A Decade of American Foreign Policy 1941-1949
Sixth Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, Paris


(a) Communique of June 21,1949

The sixth session of the Council of Foreign Ministers attended by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of France, Robert Schuman; of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, A. Y. Vyshinsky; of the United Kingdom, Ernest Bevin; and of the United States of America, Dean Acheson, took place in Paris from May 23 to June 20, 1949. During this meeting the German question and the Austrian treaty were discussed. The Council of Foreign Ministers took the following decisions.


Despite the inability at this session of the Council of Foreign Ministers to reach agreement on the restoration of the economic and political unity of Germany, the Foreign Ministers of France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, and the United States will continue their efforts to achieve this result and in particular now agree as follows:

1. During the course of the fourth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations to be convened next September, the four governments, through representatives at the Assembly, will exchange views regarding the date and other arrangements for the next session of the Council of Foreign Ministers on the German question.

2. The occupation authorities, in the light of the intention of the Ministers to continue their efforts to achieve the restoration of the economic and political unity of Germany, shall consult together in Berlin on a quadripartite basis.

3. These consultations will have as their purpose, among others to mitigate the effects of the present administrative division of Germany and of Berlin, notably in the matters listed below:

(A) Expansion of trade and development of the financial and economic relations between the Western zones and the Eastern zone and between Berlin and the zones.

(B) Facilitation of the movement of persons and goods and the exchange of information between the Western zones and the Eastern zone and between Berlin and the zones.

(C) Consideration of questions of common interest relating to the administration of the four sectors in Berlin with a view to normalizing as far as possible the life of the city.

4. In order to assist in the work envisaged in paragraph 3, the respective occupation authorities may call upon German experts and appropriate German organizations in their respective jurisdictions for assistance. The Germans so called upon should exchange pertinent data, prepare reports and, if agreed between them, submit proposals to the occupation authorities.

5. The Governments of France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, and the United States agree that the New York agreement of May 4, 1949, shall be maintained. Moreover, in order to promote further the aims set forth in the preceding paragraphs and in order to improve and supplement this and other arrangements end agreements as regards the movement of persons and goods and communications between the Eastern zone and the Western zones and between the zones and Berlin and also in regard to transit, the occupation authorities, each in his own zone, will have an obligation to take the measures necessary to insure the normal functioning Ed utilization of rail, water, and road transport for such movement of persons and goods and such communications by post, telephone, and telegraph.

6. The occupation authorities will recommend to the leading German economic bodies of the Eastern and Western zones to facilitate the establishment of closer economic ties between the zones and more effective implementation of trade and other economic agreements.


The Foreign Ministers have agreed:

(A) That Austria's frontiers shall be those of January 1, 1938;

(B) That the treaty for Austria shall provide that Austria shall guarantee to protect the rights of the Slovene and Croatian minorities in Austria;

(C) That reparations shall not be exacted from Austria, but that Yugoslavia shall have the right to seize, retain, or liquidate Austrian property, rights and interests within Yugoslav territory;

(D) That the Soviet Union shall receive from Austria $150,000,000 in freely convertible currency to be paid in six years;

(E) That the definitive settlement shall include:

(1) The relinquishment to Austria of all property, rights or interests held or claimed as German assets and of war industrial enterprises, houses, and similar immovable property in Austria held or claimed as war booty, on the understanding that the deputies will be instructed to define more accurately other categories of war booty transferred to Austria (with the exception of those oil assets and DDSG-Danube Shipping Company-properties transferred to the Soviet Union under other paragraphs of article 35 of the treaty indicated in the U. S. S. R. proposals of January 24, 1948, as revised, and retained in general under Austrian jurisdiction). Accordingly the assets of the DDSG in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania as well as 100 percent of the assets of the company in eastern Austria in accordance with a list to be agreed upon by the deputies will be transferred to the U. S. S. R.

(2) That the rights, properties, and interests transferred to the U. S. S. R. as well as the rights, properties, and interests which the U. S. S. R. cedes to Austria shall be transferred without any charges or claims on the part of the U. S. S. R. Or on the part of Austria. At the same time it is understood that the words "charges or claims" mean not only creditor claims as arising out of the exercise of the Allied control of these rights, properties, and interests after May 8, 1945, but also all other claims including claims in respect of taxes. It is also understood that the reciprocal waivers by the U. S. S. R. and Austria of charges and claims apply to all such charges and claims as exist on the date when Austria formalizes the rights of the U. S. S. R. to the German assets transferred to it and on the date of the actual transfer to Austria of the assets ceded by the U. S. S. R.

