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U.S. Delegation Minutes of the Meeting between the Western Military Governors and the German Minister Presidents regarding the German Reply to the London Documents (July 26, 1948)

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As far as the ‘Basic Law’ itself was concerned Herr ARNOLD recognized that this was not a question of the statutes of a private organization. This, moreover, would become clear, without any doubt, in the text of the articles which it would contain.

Regarding the title, there was no objection to adding in brackets after the words ‘Basic Law’ the words ‘Provisional Constitution’ and especially since there was general agreement on the fact that the whole organization to be created would be of a temporary nature only.

In conclusion, Minister President ARNOLD wished to stress that the amendments proposed by himself and his colleagues could be made to concur with the London decisions.

General KOENIG thanked Herr ARNOLD for his statement and asked Minister President LUEDEMANN to speak.

Minister President LUEDEMANN (Schleswig-Holstein) stated that during the previous meeting new statements had been made about the modification of the Land [state] boundaries. From these statements it was clear that the Military Governors attached particular importance to this question. The Minister Presidents had been asked for a specific reply on this subject and they had done their best to give this reply. Two questions had been asked:

1. Did the Minister Presidents recognize the necessity for modifying the Land boundaries?
2. Were the Minister Presidents themselves prepared to submit proposals on this subject?

The reply of the Minister Presidents to these two questions was in the affirmative.

The Minister Presidents were asked, moreover, to state on what date they would be able to make these proposals. It was difficult to reply to this last question for the following reasons: In the document transmitted on 1st July it was stipulated that such proposals should be made before the convening of a constituent Assembly. Since the Assembly was to meet before 1st September, there remained only four weeks or less to consider the question of modifications of the Land boundaries. This period was too short to reach a satisfactory solution of the problem and to make concrete proposals in view of the numerous difficulties which were implicated in this question.

In the Koblenz decisions the Minister Presidents had suggested that this Assembly which they had called ‘Parliamentary Council’ should be composed of delegations of the Landtage of the different Länder and that, in conformity with the London decisions, there should be one delegate to every 750,000 inhabitants. The situation could have changed if the Koblenz proposals had been accepted by the Military Governors. The Minister Presidents supposed that there was agreement on this point although this had not been specifically stated. For that reason they had been unable to commit themselves on the question of the date. The Minister Presidents had, however, decided at their last meeting to form a committee to deal with this problem and this committee had set to work immediately. The task of the Minister Presidents would be made considerably lighter if the two problems which were at present connected could be treated separately.

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