On 9 May 1946, Joseph Bech, Luxembourg Foreign Minister, sends a letter to André Clasen, Luxembourg Ambassador to London, in which he outlines the attitude of the Luxembourg Government concerning the future status of the Ruhr.
On 28 July 1946, one year after the end of the Second World War, the Metz-based Communist weekly newspaper Le Patriote Mosellan speculates on the possible solutions to the problem of controlling the industrial power of the Ruhr and criticises the Anglo-American policies in this area.
In 1946, Pathé Journal (Paris) describes the economic and military importance of the extremely prosperous industrial area of the Ruhr. The strategic importance of this region leads the United States, the United Kingdom, the Benelux countries and France to set up an International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR) in 1949 to monitor the production and sale of steel, coal and coke from the region.
On 4 August 1947, British cartoonist David Low illustrates France’s concern at the proposal from the military governor of the US zone in Germany, Lucius D. Clay, to raise the level of German steel industry in the Bizone (the British and US occupation zones, merged on 1 January 1947). Two years after the end of the Second World War, France particularly fears a revival of the Ruhr’s industrial power. From left to right: Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary, and Georges Bidault, French Foreign Minister.
On 16 August 1947, the French weekly newspaper Une semaine dans le monde expresses its concern at the United States’ decision to raise the level of coal and steel production in the Ruhr and fears a reorganisation of Western Europe based on German industrial production.
On 12 June 1948, the German daily newspaper Kölnische Rundschau emphasises the importance of the industrial potential of the Ruhr for the economic recovery of West Germany and for European industry as a whole.
‘… under protest from the French, on 10 November 1948 the Ruhr agreement is concluded … and passes into German trusteeship …’ On 13 November 1948, German cartoonist Ernst Maria Lang illustrates the decision by the British and American authorities of the Bizone to adopt a decree — Law No 75 — on the reorganisation and deconcentration of the steel and mining industries of the Ruhr. France, once again unhappy at being presented with a fait accompli, reiterates that it cannot accept giving a future German Government the right to settle the question of ownership of the Ruhr industries. Under the benevolent gaze of the United States (Uncle Sam), driving the ‘Ruhr’ car, the little ‘German Michel’ has got in the front seat so that it can take hold of the reins, while the two passengers, France (Marianne) and the United Kingdom (John Bull), are wary of the new role that has been given to West Germany.
On 11 November 1948, the Head of the French delegation at the London Conference, Hervé Alphand, expresses concern at the repercussions of Law 75 on the regulation and management of the distribution of the Ruhr’s coal, coke and steel.
On 19 November 1948, the French Foreign Ministry sends a note to Baron Jules Guillaume, Belgian Ambassador to Paris, to protest against Law No 75, published on 10 November by the US and British military authorities without prior consultation of France, which determines a new status for the coal and steel industry of the Ruhr area.
In its November–December 1948 issue, the Metz Communist weekly Le Patriote Mosellan harshly criticises the decision taken by the United States and the United Kingdom to give the Germans the right to settle the question of ownership of the Ruhr's steel and mining industries.
On 19 November 1948, Baron Hervé de Gruben, Director-General of Policy at the Belgian Foreign Ministry, clarifies the positions of Belgium and France on the monitoring and export of coal, coke and steel from the Ruhr, as well as on the activities of the International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR).
On 15 March 1949, the representatives of the metalworkers’ and miners’ trade unions in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands adopt a resolution examining the organisation of the Ruhr industrial basin.
The dismantling of the Hoeder Smelting iron and steel plants ordered by the Allies provokes anger and incomprehension among German workers who brandish placards reading ‘We want to work, we will help you to rebuild Europe’ and ‘We appeal to Fifth Avenue. Our labour provides a livelihood for the families of 8 000 workers who are begging for bread’.
On 16 June 1948, the periodical Soviet News condemns the conclusions of the Six-Power Conference held in London and deplores the agreement of principle which seeks to establish an International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR) so as to regulate coal and steel production in the area.
On 24 June 1948, at the end of the Warsaw Conference attended by the Foreign Ministers of the USSR and the countries of Eastern Europe, a declaration is adopted condemning the measures adopted in London by the Six-Power Conference on Germany.
On 28 December 1948, the representatives of the United States, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, meeting in London, decide to establish the International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR).
On 29 December 1948, the French daily newspaper Le Monde comments on the decision taken by the representatives of the United States, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to establish the International Authority of the Ruhr (IAR) and outlines its main tasks.
On 30 December 1948, two days after the London Conference, British cartoonist David Low illustrates the desire of the representatives of the United States, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to create the International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR) in order to control steel and coal production and the commercial practices of the Europe’s most industrialised region. From left to right: George Marshall, US Secretary of State, Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, and Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary.
In the French newspaper Le Monde, Maurice Duverge explains how France, by considering the Ruhr Statute as a transition from occupied Germany towards an independent Germany, is moving in the direction of European federalism.
On 20 October 1949, six months after the establishment of the International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR), the Allied High Commission for Germany promulgates the law on the privileges and immunities of the IAR.
As US High Commissioner in Germany from 1949 to 1952, John McCloy gives considerable support to the Schuman Plan. From left to right: Harry S. Truman, President of the United States, John McCloy and Dean Acheson, US Secretary of State, in discussion at the White House on 23 January 1950.
On 9 March 1950, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung lists the reasons for the discontent of the German population regarding the Ruhr Statute and outlines the role of the International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR).
In this discussion paper of 3 May 1950, Jean Monnet considers the compatibility between the international control of the Ruhr and the establishment of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
Law No 27, adopted by the Allied High Commission on 16 May 1950 in Bonn, relates to the reorganisation of the German coal and steel industries and regulates the system of ownership with the aim of prohibiting concentrations of economic power and industrial cartels.
‘Robert, where are you taking me?’ On 23 June 1950, following the proposals submitted by Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, for the establishment of a coal and steel pool in Europe, German cartoonist Peter Leger speculates on the future of the Ruhr Statute and the little ‘German Michel’, held prisoner and chained to his jailer Robert Schuman.
On 6 December 1951, Carl Friedrich Ophüls, Civil Administrator in the Federal Ministry of Justice, retraces the history of the International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR) from the time of its establishment in April 1949 to its dissolution upon the entry into force of the Schuman Plan for coal and steel.
On 17 January 1951, the French delegation to the Schuman Plan Conference speculates on the sustainability of the regime of ownership of the Ruhr mines and plants in the context of the future entry into force of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
On 13 April 1951, Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, Director-General of Economic and Financial Affairs at the High Commission of the French Republic in Germany, writes a letter to Alain Poher, French representative at the International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR), to inform him of the strong opposition from the German unions to the dissolution of the Deutscher Kohlenverkauf (DKV), the sole selling agency for Ruhr coal.
On 9 June 1951, Franz Grosse, Director of the German trade union Industriegewerkschaft Bergbau, outlines to Pierre Uri, French economic adviser at the National Planning Board, the decisions taken by the extraordinary assembly of German mining delegates concerning the reorganisation of the German coal sector.
On 28 June 1951, Albert Bureau, Director of the Iron and Steel Industry in the French Ministry of Industrial Production, drafts a report on the implications of the demerging of the German iron and steel industry in the Ruhr industrial basin.
On 20 August 1951, the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) submits its proposals relating to the future of the Deutsche Kohle-Verkaufs-Gesellschaft (DKV), the sole selling agency for Ruhr coal, which it would like to see changed rather than abolished.
On 19 October 1951, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States adopt a protocol in Paris which terminates the activities of the International Authority for the Ruhr.
On 6 November 1951, Guy Mollet, Secretary-General of the French Socialist Party (SFIO), is concerned about the Federal German Government’s decision to delay the dismantling of the selling agency of German coal from the Ruhr (DKV).
In late February 1952, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman is due to meet his British and American counterparts to discuss the future of Germany. In a memorandum sent to Mr Schuman two weeks earlier, Jean Monnet informs him of the progress made towards breaking up the Ruhr cartels.
On 27 May 1952, in the light of the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community, the United States, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom sign an agreement in Paris which terminates the activities of the International Authority for the Ruhr.
In a letter to Robert Schuman dated 1 July 1952, Jean Monnet gives a progress report on the measures for breaking up the industrial monopolies and the abolition of the Ruhr cartels, which were scheduled to be undertaken before the establishment of the common market for coal and iron ore on 10 February 1953.
On 25 July 1952, the German daily newspaper Die Welt considers the economic future of the Ruhr in the wake of the imminent dissolution of the International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR), an Allied organ for the regulation of industrial production in this region.
On 27 July 1952, the Bulletin of the Press and Information Office of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) welcomes the signing, by the Western Powers, of an agreement providing for the revocation of the Ruhr Statute and the gradual dissolution of the International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR).