing the question of oil deliveries to Western Europe.
Stalin: We do not object to the British formulation of Point 19.
Byrnes: I understand that the British representatives have agreed with the American representatives that if Point 19 is adopted there should be added the words proposed by the American representatives to the effect that the condition stipulated in the point will not be applicable to equipment or foodstuffs specified in Points 4 (a) and 4 (b) of the agreement on German reparations. We believe that the addendum flows from the agreement on reparations we reached yesterday.
Attlee: I agree.
Byrnes: Thus, we have finished with all the differences over the draft on economic principles.
The next question is that of war criminals.
Bevin: Please excuse me, but I think we should inform the French of these economic principles.
Stalin: If you wish.
Byrnes: The next question is that of war criminals. The only question remaining open here is whether the names of some of the major German war criminals should be mentioned. The representatives of the United States and Britain, at today's meeting of the Foreign Ministers, deemed it right not to mention these names, but to leave that to the prosecutor. They also agreed that the British text should be adopted. The Soviet representatives declared that they agree with the British draft, provided some names are added.
Stalin: I think we need names. This must be done for public opinion. The people must know this. Are we to take action against any German industrialists? I think we are. We name Krupp. If Krupp will not do, let's name others.
Truman: I don't like any of them. [Laughter.] I think that if we mention some names and leave out others, people
may think that we have no intention of putting those others on trial.
Stalin: But these names are given here as examples. It is surprising, for instance, why Hess is still in Britain all provided for and is not being put on trial. These names must be given; this will be important for public opinion, for the peoples.
Bevin: Don't worry about Hess.
Stalin: It's not a question of what I think, but of public opinion, and the opinion of the peoples of all the countries which had been occupied by the Germans.
Bevin: If you have any doubts about Hess I can promise that he will be put on trial.
Stalin: I am not asking for any undertakings on the part of Mr. Bevin, his statement is enough to leave me in no doubt that this will be done. But it is not a question of me. But of the peoples, of public opinion.
Truman: You are aware that we have appointed Justice Jackson as our representative on the London Commission. He is an outstanding judge and a very experienced Jurist. He has a good knowledge of legal procedure. Jackson is opposed to any names of war criminals being mentioned, and says that this will hamper their work. He assures us that the trial will be ready within 30 days, and that there should be no doubt concerning our view of these men.
Stalin: Perhaps we could name fewer persons, say, three?
Bevin: Our jurists take the same view as the Americans.
Stalin: And ours take the opposite view. But perhaps we shall agree that the first list of the German war criminals to be brought to trial should be published not later than in one month?
[Truman and Attlee agree with Stalin's proposal]
Byrnes: The next question is one concerning the use of Allied property as reparations from satellites or as, war booty. I handed in this proposal yesterday. At today’s sitting, the Soviet delegation asked to be given the possibility to make a more detailed study of the proposal.
[The Soviet delegation said that in view of the fact that there had actually been no break between the two sittings that day, it had not had time to study the wording of the proposal. It said that the proposal appeared to be correct and acceptable in substance, but its formulation had to be studied.]
Byrnes: I am prepared to postpone it until tonight.
Attlee: I propose that the agenda of tonight's sitting should contain as few items as possible.
Byrnes: The next question is that concerning the supply of oil to Western Europe. The question is now being examined in the economic commission.
The next question is that of the anti-Soviet activity of White Russian émigrés and other persons and organisations hostile to the U.S.S.R. in the American and British zones of occupation in Germany and Austria. The Anglo-American representatives have declared that they would examine the situation and the facts set out in the Soviet document, and would inform the Soviet Union at once of the results of their investigation, after which they would be prepared to discuss measures for stopping this activity.
The Soviet delegation has called attention to the memorandum which it handed to the British and American delegations concerning the repatriation of Soviet citizens. The British representatives declared that they would clarify the situation of which the Soviet document speaks and would deal with the matter immediately upon their return to London.
The Soviet representatives handed in a new document on this question and stressed the great importance they attach to it. The American and British representatives promised to deal with the matter as soon as possible.
The Foreign Ministers discussed the report of the commission drafting the protocol of the Conference. The commission failed to reach agreement on four questions but the Foreign Ministers managed to reach agreement on these questions. They also agreed that only the key decisions of the Conference would be included in the protocol. They indicated to the protocol commission that the new decisions of the Conference should also be included in the protocol.
The next question is that of reviewing the procedure of the Allied Control Commissions in Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary. The U.S draft on the question was adopted with the exception of the second sentence. Itwas decided that the sentence would be replaced by the third, fourth and fifth points of the letter from the Soviet representative handed to the representatives of the United States and Great
Britain in the Allied Control Commission for Hungary. This question was referred to the drafting commission, which, after discussion, recommends to us the following text:
"The Three Governments took note that the Soviet representatives on the Allied Control Commissions in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary have communicated to their United Kingdom and United States colleagues proposals for improving the work of the Control Commissions, now that hostilities in Europe have ceased.
"The Three Governments agreed that the revision of the procedures of the Allied Control Commissions in these countries would now be undertaken, taking into account the interests and responsibilities of the Three Governments which together presented the terms of armistice to the respective countries, and accepting as a basis, in respect of all three countries, the Soviet Government's proposals for Hungary."
Can we adopt the proposal of the drafting commission in this form?
Stalin: I have no objections.
Truman: Today, I received the President of Poland and four members of the Provisional Polish Government. I informed them of the decisions on Poland and handed them a copy of these decisions. They will refrain from making any statements on these decisions pending their publication in the press. They asked me on behalf of the Polish Government to convey their gratitude to all three Governments represented at the Conference.
Bevin: I should like to mention that the difficulties concerning the London-Warsaw air line, of which I spoke yesterday, have been removed. We have reached agreement with Poland on this question.
Byrnes: At the meeting of the Foreign Ministers I proposed that the words "and radio representatives" should be added in the documents on Poland and on admission to the United Nations Organisation, where they deal with the facilities which are to be extended to members of the Allied press.
Stalin: I don't think we should do that.
Attlee: I do not consider it expedient either.
Truman: We in America have a different radio situation than in other countries, such as Britain. The British radio
is under Government control, but in America the radio is in the same position as the newspapers. We should like the radio representatives to have the same rights as newspaper correspondents.
Stalin: It's not worth while.
Truman: The representatives of the American radio will act in the same way as newspaper correspondents, but they will file their reports for the American radio.
Stalin: I should not advise doing that. Besides agreement must be reached with Poland.
Bevin: But you will not object, will you, against an agreement with the Governments concerned?
Stalin: No, why should I?
Truman: That is acceptable to us.
Stalin: You are welcome. But let us decide not to write about that here.
Truman: Good, I agree.
Byrnes: The next question is that of the German Navy and merchant fleet.
Truman: I understand that the report of the commission on this question is adopted and we confirm the prepared decision.
Stalin: That's right.
Byrnes: It was also agreed that the text of the decision was to be published later.
Bevin: Mr. President, I have drawn up the text of the point concerning the share of Poland and the other countries, which I think we could accept. It says: "The United Kingdom and the United States will provide out of their shares of the surrendered German merchant ships appropriate amounts for other Allied states whose merchant marines have suffered heavy losses in the common cause against Germany, except that the Soviet Union shall provide out of its share for Poland."
Stalin: I have no objections.
Truman: I agree.
