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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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After consultation, General KOENIG stated on behalf of his two colleagues and of himself that:

2. (a) agreed:
(1) That there was no longer any serious difficulty about the name to be given the proposed ‘Grundgesetz’.
(2) That, as far as the question of the referendum was concerned, the Minister Presidents accepted the London decisions. It was understood, however, that their wishes in regard to this question would be submitted by the Military Governors to the three Allied Governments and that the Minister Presidents would be informed in due time of the position taken by the (respective) Governments.
(3) That, as far as the question of co-ordination in the time of carrying out the boundary modifications and convening the Constituent Assembly was concerned, the Military Governors would also submit to the three Allied Governments the wishes of the Ministers President. The Commanders-in-Chief promised to support this request. The reply of the Governments would be communicated to the Minister Presidents as soon as possible. In case these Governments should refuse to grant an additional extension of time to the Ministers President, the latter would be obliged to observe the dates provided for in London.

General KOENIG added that the three Military Governors had thus given a clear reply to the three questions. If they accepted points 1, 2 and 3 above, and if they undertook entire responsibility for them, they could begin to apply the London decisions. [ . . . ] In particular, they could allow their Landtage to choose the method of election of the Delegates to the Constituent Assembly.

Minister President STOCK asked to speak once again in order to state in the name of all the Minister Presidents that they felt that considerable progress had been made that day. The Minister Presidents would take the first measures for the nomination of delegates to the Constituent Assembly. They believed that agreement was complete as far as the question of the ‘Grundgesetz’ was concerned, and of the date of convening the Constituent Assembly. As to the referendum, they had presented their arguments with a view to permitting co-operation between the Germans and the Occupying Powers. They were glad to know that these arguments would be submitted by the Military Governors to their Governments, and they agreed to abide forthwith by the decision which would be taken. Regarding the modifications of the Land boundaries, they noted the intention of the Military Governors to inform their Governments of their wish to extend the time limits fixed, and they were glad to know that the Military Governors were disposed to recommend that the German proposals on this matter be taken into consideration. In the meantime, the work on this question would be begun without delay and a Sub-Commission would start work on this problem the next day. The Minister Presidents were of the opinion that a very satisfactory solution had thus been found and they wished that a Press communiqué be drawn up at the end of the present discussion. [ . . . ]

Source: Reply of the Minister Presidents to the Proposals Made by the Military Governors following the London Decisions (July 26, 1948), in OMGUS, Federal Constitution, p. 46; reprinted in Beata Ruhm von Oppen, ed., Documents on Germany under Occupation, 1945-1954. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1955, pp. 322-30.

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