Volume #13 - 101.|
EUROPEAN PEACE SETTLEMENT
COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS
MOSCOW MEETING (MARCH-APRIL)
Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs|
March 4, 1947|
GERMAN PEACE SETTLEMENT|
The Special Deputies for Germany concluded their meetings in London without having reached agreement as to procedure for associating the other allied states in the preparation of a German settlement. In the discussions on this subject which took place in the meetings of the Special Deputies there was general agreement that consultation with the other Allies should take place in two ways:
1. Through an Information and Consultation Committee consisting of representatives of the big four plus representations of other belligerent allies. Information in regard to progress being made in the Council of Foreign Ministers would be transmitted to the other Powers through this committee. The views of the associated Allies would also be transmitted to the Council of Foreign Ministers by this means.
2. A series of Working Committees on particular subjects. There were various proposals for the establishment of Working Committees consisting of the representatives of the big four and of selected other states which would prepare papers on particular subjects.
The Special Deputies failed to reach agreement in regard either to the composition of the terms of reference of these Committees and there will not, therefore, be any agreed report in this regard sent forward to the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Moscow.
The Commonwealth High Commissioners and United Kingdom authorities have, meanwhile, been carrying on subsequent discussions on the subject of procedure. As a result of these conversations, the United Kingdom authorities have now circulated a revised plan for procedure which they are prepared to put forward in Moscow. This plan makes the following provisions for participation in the preparation of the settlement by the associated states:
1. Allied states would be given full opportunity to present their views on the German problem to the Ministers or the Deputies;
2. An Information and Consultation Committee would be set up during sessions of the Council or Deputies, composed of representatives of Foreign Ministers and representatives of allied states wishing to take part. The purpose of this committee would be to inform Governments of the Allied states on the work of the Council in the preparation of the settlement and to communicate the principal documentation of the Council in this regard. It would also provide for the circulation amongst allies of their views on the subject, and for the communication of these views to the Foreign Ministers. It would, as well, be a forum for the discussion of questions of general interest;
3. Committees and Sub-committees for the discussion and study (including the preparation of preliminary draft articles) of questions arising in connection with the preparation of the peace treaty. Such Committees and Sub-committees would be composed of representatives of the four powers and, on the invitation of the Council of Foreign Ministers or of the Deputies, of a convenient number of representatives drawn from allied states, including those with direct interest in the particular matter under study;
4. Commissions of Enquiry to conduct studies in particular areas might be appointed by the Deputies.
The revised United Kingdom plan goes further to meet the Canadian point of view than any of the proposals considered by the Special Deputies. We have always recognized that the Council of Foreign Ministers must, in practice, take primary though not exclusive responsibility for initiating the process of peace making. The revised United Kingdom plan provides, however, that representatives of the Allied states may be fully informed concerning the work of drafting and that they may also be included in the actual preparation of draft articles through the work of the Committees or Sub-committees. It is true that the composition of these Committees remains within the control of the Council of Foreign Ministers. If, however, the terms of reference as set forth in the United Kingdom plan were adopted, the allies would have an opportunity to do effective and useful work at an early stage in the preparation of the settlement.
The revised United Kingdom plan appears to have commended itself to the other Commonwealth Governments with the exception of Australia, which is profoundly dissatisfied with all the proposals.
It is suggested that the High Commissioner for Canada in London be authorized to continue discussions with the United Kingdom authorities and with other Commonwealth countries concerning the proposals contained in the revised United Kingdom proposals described above. It is also suggested that he be authorized to indicate to the United Kingdom Government that Canada will not refuse to accept the procedure set forth in these proposals, if nothing better can be secured. He should state, at the same time that they appear to provide the minimum of participation with which this Government could be satisfied.
It should be understood that if the United Kingdom plan is accepted, a number of Canadian experts would have to be made available for work on the proposed committee, probably for a period of some months.
21Le Cabinet approuva la recommandation le 6 mars.