Attlee: Before we adjourn, I should like to ask whether the Heads of Government think it appropriate to send Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden a telegram expressing thanks for their participation in the first half of the Conference and for their participation in other conferences?
Stalin: That would be appropriate.
Truman: I agree.
[After the interval]
Byrnes: Did you have time to study our document concerning the use of Allied property as payment for reparations by satellites or as war booty?
Stalin: I see no difficulties in settling this question as regards the substance, but I must have consultation on its formulation.
Attlee: I think the document requires some study, as not all its propositions appear to be acceptable.
Byrnes: In what respect is the draft unacceptable?
Attlee: Where the property belonging to the Allied countries has been withdrawn from the satellite countries as war booty, it is natural that the satellite countries must compensate the Allied countries to whom the property belonged. But where the property is seized by a third party, there arises the question: must it pay the Allied countries for this property or must we make the satellite countries pay for the property. In addition, I think that Point 3 dealing with currency also requires discussion. It seems to me that all this still needs to be studied.
Perhaps we could now acquaint ourselves with the communiqué?
Stalin: The commission has not yet finished drafting it.
Attlee: I propose that the commission on the drafting of the protocol and the commission on the drafting of the communiqué should deal with this question immediately, and that we should adjourn and meet again as soon as the commissions have completed their work. We could agree by telephone on the time of the meeting. The Heads of Government would deal with the question of the communiqué, and the Foreign Ministers with that of the protocol.
Stalin: It would be well to fix the time for the opening of the sitting, say 8.30 or 9.00 o'clock. The time is set to give the commissions a spur, then they will try hard.
Truman: A three-hour break suits me.
Byrnes: There was also the President's proposal on inland waterways. The protocol commission and the communiqué commission have not yet reached agreement on the decision adopted in connection with the President's proposal.
Truman: This question has been referred to the Council of Foreign Ministers in London, but I am interested in
having the communiqué say this. I should ask that mention of this be made in the communiqué.
Stalin: We have not discussed it.
Truman: I spoke thrice on the question, and the commission examined it for several days.
Stalin: It was not in the list of questions, we were not prepared for the question, and had no materials; our experts on this question are in Moscow. Why such haste; why should there be such a hurry?
Truman: This question has not been finally settled but referred to the Council of Foreign Ministers in London.
Stalin: No mention of the Black Sea Straits will be made in the communiqué either, although the question was on the agenda. The question of waterways arose as a free supplement to the question of the Straits. And I don't see why such preference should be given to the question of inland waterways over that of Straits.
Truman: The question of the Black Sea Straits will be mentioned both in the communiqué and the protocol.
Stalin: I think there is no need to put it into the communiqué, but only into the protocol.
I propose that no mention be made in the communiqué either of the Straits or the inland waterways, but that both these questions be included in the protocol only.
Truman: Good, there are no objections.
Bevin: I propose that we ask France to subscribe to our decision concerning war criminals. France is a member of the Council of Foreign Ministers in London.
Truman: I do not object.
I still fail to understand why a decision adopted by us here and included in the protocol should not also be included in the communiqué.
Stalin: There is no need of it. As it is, the communiqué is much too long.
Truman: I should like to ask one question: are there any secret agreements at this Conference?
Stalin: No, not secret ones.
Byrnes: I should like to stress that we decided to refer the question of inland waterways to the Council of Foreign Ministers. Thus, we have an agreement on this question. Have we the right to make public the decision on this question? And if it is not included in the communiqué, but only
in the protocol, can we officially put this question before the Council of Foreign Ministers?
Stalin: We should take the materials of the Crimea Conference or the Tehran Conference. At the Tehran Conference a number of questions were included in the protocol, but there was another series of decisions which were of interest to all and which determined our policy in respect of key issues. These decisions were included in the communiqué.
Take the work of the Crimea Conference. It too had two series of decisions on record. The first series – the greater one – went into the protocol, and no one insisted on it being transferred into the communiqué. The other series – the much smaller one – went into the communiqué. These were decisions determining our policy. I propose that we keep to this good rule, otherwise we shall have a whole volume instead of a communiqué.
Some of the decisions have no serious significance, some of the questions, like the one of the inland waterways, were not even discussed, and they will go into the protocol, so that no one reproach us with concealing these questions. It is a different matter with the questions of Germany, of Italy, of reparations, etc., which are of great significance, and they go into the communiqué. I think we should not break with this good tradition, and that there is no point in including all these questions in the communiqué. A communiqué is a communiqué, and a protocol is a protocol.
Truman: I do not object to this procedure, if it is adopted for all our decisions. But if I have to make a statement in the Senate to the effect that the question has been referred to the Council of Foreign Ministers, shall I have the right to do so?
Stalin: No one can encroach on your rights.
[Truman closes the sitting.]
Truman opens the sitting.
Byrnes: The commission for economic questions has prepared a report on reparations. Proposals acceptable to all
delegations have been worked out. Paragraph 1 says that the Soviet reparations claims are to be met from the zone of Germany occupied by the Soviet Union and the appropriate German investments abroad.
I call your attention to Paragraphs 8 and 9 of this document. I am very reluctant to propose an amendment right now, but I think this will be in the general interest. Paragraph 8 says: "The Soviet Government renounces all claims to shares of German enterprises", etc. I propose the addition of "in respect of reparations" after the words "all claims". The purpose of this amendment is to avoid creating the impression that the Soviet Union has some other claims to German enterprises apart from reparations. The same amendment should be made in Paragraph 9, which deals with the claims of the United States and the United Kingdom.
Stalin: That is right.
Byrnes: That is my only amendment. Can the reparations document be considered as approved?
Bevin: And how are we to consider, for instance, the case of plants belonging to British subjects which were taken over by the Germans for military purposes before 1939? In that case, owing to this amendment, the British will be deprived of their own property.
Byrnes: In the case cited by Mr. Bevin the amendment does not affect the situation.
Bevin: I do not object.
Byrnes: We can now discuss the question of the use of allied property to pay reparations or as war trophies, if the Soviet delegation has had time to study the proposal.
Stalin: We have not had time to consider the wording of the draft. I propose that we record the following decision:
"The Conference decided to accept the American proposal in principle. The wording of the proposal to be agreed through diplomatic channels."
We have not had time to give thought to the wording, but we agree with the proposal in substance.
Truman: I agree with the proposal of the Soviet delegation.
Attlee: So do I.
Byrnes: I have been informed that the commission charged with drawing up the protocol has reached agreement. I do not believe there is any need to read out the protocol in
full, but only those points on which there were differences. Of course, we should add to it the Soviet delegation's proposal concerning war trophies which we have just adopted. I have no other amendments.
Stalin: I have an amendment. On the question of Poland's western frontier, the second paragraph says that the boundary line must run from the Baltic Sea through Swinemünde, as if the line passes through the town itself. I propose, therefore, that we say that the boundary line runs from the Baltic Sea immediately west or a little west of Swinemünde. That is what the map shows.
[Truman and Attlee agree with the wording "immediately west of Swinemünde".]
Stalin: The second amendment is about the boundary line of the Königsberg Region. The second paragraph says that the boundary line is subject to expert examination. It is proposed to say: "The exact line on the ground should be established by experts of the U.S.S.R. and Poland."
Bevin: We cannot leave this only to the Soviet Union and Poland.
Stalin: But this concerns the boundary line between Poland and Russia.
