The early French plans were concerned with keeping Germany weak and strengthening the French economy at the expense of that of Germany. (see the "Monnet plan) French foreign policy aimed at dismantling German heavy industry, place the coal rich "Ruhr area and "Rhineland under French control or at a minimum internationalize them, and also to join the coal rich "Saarland with the iron rich province of "Lorraine (which had been handed over from Germany to France again in 1944). When American diplomats reminded the French of what a devastating effect this would have on the German economy, France's response was to suggest the Germans would just have to "make [the] necessary adjustments" to deal with the inevitable foreign exchange deficit"."
At the 1945 "Potsdam Conference the U.S. was operating under the "Morgenthau plan, as a consequence large parts of German industry were to be dismantled.
According to some historians the U.S. government abandoned the Morgenthau plan as policy in September 1946 with Secretary of State "James F. Byrnes' speech "Restatement of Policy on Germany. Others have argued that credit should be given to former U.S.President "Herbert Hoover who in one of "his reports from Germany, dated 18 March 1947, argued for a change in occupation policy, amongst other things stating:
- "There is the illusion that the New Germany left after the annexations can be reduced to a 'pastoral state'. It cannot be done unless we exterminate or move 25,000,000 people out of it."
Worries about the sluggish recovery of the European economy, which before the war had depended on the German industrial base, and growing Soviet influence amongst a German population subject to food shortages and economic misery, caused the "Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Generals "Clay and "Marshall to start lobbying the "Truman administration for a change of policy. General Clay stated
- "There is no choice between being a communist on 1,500 calories a day and a believer in democracy on a thousand".
In July 1947, President "Harry S. Truman rescinded on "national security grounds" the punitive occupation directive JCS 1067, which had directed the U.S. forces of occupation in Germany to "take no steps looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany [or] designed to maintain or strengthen the German economy", it was replaced by JCS 1779, which instead noted that "[a]n orderly, prosperous Europe requires the economic contributions of a stable and productive Germany." It took over two months for General Clay to overcome continued resistance to the new U.S. occupation directive JCS 1779, but on 10 July 1947, it was finally approved at a meeting of the "SWNCC. The final version of the document "was purged of the most important elements of the Morgenthau plan."
The dismantling of the German heavy industry was in its later stages supported mainly by France, the "Petersberg Agreement of November 1949 reduced the levels vastly, though dismantling of minor German factories continued until 1951. The final limitations on German industrial levels were lifted after the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, though arms manufacture remained prohibited. With U.S. support, (as given in the September 1946 "Stuttgart Speech), France in 1947 turned the coal rich Saarland into the "Saar protectorate and integrated it into the French economy. The Franco-German conflict over the Saarland was later to prove one of the major hurdles to the integration of the European communities.
"The Ruhr Agreement was imposed on the Germans as a condition for permitting them to establish the "Federal Republic of Germany. By controlling the production and distribution of coal and steel (i.e. how much coal and steel the Germans themselves would get), the "International Authority for the Ruhr in effect controlled the entire West German economy, much to the dismay of the Germans. They were however permitted to send their delegations to the authority after the Petersberg agreement. With the West German agreement to join the European Coal and Steel Community in order to lift the restrictions imposed by the IAR, thus also ensuring French security by perpetuating French access to Ruhr coal, the role of the IAR was taken over by the ECSC.
The Europeanisation of the Saarland
France had broken off the coal rich Saar from Germany and made it into a protectorate, economically integrated with France and nominally politically independent although security and foreign policy was dictated from France. In addition, France maintained a "High Commissioner in the Saar with wide ranging powers. Parties advocating a return of the Saar to Germany were banned, with the consequence that West Germany did not recognise the democratic legality of the Saar government. In view of continued conflict between Germany and France over the future of the Saarland efforts were made by the other Western European nations to find a solution to the potentially dangerous problem. Placed under increasing international pressure France finally agreed to a compromise. The Saar territory was to be Europeanised under the context of the "Western European Union. France and Germany agreed in the Paris Agreements that until a peace treaty was signed with Germany, the Saar area would be governed under a "statute" that was to be supervised by a "European Commissioner who in turn would be responsible to the "Council of Ministers of the Western European Union. The Saarland would however have to remain in economic union with France.
