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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)

Page 43

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
Tonight I hope to make clearly understandable the fundamental
nature of the issues discussed at the Moscow Conference of Foreign
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
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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