Bevin: But this must be recognised by the United Nations. We agreed that at the Peace Conference we would support the Soviet desire concerning this frontier, and now you say that it is to be determined by the Soviet Union and Poland and that we have nothing to do with it.
Stalin: This is a misunderstanding. The general boundary line is determined by the Peace Conference, but there is another concept – the line of demarcation on the ground. The general boundary line is given, but the line of demarcation on the ground may deviate from the imaginary line by half a kilometre or less to one side of it or the other. Say, the boundary line runs through a village. Why should the frontier line cut it in half? Only Poland and Russia are interested in laying down the actual line of demarcation on the ground. If you think that this is not entirely guaranteed, whom would you like to include in the commission? Someone from Britain or the United States? Anyone you wish, we do not mind.
Attlee: I think the question is as follows. We agreed to accept the proposal concerning the frontier in principle. As for the final demarcation of the territory, the precise determination
of the frontier, that is the business of the Peace Conference. If we now hand this business over to the experts of Poland and Russia we shall be disrupting the technical work of the Peace Conference.
Stalin: What's Mr. Bevin's opinion?
Bevin: We want to have a commission of experts appointed by the Peace Conference.
Stalin: I fail to see the point.
Byrnes: I believe the following wording could be proposed: if there is agreement on the frontier between Poland and the Soviet Union at the Peace Conference, that will be the end of the matter, and no experts will be required. But if there are differences between Poland and Russia during the Peace Conference a commission of experts will have to be appointed, with the composition determined by the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs or the Peace Conference itself. But that is only in the event of differences between Poland and the Soviet Union.
Stalin: Let the old wording stand. But it says nothing of which experts are to be on the commission.
[Truman and Attlee agree to retain the old wording. The Soviet delegation then tabled an amendment to the section on the conclusion of peace treaties and on admission to the United Nations Organisation. The Soviet delegation pointed out that there was a contradiction between the first and the third paragraph of the document. The first paragraph said that the Three Governments considered it desirable that the present anomalous position of Italy, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary and Finland should be terminated after the conclusion of peace treaties, whereas the third paragraph provided for the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations with Finland, Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary prior to the conclusion of peace treaties with these countries. The Soviet delegation proposed the deletion from the first paragraph of the words "after the conclusion of peace treaties".]
Attlee: In my opinion, that is wrong, because when we drafted the third paragraph we had in mind the establishment of diplomatic relations "to the extent possible". If the words "after the conclusion of peace treaties" are excluded from the first paragraph, it will mean that we shall be going farther than we intended to. These words should be left in.
Stalin: But the first paragraph says that diplomatic relations can be re-established only after the conclusion .of peace treaties, and the third paragraph says something different. This leads to a contradiction.
Attlee: That is just why the British want to include these words. The first paragraph provides for mandatory action, namely, the establishment of diplomatic relations after the conclusion of peace treaties, whereas the third paragraph proposes that an effort should be made to do this, insofar as possible, before the conclusion of peace treaties.
Stalin: We cannot agree with that, because the effort which is assumed in the third paragraph to establish diplomatic relations is explicitly denied in the first paragraph. That changes the meaning of the whole decision. How can we agree to that?
Attlee: I do not think there is any contradiction there: in the first instance it is a question of establishing normal relations, that is, full diplomatic relations, and in the second, of an effort to come as close as possible to establishing such relations.
Stalin: I'm afraid I cannot agree with this interpretation. Let us take a concrete example – Finland. There is no reason at all to object any more to restoring diplomatic relations with Finland, but in the first paragraph the words "after the conclusion of peace treaties" explicitly prohibit the establishment of diplomatic relations. That is quite wrong.
Attlee: We are still in a state of war with Finland.
Stalin: The state of war with Italy is not yet over either, but America already has diplomatic relations with Italy, and so do we.
Attlee: I think we are now returning to something we already discussed a few days ago. We fully explained our standpoint, and we met the Soviet Union as far as we could under our constitution. We believe that we have made big concessions, beyond which we cannot go.
Stalin: Nothing will come of this. Finland has much more right than Italy to the establishment of diplomatic relations. Finland has a freely elected government. It has long since ended the war against the Allies and declared war on Germany. Italy has no freely elected government, and her participation in the war against Germany since her surrender has been minimal. On what grounds should we delay
establishment of diplomatic relations with Finland? Where is the logic in that?
Bevin: I want to reach agreement and therefore make the following proposal. I propose the following wording for the first paragraph: "The Three Governments consider it desirable that the present anomalous position of Italy, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary and Rumania should be terminated by the conclusion of peace treaties. They trust that the other interested Allied Governments will share these views."
Stalin: Good. The Soviet delegation has no more amendments.
Bevin: Hurrah! [General laughter.]
Byrnes: The next question is that of the communiqué. We have received from the British delegation a new wording of the introductory part. We have no objections to it.
Stalin: Is there any great difference? What is the difference?
Byrnes: On the second page there are changes of a purely drafting nature, the meaning is unchanged.
Stalin: Perhaps we could do this: after the translation into Russian, we shall examine this alteration, and shall now go on to the next section.
[Truman and Attlee agree.]
Byrnes: Section II – on the institution of the Council of Foreign Ministers. There are no differences here.
[Section II is adopted.]
Byrnes: Section III – on Germany. The words "loudly applauded" in the first paragraph have evoked objections.
Stalin: Let us say: "openly approved".
Bevin: Blindly obeyed, that is obeyed in a stupid manner.
Stalin: I propose that we put it this way: "whom, in the hour of their success, they openly approved and blindly obeyed".
[The proposal is accepted.]
Byrnes: Are there any other amendments?
Bevin: Paragraph 12 of the economic principles repeats what is already said in Paragraph 9 (IV) of the political principles.
Stalin: I propose that we delete this expression from the economic principles and leave it in the political principles. [All agree.] We have no other amendments.
Byrnes: Section IV – on reparations from Germany. There are no amendments.
Section V – on Germany's Navy and Merchant Marine.
Stalin: There is an agreed decision; we have no amendments.
Byrnes: Section VI – on Königsberg and the Adjacent Area.
Stalin: I agree.
Byrnes: Section VII – War Criminals.
Stalin: I think the first introductory paragraph should be excluded and only the second paragraph retained, beginning with the words: "The Three Governments have taken note, etc."
Bevin: We have already done that. Stalin: Good.
Byrnes: Section VIII – on Austria.
[The Soviet delegation proposes the exclusion from the section on Austria of the last sentence – concerning reparations, leaving it only in the protocol.]
Truman: We accept the proposal of the Soviet delegation – to exclude the last sentence from the communiqué.
Byrnes: Section IX – on Poland.
Stalin: There are no amendments.
Bevin: I wish to propose a small amendment of the wording. Inthe second paragraph to say "they defined their attitude in the following statement" instead of the words: "their position was defined in the following statement".
Stalin: All right.
Bevin: On the second page, also concerning Poland, I should substitute the words "Concerning Poland's western boundary they established the following standpoint" for the introductory words "the agreement was reached on the western boundary of Poland".
Truman: I have already informed the representatives of the Polish Government that we agreed on the earlier wording.
Stalin: Inthat case it is better to leave the old wording.
Bevin: I find Generalissimo Stalin's expression, "immediately west of Swinemünde" very apt.
Stalin: Yes, it will be better to put it that way. Let's go on to the tenth section.