(F) That all former German assets which have become the property of the IJ. S. S. R. shall not be subject: to alienation without the consent of the U. S.: S. R.

(G) That the deputies shall resume their work promptly for the purpose of reaching agreement not later than September 1, 1949 on the draft treaty as a whole.

(b) Statement by President Truman, June 21,1949

The Secretary of State has given me daily reports, and now a final report, on the recently concluded session of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Paris.

Genuine progress was made at this session toward the conclusion of the treaty with Austria. This is a development which I know will be most welcome to the people of Austria, who for 4 years since the end of hostilities have lived under a regime of occupation. Almost 6 years ago, at the first Moscow conference in 1943, it was solemnly declared that Austria was to be regarded not as an enemy country but as a liberated country, the first victim of Nazi aggression, and it has been the consistent effort of the United States Government and the Governments of the United Kingdom and France to honor the pledge made at that time. Yet previous. meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers and their deputies failed to remove the obstacles which certain Soviet claims concerning Austria placed in the way of a speedy conclusion of a treaty with the Austrian Republic.

At the Paris session the more important of these obstacles were finally removed by a freely negotiated agreement among the Four Powers, and we have reason to hope that before the end of the year the treaty may be signed. Such a positive achievement would be very gratifying. The Austrian people will acclaim this progress, and they in turn should be commended for their attitude of patient understanding throughout the protracted negotiations. The Austrian Government has been currently consulted during the negotiations in Paris, and the agreement reached preserves intact the vital interests of Austria. It can be said that the goal so important for Austria and her people is at last in sight. The United States Government wholeheartedly welcomes the results of the conference on Austria.

The same cannot be said regarding Germany. It must be frankly admitted that despite the forward-looking program sponsored by the Western powers as a basis for unification, little progress was made. The American delegation went to Paris with the serious intention of developing a constructive program which would meet the requirements for all of Germany and would safeguard the interests of all Four Powers in insuring that Germany would achieve its reconstruction along peaceful and democratic lines. At the same time, the Western powers were determined not to compromise the democratic principles and the conditions which must be established throughout Germany before an economically sound and workable solution can be found for German unity. They were equally determined not to jeopardize the basic freedoms as they now exist in Western Germany merely to obtain a nominal political unity. In these objectives they knew they had the support of the freely elected representatives of the majority of the German people.

The Soviet Union, on the other hand, sought a return to Potsdam and its system, which the Russians had rendered unworkable by their misuse of the unlimited veto. They refused to recognize the important progress which has been made in Western Germany since 1945.

In these circumstances, real progress for the unification of Germany and its people was impossible. The most that could be achieved was a working arrangement designed to mitigate the abnormal situation of a still divided Germany. This arrangement is no more nor less than what it professes to be-a means of dealing with what actually exists. It reaffirms the lifting of the Berlin blockade and contains the recognition by the occupation authorities of their obligation to insure the movement of persons and goods between the Eastern and Western zones and between Berlin and the zones.

In an effort to mitigate the economic consequences of the existing division of Germany, the arrangement provides for consultation among the Occupation authorities of the four Occupying Powers on practicable and useful measures which may be taken from time to time, particularly to facilitate and increase the flow of balanced trade between the different zones and the zones and sectors of Berlin in a manner advantageous to the Germans of the respective areas. To this end we are also prepared to call upon the expert assistance of the Germans in the Western zones and sectors. Since it proved impossible to establish a unified administration for Germany or even for Berlin, the present dual currency system must remain for the time being.

We are hopeful that such consultations and efforts may be fruitful. We shall endeavor to make them so.

Finally, our working arrangement calls for an exchange of views in the fall. Thus the door is left open to future efforts for a solution of the German problem and the achievement of peace in Europe.

The Secretary of State has informed me of the close cooperation and understanding which characterized the relations of the three Western powers throughout the conference. I take much satisfaction in this It is a demonstration of the progress made possible by the identity of ideals and values which are the common heritage of the peoples of the Atlantic community

I am convinced that the results of the Paris meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers reveal the correctness of the policies this government has been following in our foreign affairs. The results again underline the necessity of pursuing these policies with calmness and determination, as the only sure road to the establishment of conditions in the world where peace and freedom can live and endure. I am confident that the American people see this as clearly as I do and that there will be no slackening of our efforts to achieve the great task which history has planed upon our country.

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