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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 98 (June 1947)

British share in bizonal activities,   p. 13 PDF (670.7 KB)

Page 13

Economic Council and Relations with Governmental Agencies Explained
To Recently Reorganized Zonal Advisory Council of UK-Controlled Area
The establishment of the new bizo-
nal Economic Council and its rela-
tions with the German governmental
agencies in the British Zone were ex-
plained by the British Deputy Mili-
tary Governor in a speech at Ham-
burg 11 June to the Zonal Advisory
Council, which corresponds in the
British Zone to the Laenderrat in the
US Zone. Excerpts from his speech
THE original Zonal Advisory Coun-
cil was a nominated body. During
the time that it was in existence it
did excellent work.  It helped us
greatly by its advice on many impor-
tant subjects. By the influence which
it exerted it undoubtedly succeeded in
getting us to take action on a number
of matters regarding which it would
not have occurred to us to take action
After the Land elections it was
clear that the Zonal Advisory Council
should be reorganized so as to reflect
the division of political opinion as
disclosed by the elections . . .
At the time of that last meeting of
the Council, negotiations were already
proceeding with our American allies
for the better economic integration
of the American and British Zones.
These negotiations were then in an
early stage. You will not, I think,
expect me to offer any explanation
or excuse for the fact that it was im-
possible for me to talk about these
negotiations to the Council. The ne-
gotiations, as you now know, have
been successful. A decision has been
taken to concentrate the Bizonal
Agencies at Frankfurt and to sub-
ordinate them to an Economic Coun-
cil which will be representative in
The Zonal Advisory Council itself
has repeatedly emphasized to me the
necessity for subordinating the ad-
ministrative agencies to popular con-
trol. This has now been achieved.
I believe that you will regard the new
arrangement as a very big step for-
ward. The Economic Council itself
has been given legislative powers
subject to the approval of American
and British Military Government. This
means the transfer to Germans in the
two zones of a far greater measure of
responsibility for the management of
their own affairs.
The creation of this Economic
Council must obviously make a big
difference to the role of the Zonal
Advisory Council. I am very anxious
that the Economic Council should be
truly bizonal in character. Whatever
divisions of opinion may arise in it
- and, of course, there will be
many - I hope that they will not re-
present a division on a zonal basis.
From an economic point of view there
are no longer two zones, but one
area. For this reason I do not want
to see the men who are sent from
the British Zone to act as representa-
tives on the Economic Council, adopt-
ing a parochial and zonal attitude.
I THINK that it must follow from
this that matters, which are now
within the competence of the Econo-
mic Council, are no longer suitable
for discussion on a zonal basis and,
therefore, are inappropriate for dis-
cussion in the Zonal Advisory Coun-
cil. I do not want to lay down rigid
rules as to what you may or may not
discuss, but I am bound to tell you
that you will embarrass me if you dis-
cuss questions'which ought now to be
resolved in the Economic Council. I
will go further and say that under
the new circumstances I shall neces-
sarily be guided on economic matters
by the opinion of the Economic Coun-
cil and not by the opinion of a zonal
Admittedly this means a consi-
derable reduction in your responsibi-
lities. There remains, however, an
important field of activity for you.
We still need guidance on all the
matters which fall outside the econo-
mic field. These are the political ques-
tions and legal questions, many of
which are of great importance.
It is possible that with a reduction
in its work the Council may feel that
it does not wish to meet quite as fre-
quently as in the past. I hope that
the interval between its meetings will
not be too long. I hope, too, that you
will keep in being your committees
dealing with political and social sub-
MANY important political subjects
will come up for decision during
the coming month. The Council of
Foreign Ministers is to meet again in
London in November. The future po-
litical structure of Germany will be
a main item on its agenda. Deputies
to the Ministers are to study this pro-
blem meanwhile. We shall undoubt-
edly need your advice before decid-
ing upon the attitude which we our-
selves adopt. I hope, therefore, that
you will feel that, in spite of the
reduction of your responsibilities due
to the creation of the Economic Coun-
cil, very important work lies ahead
of you. Close co-operation between
you and ourselves is the best method
of ensuring that this work shall be
well done.
Report Corrected
Recent reports appearing in the Ger-
man press to the effect that ap-
proximately 1,000 German and Austrian
refugees would be sent to Brazil
with the assistance of the Interna-
tional Relief Organization or the
Intergovernmental Committee on Re-
fugees are erroneous, Headquarters
Field  Operations,  Germany   and
Austria, Intergovernmental Committee
on Refugees, announced.
The Committee explained that it
had received a number of letters
from German refugees expelled from
eastern Germany and other eastern
European countries, most of them
requesting assistance in emigration.
The committee emphasized the fact
that it is not concerned with German
or other ex-enemy nationals except
those of Jewish origin or persons
persecuted by the Nazi regime.
23 JUNE 1947

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