Despite the endorsement of the statute by West Germany, in the 1955 referendum amongst the Saarlanders that was needed for it to come into effect the statute was rejected by 67.7% of the population. Despite French pre-referendum assertions that a no to the statute would simply result in the Saarland remaining in its previous status as a French controlled territory, the claim of the campaign group for a "no" to the statute that it would lead to unification with West Germany turned out to be correct. The Saarland was politically reintegrated with West Germany on 1 January 1957, but economic reintegration took many additional years. In return for agreeing to return the Saar France demanded and gained the following concessions: France was permitted to extract coal from the Warndt coal deposit until 1981. Germany had to agree to the channelisation of the Moselle. This reduced French freight costs in the Lorraine steel industry. Germany had to agree to the teaching of French as the first foreign language in schools in the Saarland. Although no longer binding, the agreement is still in the main followed.
Development of new Communities
Following on the heels of the creation of the ECSC, the "European Defence Community (EDC) was drawn up and signed on 27 May 1952. It would combine national armies and allow West Germany to rearm under the control of the new Community. However, in 1954, the treaty was rejected by the "French National Assembly. The rejection also derailed further plans for a "European Political Community, being drawn up by members of the "Common Assembly which would have created a federation to ensure democratic control over the future "European army. In response to the rejection of the EDC, "Jean Monnet resigned as President of the High Authority and began work on new integration efforts in the field of the economy. In 1955, the "Council of Europe adopted an "emblem for all Europe, twelve golden stars in a circle upon a blue field. It would later be adopted by the European Communities
In 1956, the "Egyptian government under "Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the "Suez canal and closing it to "Israeli traffic, sparking the "Suez Crisis. This was in response to the withdrawal of funding for the "Aswan Dam by the UK and United States due to Egypt's ties to the "Soviet Union. The canal was owned by the UK and French investors and had been a neutral zone under British control. The nationalisation and closure to Israeli traffic prompted a military response by the UK, France and Israel, a move opposed by the United States. It was a military success but a political disaster for the UK and France. The UK in particular saw it could not operate alone, instead turning to the US, and it also prompted the next "British Prime Minister, "Harold Macmillan, to look towards joining the European Community. Equally France saw its future with the Community but opposed British entry, with then "French President "Charles de Gaulle stating he would "veto British entry out of a fear it would lead to US domination.
As a result of the crisis, the Common Assembly proposed extending the powers of the ECSC to cover other sources of energy. However Jean Monnet desired a separate community to cover "nuclear power and "Louis Armand was put in charge of a study into the prospects of nuclear energy use in Europe. The report concluded further nuclear development was needed to fill the deficit left by the exhaustion of coal deposits and to reduce dependence on oil producers. However the Benelux states and Germany were also keen on creating a general "common market, although it was opposed by France due to its "protectionism and Jean Monnet thought it too large and difficult a task. In the end, Monnet proposed the creating of both, as separate communities, to reconcile both groups.
As a result of the "Messina Conference of 1955, "Paul-Henri Spaak was appointed as chairman of a preparatory committee ("Spaak Committee) charged with the preparation of a report on the creation of a common European market.
The "Spaak Report drawn up by the Spaak Committee provided the basis for further progress and was accepted at the "Venice Conference (29 and 30 May 1956) where the decision was taken to organize an "Intergovernmental Conference. The report formed the cornerstone of the "Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom at "Val Duchesse in 1956. The outcome of the conference was that new communities would share the Common Assembly (now Parliamentary Assembly) with the ECSC, as it would with the "Court of Justice. However they would not share the ECSC's Council of High Authority. The two new High Authorities would be called Commissions, this was due to a reduction in their powers. France was reluctant to agree to more supranational powers and hence the new Commissions would only have basic powers and important decisions would have to be approved by the Council, which now adopted majority voting. Thus, on 25 March 1957, the "Treaties of Rome were signed. They came into force on 1958-01-01 establishing the "European Economic Community (EEC) and the "European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). The latter body fostered co-operation in the nuclear field, at the time a very popular area, and the EEC was to create a full customs union between members. Louis Armand became the first President of Euratom Commission and "Walter Hallstein became the first President of the EEC Commission.
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Letter from Ernest Bevin to Robert Schuman (30 October 1949) British and French foreign ministers. Bevin argues that they need to reconsider the Allies' dismantling policy in the occupied zones (requires Flash Player)
Picture: dismantling the Iron and Steel Industry ‘We want to work, we will help you to rebuild Europe' Workers at dismantled plant protest. (requires Flash Player)
Picture: 12,000 factory workers demonstrate against the dismantling of German industry (19 August 1949) (requires Flash Player)
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