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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

Second report of the United Nations commission to investigate conditions for free elections in Germany, August 5, 1952,   pp. 103-107 PDF (2.3 MB)

Page 106

10Jti         DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 19 4 4-5 9
America on the other, as well as significant developments inside Ger--
many itself.
10. The series of Notes on the German question exchanged between
the USSR and the three Western Powers, it will be recalled,- com--
menced with one from the USSR dated 10 March 1952, by which
date the Commission had been in existence and at work for a month.
By the time the Commission submitted its first report on 1 May 1952,
the USSR had addressed two Notes to the three Western Powers (on
10 March and 9 April respectively), and the three Western Powers
had replied on 25 March to the first Soviet Note. Between 1 May and
5 August 1952, the date on which the present report was adopted by
the Commission, three further Notes were exchanged between the four
occupying Powers. In none of the six Notes could the Commission
discern any agreement whatsoever between the USSR and the three
Western Powers as to utilization of the Commission in carrying out
an investigation in all of Germany to determine whether existing con-
ditions there made it possible to hold genuinely free elections in that
country. Indeed, what became more obvious as a result of the ex-
change of the series of Notes was the following: (1) that the three
Western Powers, while they continued to maintain more or less strong-
ly their preference for the present United Nations Commission, were
nevertheless prepared at the same time "to consider any other prac-
tical and precise proposals for an impartial commission of investiga-
tion which the Soviet Government may wish to put forward, on the
one condition that they are likely to promote the early holding of free
elections throughout Germany" and (2) that the USSR, continuing
to maintain its objection to the competence of the United Nations to
concern itself with the German question, rejected investigation by the
present Commission, while it was agreeable to an investigation by an-
other impartial commission formed by the four Powers occupying
11. The Commission, at this point, would like to make certain obser-
vations. While on the one hand, the Commission derives its mandate
solely from the General Assembly of the United Nations, it is, on the
other hand, entirely dependent on the willingness of all the parties
concerned to co-operate unreservedly with it for the execution of its
mandate. It has so far been unable to secure this co-operation from
the authorities in the Soviet Zone of Germany, and it could see at the
time of the adoption of the present report little prospect of its being
able to do so in the near future. The Commission, as a United Nations
body, is anxious above all for an early, just and peaceful solution of
the German question, regardless of whether the steps contributing to
such a solution are to be worked out under the auspices of the United
Nations or not. The United Nations, the Commission is confident,
would at all times be prepared to heed any appeal for its assistance in
the finding of a peaceful solution to this question. This being its view,
the Commission would not desire to suggest that it alone affords the
only impartial means of investigating existing conditions in all of
Germany. The Commission would consider its existence and its work
hitherto justified, and its mission in substance fulfilled, if, by agree-
ment among the four occupying Powers, another equally impartial
body were to be set up which could and would carry out the essentials
of the mandate entrusted to the present United Nations Commission.

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