Bevin: Here I wish to make a small amendment, mainly of a psychological nature. I would phrase the introductory
part of Section X as follows: "The Conference agreed upon the following statement of common policy for establishing, as soon as possible, the conditions of lasting peace after victory in Europe." This reads better.
Stalin: The wording is essentially the same, there is nothing new in it.
Truman: Both are acceptable.
Bevin: It reads better in English. Maybe it reads worse in American? [Laughter.]
Truman: Both are acceptable.
Stalin: The earlier wording contains the same idea which Mr. Bevin has expressed, but it is set out more briefly. Of course, we could accept either.
Bevin: Suppose you prefer our wording this time. [Laughter.]
Stalin: If Mr. Bevin insists, I suppose we could accept his wording.
Truman: I agree. Section XII – regarding the revision of Allied Control Commission procedure in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
Stalin: That has been agreed.
Truman: Section XIII – transferring of German populations.
Stalin: Here the formulation is already better – "orderly transfers".
Truman: The question of military negotiations.
Stalin: It is of general interest. I do not object to its inclusion in the communiqué.
Bevin: The British delegation has one question on Section XII – on revising the procedure in the Allied Control Commissions for Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary. The last three lines say: "and accepting as a basis, in respect of all three countries, the Soviet Government's proposals for the Allied Control Commission in Hungary". But we do not say what these proposals are. That is why we could say: "and accepting as a basis the agreed proposals".
Stalin: All right. Which signatures are to stand under the communiqué?
Truman: All will sign.
Truman: Let us return to the introductory part of the communiqué.
Stalin: We have no objections.
Bevin: We should like to publish the communiqué in the press on Friday morning.
Stalin: And when can it be broadcast on the radio?
Bevin: At 9.30 p.m. GMT on Thursday.
Byrnes: Concerning the Ruhr area. The Russian text of the protocol says that the Conference examined the Soviet proposals concerning the Ruhr industrial area. It was decided· to refer this question for discussion by the Council of Foreign Ministers in London. The English text of the protocol makes no mention of the Ruhr area. I understand that no such decision was taken, but the President says that it was adopted on his proposal. I propose, therefore, that the wording should be made more precise. It says nothing here of the content of the Soviet delegation's proposal which is being referred to the Council of Foreign Ministers in London.
Stalin: I think this question should be deleted.
Stalin: [After studying the text of a message of greetings to Churchill and Eden.] I have no objection to the proposed text of the greetings.
Attlee: I propose that the telegram in English should be signed by the President and the Generalissimo.
Stalin: Could the President, as the Chairman of the Conference, sign first?
Attlee: All the three signatures will be there.
[The telegram of greetings is signed by the three Heads of Government.]
Byrnes: I think that we should appoint representatives to verify the text of the protocol.
[Representatives are appointed to a commission to edit the protocol.]
Truman: I declare the Berlin Conference closed. Until our next meeting, which, I hope, will be soon.
Stalin: Let's hope so.
Attlee: Mr. President, before we separate I should like to express our gratitude to the Generalissimo for the excellent measures taken both for our accommodation here and to provide the conditions for work, and to you, Mr. President, for so ably presiding over this Conference.
I should like to express the hope that this Conference will be an important milestone on the road which our three
nations are taking together towards a stable peace, and that the friendship between the three of us who have met here will be strong and enduring.
Stalin: That is also our hope.
Truman: On behalf of the American delegation I want to thank the Generalissimo for everything he has done for us, and I wish to join Mr. Attlee in what he has said here.
Stalin: The Russian delegation joins Mr. Attlee in the gratitude he expressed to the President for his able and apt chairmanship.
Truman: I thank you for your kind co-operation in settling all the important questions.
Stalin: I should personally like to thank Mr. Byrnes, who has helped our work very much and has promoted the achievement of our decisions.
Byrnes: I am deeply touched by the Generalissimo's kind words, and I hope that together with my colleagues I have been of use in the work of the Conference.
Stalin: The Conference, I believe, can be considered a success.
Truman: I want to thank the other Foreign Ministers and all those who have helped us so much in our work.
Attlee: I join in the expression of these feelings in respect of our Foreign Ministers.
Truman: I declare the Berlin Conference closed.
[The Conference ended at 00.30 hours on August 2, 1945.]
On July 17, 1945, the President of the United States of America, Harry S. Truman, the Chairman of .the Council of People's Commissars of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Generalissimo J. V. Stalin, and the .Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston S. Churchill, together with Mr. Clement R. Attlee, met in the Tripartite Conference of Berlin. They were accompanied by the Foreign Secretaries of the Three Governments, Mr. James F. Byrnes, Mr. V. M. Molotov, and Mr. Anthony Eden, the Chiefs of Staff, and other advisers.
There were nine meetings between July 17 and July 25. The Conference was then interrupted for two days while the results of the British general election were being declared.
On July 28, Mr. Attlee returned to the Conference as Prime Minister, accompanied by the new Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ernest Bevin. Four more sittings then took place. During the course of the Conference there were regular meetings of the Heads of the Three Governments accompanied by the Foreign Secretaries, and also of the Foreign Secretaries alone. Committees appointed by the Foreign Secretaries for preliminary consideration of questions before the Conference also met daily.
The meetings of the Conference were held at the Cecilienhof near Potsdam. The Conference ended on August 2, 1945.
Important decisions and agreements were reached. Views were exchanged on a number of other questions and consideration of these matters will be continued by the Council of Foreign Ministers established by the Conference.
President Truman, Generalissimo Stalin and Prime Minister Attlee leave Conference, which has strengthened the ties between the Three Governments and extended the scope of their collaboration and understanding, with renewed confidence that their Governments and peoples, together with the other United Nations, will ensure the creation of a just and enduring peace.
Establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers
A. The Conference reached an agreement for the establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers representing the five principal Powers to continue the necessary preparatory work for the peace settlements and to take up other matters which from time to time may be referred to the Council by agreement of the Governments participating in the Council.
The text of the agreement for the establishment of the Council of Foreign Ministers is as follows:
(1) There shall be established a Council composed of the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, France and the United States.
(2) (i) The Council shall normally meet in London, which shall be the permanent seat of the joint Secretariat which the Council will form. Each of the Foreign Ministers will be accompanied by a high-ranking Deputy, duly authorised to carry on the work of the Council in the absence of his Foreign Minister, and by a small staff of technical advisers.
(ii) The first meeting of the Council shall be held in London not later than September 1st, 1945. Meetings may be held by common agreement in other capitals as may be agreed from time to time.
(3) (i) As its immediate important task, the Council shall be authorised to draw up, with a view to their submission to the United Nations, treaties of peace with Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland, and to propose settlements of territorial questions outstanding on the termination of the war in Europe. That Council shall be utilised for the preparation of a peace settlement for Germany to be accepted
by the Government of Germany when a government adequate for the purpose is established.
(ii) For the discharge of each of these tasks the Council will be composed of the Members representing those States which were signatory to the terms of surrender imposed upon the enemy State concerned. For the purposes of the peace settlement for Italy, France shall be regarded as a signatory to the terms of surrender for Italy. Other Members will be invited to participate when matters directly concerning them are under discussion.
(iii) Other matters may from time to time be referred to the Council by agreement between the Member Governments.
(4) (i) Whenever the Council is considering a question of direct interest to a State not represented thereon, such State should be invited to send representatives to participate in the discussion and study of that question.
