Volume #15 - 1006.|
EUROPE, UNION SOVIÉTIQUE ET MOYEN‑ORIENT
Note du chef, direction de l'Europe
le 17 juillet 1950|
CANADIAN POLICY TOWARD GERMANY|
From May, 1945, until the failure of the London meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers in December, 1947, the Canadian attitude toward Germany was rather like that of a hunter toward a dead duck‑a little worried that it might come back to life, a little interested in what should be done with the carcass, and, most of all, concerned that his part in disposing of the carcass should reflect his part in shooting the bird down.
2. To take leave of the metaphor, we in Canada began by thinking of a German settlement in terms of a formal peace treaty in which we should take an adequate part. Early in 1948, however, other events began to change our thinking. It was clear that this moribund area was capable of producing badly needed goods and the Marshall formula pointed the way in which this potential capacity could be put to good use. Furthermore, the internal conditions in Germany were unhealthy and if left in that condition could result in communist domination of the entire area. In short, we realized that regardless of whether a treaty settlement of Germany was achieved or not some degree of industrial revival was essential to European recovery and world trade on which Canada largely subsists. It was also obvious that if Germany was to be denied to communism its internal economic and political stability must be secured.
3. The Soviet Union, however, had shown every indication that it did not intend to permit a settlement of these problems either in the short run by a four‑power agreement or in the long run by a formal peace settlement. Enormous difficulties confronted the Western Powers if they were to attempt to solve these problems for their zones of occupation without a peace settlement. The U,S.S.R. could not be permanently excluded by any arrangements they made. The French and other European neighbours of Germany were justifiably afraid of a German industrial revival which would include an increase in its war‑making capability. These limitations had to be reconciled with the necessity of the United States and United Kingdom to get rid of their heavy financial burdens resulting from German industrial paralysis. Moreover, if Western Germany was to be saved from communism their desperately low standards of living had to be raised. To meet this situation the Western Powers had to reconcile wide differences of opinion among themselves and produce a solution which would not provoke the U.S.SK unduly. Considering the complexity of the problem we felt that to insist on a full part in the negotiations for Canada would invite similar requests from other countries and make agreement even more difficult.
4. Western talks on these problems began in London in February, 1948. From a list of these agreements you will note that they cover all the important provisions that would appear in a formal peace treaty.
(a) Report of the London Conference of June 7, 1948, which sketched the general intentions of the Western Powers, the details of which follow.
(b) International Statute for the Establishment of an International Authority for the Ruhr, announced December 28, 1948. The member states of the Authority are the United Kingdom, United States, France, Benelux States and eventually Germany.
(c) Directive establishing a Military Security Board, announced January 17, 1949, now organized as a subordinate agency of the Military Governors. It will presumably continue to function after the High Commission has been established.
(d) Frontier Revisions, announced March 26, 1949. These were minor; not all were accepted by the receiving states.
(e) Occupation Statute, announced April 8, 1949. This imposed some legal restrictions on the competence of the West German government.
(f) Agreement on German Reparations Programme (dismantling), announced April 13, 1949.
(g) Agreement concerning prohibited and limited industries (level of industry), announced April 13, 1949.
(h) Tripartite Controls Agreement, announced April 25, 1949. This set out the manner in which the powers reserved under the Occupation Statute would be exercised.
(i) Interpretative memorandum on the principles governing the exercise of occupation power, not made public.
(j) Agreed minute on the settlement of financial claims against Germany, not made public.
(k) Agreed minute on Wurttemberg‑Baden Plebiscite, announced April 25, 1949. This provides for a re‑examination of Land boundaries.
(I) Agreement regarding Port of Kehl, announced April 25, 1949. This gave the French a special status in the port, across the Rhine from Strasbourg.
In addition to the above, the United Kingdom and United States on November 10, 1948, promulgated Law No. 75 which provided for the re‑organization of Ruhr steel and coal resources, the ownership of which was vested in German trustees pending decision by a German government on ultimate ownership.
5. As things stand now, Western Germany is about to be constituted as a state and, subject to some initial limitations on their sovereignty, the Germans are about to assume increasing responsibility for their own affairs. This process has already begun. We are informed that responsibility for the purchase of imports has been handed over from the tripartite Joint Export Import Agency to a German organization. This means that Canadian interests in Western Germany will, to an increasing extent, become the subject of direct negotiation and discussion with the new political regime.
6. We can see now that the recent meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers had only a slim chance of preparing a peace settlement or even of re‑uniting Germany. The main results have been so far as Germany is concerned, first, an arrangement whereby trade between Eastern and Western Germany may become possible and, second, a written guarantee by the U.S.S.R. of communication between the Western zones and Berlin. While we would applaud both of these accomplishments for what they may contribute to the stability of Europe, they do not materially affect the London programme. There will be a democratic West German state and Eastern Germany will remain under Soviet domination, for all practical purposes a separate, unknown, and inaccessible country. An East‑West modus vivendi is now possible; German unity remains to come. The chances of another Council of Foreign Ministers meeting are slight. The United States State Department's idea seems to be to consign future dealings to a permanent or semi‑permanent Committee of Deputies.
7. We must now consider Canada's relations with the new West German state. Our basic policy toward Western Germany will, of course, contain features of our original policy toward all of Germany. We shall continue to oppose German rearmament and exert such influence as we can to discourage a revival of aggressive nationalism or the advent to power of the communists. In all other respects we must think in terms of normal relations with a normal country. That is to say, we want Western Germany to be friendly to ourselves and to our friends.
8. The special features of our relations with Germany, the vanquished enemy, need not be emphasized. They include occupation policy, the disposition of military forces, and measures to ensure continued demilitarization and disarmament. These matters have been covered by the London programme and we would expect to be consulted on any change contemplated for them, both as a former belligerent and as a signatory of the Atlantic Pact which extends its protection to German territory so long as the occupation lasts.
9. We are now faced with the task of establishing normal relations with the new German state. These involve for us the problem of export and import arrangements, commercial and financial relationships, diplomatic exchanges, immigration, cultural exchanges including exchange of students, radio programmes etc. and the exchange of technical information. Within the limitations of our basic policy on disarmament and demilitarization, we must also examine what arrangements can be made with Western Germany for collective self‑defence.
10. You will see that the "German problem" had radically changed in character during the last four years. Western Germany, at any rate, is no longer an object on which we express opinions for its future‑that has largely been decided. Instead it is rapidly becoming a state with which we must deal directly. This removes our policy on Germany from the field of velleities6 and aspirations to one of negotiation and practice.
6 Note en bas de la page du document originel: Footnote in original document: