Publication: The Daily Telegraph

Full Citation

  • Title Potsdam Decides on Germany's Future
  • Author By Our Diplomatic Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Daily Telegraph
  • Collection The Daily Telegraph
  • Date Friday,  Aug. 3, 1945
  • Issue Number 28121
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The Telegraph Media Group
  • Copyright Statement © Telegraph Media Group Limited.
POTSDAM DECIDES ON GERMANY'S FUTURE SWEEPING PLANS TO FETTER REICH ENEMY AREAS GOING TO RUSSIA & POLAND SPAIN IS EXCLUDED FROM UNITED NATIONS BY OUR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT Germany is to be completely disarmed and her war potential destroyed or fettered as the - result of important decisions reached at the Three-Power Conference in Potsdam. This was announced last night in a 6,000words report on the Conference which was issued simultaneously in London, Washington and Moscow. [Full text, P3.] Far-reaching proposals on the Reich's future economy show that emphasis is to be given to the development of agriculture and domestic industries. Cartels and other monopolies are to be broken up. Besides making reparation to the Allies, Germany is to lose considerable areas of territory to Russia and Poland. A Council of the Foreign Ministers of Britain, the United States, Russia, France and China is to be formed to draft peace treaties and propose settlements of territorial problems. London will be its normal meeting-place. The first meeting will be held before Sept. 1. Spain, " having been founded with the support of the Axis Powers," is not to be included in the United Nations Organisation while under the control of her present Government. The disposition of former Italian territories is to be decided in the preparation of a peace treaty with Italy. The question will be considered by the Council of Foreign Ministers next month. The document dismisses the subject of " military talks" in this single sentence: "During the Conference there were meetings between the Chiefs of Staff of the three Governments on military matters of common interest." It is signed by Marshal Stalin, President Truman and Mr. Attlee. Historians may note with regret that the signature of Mr. Churchill, who attended most of the meetings is absent. NO E.4RLY PE^CE SETTLEMENT A striking feature of the report is the difference in the treatment of Germany and that of Italy and the satellite States. For Germany there is no question of an early peace settlement. The report provides for an indefinite period of occupation, during which supreme authority will be exercised D M M m m m M t B v a B [ s M g A M j t l g a h d m P P f C t s g o a d s i g P t p p m g by the Allied Commandersin-Chief and the Control Council. "So far as is practicable, there shall be uniformity of treatment of the German population throughout Germany." the report says. Everything wiH be done " to convince the German people that they have suffered a totai military defeat and that they cannot escape responsibility for what they have brought upon themselves." REGIONAL CONTROL No Central Government At the same time the Allies will prepare for the eventual reconstruction of German political life on a democratic basis and for eventual peaceful co-operation in International life by Germany. Also—and this is a capital point—the administration of affairs in Germany will be directed towards the decentralisation of the political structure and the development of local responsibility. This does not mean that Germany wiH be split up. as has been suggested in some quarters, into separate sovereign States. It does mean, however, that regional and local governing bodies, formed on the basis of free elections, will be encouraged to accept responsibility and to develop the cultural and economic resources of the areas under their control. The three Powers declare that, for the time being, no central German Government will be established, but they promise, following the Russian example, that ail democratic political parties with rights of assembly and of public discussion will be allowed and encouraged. WAR POTENTIAL GONE MonopoHes to be Broken Production which can be turned to warlike purposes will be abolished or strictly controlled, but emphasis will be given to the development of agriculture and Peaceful domestic industries. At the same time cartels, syndicates. trusts and monopolies which have wielded excessive Power in the past will be progressively broken up. and the entire German economy will be kept Under such controls as are necessary to carry out industrial disarmament and demilitarisation and to collect reparations. Italy and the satellite States, on the other hand, are given the Prospect of an early peace settle- b o c r a c o U p ment and return to the community of law-abiding nations under their own democratic regimes. Other main decisions taken at! t-ne Conference, or subjects disbussed by the delegates and reborded in the report, include the following: TE!tK!T<)R!AL QUESTIONS.— ^fter rioting the setting up of th - Polish Government of National Union and the undertaking to hold free elections, the three Powers," pending the Anal determination of Poland's western frontier," agreed to the provisional transfer to Poland of all German territory east of the Oder and Neisse rivers. This would give the Poles, among other things, the former Danzig Corridor. They also agreed to support the transfer of Koenigsberg and the surrounding territory to Russia. The three Governments agreed that all transfers of German populations should be made in an orderly manner. The Polish and Czechoslovak Governments and the Control Council in Hungary are being asked to suspend further expulsions of Germans from their territories pending the examination by the Governments concerned of a report from their representatives on the Control Council. MEETING CLAIMS Zones Payment Plan REPARATIONS. — The three Powers reached a detailed agreement on reparations from Germany. Those destined for Russia wili be met from German external assets and by removal from the Russian-occupied zone. Those for Britain, the United States and other countries will be met from external assets and by removal from the western occupied zones. Polish claims will be met from the Russian share, and the claims of western and Mediterranean countries from the British and American shares. Russia wil! receive, in addition. 15 per cent, of industrial equipment from Western Germany in return for deliveries of food and raw materials and a further 10 per cent, without payment. Russia makes no claim to gold captured by the Allied troops in Germany. PEACE TREATIES.—The Conference discussed the conclusion of peace treaties with Italy and the satellite States, and the admission of other States to the United Nations Organisation. AUSTRIA.—After examining a proposal by the Soviet Government for the extension of the authority of the Austrian Provisional Government [that of Dr. Rennerl to the whole of Austria, the three Governments agreed to examine this question after the entry of the British and American forces into Vienna. WAR CRIMINALS.—The three Powers take note of the proceedings of the London conference on the trial of major war criminals, The first list of defendants will be published before Sept. 1. ! f;o\TR()L COMMfSSfONS.— The three Powers agree to revise the procedure of the Allied Control Commissions in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary, taking due account of the interests and responsibilities of the three Governments.