(ii) The Council may adapt its procedure to the particular problem under consideration. In some cases it may hold its own preliminary discussions prior to the participation of other interested States. In other cases, the Council may convoke a formal conference of the States chiefly interested in seeking a solution of the particular problem.
B. In accordance with the decision of the Conference the Three Governments have each addressed an identical invitation to the Governments of China and France to adopt this text and to join in establishing the Council.
C. The establishment of the Council of Foreign Ministers for the specific purposes named in the text will be without prejudice to the agreement of the Crimea Conference that there should be periodic consultation among the Foreign Secretaries of the United States, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom.
D. The Conference also considered the position of the European Advisory Commission in the light of the agreement to establish the Council of Foreign Ministers. It was noted with satisfaction that the Commission had ably discharged its principal tasks by the recommendations that it had furnished for the terms of Germany's unconditional surrender, for the zones of occupation in Germany and Austria and for the inter-Allied control machinery in those countries. It was felt that further work of a detailed character for the co-ordination of Allied policy for the control of
Germany and Austria would in future fall within the competence of the Allied Control Council at Berlin and the Allied Commission at Vienna. Accordingly, it was agreed to recommend that the European Advisory Commission be dissolved.
The Allied armies are in occupation of the whole of Germany and the German people have begun to atone for the terrible crimes committed under the leadership of those whom, in the hour of their success, they openly approved and blindly obeyed.
Agreement has been reached at this Conference on the political and economic principles of a co-ordinated Allied policy toward defeated Germany during the period of Allied control.
The purpose of this agreement is to carry out the Crimea declaration on Germany. German militarism and Nazism will be extirpated and the Allies will take in agreement together, now and in the future, the other measures necessary to assure that Germany never again will threaten her neighbours or the peace of the world.
It is not the intention of the Allies to destroy or enslave the German people. It is the intention of the Allies that the German people be given the opportunity to prepare for the eventual reconstruction of their life on a democratic and peaceful basis. If their own efforts are steadily directed to this end, it will be possible for them in due course to take their place among the free and peaceful peoples of the world.
The text of the agreement is as follows:
A. Political Principles
1. In accordance with the Agreement on Control Machinery in Germany, supreme authority in Germany is exercised on instructions from their respective Governments, by
the Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the French Republic, each in his own zone of occupation, and also jointly, in matters affecting Germany as a whole, in their capacity as members of the Control Council.
2. So far as is practicable, there shall be uniformity of treatment of the German population throughout Germany.
3. The purposes of the occupation of Germany by which the Control Council shall be guided are:
(I) The complete disarmament and demilitarisation of Germany and the elimination or control of all German industry that could be used for military production. To these ends:
(a) All German land, naval and air forces, the S.S., S.A., S.D. and Gestapo, with all their organisations, staffs and institutions, including the General Staff, the Officers' Corps, Reserve Corps, military schools, war veterans' organisations and all other military and quasi-military organisations, together with all clubs and associations which serve to keep alive the military tradition in Germany, shall be completely and finally abolished in such manner as permanently to prevent the revival or reorganisation of German militarism and Nazism;
(b) All arms, ammunition and implements of war and all specialised facilities for their production shall be held at the disposal of the Allies or destroyed. The maintenance and production of all aircraft and all arms, ammunition and implements of war shall be prevented.
(II) To convince the German people that they have suffered a total military defeat and that they cannot escape responsibility for what they have brought upon themselves, since their own ruthless warfare and the fanatical Nazi resistance have destroyed German economy and made chaos and suffering inevitable.
(III) To destroy the National Socialist Party and its affiliated and supervised organisations, to dissolve all Nazi institutions, to ensure that they are not revived in any form, and to prevent all Nazi and militarist activity or propaganda.
(IV) To prepare for the eventual reconstruction of German political life on a democratic basis and for eventual peaceful co-operation in international life by Germany.
4. All Nazi laws which provided the basis of the Hitler regime or established discrimination on grounds of race, creed, or political opinion shall be abolished. No such discriminations, whether legal, administrative or otherwise, shall be tolerated.
5. War criminals and those who have participated in planning or carrying out Nazi enterprises involving or resulting in atrocities or war crimes shall be arrested and brought to judgement. Nazi leaders, influential Nazi supporters and high officials of Nazi organisations and institutions and any other persons dangerous to the occupation or its objectives shall be arrested and interned.
6. All members of the Nazi Party who have been more than nominal participants in its activities and all other persons hostile to Allied purposes shall be removed from public and semi-public office, and from positions of responsibility in important private undertakings. Such persons shall be replaced by persons who, by their political and moral qualities, are deemed capable of assisting in developing genuine democratic institutions in Germany.
7. German education shall be so controlled as completely to eliminate Nazi and militarist doctrines and to make possible the successful development of democratic ideas.
8. The judicial system will be reorganised in accordance with the principles of democracy, of justice under law, and of equal rights for all citizens without distinction of race, nationality or religion.
9. The administration of affairs in Germany should be directed towards the decentralisation of the political structure and the development of local responsibility. To this end:
(I) local self-government shall be restored throughout Germany on democratic principles and in particular through elective councils as rapidly as is consistent with military security and the purposes of military occupation;
(II) all democratic political parties with rights of assembly and of public discussion shall be allowed and encouraged throughout Germany;
(III) representative and elective principles shall be introduced into regional, provincial and state (Land) administration as rapidly as may be justified by the successful application of these principles in local self-government;
(IV) for the time being no central German Government
shall be established. Notwithstanding this, however, certain essential central German administrative departments, headed by State Secretaries, shall be established, particularly in the fields of finance, transport, communications, foreign trade and industry. Such departments will act under the direction of the Control Council.
10. Subject to the necessity for maintaining military security, freedom of speech, press and religion shall be permitted, and religious institutions shall be respected. Subject likewise to the maintenance of military security, the formation of free trade unions shall be permitted.
B. Economic Principles
11. In order to eliminate Germany's war potential, the production of arms, ammunition and implements of war as well as all types of aircraft and sea-going ships shall be prohibited and prevented. Production of metals, chemicals, machinery and other items that are directly necessary to a war economy shall be rigidly controlled and restricted to Germany's approved post-war peace-time needs to meet the objectives stated in Paragraph 15. Productive capacity not needed for permitted production shall be removed in accordance with the reparations plan recommended by the Allied Reparations Commission and approved by the Governments concerned or if not removed shall be destroyed.
12. At the earliest practicable date, the German economy shall be decentralised for the purpose of eliminating the present excessive concentration of economic power as exemplified in particular by cartels, syndicates, trusts and other monopolistic arrangements.
13. In organising the German economy, primary emphasis shall be given to the development of agriculture and peaceful domestic industries.
14. During the period of occupation Germany shall be treated as a single economic unit. To this end common policies shall be established in regard to:
(a) mining and industrial production and allocations;
(b) agriculture, forestry and fishing;
(c) wages, prices and rationing;
(d) import and export programmes for Germany as a whole;
(e) currency and banking, central taxation and customs;
(f) reparation and removal of industrial war potential;
(g) transportation and communications.
In applying these policies account shall be taken, where appropriate, of varying local conditions.
