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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 fifth session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, December 19, 1947,   pp. 51-55 PDF (2.2 MB)

Page 51

As a matter of fact, the bipartisan character of the American attitude
in the present conduct of foreign affairs was clearly indicated by
the strong and successful leadership displayed in the Senate during
the period of this Conference by Senators Vandenberg and Connally
in the debate over a development of our foreign policy of momentous
importance to the American people. The fact that there was such
evident unity of purpose in Washington was of incalculable assistance
to me in Moscow. The state of the world today and the position of
the United States make mandatory, in my opinion, a unity of action
on the part of the American people. It is for that reason that I have
gone into such lengthy detail in reporting my views on the conference.
Report by Secretary of State Marshall on the Fifth Session of
the Council of Foreign Ministers, December 19, 1947
The result of the recent meeting of the Council of Foreign Min-
isters in London was disappointing. I realize that the many lengthy
statements and the frequent and fundamental disagreements were
very confusing to the general public. Also, the continuous accusa-
tions against the good faith, the integrity, and the purposes of the
governments of the western powers, particularly the United States,
necessarily added greatly to the confusion. This was, as a matter of
f act, one of the purposes of these attacks.
I anticipated great difficulty in reaching a comprehensive agree-
ment, but I did have a hope that we might take three or four funda-
mental decisions which would permit immediate action by the Four
Powers to alleviate the situation in Germany this winter and greatly
improve the prospects for all of Europe. That we failed to reach
any such agreements is the greatest disappointment.
The United States Delegation went to London with an open mind,
as I had stated we would in Chicago, but we went with a strong deter-
mination to bring to an end the division of Germany which has
existed since the German capitulation. We were also determined that
any agreement reached at London should be a genuine workable
agreement, and not one which would immediately involve obstruc-
tion and frustration in the Allied Control Council when it came to be
put into effect in Germany.
I shall review only briefly the interminable discussions during the
weeks of debate at London. To us it was but a dreary repetition of
what had been said and resaid at the Moscow conference. I shall
endeavor, however, to point out the main issues on which the Confer-
ence deadlocked and give you my estimate of the underlying reasons.
- The basic issue, as we saw it before the opening of the London con-
ference, was whether or not the Allies could agree among themselves
to reunite Germany.
The issue in regard to the Austrian treaty was even simpler and had
already emerged clearly at the Moscow conference.
Ibid., pp. 63-67. The Fifth Session of the Council was held at London from
25 to December 16, 1947.

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