Full Citation

  • Title De Gaulle Says France, 'Big 3' Clash on Reich
  • Author Higgins, Marguerite
  • Publication Title New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Collection New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Date Saturday,  Oct. 13, 1945
  • Issue Number 19498
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication Paris, France
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The New York Times Company
De Gaulle Says France, ‘Big 3’ Clash on Reich Opposes Potsdam Plan For Treating Germany As an Economic Whole Council Delegates Block All Efforts Insist Allies Rule First 0,n Rhineland, Ruhr By Marguerite Higgins General Charles de Gaulle con¬ firmed yesterday at a press con¬ ference that' Prance is in conflict with Britain, the United States and Russia over the Potsdam decision to treat Germany as an economic whole. He made it clear that Prance's representatives on the four-power Control Council governing Ger¬ many from Berlin will continue to block the efforts of the other three powers to fulfill this key section of the Potsdam agreement. They are under orders to refuse even to discuss the matter -until the Allies have come to a decision on the French proposals for the detach¬ ment of the Palatinate and the Rhineland and the internationaliza¬ tion of the Ruhr. This -impasse between the Allies was brought out this week in Berlin when the other three Allies proposed establishing central admi¬ nistrative departments there to begin handling economic problems for Germany as a whole. The French replied that they could not even discuss this matter because of their instructions. This blocked proceedings, since decisions must be unanimous. Not Bound by Potsdam Explaining- Prance’s stand, a spokesman for the French Foreign Office said after the press confer¬ ence that, to begin with, France was not a party to the Potsdam conference and did not feel bound by its decisions. France is in principle opposed to the establishment of central admi¬ nistrative departments because this encourages the resurgence of Ger¬ many as a unified and potentially dangerous country, he said. Further, Fr’ance believes that it is pointless to talk of over-all eco¬ nomic control of Germany until the fate of the Rhineland and the Ruhr are settled. The spokesman pointed out that if, as France de¬ sires, these sections are separated from the rest of Germany the whole economic situation would change. It would be silly to set up, for instance, a mining direc¬ torate to handle the Ruhr problems from Berlin if, in the long run, the coal mines are to be internationa¬ lized. It would mean going to the effort of setting up one kind of administrative machinery only to have it discarded if Internationa¬ lization is decided upon, he main¬ tained. Decision Sought for a Year It was emphasized that France has been trying for the past year, without success, to nave the Allies make a decision on her proposals for the Ruhr and the Rhineland. Now the French intend to stand firm in their refusal to discuss the Potsdam plans fpr treating Ger¬ many as an economic unit until the Allies consider their own economic proposals for Germany. The spokesman also revealed that France’s opposition to various sec¬ tions of the Potsdam agreement had been put before the Foreign Ministers’ Conference by Georges Bidault. General de Gaulle was in a con¬ fident and jovial mood at his press conference yesterday which in spite of the impending ejections dealt mainly with foreign affairs. Four hundred reporters crowded into the lush brocade-panneled walls of the former Ministry of War in the Rue Saint-Dominiqde. Seated .at an ornate satinwood desk, General de Gaulle drew ap¬ plause from the French reporters in answersing the main question on Germany. The question was put this way. “It is said in Berlin that it is the French attitude that is blocking the establishment of central ad¬ ministrative departments for Ger¬ many as outlined at Potsdam. The explanation is that General- Koenig has received orders not to discuss the questioh until the Ruhr and ' Rhineland problems are solved. Is there a possibility of change in those instructions 'and thus in the French attitude?” Three Invasions in 70 Years General de Gaulle, emphasizing his words by pounding his fist on the satinwood desk, said with emo¬ tion: “I can answer that very simply. France is a country that has been invaded three times in the last seventy years. We do not want ahy more Reich.” In answer to a wide variety of questions General de Gaulle made, the following main points: 1. In answer to a question from an American reporter as to whether there would be a retrial for Pierre Laval, former Vichy Foreign-Min¬ ister condemned to a traitor's death by the High Court of Jus¬ tice. the General said: “Certainly not.'' The trial, after some stormy interchanges between Laval and Presiding Judge Pierre Mongi- beaux, was conducted without the presence of the defendant or his defense attorneys. Laval refused to attend the tria! on grounds that (Continued on page 3, Col. 6) De Gaulle Says (Continued from page 1) the court was prejudiced! and un¬ just. 2 General de Gaulle emphasized that his recent trip t£> Brussels had met with great success. He hoped it would result in closer economic and political collaboration. 3. He said France was not wor¬ ried about the British and Ameri¬ can monopoly on the atomic bomb saying, with a smile, "We think we have plenty of time.” 4 Speaking of Spain, he said France could not resume complete relations with that country until it had become a real democracy, He concluded by briefly men¬ tioning the long road France had traveled under his leadership. Pointing to the coming elections, he said France was approaching them in the fashion of a lucid country “master of its destiny.” He 'added at the conference, which will be the last befbre the gen¬ eral elections of October 21, that his Provisional Government had attempted to guard the empire, restore national unity, assure - a healthy resumption of French .economic life, preserve order and lead the country to a point where elections could be held. -It is this program which the country will have to judge, he said. France does not desire the an¬ nexation of the Rhineland, General de Gaulle said in reply to a ques¬ tion on his views on the Rhineland problem, but would welcome the co-operation of the former auton¬ omous states of which the Rhine¬ land is composed. Gives Views on Germany As the general explained his views, Germany has consisted in the past of several countries. Prus¬ sia, t.eated by its kings, realized German unity more by force than persuasion. German unity has been the cause of several European wars. France has been its victim three times. But today Prussia has dis¬ appeared, -and consequently one looks in vain for Germany. As there are Germans, so there are Germanys. In the Rhine Basin there is a region composed of very different countries. There is the Palatinate, Hesse, the Saar. Baden, the Rhen¬ ish Province, Wurtemberg. All these, thanks to our own and our Allies’ victory all these countries are at present occupied by French troops and come under French re¬ sponsibility. They must live with us for some time. This implies numerous relations with us in the military, economic and moral fields. France has no desire to annex these countries. “During my re¬ cent. trip in Germany,” General de Gaulle said, “I saw that both the inhabitants and the; French author¬ ities realized the situation per¬ fectly. We wish to have co-opera¬ tion. and they, the inhabitants, too, seem to desire this co-operation, or at least they are not averse to it. Is their attitude sincere? The future will show us.” General de Gaulle also explained what he means by the “internation¬ alization of the Ruhr.” "The Ruhr,” he said, “can yield 140.000,000 tons of coal yearly. This coal before the war went partly to France, partly to Italy and partly to Switzerland and the Balkan countries, but very largely to German industry. The Allies are in agreement that the Ruhr indus¬ try must be reduced to a very great extent. Thus huge coal stocks will be available for distribution on an international plan. Only an inter¬ national body can do this. Inter¬ national solidarity created by the surplus Ruhr coal would be an ex¬ cellent thing. It would be one of the elements of a future world understanding.”