15. Allied controls shall be imposed upon the German economy but only to the extent necessary:
(a) to carry out programmes of industrial disarmament and demilitarisation, of reparations, and of approved exports and imports;
(b) to assure the production and maintenance of goods and services required to meet the needs of the occupying forces and displaced persons in Germany and essential to maintain in Germany average living standards not exceeding the average of the standards of living of European countries (European countries means all European countries excluding the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics);
(c) to ensure in the manner determined by the Control Council the equitable distribution of essential commodities between the several zones so as to produce a balanced economy throughout Germany and reduce the need for imports;
(d) to control German industry and all economic and financial international transactions, including exports and imports, with the aim of preventing Germany from developing a war potential and of achieving the other objectives named herein;
(e) to control all German public or private scientific bodies, research and experimental institutions, laboratories, etc., connected with economic activities.
16. In the imposition and maintenance of economic controls established by the Control Council, German administrative machinery shall be created and the German authorities shall be required to the fullest extent practicable to proclaim and assume administration of such controls. Thus it should be brought home to the German people that the responsibility for the administration of such controls and any breakdown in these controls will rest with themselves. Any German controls which may run counter to the objectives of occupation will be prohibited.
17. Measures shall be promptly taken:
(a) to effect essential repair of transport;
(b) to enlarge coal production;
(c) to maximise agricultural output; and
(d) to effect emergency repair of housing and essential utilities.
18. Appropriate steps shall be taken by the Control Council to exercise control and the power of disposition over German-owned external assets not already under the control of United Nations which have taken part in the war against Germany.
19. Payment of reparations should leave enough resources to enable the German people to subsist without external assistance. In working out the economic balance of Germany the necessary means must be provided to pay for imports approved by the Control Council in Germany. The proceeds of exports from current production and stocks shall be available in the first place for payment for such imports.
The above clause will not apply to the equipment and products referred to in paragraphs 4(a) and 4(b) of the Reparations Agreement.
Reparations from Germany
In accordance with the Crimea decision that Germany be compelled to compensate to the greatest possible extent for the loss and suffering that she has caused to the United Nations and for which the German people cannot escape responsibility, the following agreement on reparations was reached:
1. Reparation claims of the U.S.S.R. shall be met by removals from the zone of Germany occupied by the U.S.S.R. and from appropriate German external assets.
2. The U.S.S.R. undertakes to settle the reparation claims of Poland from its own share of reparations.
3. The reparation claims of the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries entitled to reparations shall be met from the Western zones and from appropriate German external assets.
4. In addition to the reparations to be taken by the U.S.S.R. from its own zone of occupation, the U.S.S.R. shall receive additionally from the Western zones:
(a) 15 per cent of such usable and complete industrial capital equipment, in the first place from the metallurgical, chemical and machine manufacturing industries, as is unnecessary for the German peace economy and should be removed from the Western zones of Germany, in exchange for an equivalent value of food, coal, potash, zinc, timber, clay products, petroleum products, and such other commodities as may be agreed upon.
(b) 10 per cent of such industrial capital equipment as is unnecessary for the German peace economy and should be removed from the Western zones, to be transferred to the Soviet Government on reparations account without payment or exchange of any kind in return.
Removals of equipment as provided in (a) and (b) above shall be made simultaneously.
5. The amount of equipment to be removed from the Western zones on account of reparations must be determined within six months from now at the latest.
6. Removals of industrial capital equipment shall begin as soon as possible and shall be completed within two years from the determination specified in Paragraph 5. The delivery of products covered by 4(a) above shall begin as soon as possible and shall be made by the U.S.S.R. in agreed instalments within five years of the date hereof. The determination of the amount and character of the industrial capital equipment unnecessary for the German peace economy and therefore available for reparations shall be made by the Control Council under policies fixed by the Allied Reparations Commission with the participation of France, subject to the final approval of the zone Commander in the zone from which the equipment is to be removed.
7. Prior to the fixing of the total amount of equipment subject to removal, advance deliveries shall be made in respect of such equipment as will be determined to be eligible for delivery in accordance with the procedure set forth in the last sentence of Paragraph 6.
8. The Soviet Government renounces all claims in respect of reparations to shares of German enterprises which are located in the Western zones of occupation in Germany as well as to German foreign assets in all countries except those specified in Paragraph 9 below.
9. The Governments of the U.K. and the U.S.A. renounce their claims in respect of reparations to shares of German
enterprises which are located in the Eastern zone of occupation in Germany, as well as to German foreign assets in Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Rumania and Eastern Austria.
10. The Soviet Government makes no claims to gold captured by the Allied troops in Germany.
Disposal of the German Navy and Merchant Marine
The Conference agreed in principle upon arrangements for the use and disposal of the surrendered German fleet and merchant ships. It was decided that the Three Governments would appoint experts to work out together detailed plans to give effect to the agreed principles. A further joint statement will be published simultaneously by the Three Governments in due course.
City of Königsberg and the Adjacent Area
The Conference examined a proposal by the Soviet Government that pending the final determination of territorial questions at the peace settlement, the section of the western frontier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics which is adjacent to the Baltic Sea should pass from a point on the eastern shore of the Bay of Danzig to the east, north of Braunsberg-Goldap, to the meeting point of the frontiers of Lithuania, the Polish Republic and East Prussia.
The Conference has agreed in principle to the proposal of the Soviet Government concerning the transfer to the Soviet Union of the City of Königsberg and the area adjacent to it as described above subject to expert examination of the actual frontier.
The President of the United States and the British Prime Minister have declared that they will support the proposal of the Conference at the forthcoming peace settlement.
The Three Governments have taken note of the discussions which have been proceeding in recent weeks in London between British, United States, Soviet and French representatives with a view to reaching agreement on the methods of trial of those major war criminals whose crimes under the Moscow Declaration of October 1943 have no particular geographical localisation. The Three governments reaffirm their intention to bring those criminals to swift and sure justice. They hope that the negotiations in London will result in speedy agreement being reached for this purpose, and they regard it as a matter of great importance that the trial of those major criminals should begin at the earliest possible date. The first list of defendants will be published before September 1.
The Conference examined a proposal by the Soviet Government on the extension of the authority of the Austrian Provisional Government to all of Austria.
The Three Governments agreed that they were prepared to examine this question after the entry of the British and American forces into the city of Vienna.
The Conference considered questions relating to the Polish Provisional Government and the western boundary of Poland.
On the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity they defined their attitude in the following statement:
A. We have taken note with pleasure of the agreement reached among representative Poles from Poland and abroad which has made possible the formation, in accordance with the decisions reached at the Crimea Conference, of
a Polish Provisional Government of National Unity recognised by the Three Powers. The establishment by the British and United States Governments of diplomatic relations with the Polish Provisional Government has resulted in the withdrawal of their recognition from the former Polish Government in London, which no longer exists.
The British and United States Governments have taken measures to protect the interest of the Polish Provisional Government as the recognised Government of the Polish State in the property belonging to the Polish State located in their territories and under their control, whatever the form of this property may be.
They have further taken measures to prevent alienation to third parties of such property. All proper facilities will be given to the Polish Provisional Government for the exercise of the ordinary legal remedies for the recovery of any property belonging to the Polish State which may have been wrongfully alienated.
The Three Powers are anxious to assist the Polish Provisional Government in facilitating the return to Poland as soon as practicable of all Poles abroad who wish to go, including members of the Polish Armed Forces and the Merchant Marine. They expect that those Poles who return home shall be accorded personal and property rights on the same basis as all Polish citizens.
