Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956
Report by Secretary of State Marshall on the fourth session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, April 28, 1947, pp. 43-51 PDF (4.0 MB)
DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59 1%6 Report by Secretary of State Marshall on the Fourth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, April 28, 19471 COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS Tonight I hope to make clearly understandable the fundamental nature of the issues discussed at the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers. This Conference dealt with the very heart of the peace for which we are struggling. It dealt with the vital center of Europe-Ger- nmany and Austria-an area of large and skilled population, of great resources and industrial plants, an area which has twice in recent times brought the world to the brink of disaster. In the Moscow negotiations all the disagreements which were so evident during the conferences regarding the Italian and Balkan treaties came into sharp focus and remained in effect unsolved. Problems which bear directly on the future of our civ-ilization can- not be disposed of by general talk or vague formulae-by what Lin- coln called "pernicious abstractions". They require concrete solutions for definite and extremely complicated questions-questions which have to do with boundaries, with power to prev~enit military aggres- Sion, with people who have bitter memories, with the production and control of things which are essential to the lives of millions of people. You have been kept well informed by the press and radio of the daily activities of the Council, and much of what I have to say may seem repetitious. But the extremely complicated nature of the three major issues we considered makes it appear desirable for me to report, in some detail the problems as I saw them in my meetings at the Confer- ence table. There was a reasonable possibility, we had hoped a probability, of completing in Moscow a peace treaty for Austria and a four-power pact to bind together our four governments to guarantee the demili- tarization of Germany. As for the German peace treaty and related but more current German problems, we had hoped to reach agreement on a directive for the guidance of our deputies in their work prepara- tory to the next conference. In a statement such as this, it is not practicable to discuss the numer- ous issues which continued in disagreement at the Conference. It will suffice, I think, to call attention to the fundamental problems whose solution would probably lead to the quick adjustment of many other differences. Coal It is important to an understanding of the Conference that the complex character of the problems should be understood, together with their immediate effect on the people of Europe, in the coining months. To cite a single example, more coal is most urgently needed throughout Europe for factories, for utilities, for railroads, and for the people in their homes. More coal for Allied countries cannot bee mined and delivered until the damaged mines, mine machinery, rail-- road communications ,and like facilities are rehabilitated. This reha- 1 Ibid., pp. 57-63. The Fourth Session of the Council was held at Moscow from March 10 to April 24, 1947.
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