Contrary to much mis-reporting of what Churchill actually advocated in terms of a United Europe, his belief was in a two-fold European solution; the first was a reconstituted ‘League of Nations’ in the UNO, to which the UK would belong, and the second a federation between France, the German Länder and Europe’s other small states but excluding the United Kingdom. He formulated this as early as 1946, at a time when France and the US were still committed to implementing a version of the Morgenthau Plan aimed at depriving her of all industrial capacity, governing the Saar and Ruhr as international zones, and reducing Germany’s population by 24m to a level at which she could only just subsist.
Churchill had revolted against Morgenthau when the plan was first proposed in Tehran in 1943. By Quebec in 1944, the US had explicitly linked a $6.5bn credit for the UK to Churchill’s acceptance of the Plan; Roosevelt, in an act of utter crassness, actually required Churchill to sign the Morgenthau Plan before they signed the credit agreement, prompting Churchill to exclaim “What do you want me to do? Get on my hind legs and beg like Fala?”. Morgenthau became occupation policy as JCS1067.
The other key influential supporter and proponent of the Morgenthau Plan was Jean Monnet, later to achieve notoriety as the ‘Father of Europe’. The Monnet Plan and Morgenthau Plan had a single shared aim; to deprive Germany permanently of any industrial capacity, and of any export capacity. Through 1945 and 1946 the US and French long-term aims of German population reduction came dangerously close to realisation; disease and starvation stalked Germany, in the wasteland ruins and in the POW camps Typhoid, Cholera and Diptheria raged. At a time when UK and French civilians has returned to pre-war nutrition levels, German civilians were subsisting on as little as 1,000 Kcals a day
– comparable to Concentration Camp rations. A great part of the problem was that 17m more Germans than calculated had to be fed in the US, UK and French zones – the 13m Germans who crossed the Elbe, 8m DPs and slave labourers, and 5m POWs who surrendered to the West were vastly in excess of expectations.
Against this background Churchill spoke at Zurich in September 1946 (RECORDING);
“.. we must re-create the European family in a regional structure called, it may be, the United States of Europe, and the first practical step will be to form a Council of Europe. If at first all the States of Europe are not willing or able to join a union we must nevertheless proceed to assemble and combine those who will and who can. The salvation of the common people of every race and every land from war and servitude must be established on solid foundations, and must be created by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than to submit to tyranny. In this urgent work France and Germany must take the lead together.”
But he made clear that Britain and the Commonwealth would not be members of this USE;
“Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America — and, I trust, Soviet Russia, for then indeed all would be well — must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live. Therefore I say to you “Let Europe arise!””
Churchill also advocated that a United States of Europe, with France and Germany at its core, take its place alongside Britain and the great powers at the United Nations;
” There is no reason why a regional organisation of Europe should in any way conflict with the world organisation of the United Nations. On the contrary, I believe that the larger synthesis can only survive if it is founded upon broad natural groupings. There is already a natural grouping in the Western Hemisphere. We British have our own Commonwealth of Nations. These do not weaken, on the contrary they strengthen, the world organisation. They are in fact its main support. And why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this mighty continent? And why should it not take its rightful place with other great groupings and help to shape the honourable destiny of man?”
By September 1946 the prospect of mass starvation in Germany was real. The vengeful, retributive policies of Morgenthau and Jean Monnet were leading to a genocide of the German people. Churchill’s dictum that “The USA always does the right thing – eventually” proved true again when James F Bymes spoke in Stuttgart to repudiate the Morgenthau and Monnet Plans; in “Restatement of Policy on Germany” the US ditched the hateful JCS1067 and JCS1779 – the Marshall Plan – was launched.
This wasn’t quite the end. The ‘Morgenthau boys’ committed one last act of spite and destruction in breaking the German banking system, and Jean Monnet held onto both the Saar and control over German coal and steel production for many years.
But it was Britain’s conscience, through Churchill, that from 1943 to the end of 1946 spoke up to save Germany from US and French intentions for her destruction. “In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill”