|201. Letter Transmitting Report on the Occupation of Germany to the Secretaries of State, War, and Navy|
November 28, 1945 |
Dear Mr. Secretary:
I am enclosing a copy of the report of Byron Price dated November 9. I asked Mr. Price to go to Germany to study the relationship between the American Forces of Occupation and the German people.
Mr. Price, as you know, is an able and experienced observer, and I believe that his report is worthy of the most careful consideration. You will note that the Price report embodies eight specific suggestions.
It is requested that the Secretaries of State, War and Navy give careful consideration to this report, with a view to taking whatever joint action may be indicated.
HARRY S. TRUMAN
NOTE: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson, and Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal.
The Price report, submitted in response to the President's letter of August 30 (Item 119), was also released. In the form of a memorandum to the President the report offered eight suggestions for maintaining sound relations between the Military Government and the German people, as follows:
1. That the full force and prestige of American diplomatic power be used to break the deadlock, caused by French obstruction, in the Berlin Control Council, thereby permitting Germany to be dealt with as a single economic unit.
2. That the highest type of civilian administrators be assigned to ensure the success of the changeover of the Military Government from Army to civilian control.
3' That the detailed instructions issued to the Military Government from Washington, drafted at the Pentagon early in 1945, be revised in the light of experience, and that they be reduced to a few hundred words stating general principles only.
4. That the daily food ration--1550 calories--be increased to 2000.
5. That the Military Government be given greater leeway to decide locally when and how de-Nazification in essential services could best be effected.
6. That the Information Control Branch, which supervised publications, broadcasting, and theaters, be made an integral part of the Military Government.
7. That demobilization of American forces should not proceed at a pace which would interfere with the maintenance of order, particularly in view of the threat posed by the former Hitler Youth, "potentially the most dangerous single element of the population."
8. That the Nurnberg trials be held without delay so that the Military Government could begin dealing with the 80,000 lesser Nazis then in prison.
The full text of the Price report is published in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 13, p. 885).
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project. John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.