Full Citation

  • Title Potsdam Decides Future Of Germany
  • Author From Our Diplomatic Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Times
  • Collection The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2008
  • Date Friday,  Aug. 3, 1945
  • Issue Number 50211
  • Page Number 4
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library Times Newspapers Limited
  • Copyright Statement © Times Newspapers Limited.
POTSDAM DECIDES FUTURE OF GERMANY STRICT CONTROL OF POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT NEW FIVE-POWER COUNCIL TO MEET IN LONDON REPARATIONS SETTLEMENT Three-Power decisions on the future of Germany and on wider European problems are made known in a long report issued last night at the conclusion of the Potsdam conference. The outstanding results, are GERMANY Supreme authority will remain with the Allied Control Council in Berlin. Germany will be completely disarmed and demilitarized. All German war industries will be eliminated or controlled. No German central Government will be established for some time. Political parties will be allowed, but the electoral system will be only gradually developed, beginning with local elections. Industrial cartels and monopolies will be eradicated. The allies will control Germany as an economic whole. REPARATIONS The reparations claims of the U.S.S.R. and Poland will be met mainly by industrial removals from the Soviet zone of occupation. The claims of the United Kingdom, the United States, and other allies will be met from the western zones. All removals will be completed within two years. FRONTIERS The westerri allies will support the Soviet claims to Konigsberg and the northern triangle of East Prussia. Poland will take -over the administration of the rest of East Prussia and all German territory to the east of the Oder-Neisse line-the frontier which Poland claims. ALLIED UNITY France and China have been invited to join a Five-Power Council of Foreign Ministers which will normally meet in London. PEACE TREATIES This Five-Power Council will draw up treaties of peace with Italy and-as it is found possible-with ex-satellite countries in eastern Europe. Peace will be made with Germany when eventually a central German Government is established. WORLD ORGANIZATION Governents neutral during the war may join the United Nations organization, but the Franco r6gime is excluded. The text of the report, more than 6,000 words long, was issued simultaneously in London, Washington, and Moscow. It is given in full on page 8. KONIGSBERG FOR RUSSIA POLISH CONTROL IN E. GERMANY From Our Diplomatic Correspondent The Potsdam conference has imposed rules on Germany which are stern and drastic, but are framed to allow the German people, after a long pe"riod of supervision and gradual political development, to take their place among the free peoples of the world. " The German people," it is said, " have begun to atone for the terrible crimes committed under the leadership of thosc whom, in the hour of their success, they openly approved and blindly obeyed." One of the purposes of the allied occupation is declared to be: "To convince the German people that they have suffered a total military d,efeat. and that they cannot escape responsibility for what they have brought upon themselves." Neither can they escape responsibility, it is said, for the loss and sufrering caused to the United Nations; they must make compensation ' to the fullest possible extent." That is one side of the rules drawn up for Germanv. As foreshadowed, the German chapters in the 6,000-word report are the longest, the most precise, and the most detailed. Consideration of what to do with Germany took up much of the time during the 15 days of discussion. When Mr. Churchill and Mr. Attlee first went to Potsdam on July 16 there was the manifest danger of a wide divergence between the policies of the western allies on the one side and the Soviet policy on the other. While the western allies were still banning political activity, the Russians were encouraging it almost on an eastcrn European pattern. The report shows that a high degree of unaniimity has been achieved. UNIFORM TREATMENT The passages affecting Germany can be put under four main heads: political. economic, reparations, and frontier changes. It is laid down that, so far as is practicable, there shall be uniformity of treatment of the German population throughout Germany. All traces of militarism, including the General Staff, and all traces of the National-Socialist organizations, "shall be completely and finally removed." Only those persons who, by their political and moral qualities, are deemed capable of helping democratic reconstruction shall be given office. At ihast, the whole political structurc of Germany will bc decentralized; that is0to say, there will be only local sclfrgovernment to begin with, and the first public clections will be held for local cotincils. When they are seen te be successful, elections may be allowed for regional, provincial and State administrations. It will be a gradual process, with the Germans proving themselves at each stage. Even so it may be several months before even the locai elections can be allowed. No centrlI German Government can be envisaged yet. Supreme authority rests with the four allied commanders of the zones of occupation, both separately in their own zones, and collectively in the Allied Control Council. But a few central German departments, under German officials, will be set up to assist the Control Council in transport, finance, foreign trade and industry. Economically, the disarmament proposals are no less stringent. Germany will not oe allowed to produce any war material of any description or any aircraft or sea-going vessels. The power of industrial cartels and syndicates will be scattered. German economy will be almost entirely controlled in every field to ensure disarmament and the payment of reparations, and to reduce the need for imports while at the same time maintaining in Germany living standards not exceeding the average of the standards of living of European countries," excluding Great Britain and the U.S.S.R. While being required to pay heavily, the Germans are assured of an adequate livelihood, and the unity of their economic structure is guaranteed. There will be a single currency. a single scale of wages and prices, a single taxation system. The chapter on reparations does not -ive the valie of goods to be taken frpm Germany; nor does it confirimi (or deny) the reports thit the U.S.S.R. will take rather more than hall of the total agrecd upon, while Great Britain and the United States take rather less thaii a quarter eacti. What it does say is that the U.S.S.R. will mainly take its share fromn eastern Germany andi satisfy Poland's claim as well. Russia will also take * appropriate German external assets "-" appropriate," denoting assets in eastern Europe. Furthermore, as Russia claims more than can be satisfied from eastern Germany, she will also be given from the western zones 10 per cent. of "such usable and complete industrial capital equipment as is unnecessary for the German peace economy and should bc removed from the western zones of Germany." That 10 per cent. would bc in direct reparation. In addition she will receive a further 15 per cent. of western industrial equipment in exchange for raw materials. The western allics will take their share from the western zones and external assets in the west. REDUCED INDUSTRIES A decisive point emerges from a study of the text. The only form or payment specified is industrial capital equipment unnecessary for the Gernian peace economy." This sutgests that no manufactured goods are contemplated; only factories and factory equipment. Reparation will result in a measure of de-industrializa.- tion. All factories and enterprises not necessary for a peace economy will be marked tor removal. The amount and character of what is to be removed shall be detcrmined by the Allied Control Council, and the whole proccss will be over within two years after the council's assessment. On Germany's future frontiers the report makes it clear that Konigsberg and the northern triangle of East Prussia will go to the Soviet Union. The three Powers evidently found it harder to agree on Poland's claim to the Oder-Neisse line; it is left over for the peace settlement. But, significantly enough, Poland takes over the administration of all the territory which, with Soviet support, she is claiming. The Allied Control Council is to decide both the time and the rate at which Germans shall in futuire be transferred from these-territories as well as from the Sudetenland and from Hungary. In that way confusion is to be avoided. No mention is made of Ihe French proposal for special international r;gimes in the Rhiineland and Rtihr. So far as the ftiture of Germany can be made precise, the conference appears to have made it so, The threce Powers have also agreed that Italy is to be offered a peace treaty; and, no less firmly, that the present Spanisl Government shall be exchtided from the United Nations organization. They are more hesitant in their approach to the new regimes in the lormer satellite countries of eastern Europe-Rtimania, Bulgaria, and Hungaryand Finland. It may be deduced from the report that the Soviet Union wished them to he offered peace treaties fairly soon. But the western allies have not yet recognized the regimes and wish to make ftirther inquirics into their nature. Can ihey bc said to fulfil the "dcmocratic" condition laid down in the Crimean formula on European reconstruction ? Reports, coming cspecially from Rumania and Bulgaria, descrihe the repression of many political parties and the formation of a solid Government bloc; and that is why the Western allies have so far hesitated. The further consideration of these problems, and others left over by the Potsdam conference, will be made in a new allied council. The establishment of this new council is described in the second chapter of the report. France and China have been invited to send their Foreign Ministers and advisers to join the Foreign Secretaries of Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union in a FivePower Council of Foreign Ministers. This council is to meet in London not later than September l; its secretariat will be established here, and it will normally meet here, although it may meet elsewhere as is found convenient. It will act as the inner council of the United Nations, and its first task will be to prepare the peace treaty with Italy. It will then prepare other peace treaties. Its formation will be greatly welcomed; the grievances of France and China, who have felt themselves excluded from the highest councils, will be largely removed. The Potsdam conference set out to prepare for the peace settlement. There are some gaps in the report. The silence over Turkey and the Straits and over Persia's application for the withdrawal of allied troops suggests that these matters met difficulties and have been left over for further consideration. The three Powers, equally evidently, found it hard to agree over the eastern European regimes. But what is done is solid and massive, and the three heads of Government have parted, as they say, with renewed confidence in the creation of a just and enduring peace.