The plants so to be removed were to be delivered as reparations to the Allies. The plants to be removed from the Soviet zone would go to the Soviet Union and Poland and the plants to be removed from the western zones would go in part to the Soviet Union but in the main to the western Allies. Provision was also made for the distribution of Germany's foreign assets among the Allies.
After considerable discussion the Allies agreed upon levels to which the principal German industries should be reduced to carry out the Potsdam Agreement. These levels were agreed to upon the assumption that the indigenous resources of Germany were to be available for distribution on an equitable basis for all of the Germans in Germany and that products not necessary for use in Germany would be available for export in order to pay for necessary imports.
In fixing the levels of industry, no allowance was made for reparations from current production. Reparations from current production would be wholly incompatible with the levels of industry now established under the Potsdam Agreement.
Obviously, higher levels of industry would have had to be fixed if reparations from current production were contemplated. The levels of industry fixed are only sufficient to enable the German people to become self-supporting and to maintain living standards approximating the average European living conditions.
That principle involved serious hardships for the German people, but it only requires them to share the hardships which Nazi aggression imposed on the average European.
The German people were not denied, however, the possibility of improving their lot by hard work over the years. Industrial growth and progress were not denied them. Being obliged to start again like the people of other devastated countries, with a peacetime economy not able to provide them more than the average European standard, the German people were not to be denied to use such savings as they might be able to accumulate by hard work and frugal living to build up their industries for peaceful purposes.