The Three Powers note that the Polish Provisional Government in accordance with the decisions of the Crimea Conference has agreed to the holding of free and unfettered elections as soon as possible on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot in which all democratic and anti-Nazi parties shall have the right to take part and to put forward candidates, and that representatives of the Allied press shall enjoy full freedom to report to the world upon developments in Poland before and during the elections.
B. The following agreement was reached on the western frontier of Poland:
In conformity with the agreement on Poland reached at the Crimea Conference the three Heads of Government have sought the opinion of the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity in regard to the accession of territory in the north and west which Poland should receive. The President of the National Council of Poland and members of the Polish Provisional Government of National
Unity have been received at the Conference and have fully presented their views. The three Heads of Government reaffirmed their opinion that the final determination of the western frontier of Poland should await the peace settlement.
The three Heads of Government agree that, pending the final determination of Poland's western frontier, the former German territories east of a line running from the Baltic Sea immediately west of Swinemünde, and thence along the Oder River to the confluence of the western Neisse River and along the western Neisse to the Czechoslovak frontier, including that portion of East Prussia not placed under the administration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in accordance with the understanding reached at this Conference and including the area of the former free city of Danzig, shall be under the administration of the Polish State and for such purposes should not be considered as part of the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany.
Conclusion of Peace Treaties and Admission to the United Nations Organisation
The Conference agreed upon the following statement of common policy for establishing, as soon as possible, the conditions of lasting peace after victory in Europe:
The Three Governments consider it desirable that the present anomalous position of Italy, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary and Rumania should be terminated by the conclusion of Peace Treaties. They trust that the other interested Allied Governments will share these views.
For their part the Three Governments have included the preparation of a Peace Treaty for Italy as the first among the immediate important tasks to be undertaken by the new Council of Foreign Ministers. Italy was the first of the Axis Powers to break with Germany, to whose defeat she has made a material contribution, and has now joined with the Allies in the struggle against Japan. Italy has freed herself from the Fascist regime and is making good progress towards the re-establishment of a democratic government and institutions. The conclusion of such a Peace Treaty with a recognised and democratic Italian Government will make it
possible for the Three Governments to fulfil their desire to support an application from Italy for membership of the United Nations.
The Three Governments have also charged the Council of Foreign Ministers with the task of preparing Peace Treaties for Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary and Rumania. The conclusion of Peace Treaties with recognised democratic Governments in these States will also enable the Three Governments to support applications from them for membership of the United Nations. The Three Governments agree to examine each separately in the near future, in the light of the conditions then prevailing, the establishment of diplomatic relations with Finland, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Hungary to the extent possible prior to the conclusion of peace treaties with those countries.
The Three Governments have no doubt that in view of the changed conditions resulting from the termination of the war in Europe, representatives of the Allied press will enjoy full freedom to report to the world upon developments in Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland.
As regards the admission of other states into the United Nations Organisation, Article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations declares that:
"1. Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving States who accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgement of the organisation, are able and willing to carry out these obligations;
"2. The admission of any such State to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council."
The Three Governments, so far as they are concerned, will support applications for membership from those States which have remained neutral during the war and which fulfil the qualifications set out above.
The Three Governments feel bound however to make it clear that they for their part would not favour any application for membership put forward by the present Spanish Government, which, having been founded with the support of the Axis Powers, does not, in view of its origins, its nature, its record and its close association with the aggressor States, possess the qualifications necessary to justify such membership.
The Conference examined a proposal by the Soviet Government concerning trusteeship territories as defined in the decision of the Crimea Conference and in the Charter of the United Nations Organisation.
After an exchange of views on this question it was decided that the disposition of any former Italian colonial territories was one to be decided in connection with the preparation of a peace treaty for Italy and that the question of Italian colonial territories would be considered by the September Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
Revised Allied Control Commission Procedure in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary
The Three Governments took note that the Soviet representatives on the Allied Control Commissions in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary, have communicated to their United Kingdom and United States colleagues proposals for improving the work of the Control Commissions, now that hostilities in Europe have ceased.
The Three Governments agreed that the revision of the procedures of the Allied Control Commissions in these countries would now be undertaken, taking into account the interests and responsibilities of the Three Governments which together presented the terms of armistice to the respective countries, and accepting as a basis the agreed proposals.
Orderly Transfers of German Populations
The Conference reached the following agreement on the removal of Germans from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary:
The Three Governments, having considered the question in all its aspects, recognise that the transfer to Germany of
German populations, or elements thereof, remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, will have to be undertaken. They agree that any transfers that take place should be effected in an orderly and humane manner. Since the influx of a large number of Germans into Germany would increase the burden already resting on the occupying authorities, they consider that the Allied Control Council in Germany should in the first instance examine the problem with special regard to the question of the equitable distribution of these Germans among the several zones of occupation. They are accordingly instructing their respective representatives on the Control Council to report to their Governments as soon as possible the extent to which such persons have already entered Germany from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, and to submit an estimate of the time and rate at which further transfers could be carried out, having regard to the present situation in Germany.
The Czechoslovak Government, the Polish Provisional Government and the Control Council in Hungary are at the same time being informed of the above, and are being requested meanwhile to suspend further expulsions pending the examination by the Governments concerned of the report from their representatives on the Control Council.
During the Conference there were meetings between the Chiefs of Staff of the Three Governments on military matters of common interest.
[Here a list of the U.S.S.R., the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom delegates to the Conference is given.]
Harry S. Truman
C. R. Attlee
The Berlin Conference of the Three Heads of Government of the U.S.S.R., U.S.A., and U.K., which took place from July 17 to August 2, 1945, came to the following conclusions:
Establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers
A. The. Conference reached the following agreement for the establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers to do the necessary preparatory work for the peace settlements:
"(1) There shall be established a Council composed of the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, France and the United States.
"(2) (i) The Council shall normally meet in London, which shall be the permanent seat of the joint Secretariat which the Council will form. Each of the Foreign Ministers will be accompanied by a high-ranking Deputy, duly authorised to carry on the work of the Council in the absence of his Foreign Minister, and by a small staff of technical advisers.
"(ii) The first meeting of the Council shall be held in London not later than September 1st, 1945. Meetings may be held by common agreement in other capitals as may be agreed from time to time.
"(3) (i) As its immediate important task, the Council shall be authorised to draw up, with a view to their submission to the United Nations, treaties of peace with Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland, and to propose settlements of territorial questions outstanding on the termination of the war in Europe. The Council shall be utilised for the preparation of a peace settlement for Germany to be accepted by the Government of Germany when a government adequate for the purpose is established.
"(ii) For the discharge of each of these tasks the Council will be composed of the Members representing those States which were signatory to the terms of surrender imposed
upon the enemy State concerned. For the purposes of the peace settlement for Italy, France shall be regarded as a signatory to the terms of surrender for Italy. Other Members will be invited to participate when matters directly concerning them are under discussion.
"(iii) Other matters may from time to time be referred, to the Council by agreement between the Member Governments.
"(4) (i) Whenever the Council is considering a question of direct interest to a State not represented thereon, such State should be invited to send representatives to participate in the discussion and study of that question.
"(ii) The Council may adapt its procedure to the particular problem under consideration. In some cases it may hold its own preliminary discussions prior to the participation of other interested States. In other cases, the Council may convoke a formal conference of the States chiefly interested in seeking a solution of the particular problem."
B. It was agreed that the Three Governments should each address an identical invitation to the Governments of China and France to adopt this text and to join in establishing the Council. The text of the approved invitation was as follows:
Draft for Identical Invitation To Be Sent Separately by Each of the Three Governments to the Governments of China and France
"The Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States and the U.S.S.R. consider it necessary to begin without delay the essential preparatory work upon the peace settlements in Europe. To this end they are agreed that there should be established a Council of the Foreign Ministers of the Five Great Powers to prepare treaties of peace with the European enemy States, for submission to the United Nations. The Council would also be empowered to propose settlements of outstanding territorial questions in
Europe and to consider such other matters as Member Governments might agree to refer to it.
"The text adopted by the Three Governments is as follows:
"In agreement with the Governments of ... the Government of ... extends a cordial invitation to the Government of China (France) to adopt the text quoted above and to join in setting up the Council.
"The Government of ... attaches much importance to the participation of the Chinese Government (French Government) in the proposed arrangements and it hopes to receive an early and favourable reply to this invitation."
C. It was understood that the establishment of the Council of Foreign Ministers for the specific purposes named in the text would be without prejudice to the agreement of the Crimea Conference that there should be periodical consultation between the Foreign Secretaries of the United States, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom.
D. The Conference also considered the position of the European Advisory Commission in the light of the agreement to establish the Council of Foreign Ministers. It was noted with satisfaction that the Commission had ably discharged its principal tasks by the recommendations that it had furnished for the terms of surrender for Germany, for the zones of occupation in Germany and Austria and for the inter-Allied control machinery in those countries. It was felt that further work of a detailed character for the coordination of Allied policy for the control of Germany and Austria would in future fall within the competence of the Allied Control Commission at Berlin and the Allied Commission at Vienna. Accordingly the Conference agreed to recommend to the Member Governments of the European Advisory Commission that the Commission might now be dissolved.
[The subsequent text is omitted, as it is repeated in the Communiqué on the Tripartite Conference of Berlin. – Editor's Note.]
Disposal of the German Navy and Merchant Marine
The following principles for the distribution of the German Navy were agreed:
(1) The total strength of the German surface navy, excluding ships sunk and those taken over from Allied Nations, but including ships under construction or repair, shall be divided equally among the U.S.S.R., U.K., and U.S.
(2) Ships under construction or repair mean those ships whose construction or repair may be completed within three to six months, according to the type of ship. Whether such ships under construction or repair shall be completed or repaired shall be determined by the technical commission appointed by the Three Powers and referred to below, subject to the principle that their completion or repair must be achieved within the time limits above provided, without any increase of skilled employment in the German shipyards and without permitting the reopening of any German ship building or connected industries. Completion date means the date when a ship is able to go out on its first trip, or, under peace-time standards, would refer to the customary date of delivery by shipyard to the Government.
(3) The larger part of the German submarine fleet shall be sunk. Not more than thirty submarines shall be preserved and divided equally between the U.S.S.R., U.K. and the U.S. for experimental and technical purposes.
(4) All stocks of armament, ammunition and supplies of the German Navy appertaining to the vessels transferred pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (3) hereof shall be handed over to the respective Powers receiving such ships.
(5) The Three Governments agree to constitute a tripartite naval commission comprising two representatives for each Government, accompanied by the requisite staff, to submit agreed recommendations to the Three Governments for the allocation of specific German warships and to handle other detailed matters arising out of the agreement between the Three Governments regarding the German
fleet. The Commission will hold its first meeting not later than 15th August, 1945, in Berlin, which shall be its headquarters. Each Delegation on the Commission will have the right on the basis of reciprocity to inspect German warships wherever they may be located.
(6) The Three Governments agreed that transfers, including those of ships under construction and repair, shall be completed as soon as possible, but not later than 15th February, 1946. The Commission will submit fortnightly reports, including proposals for the progressive allocation of the vessels when agreed by the Commission.
The following principles for the distribution of the German Merchant Marine were agreed.
(1) The German Merchant Marine, surrendered to the Three Powers and wherever located, shall be divided equally among the U.S.S.R., the U.K., and the U.S. The actual transfers of the ships to the respective countries shall take place as soon as practicable after the end of the war against Japan. The United Kingdom and the United States will provide out of their shares of the surrendered German merchant ships appropriate amounts for other Allied States whose merchant marines have suffered heavy losses in the common cause against Germany, except that the Soviet Union shall provide out of its share for Poland.
(2) The allocation, manning, and operation of these ships during the Japanese War period shall fall under the cognizance and authority of the Combined Shipping Adjustment Board and the United Maritime Authority.
(3) While actual transfer of the ships shall be delayed until after the end of the war with Japan, a Tripartite Shipping Commission shall inventory and value all available ships and recommend a specific distribution in accordance with Paragraph (1).
(4) German inland and coastal ships determined to be necessary to the maintenance of the basic German peace economy by the Allied Control Council of Germany shall not be included in the shipping pool thus divided among the Three Powers.
(5) The Three Governments agree to constitute a tripartite merchant marine commission comprising two representatives
for each Government, accompanied by the requisite staff, to submit agreed recommendations to the Three Governments for the allocation of specific German merchant ships and to handle other detailed matters arising out of the agreement between the Three Governments regarding the German merchant ships. The Commission will hold its first meeting not later than September 1st, 1945, in Berlin, which shall be its headquarters. Each delegation on the Commission will have the right on the basis of reciprocity to inspect the German merchant ships wherever they may be located.
[The subsequent text is omitted, as it is repeated in the Communiqué on the Tripartite Conference of Berlin. – Editor's Note.]
It was agreed that Allied troops should be withdrawn immediately from Tehran, and that further stages of the withdrawal of troops from Iran should be considered at the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in London in September 1945.
The International Zone of Tangier
A proposal by the Soviet Government was examined and the following decisions were reached.
Having examined the question of the Zone of Tangier, the Three Governments have agreed that this Zone, which includes the City of Tangier and the area adjacent to it, in view of its special strategic importance shall remain international.
The question of Tangier will be discussed in the near future at a meeting in Paris of representatives of the Governments of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France.
The Black Sea Straits
The Three Governments recognised that the Convention concluded at Montreux should be revised, as failing to meet present-day conditions.
It was agreed that as the next step the matter should be the subject of direct conversations between each of the Three Governments and the Turkish Government.
International Inland Waterways
The Conference considered a proposal of the U.S. Delegation on this subject and agreed to refer it for consideration to the forthcoming meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers in London.
European Inland Transport Conference
The British and U.S. Delegations to the Conference informed the Soviet Delegation of the desire of the British and U.S. Governments to reconvene the European Inland Transport Conference and stated that they would welcome assurance that the Soviet Government would participate in the work of the reconvened Conference. The Soviet Government agreed that it would participate in this Conference.
Directives to Military Commanders on Allied Control Council for Germany
The Three Governments agreed that each would send a directive to its representative on the Control Council concerning questions coming within the scope of his competence.
Use of Allied Property for Satellite Reparations or "War Trophies"
The Conference decided to accept in principle the proposal of the American Delegation. [ ... ] The wording of this proposal is to be agreed upon through the diplomatic channel.
[The subsequent text is omitted, as it is repeated in the Communiqué on the Tripartite Conference of Berlin – Editor's Note.]
Harry S. Truman
C. R. Attlee
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